As usual, nothing much happened today. I went to Choir Practice as usual. In Practical Biology, we did food tests on cocoa, bread, cereal, peanuts and carrot. I came home on the Special Bus.

   After doing my homework we watched the evening’s television programmes. After the Newsreel, the O.B. [outside broadcast] cameras paid a visit to an ice-skating rink in London to watch the skaters. It was a very pleasant fifteen minutes. There was then a short play and “Adventures in Sight”. During this time I took Ginger round the village for her evening walk.

   Finally at 9.30pm we saw another edition of “What’s My Line?”

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36


   In Chemistry this morning, we completed a normality experiment. I came home through town and then spent the afternoon doing homework, after taking down the weather readings for the past month.

   This evening, I did some more prep in the sitting room while Mam and Dad watched a play. I took Ginger up Olton Boulevard East, along Fox Hollies and down Westley Road for her evening walk.

Korean Diary for Sept 23rd–Oct 2nd

25th. Liaison officers from both sides meet at Kaesong to discuss resumption of armistice talks. Chief Communist representative walks out.

28th. Gen. Ridgway sends message proposing new meeting place for talks.

God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. Revelation 21:3


   Again, I have nothing much to record today except that I played football and scored six goals, one not allowed.

   I did an experiment on the Tangent Galvanometer during Physics all afternoon. I came home on the S.B. in time to see the last few minutes of the England v France match at Highbury. The result was 2–2.

   I did prep nearly all night, though I did have a forty minute break in which I watched “How Do You View?” Terry-Thomas was as good as ever.

Whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. Romans 14:8


   The Air and Naval Sections parade with us on Thursday mornings now. This experiment was tried out successfully last week. In accordance with latest Army regulations, the Army and Basic Sections are to wear navy blue berets. Some of the senior N.C.O.s already have them but I don’t expect to receive mine for some time.

   This morning C Coy. [Company] cleaned rifles and did drill. J.T.C.

   I came home through town and called at Bob’s office. I also went to Philip Harris’s to inspect their Biological instruments.

   I went to the Hippodrome tonight [to see Arthur English]. John Winrow was coming with me but I did not see him until after the show. I am going to write about the show in tomorrow’s notes.

   I took Ginger out at 9.0pm.

He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. Isaiah 53:4


   The Head spent some time with us in Biology. We studied teeth and then did food tests on milk.

   There is little else to record. I spent all the evening working.

   I quite enjoyed last night’s show. Linda & Lana opened the show with some dancing. We then saw some fooling by Lowe & Ladd and some juggling from the Mongadors. Binnie Hale then gave some very fine impressions of musical stars of the 30s. Arthur English was next on the stage. As usual, he wore a large gaudy tie. His Cockney jargon is always amusing. His script though, was much the same as last time. The second half of the show included outstanding contributions from Donovan & Hayes, Ivor Moreton & Dave Kaye at two pianos and the Ken Dorvilles who combined agility & ability.

His tender mercies are over all His works. Psalm 145:9


   Nothing happened at school today. I came home with Kipper and John in the Martins’ car. Phil drove.

   Dad and I cycled to Blues’ match v Swansea Town. Blues team was:— Merrick; Hall, Martin; Boyd, Atkins, Warhurst; Stewart, Higgins, Briggs, Rowley, Wardle. The match was drawn 1–1. This was Blues’ fifth draw in seven home games. Actually, they were a trifle unlucky not to win. Higgins scored after twenty minutes and Turnbull headed the equaliser after thirty four minutes. Hero of the game was Ian King, Swansea’s seventeen year old goalkeeper. He was magnificent.

   On T.V. tonight we saw the last episode of Treasure Island, then the grand re-opening of “Café Continentale”. Lastly, we watched Ice Hockey in which Wembley Lions were defeated 8–4 by Streatham.

Because I live, ye shall live also. John 14:29


   Apart from meals I haven’t put a pen down from 9.0am this morning until about 8.30 this evening.

