I cycled to school this morning. Nothing much happened.

   After dinner Dad and I went to Blues’ match v Notts County. Birmingham City:— Merrick; Green, Badham; Boyd, Atkins, Warhurst; Stewart, Purdon, Briggs, Smith, Wardle. Notts County:— Smith; Southwell, Deans; Brunt, Leuty, Simpson; Broome, Jackson, Lawton [the great England centre forward], Johnston, Crookes.

   Blues won 2–nil but it might well have been 5–nil. They played together as a team in fine fashion, one could only criticise their finishing. Smith scored both goals, the first from a Stewart pass after 19 minutes, the second from a pass by Briggs was a header which went in off a post and came after 49 minutes. Only the Notts goalie prevented Smith from obtaining his hat-trick.

   On T.V. tonight, we watched a Sherlock Holmes play and a very good edition of “Café Continentale”.

Thy mercy, O LORD, held me up. Psalm 94:18


   After breakfast this morning I went to the park taking Ginger with me. I got some Starwort for my aquarium and the school aquarium.

   This afternoon I did homework. Tonight I watched some of a T.V. play Eden End by J.B. Priestley. I also took Ginger for her evening walk.

Korean Diary for November 14th–28th

17th. UN delegates accept proposal to fix cease-fire line along present battle line if full armistice signed in 30 days.

20th. General Ridgway publishes statement about Communist atrocities in Korea.

23rd. Truce sub-committee reaches agreement on plan for cease-fire line.

26th. Agreement on cease-fire line location reached by Truce sub-committee.

27th. Full armistice delegation at Panmunjon approves cease-fire line.

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, rejoice. Philippians 4:4


   This morning in English we had to answer a question on The Doctor’s Dilemma as part of our English exam.

   I went to Choir Practice as usual. In the Maths exam which we had during Saturday’s Biology period, I had only 24/40.

   I came home on the Special Bus. This evening on Television we watched the Newsreel, “World Survey” and “What’s My Line?” in which W.J. Brown replaced Gilbert Harding. From 9.25 until 10.15 we saw an Ice Hockey match between Nottingham Panthers v Brighton Tigers which Panthers won by 6–2. The more I see of this game, the more I like it. It’s a pity there isn’t an Ice-Hockey team in this “Forward” city.

Thou art my strong refuge. Thou shalt comfort me on every side. Psalm 71:7,21


   Today I paid my first visit to the Dentist for some seven or eight years. I had three teeth out, a molar tooth from either side of my lower jaw and one from my upper jaw. This tooth was out of line and had a couple of holes in.

   I was given gas. I seemed to take a long time to “drop off” but I knew I was doing so because my mouth opened wider & wider. Then I seemed to feel a terrific pressure and when I came round my teeth were out. Apparently I screamed though I wasn’t conscious of doing so.

   After the dentist, Mam and I went to Mrs. Moore’s. [She lives at 54 Ulverley Green Road, Olton. After being bombed out in the war we went in a van to lodge with the Moores, only to find their house damaged and no one there, It is Mr. Moore who runs the Mission; he works for Premier Electric, Keeley Street.]

   I did French prep after dinner. Tonight Grace and Arthur came. We listened to “P.C. 49”, “Danger Money” and the first of a new series of “Take It From Here”.

And renewing of the Holy Ghost. Titus 3:5


   In Biology today we learnt about several diseases, V.D., Malaria etc. [Mr. Monkcom took the opportunity, diffidently, to warn us to “be careful”.]

   During the dinner hour I put some weed in the aquarium. In Physics this afternoon John Winrow and I did an experiment to find the reduction factor of a Tangent Galvanometer by a Potentiometer method. It took over ninety minutes to obtain and set up the apparatus.

   After school I went to an Alto practise [sic] in the New Music Room. I came home through town. It was raining heavily. weather

   This evening I cleaned brasses, blancoed gaiters and belt, and pressed my uniform.

   We watched “Picture Page” and the Eric Barker Show on T.V.

