The Bio-Assay Lab

   It is strange how one develops a sentimental attachment to places and objects. As I left the Bio-Assay Lab for the last time, I felt a real pang of regret, so well had I come to like it. The shelves were bare, the cupboards empty, the floors clear, save for an overflowing waste-paper basket and the front door of the incubator, which had escaped our attention as it reposed against the side of the balance cupboard.

   The lorry turned up at eleven and we had cleared the lab by midday.


Writing and broadcasting

   An interesting and quite exciting day! This morning I started at Augustus Road, this afternoon I had a letter from Peter inviting me to his wedding, and tonight I broadcast in Town Forum.

   I travelled on the 8.24 train this morning. We had another very cold night with [some] degrees of frost in Birmingham. The train was late. I travelled with Geoff [Price].

   Outside Snow Hill I had to catch the 3A Harborne ’bus, but first of all I went to the Mail and Despatch offices to post my article on National Service, and then to GHB [the General Hospital] to pick up the incubator door, which I had left at the lodge.

   I arrived at Augustus Road before 9.30 and went upstairs into my new lab. What a contrast to the one we’ve just left! Airy, not too cramped, new benches and cupboards, and a beautiful scene from the window. The lab overlooks the garden and trees and fields beyond, a lovely scene set in the snow. In the trees there were Magpies, Woodpeckers and Grey Squirrels.

   Frances [Williams] did not arrive for over an hour. Then we brewed some tea and talked until after midday. Frances showed me round the lab and kitchen and took me on a conducted tour of the building. We had a look at the corridor where they had the fire recently. Prof. [Professor Alistair C. Frazer] estimated the damage as £500; probably £1,000 would be a more accurate assessment.

   Frances recently wrote to Batchelor’s praising their soups, and suggesting they put an Onion Soup on the market. This they have decided to do, so we had a free sample for dinner! We had dinner upstairs in Dorothy Clark’s room. The sight of Frances and me trailing all over the building in stately procession caused some amusement.

   Dorothy’s room was also occupied by a homing pigeon, which flew in a week ago and has stayed ever since. It is called Scruffy, Charlotte, or any other name deemed suitable for the occasion.

   In the afternoon a man called to repair the burnt-out oven, so Frances, Roy Hickman and I had to help move it from its confined space between the two doors into the lab. Frances sustained a sizeable blood blister on her finger in the process.

   We also went down to the kitchen but before we could get at the autoclave and refrigerator, we had to move some of the Bio-Assay equipment [dumped there yesterday].

   I made tea in the afternoon and left at nearly twenty past five. Although I missed two ’buses I still got to Snow Hill for 5.35, though the usual train was cancelled and I went home on the 5.50. Ro [Freda’s sister] and Mrs Holloway were also on the train.

   I called to see Freda on the way home, to say I was taking part in tonight’s Town Forum. I had a ’phone call in the middle of the afternoon to say I had a question placed No. 3 in the programme. The question was: “It has been said that a nation stands or falls by the quality of its women folk. Do the members of the team subscribe to this? Have they any particular observations to make on the women folk of this country?” This was the fifth time I had had a question included in Town Forum.

   When I got home I found a letter from Peter Shepherd. At first I could place neither the writing nor the name. I hadn’t heard from him since I saw him last in June. He invites me and Dave to his wedding on March 31st, and says we could travel down in his Best Man’s car. Eight months ago Peter hadn’t bought the ring. Perhaps Naomi has taken advantage of its being Leap Year!

   I caught the ’bus to town just after 7.30pm. Weather conditions were again very bad, it was slightly foggy and I was anxious not to be late. I was inside the Y.M.C.A. Bennett’s Hall in Snow Hill by 8.40pm. Mrs Amy — was again one of the questioners. We seem to have worked a monopoly in the business.

   There were about 80 empty seats tonight, perhaps because there were no TV cameras. There was a lovely display of flowers round the platform and the whole scene was made the more colourful when the Ven. Mirisse Guna Siri Maha Thero, minister in charge of the London Buddhist Vihara, came onto the platform in brilliant yellow robes. He speaks five and reads in ten European and Eastern languages, and has written several books in English and Sinhalese.