   At 9.30 in “Midland Parliament” I heard a discussion: “Television: Blessing or Menace?” The speakers were Allan Michie an American Journalist, Roger Manvelle T.V. critic of the New Statesman and Nation and Director of the British Film Academy, Miss C.A. Lejeune, film and T.V. critic of The Observer, and T.E.B. Howarth [Headmaster of King Edward’s]. It was extremely interesting.

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. Hebrews 4:9


   We started dissection of the rat in Biology this afternoon. John and I had a rat between us. I found the work extremely interesting. Nothing else happened and I came home on the Special Bus.

   We didn’t watch any of the Television programmes this evening. I took Ginger for a walk this evening and got back to hear the first of a new series of “Variety Bandbox”. The new resident comedian is Al Read who has rapidly become one of radio’s top line comedians. Also in the programme was Arthur English.

   After the 10pm news, Mr. Churchill broadcast on behalf of the Tories.

The living know that they shall die. Ecclesiastes 9:5.


   I decided to cycle to school this morning. It was quite foggy when I started out. I was home by 1.45pm.

   I did prep during the afternoon except for watching an interview with Gilbert Harding in “Leisure and Pleasure” at 3.0pm.

   I finished my work just before 8.0pm and so Mam, Dad and I watched the Tuesday play “Two for a Pair” by Robert Stevens. It had a somewhat amusing plot though equally ridiculous. On the whole, it was the acting which pulled it through.

   After the play, I took G out.

The LORD looseth the prisoners. Psalm 146:7


   We continued our rat dissection during second and fourth periods this morning. It wasn’t quite so nice today. The rat had dried up and smelt somewhat.

   I played football at dinner time. After school I attended an Alto practise [sic] and then went to a meeting of the Natural History Society in Lecture Room 3. Two films were shown — “Bees” and “Birds of the Countryside”. Neither was really instructive. They were poor, in fact.

   I cycled home with John Winrow. I did prep throughout the evening and also prepared my uniform and took Ginger for her evening walk.

It is appointed unto me once to die. Hebrews 9:27


   We had a Physics test this morning. In J.T.C. C Coy went for a march up the University drive in order to learn the “Eyes Left” for Church Parade later in the term.

   Then the N.C.O.s taught the “Ground Arms”, “Trail Arms” and “Port Arms”.

   During the dinner hour, I filled the aquarium up a little more.

   At 2.30 I played hooker for the 1st XV v Barlow’s. We were 8 pts up inside five minutes but it proved to be a flash in the pan for we had to struggle and we eventually ran out losers by 21 pts to 8. On the whole I think we gave an improved performance. rugby

   Tonight we listened to “Home, James!” in the Home Service and “Dear Sir” and “Life with the Lyons” in the Light Programme.

I am come that they might have life. John 10:10


   Today was Founder’s Day [holiday] and I decided to visit the Bittell reservoirs with a party of boys from the Natural History Society. I took Ginger with me. I arrived at Rednal tram terminus at 10.15 and we set off down the road. We first went up the slope of a hill. On the way up we found the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) a highly poisonous fungus with bright red cap and small yellowish spots. Flying overhead were many Missel Thrushes and some Redwings too. A Kestrel arrived on the scene and appeared to be chasing a thrush. The other thrushes mobbed the kestrel and eventually drove it off. On the way to Lower Bittell we saw some Lapwings in a field with some Rooks. At the reservoir were Moorhens, Tufted Duck, a Little Grebe, a Heron, some Coot, Mallard, Teal, Pochard, Wigeon, a Great Crested Grebe and what was for me a new bird — the Common Sandpiper. This wader had a greenish plumage and looked quite inconspicuous as it moved along the edge of the water. We ate our sandwiches before moving on to Upper Bittell. We had to go past a farm and across some fields. While walking along by the edge of the water, we disturbed a Snipe. It flew off with a zigzag flight. From Upper Bittell we walked on to Hopwood where we caught the Midland Red ’bus to town. [The 147 from Redditch to Birmingham via Kings Norton and Cotteridge ran every 20 minutes and took exactly half an hour from Ash Lane, Hopwood, to Dudley Street].