The Father ... shall give you another Comforter. John 14:16


   In J.T.C. today, after being taught ourselves by Capt. Buttle, the N.C.O.s instructed their sections on the “Port Arms” and “Examine Arms”. [Meanwhile, Phil Martin was on his way to Aldershot to do National Service in the Army. He was 19 in October.]

   The 1st XV played its postponed match v Leeds’ this afternoon. I was in my usual position as hooker. We led by 9–nil at half-time but we threw the game away then and lost 9–15, which means that the last time Copland’s 1st XV won a match was on 28th September 1950 v Williams’. This means also that that was the last victory by a Copland’s 1st XV as such. Next year we shall be Vardy 1st XV. Our 2nd XII has won the last five matches handsomely, and in fact, should be the 2nd team champions in next term’s K.O. competition. rugby

   Tonight I listened to the radio and took Ginger for her evening walk.

It is the Lord. John 21:7


   A Choir Practice was held until break this morning. I did a rat disection [sic] after break until 12.25pm. The rest of the form did disection all morning. In Gym we played Basketball after which I had to go to Edgbaston Old Church for another practise.

   Tonight a Choral Concert was broadcast on the M.H.S. [Midland Home Service] from Big School. The B.B.C. Midland Orchestra (Leader, Frank Thomas) was conducted by Anthony Lewis. The soloists were Ena Mitchell, Brenda Griffith (sopranos), Margaret MacArthur (contralto), Robert Ellis and Ronald Bristol (tenors) and Norman Walker (bass). George Miles was at the organ. Part I from 8.15–9.00 was Bach’s Magnificat, Part II was Lully’s Miserere. I was fortunate enough to have a ticket to attend and greatly enjoyed the concert. The choir consisted of the Chorus of the University Choral Society and the B.B.C. Midland Chorus.

Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost. Acts 7:51


   Today was the Choir Half-Holiday. I was late going to bed last night and did not wake until 11.20 when Mam called me. I think I would have slept on until late this afternoon.

   Nothing much happened all day.

   This evening we saw on T.V. the first of a new series of “The Inch Man”. This was followed by a thirty minute programme at 8.30 entitled “Through Fire and Water”. During the programme, Michael Henderson became involved in the working of an underwater film camera, and Berkeley Smith had to be rescued by members of the Surrey Fire Brigade, from a blazing building. The programme came from the Test Department of a Submarine Research Station.

   We watched “Top Hat Rendezvous” from 9.0 until 10.0pm then I took Ginger out.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day. Revelation 1:10


   Nothing much happened at all this morning.

   After dinner I went to Edgbaston Old Church for our service of nine lessons and carols. The choir sang eight carols. These were This is the truth, From church to church, Unto us is born a Son, When Jesus Christ had lived, Angelus ad Virginem, Sing Lullaby and Quelle est cette odeur, as well as O Freude über Freude. carol service

Korean Diary for Nov 28th–Dec 4th

29th. Gen. Ridgway denies reports of a cease-fire order.

30th. Deadlock reached in Korea truce talks. 8th Army ordered to continue fighting.

4th. Another truce sub-committee appointed to study proposals for observing armistice.

If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it. If ye love Me, keep my commandments. John 14:14,15


   There is nothing much to record again today. In Choir practice we started to learn Te Deum Laudamus.

   I had a school dinner for the third time in eight days. It wasn’t too bad.

   In Biology, we continued our rat dissection. I removed its heart and head today. I came home on the Special Bus and went to the Barber [Sallis] in Station Road for a haircut.

   This evening I did prep, watched T.V. and took Ginger out. My ears tingled for the first time this winter so I guessed it was the coldest night & this evening (Tuesday) I read in the Mail that it was the coldest since January 26th-27th. weather

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13


   Hymn Practice lasted until 10.0am this morning so that Te Deum could be learnt. There were no House meetings.

   No one turned up to take us for Physics. In Chemistry I finished analysing mixtures G4 and G5 which means that though I missed four periods of Practical Chemistry last week, I have analysed five mixtures and part of a sixth.