   Mrs Laurel Casinader, B.Sc.(Econ.) is the President of the Association of Ceylon Women in the U.K.; Sirimevan Amerasinghe is an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Ceylon; Dr. G.C. Mendis is a graduate of London University with honours in History and a Ph.D. Denis Morris was the Chairman.

   It was a good programme and the questions were well chosen. The P.R.O. Mr F.W. Bradnock and the Editor of the Birmingham Post Mr Vaughan Reynolds selected them.


   I went on the 8.26 again this morning, this time with Marjorie Welch. She told me that Pat is now having conversations with Herbert Morrison, who is staying at the same hotel.

   In the lab I decided to clear out the bookshelves and it looked much tidier afterwards. Whether Frances will be able to find anything now is another matter. Frances herself didn’t appear until well after 11.0am. She stayed until 8.0pm last night so didn’t go to Town Forum (I gave her a ticket).

   Apart from washing a few tubes, we had little to do all day except get things ready for the Medical Biochemistry students who are coming next week. John Winrow came later in the afternoon.

   My article on National Service was published today simultaneously in the Birmingham Mail and Evening Despatch. It was the leading article [letter] in the Despatch under the heading “Call-up and Careers.”

   I missed Freda when I called for her tonight. Choir practice ended early and Mr Lile said that Freda had gone though she was still in church. We eventually found each other at 9.30pm.


   I missed the 8.26 train, the 8.36 was cancelled, and David Rudge, Ro and I caught the 8.45, which was late. David was catching the 9.0 London train. We got into Snow Hill right on the hour, but his train hadn’t arrived.

   At work I dusted, tidied a drawer, and left at 12.0 to catch the 12.30. I travelled to town with Mrs Moxon, the cleaner, who told me about her life in the theatre.

   I spent the afternoon typing. Ro came to borrow my typewriter and we took it in Mam’s basket. Freda and I were going to the Olton to see The Lady and the Tramp but couldn’t get in. We went home and watched TV instead.


   We had two wonderful services from Rev. W.W. Ensor. Freda didn’t come in the morning as Mrs Powley was unwell. At 4.0pm we discussed our Y.T. (Youth Team) services at South Yardley and Nether Whitacre. We had a play-reading at Y.P.F.


No more rugby

   As I had to see Mr Innes [Alexander Innes, M.B.E., F.R.C.S., Old Edwardian] this morning I went on the 8.45 train. I had first of all to buy a card for Freda and her present. I got a card at Stanford and Mann’s [and] bought a French-made pure silk chiffon scarf and two pillow-cases, the latter from Edmund’s in the Great Western Arcade.

   My appointment with Mr Innes was for 9.45 but it was almost midday when I left the Hospital. Once again I had the students to examine my knee. Mr Innes confirmed that I am suffering from Osteochondritis and said that there was no chance of my ever playing Rugby again. He had hoped that my knee might improve but the only thing to do was to have the op. Mr Innes recommended that I put this off as long as I was able to get around with reasonable comfort, but that I should have the knee X-rayed again in twelve months’ time.


   Today was Freda’s birthday and we had a lovely evening together.


   I went on the 7.56 train with Freda this morning. I had to wait some time for the ’bus and then had to ring for Sandy to open the door.

   Frances appeared about eleven. In the meantime I wrapped Freda’s Valentine card and wrote a letter to Mr Dibben.

   I was pretty well occupied for the rest of the day. During the lunch hour I autoclaved some Petrie dishes containing bacteria, and in the afternoon made a 500ml Liver Peptone Broth. I have just realised that I forgot to adjust the pH to 6.8.

   Snow fell most of the day. At one point this afternoon the sky became so dark that it was impossible to read without a light. The Magpies in the garden uttered a few loud squawks and returned to their roost. The silence was very noticeable — one could only hear the distant rumble of the traffic.

   On the way home I called at the Post Office where there were big queues of people buying stamps for Valentine cards. The Post Office will probably handle 11,000,000 of these cards tonight.

   I also went to the Mail office and to the Library. Tonight I have so far written up some notes on Bacteriology.


John Bull

   Today was quite exciting in its way, although nothing much happened at work. During the day it snowed quite heavily again.

   Prof. wasn’t in so we had his bottle of milk. We had coffee, drinking-chocolate, milk and tea during the day!

   When I got home there was a letter from John Bull, which is paying me a guinea for my letter on National Service which they are publishing on March 3rd.