   Altogether it had been a very worth while visit. In all we saw thirty seven different birds. I got home at 4.15pm

   Mam and Dad went to the cinema tonight. The Holme Moss T.V. transmitter was opened today. The transmitter is in a very high and isolated region some sixteen miles E.N.E. of Manchester. The site is about 1,700 feet above sea-level & the mast is 750 feet high. The power of the vision transmitter is 45 kilowatts, of the sound transmitter 12 kilowatts. Good reception should be obtained between 50 and 70 miles away. Next year the B.B.C. plan to open new T.V. stations at Kirk O’Shotts in Central Scotland and Wenvoe in S. Wales. By then 75% of the population will be able to have T.V.

   At 8.0 I saw the inaugural ceremony from Manchester Town Hall, then the Newsreel and the first of a new series “I Made News”. Ex-Supt Robert Fabian of Scotland Yard described the part he played in “Rough Diamonds”. From 9.30 until 10.45 we saw a programme of T.V. favourite personalities — Terry-Thomas, Ethel Revnell, Muffin [the Mule], Joan Gilbert, Philip Harben, Leslie Mitchell included.

I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand. Isaiah 41:13.


   We had a Biology test this morning. Otherwise nothing happened. I came home on the 1A ’bus.

   I watched Ascot Races on T.V. this afternoon. Last minute arrangements by the B.B.C. made it possible for transmission to commence at 2.15 instead of 2.45pm. This was to enable H.M. The King to see his horse Good Shot run in the 2.30 race. It won a thrilling race by half a length from Tenterell, a neck ahead of Court Whisper. Other winners were Talma II by a neck and Ki Ming by half a length in the 3.0 and 3.30 races.

   Tonight we saw twenty minutes of the Battersea Festival Gardens Fun Fair and then Music Hall from the Theatre Royal, Leeds. Gracie Fields & Donald Peers took part. Archie Andrews was to have compered the show but he was stolen from a railway train on Thursday & hasn’t been found yet. [He was the ventriloquist Peter Brough’s dummy].

Keep me, O LORD. Psalm 140:4


   As usual, I got up first this morning and made the tea. Later I took Ginger out & then did prep.

   After dinner, Mam, Dad and I went to the Mission. Mr. Ron Tilsley spoke. This is Jubilee Year for the Mission. It was founded in 1926 and a party is to be held next month, God willing, to celebrate this.

   We walked back as far as the Piccadilly cinema.

   At 8.0pm tonight, we saw the illuminations at Blackpool. This was easily the best programme of its kind that I have seen so far. The pictures were excellent. A T.V. camera was fixed into a tram and this was driven right along the sea front giving us some superb views of the lights. We also saw Wilfred Pickles conduct a “Have-a-Go” quiz at the miners’ home.

I am the resurrection and the life. John 11:25


   The morning was very foggy again today. The Special Bus did not leave the village until 8.55. This made us later for school but I didn’t have to sign the late-book. weather

   Nothing much happened all day. The main topic nowadays is the forthcoming General Election. Last year, the Labour Party won 315 seats, the Conservatives 298, the Liberals 9, others 3.

   I shall be very surprised if we have a Labour government again. This time I expect to see a Conservative majority of about eleven or twelve. I hope this isn’t the case but I greatly fear that it will be. Mr. Richard Stokes spoke on behalf of the Labour Party this evening.

Death is swallowed up in victory. 1 Corinthians 15:54


   As usual, nothing much happened at school. I came home on the 1A ’bus, did all my homework this afternoon, wrote two letters, and went to the Library.

   This evening I have been to Cubs. The attendance was only nine or ten but I got them to do some marching and then had three classes going. Mr. Winters and Mr. Thornborough were both absent but Mr. Harvey came later.

   When I got home I took Ginger for her evening walk.

Korean Diary for October 3rd–16th

4th. Communists reject Gen. Ridgway’s proposal that talks be resumed on new site. Brit. Commonwealth Division leads new Allied offensive in Central Korea.

7th. New Communist proposals put to Gen. Ridgway.

9th. Communists counter-attack in Western Korea.

10th. A meeting held at Panmunjon.

13th. Heavy fighting continues on central front.