   I got home just after one thirty and after dinner went to see Mrs. Wright at Hartfield Crescent. Mrs. Wright is leaving to become chief assistant to Mr. Olarenshaw at his school. I took the class in a nature lesson & then stacked books in the cupboard. [H. John Olarenshaw was Headmaster of Hartfield Crescent Junior & Infants School during my time there, 1941–46, and Annie Wright, who lives in Bibury Road, Hall Green, was my class teacher.]

   Tonight I watched a T.V. play, “We Must Kill Toni”.

Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. 1 Corinthians 6:19


   What an exciting day this has been! While I was washing this morning, I had a letter arrive informing me that I am to read a question in Town Forum tomorrow evening.

   We had Mr. Gess for the last time this morning. He is emigrating to Australia. A new master, Mr. Woods, will take us for Chemistry next year. In Biology I dissected my rat’s head.

   I had a school dinner today. There was an orange, half an apple [still in short supply this long after the war], an icing cake, chicken, stuffing, roast & mashed potatoes, sausage, sprouts and gravy, followed by custard and Christmas pudding.

   After school, I went to a 15–minute carol service in the new Memorial Chapel. The XXII Choir sang.

   I got home at 5.0pm, had a quick tea and went to the Hippodrome to see Mr. Peter Casson the world famous Hypnotist. He had some difficulty in getting volunteers and then when he tried some auto-suggestion, not all of them were suitable. He put them to sleep quickly enough. The “patients” had to be perfectly relaxed, then they looked into his eyes. He then said “Close your eyes & breathe deeply through your mouth” etc and in no time at all they were asleep. Having done this, Peter Casson stood the sleeping people up and had them all playing various imaginary instruments. He then chose one young woman, got her to make herself rigid and having put her head on one chair and her feet on another, he and another man, weighing together more than 24 stones, sat on her stomach. The woman did not sag in the middle & showed no sign of strain. Another woman was taken back to the age of 2½ and she scribbled & spoke like a child of that age.

   Peter Casson then asked all the audience to take part in a test. We had [to] clasp our hands and stretch them above our heads for a minute or so, To my amazement, I found I could not unfasten my hands and was one of a dozen people who had to go up onto the stage to have our hands unfastened. Some of these people volunteered to be hypnotised. I was too young. He put them to sleep & said “You will sleep deeply when you hear So Tired played only in this theatre.” He woke them up, sent them back into the audience & every time this tune was played, they dropped off, only waking when the song changed.

   In the second half these people went to a Xmas party, ate & enjoyed a non-existent chicken & showed all the signs of drunkenness after drinking a glass of water! Then there was a game of darts. [At this point in the Diary I ran out of space].

The Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. 2 Timothy 1:14


   Today was to have been such an exciting day for me but I had a great disappointment.

   We broke up for the Christmas holidays this morning. We went to Form Rooms until 10.10am then House meetings were held followed by Prayers. I walked up Edgbaston Park Road with Christopher [Kipper] and caught the 1A ’bus by the church [Edgbaston Old Church]. INSERT REPORT

   Tonight’s “Town Forum” was broadcast from 9.15 to 10.0pm on the Midland Home Service and was simultaneously televised. Mam, Dad, Clarice & Julia watched the programme. [It is Clarice’s 12th birthday.]

   The programme was from the Birmingham and Midland Institute. My Question, the 7th in the programme, was this: “Does Britain make the most of her opportunities to increase her friendly relationship with other countries and in what ways could this country further the bond of friendship with Germany?” Pinned onto my reserved seat was a sheet of paper giving instructions. I was sitting right by the microphone. Each person had to read his question and then sit on a chair by the microphone. After reading his question and sitting down, the next questioner had to sit down beside him. A B.B.C. representative was seated at a third chair. Shortly before 9.15, Denis Morris, the chairman, and the four members of the team came onto the platform. The chairman introduced the team at the start of the programme. They were Dr. Johannes Zahn, financier and lawyer; Hans Lilje, the Lutheran Bishop of Hanover; Dr. Heinrich Renkl, industrialist; and W.E. Suskind, author and journalist.