   The Men’s Fellowship met tonight and Rev. G .Ernest Long, resident tutor at Handsworth College [since 1953, after 17 years in India] talked about the work there in training candidates for the Ministry. Jack Taylor asked me to take the Chair, which I did. It was unfortunate that circumstances prevented several from attending. We had only nine of us but Mr Ellis and Mr Dibben made up our number shortly before we closed. Dad came to the meeting.

   Mr Long’s talk was most interesting and gave us an insight into the very rich spirit of fellowship which evidently exists at Handsworth and the other five colleges. I said in my summing-up that we perhaps took for granted the work of our colleges but that after all they were very much bound up with the future of the Methodist Church, and indeed of Christian witness in this country.

   But the highlight of the day was at 10.10pm when at the close of the News bulletin we were given the result of the House of Commons division after the debate on capital punishment. It was that the Government motion urging retention of hanging but suggesting changes in the law on murder had been defeated by 293 votes to 262. The amendment calling for legislation to abolish or suspend the death penalty was carried by 292 votes to 246.


   Today I was alone in the lab. Frances was going down to Banbury and wasn’t coming in. I spent the morning washing up, tidying, polishing, and finishing Peter Cheyney’s Dark Duet during my lunch hour.

   When I collected my pay I was told that we are to receive a rise of 7/6d soon. This should put up my wage to £6 by August, if I am still in the Department then.

   I also wrote a letter to Prof.

   John Winrow ’phoned me early in the afternoon and later I went to the Medical School, principally to return Frances’s library books, but also to see John.


MONDAY 30th JULY 1956

Coming of age

   I am just scribbling a few notes in bed on the last night of my minority. Birthdays usually hold little significance for me but as my 21st draws on, it does after all seem quite an exciting event. I have found myself thinking about the first card I ever received — that from Mrs. Wall. I still have it at home, sent me just after I was born.

   I’ve thought again of what Mrs. Wall wrote on the card, “The Lord is thy Keeper,” and tonight it has seemed right to thank God for all His wonderful blessings upon me in these twenty-one years. The greatest blessing of all is to know that God the Creator has us in His safe-keeping, and that He deigns to use me in His service.


The card sent by Sarah Wall on my birth




On holiday at Newquay

   I got up at about 8.15 this morning, and was able to use my electric razor [given me by Freda for my 21st birthday] for a shave before breakfast. Freda had a letter from home, and I had the registered letter with my 3 weeks’ wages.

   After breakfast we walked into town to do some shopping. We went to the Post Office and Woolworth’s, and looked inside most of the bookshops. Having still an hour to spare, we walked across the beach, past the Island, and climbed over the rocks before catching the ’bus home.

   It was quite fine all morning and again after lunch. This time we walked down to Fistral Bay, paddled in the sea before the incoming tide sent us hurriedly drying our feet, and then back to the hotel for tea.

  map/560901.jpg print/560901.gif


A letter from Pat Welch

   I had a nice letter from Pat this morning about the service the Youth Team is doing at Nether Whitacre on Sunday week, and the L.P. Meeting last week:—

      16 Broad Rd, B”ham, 27.

      3 Sept 56

Dear Brian,

   I”m sorry I’ve left it till your holiday to let you know the theme for Sept 16th. But I”m a bit short of time and a bit short of industry.

   Looking at the set Lessons — Is. 45 1–17 and 1 Cor. 16 1–9 (where Paul talks about taking the collection down to Jerusalem) I think a good division would be — what God has given us — what we should give to God.

   Ann [Ann Pardoe] says she would like to do the latter. Remember it is a morning service, and they at least cook dinners at Nether Whitacre, even if they don’t do much else.

   Thinking about last Thursday’s meeting and the decision, I’ve come to the conclusion that that decision was harsh, but harmless. The L.P.s are by no means a lot of reactionary old men — and it’s quite true what Dibben says about the length of discussions being a measure of concern for those on trial. I think you were wrong to ask to jump the gun last quarter, and ask for your oral to be held this quarter, as they noted there a desire for achievement rather than anything else. It’s true enough that everyone wants to achieve something and getting on full plan carries with it a good deal of Kudos which certainly isn’t spiritual. I know that went for me, and it’s a fair bet that it goes for most of us.