14th. Gen. Ridgway accepts responsibility for violation of neutral zone.

He will swallow up death in victory. Isaiah 25:8


   Today I cycled to school. Pebble Mill Road has only a single working tram track at the moment. The other track is used for keeping trams while Selly Oak and other tram depots are being converted into ’bus garages. [The trams were kept in Pebble Mill Road during the war; now their end is in sight and the trams will disappear altogether, to be replaced by buses. The photo shows No.843, the last tram built for Birmingham. It entered service in 1930, has a lightweight Brush body, M&G bogies and two 40 h.p. motors.]

   Nothing much happened during the day. We can not play football on the square now for fear of breaking the windows of the Memorial building. [This is part of the Upper Corridor from the old building in New Street and will soon become the School Chapel.] Anyway, I had a Choir practice at 1.0pm in the Gallery [organ loft in Big School]. We are singing an anthem before prayers tomorrow morning. After school, I went to an Alto practice.

   On T.V. tonight Sir Hartley Shawcross and Christopher Mayhew broadcast on behalf of the Labour Party. Chris Mayhew showed how the tories had faked a “Cost of Living” graph in their T.V. broadcast given by Mr. Eden [deputy leader of the Opposition] yesterday evening.

Turn thou to thy God. Hosea 12:6


   In J.T.C. this morning, Capt. Buttle instructed the N.C.O.s on the Lying Load and Holding and Aiming. Then I instructed my section on the subject for ten minutes. I got a greatcoat from the stores after parade. I came home on the 1A ’bus.

   During the afternoon I read a short story and then did homework until the Children’s T.V. Programme at 5.0pm. Four or five children made a play up as they went along. One of those taking part was Jean Lester who appeared in “Midland Magazine” at the same time as me on one or two occasions.

   After doing homework this evening and having taken Ginger for her walk, I listened to “Dear Sir” and “Life with the Lyons”.

He will answer thee. Isaiah 30:19


   I went to school on the S.B. this morning.

   At dinner time, John Winrow and I went to the Christian Union. Mr. R.F. Trew, leader of the Moseley Crusaders, spoke on “Why we are here”. His topic was “life” and he dealt with this under four headings:— leasehold, inquest, foundation and Eternity.

   There is nothing else to record. This evening I watched one or two of the T.V. programmes. In the Newsreel we saw Princess Elizabeth and the Duke at Niagara Falls in their Canadian tour. In “I Made News” at 8.15 I saw how a case of espionage was solved. It was called “The Case of the Talking Dolls”. Then at 9.35 there was a half hour of Leslie Welch, the Memory Man.

Thou saidst, Fear not. Lamentations 3:57


   This morning I cycled to school. In Biology we finished studying digestion. Mr. Mathews did not collect the Physics prep since he had forgotten to bring the work to be given back to us.

   I listened to the Wales-England match this afternoon. It was a 1–1 draw.

   I went to the Hippodrome tonight. Merle & Marie, two dancers, opened the show, & they were followed by Harry Jacobsen a pianist-composer. Then the Chevalier Bros. did some comedy acrobatics and Bunny Doyle (Minister for Idiotic Affairs) gave a very good impression of Mr. Churchill. Next, Florence Desmonde gave some brilliant impressions including Bette Davis, Gloria Swanson & “Schnozzle” Durante. After the intermission was some more dancing. We then saw Lionel King who as “Joker Ace High” did the most amazing card tricks. Arthur Askey followed. He joked, played the piano and sang some of his nonsensical songs. Finally Nevanda and Van gave an amazing display of ball-control with their feet.

Unto Him be glory. Ephesians 3:21


   This morning I had some prep to do. After dinner I helped Dad to lay some new stair carpet. There is little else to say except that tonight we saw an extremely good play on T.V. It was “The Night of the Fourth” a new play adapted by Jack Roffey and Gordon Harboard from Sprechstunde by H. Bratt. A Supt. Richards of Scotland Yard does not believe in the evidence of a psychiatrist in a murder case. Then he himself is involved in a murder of which his mind knows nothing. A doctor-psychiatrist (Herbert Lom) and Supt. Roberts (John Robinson) set out to solve the case together and, of course, everything turns out right in the end.