   There were two Television cameras. One, at the back of the hall was focussed on the whole platform while a second one at the side was focussed on an individual member of the team or a questioner.

   We learnt our questions off by heart but I did not have to read mine. The Forum had answered the first six questions and I was just ready to put mine when the chairman remarked that there was only a minute left and no time for any further questions. I was very disappointed. I think that it was the smallest number of questions ever asked in a “Town Forum” — usually they have at least eight, sometimes as many as a dozen. I think, though, that the programme was a great success.

The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities. Romans 8:26


   This morning I played football at Selly Oak Park. There were seven people on my side, captained by Willy Kington, and six on the opposing side. [With me playing that made us about equal.]

   We were 2–nil down within three minutes then I scored from a pass by Kington. A couple of minutes later I lobbed the ball over Chadwin’s head and before the game was fifteen minutes old I got my third goal from a pass by Johnny Stokes. We got another goal to make the score 4–2 but the final score was 6–8. Willy Kington got two goals and Johnny Stokes one. Dicky Richards was the best player on the opposing side. It wasn’t a bad game. The pitch was inches deep in mud down the centre.

   This afternoon I listened to a repeat of last night’s “Town Forum”.

   Tonight, while Mam and Dad were at the cinema, I watched the Newsreel, Petula Clark in “Pet’s Parlour”, and “I Made News”.

Be of good courage. Psalm 31:24


   Today I took part in my fifth “Midland Magazine” [No. 39]. I had to be at the studios by 11.0am together with the other people in the play “A Train of Thought” by Alan Harris. We had one run-through and then went down to the B.B.C. Restaurant for coffee before continuing the rehearsal. In this play Bob and Mike (Patrick Wells) are just catching the train to take them back to Boarding School. A stranger gets in the same compartment and tells them he is a detective. Then Mike and Bob are enlisted to help the stranger catch a Miss Meadows who, they are told is a crook. Bob goes out to get a drink, and Mike and the stranger tie up the woman when she comes into the carriage with a gun before the stranger stops the train and makes off. The woman tells Mike that she is the detective and that the man is the crook. Then Bob and the guard come in with the man. Bob knew he was a crook because the man had never heard of lycopodium powder which detectives use for finger-prints. I had the part of Bob, Roy Stockton was the crook, Gabrielle Cohen was Miss Meadows, Ivor Ford was the guard.

    I had a dinner at the B.B.C. Canteen, then at 1.30 all the other people arrived. [We had a run-through of the whole programme. For the play, there were a lot of railway sound effects but David Scott Daniell had to slide a chair along the floor to give the effect of a compartment door opening and closing! A lot of work had to be put into the play but I think the whole programme turned out quite well. The broadcast was from Studio 1 and the Islington Ensemble opened & closed the programme.

   [I took my Autograph Book as usual and it was signed by David and Peggy, Patricia Taylor and Bryan Hands who introduced the programme, Ivor Ford, Joyce Handford, Lois Evans, Jennifer Johnson, Margaret Gavan, Valerie Gilman, Gabrielle Cohen, Graham Beebee, Mary Hand, Roy Stockton, John A. Stilwell, Patrick Wells, Daviena Dawson, John B. Stevenson, Janet Price, Frances M. Reeve and Jill Freemantle. I did not get the signatures of Janice Dumbleton, Yvonne Yapp and Jill Mitchell. There were 23 of us altogether. I know Ivor and Patrick from previous broadcasts. John Stevenson and John Stilwell played a piece “Polzeath” written by John Stevenson for piano and cello].

   Grace and Arthur, and Grandad came [to visit us today].

Joy in the Holy Ghost. Romans 14:17


   I had arranged to meet Bob at the Beaufort Cinema at 10.10 this morning. After that we went on to the Crown & Cushion to meet other members of what is to be Kodak Football Team.