   But looked at from God’s point of view, a quarter here or there is nothing, we preach from the same pulpits whether we are on plan or not, and it doesn’t matter whether we preach in Nether Whitacre or St. Peter’s. Had God wished you to go on full plan, you would be there — after all, L.P. meetings are held in a spirit of prayer and reverence, which you don’t often find in that parlour, and God’s guidance is certainly asked. It’s jolly hard to stay down in a class or to be dropped from a team, but I’ve always found it has done me much more good.

   With very best wishes to you both,


   It is very kind of Pat to go to the trouble of writing. What he says is true, but I feel like Paul (1 Cor. 9:16) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:9). It is different for the other L.P.’s — they have jobs to do and preach in their spare time, but I am called to the ministry and am impatient to get as much experience as I can.


   Newquay is, I find, of no little historical interest, and I thought that today we might visit some of the more easily reached places of note.

   After breakfast then, we caught the ’bus to St. Columb Minor, a little village some two miles inland from the centre of Newquay. The ’bus ride itself was interesting as we went down the tiny streets and round corners which appeared to lead to nowhere. Finally we pulled into a little square, which was the terminus, and the driver backed the ’bus so as to turn round again. This was St. Columb Minor and the cue for us to disembark.

   We were now right outside the little 15th-century Church which we had come to see. The clock on the 100-foot tower showed half-past ten, and we spent nearly half-an-hour looking round. The font dates from Norman times.

   From St. Columb, we took the footpath across the fields and down a newly-cut road to Porth Bay. In the 18th and early 19th century, Porth was a busy port which exported iron ore, and imported coal and lime, and where ships were built on the North side of the river. We walked across the footbridge to Porth Island, where was a settlement as long ago as 1000BC, and which was inhabited until about 1,600 years ago. It was a prominent fort in the Iron Age, and the Romans used the island as a signal station.

   Less than twenty years ago, excavations revealed the retorts where iron was smelted from an adjoining cliff. Judging by the colour of the rock, traces of the iron still remain. Huts too, where the inhabitants lived, were dug up, revealing quite plainly their foundations, while not far off was discovered the village refuse dump, full of mussel shells, which powdered at a touch. Two long defensive ramparts run alongside the footbridge — the village must have been extensively fortified — and in two places one could see tumuli, the ancient burial places of the chieftains.

   Beneath Port Island there are a number of caves which we didn’t have time to see — the Cathedral Cavern and Banqueting Hall. The view from the island embraces all of Newquay Bay, and to the north-east Whipsiderry Beach and Watergate Bay. Here there are Zachry’s Islands and Black Humphrey Rock, in the old mine-workings of which lived the notorious “wrecker” whose name it bears. There is probably no truth in the story that Cornishmen deliberately lured ships onto the rocks, but Black Humphrey was certainly a smuggler, and it was written of him:—

When the wind is in the East
I’ll to Church as soon as Priest;
When the wind is in the West
Pray for me among the rest.

In fact, in 1846, when the brig Samaritan was driven ashore at Bedruthan Steps, all but two of its crew of twelve were lost; and its cargo of merchandise, Indian silks, satins, lace, muslin, linen and provisions, was scattered all over the beaches as the ship broke up. By the following summer, all the women of the countryside were wearing new dresses, had silk cushions on their benches, and new patchwork quilts on their beds. Even today one still comes across relics of the ill-fated brig.

   It was soon time to leave Porth though, and we headed back to St. Columb Minor. After lunch, we decided to go to Crantock, and for the first time since our arrival four days ago I went out without a raincoat. Unfortunately I got pretty wet before long. The tide was right out, so we were able to walk across the Gannel estuary, first by the footbridge and then across perilous quicksands (Freda!}. Freda misbehaved by refusing first to jump eighteen inches of water, and then by not following me along the path to Crantock Beach. Meanwhile it was raining more heavily every minute, and when we eventually reached the tiny village, at least one of us was looking a little the worse for wear. One got the impression that the number of people taking shelter in the 12th-century Church far exceeded the sum total inhabitants of Crantock, but it was a very wet afternoon. The Church had a lovely rod screen, and in the churchyard we saw a sixth-century stone coffin and some old stocks, while down the lane we saw St. Andrew’s Well.