   The physcological [sic] theme has many twists and turns. The play is essentially a play of detection and surprise. The acting was very good all round but Herbert Lom as Dr. Kurt Fischer deserves special mention.

Jesus Himself drew near. Luke 24:15


   Nothing happened at school today. In English I am reading the part of Louis Dubedat in The Doctor’s Dilemma.

   In Choir we are learning several new carols. I came home on the S.B.

   This evening on T.V., we were taken to meet circus folk behind the scenes and in the ring of Billy Smart’s Circus at Woodford.

   I took Ginger out for her walk and then watched “What’s My Line?”.

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31


   As usual nothing happened at school. I came home via town and bought a copy of the Birmingham Post for October 13th. It contained an article about our school by T.W. Hutton.

   Nothing happened all day.

Korean Diary for October 17th–23rd

21st. United Nations infantry near Communist forward base. Agreement reached in principal on conditions for resuming cease-fire talks.

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen ye love. 1 Peter 1:7,8


   In the first of today’s Biology periods we had to write an essay. Mr. Monkcom was absent — he took some boys in the Shells to the Lickeys. In our second period of Biology we did practical work. I continued my slide drawing.

   Nothing else happened. This evening I went to an eve-of-poll election meeting in support of the Yardley Labour candidate, Henry Usborne. The meeting started at 8.0pm and finished shortly before 10.0pm. Henry Usborne won his case in 1945 and again last year on the necessity for World Government. [He won the seat in 1945 and was re-elected in 1950.] He is secretary of the British Parliamentary Group for World Government. One of the speakers at tonight’s meeting was an American who is supporting him in his campaign. Apart from two other speakers, Mr. Usborne himself spoke and answered questions. After the meeting I got his autograph for my collection.

This is my Beloved and this is my Friend. Song of Solomon 5:16


   Polling Day! I always find an atmosphere, of tension almost, on Polling Day. However, the main excitement will be at about 10.15 this evening and all tomorrow as the results come through. election

   The Lord Mayor [Alderman Ralph Cyril Yates] visited the school today. He didn’t come into any of our periods and I was thankful that he didn’t appear while I was instructing my section on the “Lying Load”. J.T.C.

   I played for the 1st XV v Biggs’ this afternoon. I think we sustained our heaviest defeat ever — 63 pts to 3. Our main weaknesses were in the lines-out and a reluctance to tackle. I won’t say more. rugby

   I have been listening to the radio this evening.

The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me. Psalm 138:8


   Dad and I did not go to bed until 1 o’clock this morning. At 10.15 I was ready to go to bed when I switched on the T.V. The first election result — for Salford West — was announced almost immediately. The T.V. cameras took us over to Salford. Labour was elected with a majority of 3,487. The next result came over by ’phone. It was from Watford — Labour in again by 508. A recount was held. Actually, the Watford result was first but we had it second since it took longer to arrive by ’phone. Next came the Salford East result — another win for Labour but with a reduced majority. Then results came in quite quickly. Meanwhile I sat on the settee in my pyjamas and greatcoat [the one from J.T.C.!], hastily scribbling down results and majorities in a Radio Times chart. The T.V. cameras took us to Fulham and to Victoria Square, Birmingham. The first local result was announced by the Lord Mayor as Returning Officer. It was for Ladywood. Mr. Victor Yates retained his seat for Labour [which he has held since 1945]. All the Birmingham results were out by 1.0am. Henry Usborne got in by a majority reduced from 3,911 to 2,701. There was no change anywhere in B’ham but there was a noticeable decrease in Labour majorities all over the country.

   The T.V. commentators were wonderful. As each result came through, Graham Hutton, David Butler and H.G. Nicholas commented on it and pointed out the significance of the result. The state of the parties was given every quarter of an hour. The Tories led by 9–8 at 11.15. At midnight Labour led 35–31, at 12.30 by 59–46, at 12.45 by 71–54, at 1.0am by 91–72. There had been only two changes then — both Tory gains. At 8.0am we [ours was a Labour household — for a little while yet] were leading 175–145–2–1, having lost about 5 seats to the Tories in the process.