   We played an 8–a side game on Perry Hall fields. The team shirts are yellow & black hoops. Bob was in goal and I was in the unusual position of centre forward for his side. We played thirty minutes each way. I got the ball straight from the kick off, went down the field & shot. The goalie pushed the ball away but one of our players put it into the net. After ten minutes I scored but was off-side then a little later I scored from a 25-yard free kick, the ball going in the top left-hand corner of the net. We won the game 6–4. I had only one shot in the second half.

   Nothing happened in the afternoon. Tonight I listened to “Calling All Forces” in the sitting room while Mam & Dad watched Christopher Fry’s Sleep of Prisoners.

Trust in the LORD. Proverbs 3:5


   I got up at about ten o’clock this morning. Mam put up the Christmas decorations in the lounge and dining room. We have had the old gas-fire fitted in the fireplace of the lounge so we can have a fire in there without having to bother about the coal situation. [Coal is sometimes in short supply.]

   I also went to the Library and got for myself a detective novel.

   This evening we watched “What’s My Line?” There were three newcomers to the team — Jimmy Edwards, Ghislaine Alexander and Robert Fabian. Later we listened to Al Read in Variety Bandbox.

   My school report has come:—

PHYSICS   He has worked quite well & made fair progress. (Mr. J.B. Whinnerah).

CHEMISTRY   Has worked very well, but his progress has been rather limited in what he finds is a difficult subject. (Mr. A.J. Gess)

BIOLOGY   A very conscientious worker. He is keenly interested in the subject. He will have to develop a better examination technique. (Mr. M.E. Monkcom)

ENGLISH   Quite promising: expresses himself clearly. (Mr. T.R. Parry)

FRENCH   Keen and conscientious. (Mr. A.C. Gosling)

MATHEMATICS   Good. (Mr. J.C. Roberts)

FORM MASTER    He is keen and conscientious in all subjects, but far better examination results will be necessary. (Mr. M.E. Monkcom)

HOUSEMASTER   Always keen — he has been a useful forward in the House XV.

HEADMASTER   He is clearly doing his very best and deserves to succeed. T.E.B.H. (Mr. Howarth)

We go back to school on Tuesday 15th January 1952.

Korean Diary for Dec 5th–11th

8th. Communist delegates reject proposals by UN representatives for carrying out armistice.

11th. Truce sub-committee meets to discuss exchange of prisoners of war.

O God ... early will I seek Thee. Psalm 63:1


   This morning, I finished reading my novel The King of Diamonds by John Jay Chichester; I thought it extremely good. It was unusual in so much that Mr. Chichester has his reader supporting two crooks in their battles against two other crooks who are rather unscrupulous, and we have no respect for police or detectives. I took the book back to the Library and exchanged it for Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie.

   Nothing happened in the afternoon but tonight Dad and I listened to the last in the present series of “P.C. 49”. In this episode P.C. 49 at long last married his girl friend Joan Carr. Now he has only to be promoted to Detective-Sergeant. I took Hound out then listened to “Take It From Here” & “Over to You”

Seek, and ye shall find. Luke 11:9


   This morning, I reported for my G.P.O. Postal Delivery. I had to go to the sorting office in the church hall at Stockfield Road. My area is Oakhurst Road, Oakhill Crescent and Pendleton Grove.

   My first delivery was quite straight forward. There were several bundles of letters and some parcels to be delivered but I finished by eleven o’clock and had nothing further to do until 1.30pm. I finished work at 4.15pm (officially at 6.0pm).

   This evening we watched T.V. The Newsreel was at 7.30 and then we saw Tom Arnold’s Harringay Circus followed by “Picture Page” and the Eric Barker Half-Hour. Finally at 10.0pm there was a ten minute film fantasy “I Had a Dream Last Night” devised by Joan Maude and Michael Warr.

Do ye now believe? John 16:31


   I had to be at Stockfield Road for 7.30 this morning. I went on my bicycle. The parcels were stacked high and my first round had to be a parcel delivery along Shirley Road from Hazelwood Road to Lulworth Road. I finished this by 9.45 and came home for a cup of tea before getting the 44A ’bus to Clay Lane. I had to get a temporary Insurance Card from the Ministry of National Insurance.