   Crantock derives its name from St. Carantock, who was, I think, an associate of St. Patrick. The name appears in Domesday Book, and from before the Norman conquest until the Reformation it was an important seat of learning. Crantock is also reputed to be the site of the ancient city of Langarrow, which was buried in sand as a punishment for the sins of the inhabitants.

   But in more recent times Crantock has had a reputation for smuggling. In fact, the more one delves into local history, the more one discovers that smuggling seems to have been the livelihood of a good many Cornish villages, from parson to fisherman. They smuggled spirits, tea, tobacco and silk, and were banded together in small societies. The men of Crantock were probably the most daring and successful of them all, and they hid their contraband even in the belfry of the Church.

   The rain showed no sign of abating, so we hurried down to the river and the ferry, and were home for tea by ten to five. Twenty minutes before, we had still been in Crantock Church, but it is only a short distance as the crow flies, and the village lies half-hidden in the valley.

   Freda had another letter from home today. I had one from Cyril Plater and one from Pat Welch. Cyril sent me one of Fred’s tracts, Pat asked me to speak on What God has given us at Nether Whitacre on Sunday week.


   Freda had a letter from her mother again this morning, but I have still not heard from home. After breakfast we walked into town to do some shopping. We went to the Western National ’Bus Station to see if there was a ’bus to Trerice Manor, which I thought would be interesting for us to visit. This is in Newlyn East but apparently there is no ’bus service there.

   I bought the Daily Express at Smith’s, and found that last night Blues beat Newcastle United 6-1 at St. Andrews., and Alex Govan got his second hat-trick of the season. He has now scored 10 goals—more than all the others together.

   After lunch we went bathing for the first time (we both felt quite shy). The sea was cold and almost to rough for swimming, but it was a lovely dip. Freda only got her feet wet. It was too cold to sunbathe and there was no sun anyway, but we took some photographs.

   After dinner we set off to walk to Trenance Gardens via Tregunnel Hill, but we turned back when we reached Gannel Road.


   We walked across the rocks this morning, exploring the pools and watching the birds. There were several Oyster Catchers and Rock Pipits. Later we paddled, then sat on the beach.

   After lunch, as it was fine, we walked to town by the route along the cliffs. We went up on Towan Headland, saw the lifeboat slipway and the Huer’s Hut—I will write about these later. We bought ½lb of biscuits from Woolworth’s as we weren’t returning for tea. We sat eating them on a beach overlooking the bowling green, while I also finished a letter to Mrs. Powley. I took several photographs during the afternoon.

   In the evening I read more of my novel [To the Devil a Daughter by Denis Wheatley].


   A short letter from home today [and another from Pat]. We spent the morning in town and reserved seats for the journey home. I bought a book also.

   It was very dull after lunch so we decided on a short walk over the Warren, the common land at the end of the road and extending to East Pentire Point. We came across a semi-derelict [house] set in the f ace of the cliff. Its now overgrown garden, disused pool and foreboding atmosphere will serve me well when I continue Smugglers’ Bay.

   It was raining as we got back, and we didn’t go out again. We listened to the Sports Results at 6.15pm (Blues beat Preston North End 3-nil, Govan scoring 3 again!) and the Prom—music by Rossini, Debussy, Coleridge-Taylor and Tchaikovsky.


   I had just finished reading To The Devil A Daughter—what a fine book it was—and turned out my light last night, when I noticed the lightning outside. There was certainly a heavy storm somewhere, and the flashed continually lit up the whole bedroom. I guessed that by this time Freda would be under the bed petrified, so decided to go and stay with her awhile. I did not, of course, know that it would last until 1.30am., but by that time I was pretty dead to the world. The worst of the storm passed us by. It wasn’t until I went back to bed that I discovered some of the flashed were from a lighthouse. Even so, the western sky was still being lit up from time to time.

   This morning we went to Newquay (Wesleyan] Methodist Church, and the congregation was the largest we had ever seen at an ordinary Sunday service. I imagine that close on a thousand people were present. The pews were all filled and there didn’t seem to be a spare seat anywhere. The preacher was an elderly minister, Rev. Albert Jones, O.B.E. His sermon was on the rich young ruler, and man’s great possessions, which he needed to give away to God. The hymns we sang were 431 Love divine, all loves excelling, 670 Jesus, Thou soul of all our joys, 871 In our work and in our play, 157 Jesus calls us o’er the tumult and 390 Give me the faith that can remove; the reading was from Job 22.