   At school the prefects posted the state of the parties at various points around the school. Their charts told a sad story. The Labour majority dwindled and just before 1pm the parties were level at 205 each. The Tories went into the lead and at one point were over 40 ahead. It was by then quite obvious that the Conservatives had won the election. Mr. Attlee went to the Palace & handed his resignation to the King. State of parties at 6.0pm was 316–292–5–2 [Conservative-Labour-Liberal-Others].

   After school I went to a meeting of the Music School [sic Music Circle] to which I have been elected. Philip Cranmer gave a very interesting and amusing talk on “The Art of Accompaniment”. [Philip Cranmer was Director of Music during my first year at King Edward’s, then left to join the B.B.C. His brother is Peter Cranmer, a rugby player and former Captain of Warwickshire County Cricket Club — I used to love to see him play as he was a big hitter].

   Tonight on T.V. I watched “Kaleidoscope” and “In the News”.

This I know ... God is for me. Psalm 56:9


   Mr. Mathews was not at school this morning and Mr. Whinnerah took the Physics period.

   I got home for 1.15pm.

   I spent the afternoon doing homework. I was writing up Biology notes most of the time so I managed to watch the T.V. I saw Coventry retain their unbeaten record in beating Harlequins 6–nil. This was Harlequins’ first defeat of the season. Grandad came at about 4.45.

   This evening I went to the cinema by myself for the first time since May 12th. I went to the Warwick to see Danny Kaye, Gene Tierney, and Corinne Calvet in On the Riviera in Technicolor. It was a very good film with plenty of glamour and colour. Danny Kaye plays a dual role as a cabaret artist and French airman but has a little too much “straight” acting.

In the midst of the throne ... stood a Lamb as it had been slain. Revelation 8:6


   This morning I did some prep and took Ginger out. I found a ten shillings note in Dorling’s but I was unable to find the owner.

   After dinner we all went to the Mission. There was a new speaker, Mr. Peter Knowles.

   This evening, Mam, Dad and I saw John Galsworthy’s play Escape. It was very well done.

Every day will I bless Thee; and I will praise Thy name for ever and ever. Psalm 145:2


   Mr. Monkcom was absent today. We worked by ourselves during the first period. Mr. Ballance took the second Biology period.

   When I got on the S.B., I found I had left my fountain pen behind. When I got home I did most of my homework. Tonight I saw the Newsreel, a programme of peculiar animals and later “What’s My Line?” I took Ginger for her evening walk.

Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength. Isaiah 26:4


   We did analysis in Chemistry today. This was because we shall miss Friday’s double period. We’ve been given a half-day by the Lord Mayor who was quite pleased with what he saw on Thursday. The afternoon will make the Half Term holiday a little longer anyway.

   I came home via town. Dad had made a lamp to place on the Television set. Tonight Mam and Dad watched a play while I did prep. Nothing else happened.

   Two more Election results came through yesterday. There is only one more result to come — that for Barnsley where Polling Day will be on Nov. 8th. This was due to the death of the Labour candidate [Mr. F. Collindridge, 58], who had a majority of 31,209 in 1950. Assuming this seat is held by Labour, the new Parliament will consist of 321 Conservatives, 295 Socialists, 6 Liberals and 3 others:— overall Tory majority 17.

He is precious, 1 Peter 2:7


   At dinner time I had a short Choir practise [sic]. Afterwards John and I endeavoured to unblock the sink in the Biology Lab. It was full of water which we had to siphon out but the pipe is still blocked with grit and no water can flow out.

   The aquarium has quite a variety of plants, a few water snails, a Water Scorpion and a Stickleback.

   I did a Potentiometer experiment in Physics. I had finished within an hour so I then wrote up some Chemistry notes. I came home on the Special Bus.

   After doing prep this evening I watched “Picture Page” from Birmingham and then “How Do You View?” Terry-Thomas’s show is uproariously funny.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Isaiah 26:3

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webwork by Jim Nagel at Abbey Press, Glastonbury — this edition published 2007-06-30