   I got back for 11.0am and then took a second lot of parcels and letters for Shirley Road before dinner. After dinner I did some sorting and did my third and last delivery of the day which included Shirley Road, Oakhill Crescent and Pendleton Grove.

   Tonight I heard “Ray’s a Laugh”, “Dear Sir”, “Life with the Lyons” and a repeat of “Take it From Here”.

Fear thou God. Ecclesiastes 5:7


   I got up at 6.30 this morning and was out delivering parcels along Shirley Road before 7.15am. It was still dark and very foggy. weather

   I came home at 9.15 for another breakfast of tea and toast. Then for the next two hours or more, I sorted letters, putting them in the correct order. It is surprising what a large number of letters are incorrectly addressed.

   I did not get any dinner until twenty to four because my second delivery took so long. When I did get back to Tyseley, I went straight out again with more letters and parcels and didn’t finish until after 7.30pm. Mam and Dad had gone to the cinema.

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

Only acknowledge ... that thou hast trespassed against the LORD thy God. Jeremiah 3:13


   Really, the postman’s job isn’t as easy as it looks. Sometimes, there is a stiff gate or a long path up to the house. Then he finds a ridiculously small letter box, about five inches across, through which he has to post an outsize calendar. So he knocks the door and waits for the people to get out of bed, to be told that they do not want half of the letters. Registered packets have to be signed for. This morning I took one to a house, knocked, and after what seemed an age, a stupid looking individual appeared and goggling at me said, “Ooh, I’m ever so sorry, ducks, I thought you was the insurance man.” Finally the poor postman may be mauled by a savage-looking hound or he may trip over the cat, not to mention the fact that he can fall over a step. Who’d be a postman?

   Tonight we watched the first televised pantomime, “Cinderella” from Dudley.

I have trusted in Thy mercy. Psalm 13:5


   I had to go to work as usual this morning. I did a couple of deliveries and then came home for breakfast. When I went out again, I only had a few letters (for Shirley Road) to deliver.

   This afternoon I read some more of my Agatha Christie novel.

   After tea, I wrote four letters and took Ginger with me when I went to get the stamps for them. The box supplying the halfpenny stamps was empty though. [Postage on a letter was 2½d in the old currency; 96 letters could be posted for £1.]

   I went to bed at 10.0pm and finished reading my book.

Korean Diary for December 12th–18th

12th. Both sides in armistice sub-committee make new proposals.

15th. UN delegates reject latest Communist armistice proposals.

18th. Delegations at armistice meeting exchange lists of prisoners.

Repent ... and be converted. Acts 3:19


   I finished work today. The flow of letters slackened considerably and the temporaries were told that they would no longer be required. For my last delivery, I did part of Shirley Road, the whole of Oakhurst Road and Oakhill Crescent and Pendleton Grove, since there were only a few letters. I then reported back to Stockfield Road at 5.0pm to get my wages. I worked 57½ hours @ 1/4½d (£3 19s 1d) and 7 hours yesterday at 2/1d (14/7d) making £4 13s 8d in all. From this was deducted TWO weeks’ insurance (5s 9d) though I actually worked less than a week. After being paid, I bought some last minute Christmas presents.

   There were special Christmas Eve T.V. programmes tonight. At 8.15, viewers joined the crowds around the Xmas tree in Trafalgar Square for a programme of carols. Later, at 9.30 there was a special Challenge Match — What’s My Liners v 20 Questioners, then a Xmas story by John Slater. [The room looks very festive now with the TV and the decorations and the Christmas cards which fill the mantelpiece and sideboard.

   We have had some very pretty cards, from Uncle Tom & Aunt Daisy; Dorothy, Tom & Jennifer; Doll, Bill, Dorothy & Cyril at Kidderminster; Freda at Stoke-on-Trent; Greta, Arthur & family; Reg, Ruth & Baby; Ivy, Len & children; Mrs. Prentice & family next door at 151; Mrs. Webb at 155; Mrs. Ashmore and Mrs. Palmer who are both Mam’s friends, and (for me) from John Winrow. There are printed cards from Mr. & Mrs. A. Ricketts, i.e. Uncle Albert & Aunt Edna, 61 Colonial Road, Bordesley Green; and from Mr. & Mrs. George A. Moore.