   We came back to dinner on the ’bus. The weather looked so nice then that we put on our swimming costumes and went bathing. I had a lovely swim and wasn’t even cold afterwards. Again, Freda only got her feet wet.

   We came in to tea and didn’t go out again until this evening when we went to the Blue Lagoon Ballroom for the usual Youth for Christ Rally. We were able to catch the ’bus at 7.30 and got to the Ballroom before the meeting started.



   The weather today has reverted to its usual sombre greyness. I got up at 8.00am, my clock having stopped at 5.10 when I had woken up to see what the time was; and I wrote cards to Helen, Mary Stone and the F.o.R. Youth Committee and Dr. Gough before breakfast.

   By the morning post I received [forwarded from home] the September Pan Record and, by coincidence, a card from Harold to say that the venue of Thursday’s [F.o.R.] meeting had been changed to 5 St. Augustine’s Road.

   We walked into town to do some shopping. We collected the photos from the Chemist and were quite pleased with the results, went to Woolworth’s and the Post Office, and also we sent home ¼lb cartons of Cornish cream. We had been to the station as well to find whether there were any suitable trains to Trerice Manor, the National Trust house. As it turned out, Trewerry and Trerice Halt is the next stop down the line, the journey takes 7 minutes, and the fare is 9d return.

   We decided to go this afternoon, caught the ’bus into town, and were in sight of the station when it occurred to me that we hadn’t enough money, so we should have to go to Trenance Gardens instead. We went into the Information Bureau to find how to get there, and it was then that we found we had got enough money, but that anyway the Manor wasn’t open to the public until tomorrow.

   We found the gardens quite easily. They are attractively laid out with more than two hundred plants and shrubs which normally blossom only under cover. These sub-tropical species were all neatly labelled, but not blooming at this time of the year, so we found the gardens rather disappointing. We went through the Nursery however, and had our first Cornish ice cream. We had a look too, at the aviary.

   There was also a boating-lake, which is a bird-sanctuary as well. There were several species of ornamental duck, and as we left the gardens, where the lake tumbles into a stream, a kingfisher darted low over the water.

   Originally, the lake was a swamp, and as we walked home along the Gannel Road we could see that much of the roadside was marshland. Here we heard the plaintive cry of the curlew. We stopped several times to pick blackberries. Meanwhile it was raining very slightly and we were quite glad to get indoors again.

   After dinner, in Freda’s room, we watched hundreds of gulls flying along the bed of the river to the sea. We supposed they were going to roost in the cliffs. It is 8.30 now and we are sitting alone in the lounge.




Preaching twice today

   I was preaching twice today, at Yardley Green Road with the Youth Team, and tonight at Balsall Heath.

   Freda and I met June at the Outer Circle ’bus stop at five past ten. Pat [Pat Welch], Maureen [Maureen Bent] and Frank [Frank Davis] were going by themselves as they had a B.B. [Boys Brigade] class before the [Remembrance Day] service at 10.45am. June was leading and Freda giving the Children’s Address. I preached on Joshua 4:6 — “What mean ye by these stones?”

   We came home in Bunny Greatrex’s car.

   It was open-school this afternoon, held in the Church as the hall is still occupied by the Bazaar stalls. The story was on the Children’s Village at Pezalozzi.

   At Balsall Heath I preached on Romans 1:16 — “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth”, and said that salvation was from sin, fear and sickness.

   I paid Pastor Everitt for the book I received from him, and brought back with me copies of Peter Scothern’s Voice of Deliverance and some other literature.

   When I got back I went to Freda’s and stayed for supper.


Pastor W.A. and Mrs. Winifred Everitt


Peter Scothern


   Tonight I went to the prayer meeting at Balsall Heath and had a time of blessing. Pastor Everitt is ill in bed and Mrs Everitt led the meeting. Five of the six people prayed tonight.



   Today we had the first real fog of the Winter. Once during the morning it did seem as though the sun might break through but by the afternoon there was a thick and clamming shroud everywhere, which disrupted toad and rail traffic. I walked home and waited in the station waiting room for Freda’s train. It came at about five past six but Freda wasn’t on it and I thought maybe she had caught a ’bus instead. As Freda hadn’t ’phoned home I didn’t think she would be staying late.