   There is another beautiful card with a picture by Mabel Lucie Attwell entitled “Christmas Fairies!”. Inside is printed:— “With lots of love and all good wishes for a merry Christmas from Julian, Noel and Joycelin, 205 High Street, Smethwick”, and underneath, handwritten, “Dr. & Mrs. Dawes” and “Julian thanks you very much for the book”. Dr. A. Charles Dawes is the specialist Mam goes to see at the Midland Nerve Hospital.]

Their sins ... will I remember no more. Hebrews 8:12


   I awoke at 4.0 this morning. I had several presents. I had a new Golden Platignum pen in maroon and black, a 1lb box of chocolates, a 1952 three days to a page ‘Datada’ diary as well as three books. These were Journey Through Chaos by Victor Alexandrov, Ace Carew Airman Speed King by Edward R. Home-Gall and The Christmas Book which Freda sent me [Freda L. Jones, from Stoke-on-Trent; she used to live with us]. Clarice and Julia gave me a handkerchief and tiepins, Dad gave me £1 note and last Saturday week I had a Film Star Diary from Grace.

   After breakfast Dad and I cycled to Blues’ home match v Rotherham (k.o. 11.0am) but we did not get in until the game was fifteen minutes old & Bill Smith had scored a couple of goals. The team was the same as that against Notts Co. on Dec 1st. Blues played extremely well. A shot from Purdon hit the post, then he scored the third with a similar shot after some very good work by Wardle and Briggs. In the second half, Smith got his hat-trick to make their final score 4–nil. This was an extremely good match and Birmingham played as though they were champions. Rotherham, who topped the league until a few days ago, looked a poor side in contrast. The United were runners-up Div III (North) 1946–7, 1947–8, 1948–9, and finally were promoted last season.

   Dinner today contained turkey as well as peas, potatoes, beef and gravy. And there was Christmas pudding after. We heard H.M. the King at 3.0. Later in the afternoon we watched Wallaby Jim of the Islands a film set in the South Seas.

   After tea we watched the T.V. Christmas Party until 9.0. It was exceptionally good entertainment. The guests included Jewel and Warriss, Petula Clark, Vic Oliver, Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, Ethel Revnell, Norman Wisdom, Ravicz and Landauer, Terry-Thomas, the Twelve Toppers and many others. The hosts were Leslie Mitchell & Jerry Desmonde. Each turn was very good, Norman Wisdom’s especially so. In addition we saw some of the games. The part was followed by a play as good as any I have seen on T.V. It was J.B. Priestley’s farcical comedy When we are Married and was a great success. It was hilariously funny in parts. The part of the drunken photographer was brilliantly played by Frank Pettingell — we loved to hear him say “Extra ordinary” but full marks go to the whole cast.

He bare the sins of many. Isaiah 53:12


   This morning I helped Dad to fix the aerial from the radio up to the loft. At 1.45 Grandad came and we all watched the Kempton Park steeplechasing, From 3.0 until 4.0 we saw a fast-moving adventure film Here’s Flash Casey with Eric Linden and Boots Mallory.

   A Christmas pantomime “Aladdin” was televised from 5.30 to 7.0pm but I thought it was rather poor. Grandad went home at 7.15.

   The Newsreel was at 7.30 then we saw a James Cagney musical film Something to Sing About with Evelyn Daw, William Frawley and Mona Barry. The film did not get going until it was over half-way through. At five past nine there was a programme of variety from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital then finally “Pot Luck” with Charlie Chester.

Your heart shall live that seek God. Psalm 69:32


   It was quite late when I woke up this morning.

   About 12.30 I went shopping down the village but nearly every shop was closed. [The Midland Bank was open though, so I managed to pay in 15/1d which I had saved in my money box — it is actually a money tin shaped like a pillarbox.]

   I watched the racing again from 1.15 till 2.40 then I took Ginger out twice.

   Nothing much happened. This evening I have been doing prep. Mam and Dad are already in bed.

Korean Diary for December 19th–25th

19th. Gen. Ridgway’s H.Q. releases names of UN prisoners of war in Communist list.

20th. Survivors of 1st Battn. Glos. Regt. arrive in England.

21st. Gen. Ridgway sends message to ‘Red’ leaders requesting that Red Cross delegates be allowed to visit P.O.W. camps.

23rd. Communists refuse definite answer to UN request for exchange of sick and wounded prisoners.

24th. UN agree to Communist proposal to allow all prisoners to send & receive mail.

25th. UN truce delegates accuse Communists of taking P.O.W.’s to China.

Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Proverbs 4:26


   I got up before 8.0am this morning. I listened to the Radio Doctor [Dr. Charles Hill] at 8.15. Apparently, in order to work off the extra calories gained by eating mince pies, Christmas pudding, nuts and all the other good things, I must walk fifty miles, run thirty miles, climb Ben Nevis five times or sit in a cold bath for thirty hours.

   Apart from going down the village at 9 o’clock and taking Ginger out, I spent all the morning writing up Chemistry and Biology notes, and part of the afternoon too.

   At 3.0 we watched an American adventure film Emergency Landing with Forrest Tucker and Evelyn Brent. It was most enjoyable.

   Mam and Dad did not go to the cinema tonight. I went into the sitting room and listened to “Any Questions?” and “Educating Archie”. Then I took Ginger out for her evening walk, after which I watched “In the News”.

For the LORD’s portion is His people. Deuteronomy 32:9


   Dad did not have to go to work this morning so we got up a little later than usual. After breakfast I cycled to Stratford Road to get some horse-meat.

   At 2.30, the television cameras went to London Airport — “the Gateway to the World”. We saw a plane leave for Amsterdam and a view of the scene from the plane as it left the runway. Richard Dimbleby interviewed several people including the pilot of the new Comet jet air-liner and we actually saw the plane. At 3.15 the Amsterdam plane arrived bringing Raymond Baxter. He interviewed some of the passengers and the pilot. I really enjoyed the whole programme.

   [I went to Dorling’s to pay for three week’s papers. It came to 5/11d instead of 6/3d as we missed two Birmingham Mails. I also got the Sports Argus to read about the match.]

   At Nottingham, Blues won their fourth game in eight days by beating Forest 1–nil. Boyd broke his left leg. Their record is:— P26, Won 12, Lost 6, Dr. 8, For 37, Ag 30, Pts 32, Posn 2nd. Nottingham Forest

Thou art my portion, O LORD. Psalm 119:57


   I got up first this morning, made a pot of tea and took Ginger out. After breakfast I washed up.

   Nothing happened during the morning or afternoon except that Dad and I took Ginger for a run in the park at four o’clock.

   At the moment I am watching “Puss in Boots on Ice”. Already this evening we have seen “The Sire de Maletroit’s Door”, Robert Louis Stevenson’s story adapted for television as a twenty five minute play by Winston Clewes.

But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. Matthew 14:30, 31


   This morning we all went to town. The town was crowded with shoppers for the New Year sales.

   After dinner we watched a very good film “Wednesday’s Luck” with Patrick Barr, Lynden Travers & Susan Bligh.

   Tonight’s T.V. programmes will include “Music Hall”, “What’s My Line?”, “Retrospect 1951”, a watch night service and Big Ben to herald 1952.

   This has been a memorable year. In March Dad & I went to the semi-final, in May I started to go to the theatre, next month I took G.C.E. We had our television set in July, the month in which [Haydn’s] Creation was performed, the month in which we went off to Margate for ten days. In September I went to the Festival of Britain & got promoted to L/Cpl. In October there was the General Election and this month I went to a B.B.C. concert, nearly took part in “Town Forum” and broadcast in my fifth “Midland Magazine”.

Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever. Lamentations 5:19

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