   I told Mrs Powley I might call later on, but didn’t do so. I spent the whole evening repairing my typewriter and then doing more work on my sermon for Sunday.


   The fog had disappeared again by this morning. Freda said that she was so disappointed when I didn’t see her that she cried in bed. She did come home on the 5.35 train. The trains I had seen were the 5.10 and 5.20, not the 5.40 and 5.35.

   I seem to have run into a bad patch with my Nitrogen estimations. Yesterday I got only one result from seven digestions, today 3 from seven. I am now so far behind that I had to put on a further half-dozen digestions this afternoon, and Sammy was going to turn them off before leaving tonight.


   The main event today was that I went out with a couple of banners and a few hundred tracts around town and back along Stratford Road to the Piccadilly. The response was quite amazing, though it is obvious that Birmingham is in urgent need of the Gospel message.



   Mr Pugh [Rev. R. Evans Pugh preached at this morning’s service on 2 Corinthians 8:9. The lessons were from Isaiah 12 and Romans 5. After the service he informed me that Mr Dibben had asked him to tell me that I had passed my [Christian Doctrine] exam with a mark of 66%. I had hoped to get 70% but I think it is a reasonably satisfactory result. Mr Pugh also told me he”d had complaints from a steward about my last service there [at Castle Bromwich]. It looks pretty obvious that the L.P. meeting will hear all about this later in the week.

   We had a lovely meeting at the Women’s Sunday Class this afternoon. I felt my message was very richly blessed and it was obviously appreciated. Many of the ladies who attend this class do not go to Church so that this meeting really makes their Sunday. It certainly made mine. One lady came and told me of how Divine Healing had saved her son when he was beyond all aid; another asked me to pray for a son with ankylosing spondylitis.

   After the meeting Freda came in to join us for a cup of tea. I took with me a number of tracts — enough for everyone — copies of Our Incomparable Christ and Conversion and Holy Spirit Baptism. Again, thinking about this, I am sure I was led to do this. Many of these ladies probably never see a Gospel tract nor hear a message of that kind.

   It was remarkable that after my own talk on The Dynamic Power of Faith we should have a sermon [tonight] on the power of prayer.



   Tonight Freda and I saw a very good programme at the Piccadilly. It was Every Second Counts and The Green Man (A) a Frank Launder & Sidney Gillat comedy with Alastair Sim, George Cole, Terry-Thomas and Jill Adams.

   This morning I received my [complimentary copy of] May and Baker Medical Diary for 1957. It is a very fine affair, and will be most useful to me [especially the section on food values. It has a therapeutic and diagnostic index, a descriptive list of M&B products, general medical information, and a section on poisoning —symptoms and treatment. It measures 6” x 3½” and is bound in blue leather, with two days to a page].

   It was a busy day as usual, though I did not do any estimations on Mr Packer’s stool as Dr Sammons wanted to extract the fat from it.


   I have come home early tonight as I am rather tired and have a lot of work to do after tea. I worked right through today with only a short break for dinner about 1.20pm.

   I completed all my work and had my “lunch hour” in mid-afternoon so that I could watch some of the play in the England v Jugoslavia match from Wembley. England won 3–nil, being generally superior to their opponents. Brooks scored in 12 mins and Taylor in 65 and 88 mins. (Taylor came on after half an hour to replace Haynes, who injured his knee. The Jugoslavs tackled hard and didn’t hesitate to trip the England players when beaten for the ball. In the [first] half Byrne had a penalty saved.

   There has been a most unfortunate atmosphere in the lab today as Elsie has chosen not to speak to anyone since coffee. I rather think she took offence when Trevor jokingly said something about my sense of humour. Elsie had said something to the same effect only a couple of minutes earlier, and she must have thought I had gone straight to Trevor and talked to him behind her back. In fact, it was pure coincidence.

   Freda is working late tonight so we don’t expect to see each other till tomorrow morning. It has been a cold blustery day and the paper reports that there was some snow in Birmingham this afternoon. I was glad to get home (at 5.10pm). I had the December tracts from [the Drummond Tract Depot] Scotland and a card from John.

Previous chapter || Next chapter || Index || Search
webwork by Jim Nagel at Abbey Press, Glastonbury — this edition published 2007-06-30