Cynthia’s Diary – July 21 – August 3, 1940

Sun July 21

Donald is rather nice.  Had hay fight. Boys chased us.  June does not like to go out with Don.

Mon July 22

Boys made gunpowder.  Shot it in gun.  I played piano.  Went out with boys!

Tues July 23

Went walks today.  Pamela had her tooth out Friday.  Saw tanks and soldiers.

Wed July 24

Found some mushrooms.  Had them for tea.  Saw a plane doing some stunts.  Fell in river.  Went to Stovold’s Hill.

Thur July 25

I go home tomorrow.  Did some packing went to secret meeting with Dennis, Donald and June.  Don bought us Ginger shandy.

Fri July 26

Went home to London!  Uncle Hugh took us to pictures saw Ronald Coleman in “The Masquerader”.  Also another good film!

Sat July 27

Went shopping had photo taken.  Saw Auntie Pat, also saw Dennis Young.

Don also bought block of choc each.  Had some fun.

Sun  July 28

Did not do much today.  Burnt potatoes.  Went  to meet Mummy.  Went walk on common with Mummy, Auntie Pat etc., etc.

Mon July 29

Went to labour exchange.  Am going to have job  in West-End.  Went  swimming.  Saw Doug.  Had dinner in restaurant.   Got off with boys.  Went in park with Mummy.

Tues July 30

Wrote after job.  Went to pictures.  Saw Gordon Marker, Bonnie Hale in “Hyde Park Corner”.  Also Billie Burke, Frank Morgan in “The Ghost Comes Home”.

Wed July 31

Saw Mary.  Went to dance, but full, so came back home.  ________ was Tuesday.  Have not had any letter from June or Roy???

Thurs Aug 1

Went out to Garret Lane.  Saw Mary, Doug, spoke.  Mummy had letter about technical school.

Fri Aug 2

Went to pictures.  Saw George Raft and Joan Bennet in “the House Across the Bay”.  Also East Side Kids in “ditto.  Saw R. W. and friend in evening.  They smiled.

Sat Aug 3

Saw R. W.   Went shopping.  Had dinner in restaurant.  Met Mummy.

Cynthia’s Diary – July 7 – 20, 1940

Sun July 7

Had letter & pocket money!  Went strawberrying.  Got place ready for Mummy.

Mon July 8

Went to school today.  Saw lots of tanks go by.  Renee may not go to Canada.  I may go to school tomorrow morning.

Tues July 9

Mummy came in afternoon from Cranleigh station with Wendy.  Did not go out in evening anywhere much, just went to station to get case.  Got off with soldiers & boys.  Saw Spikey etc!!!!

Wed July 10

Went to village.  Called in at Jack’s.  He gave Mummy glass wine!  Arranged to go Friday.  Did shopping.  Had dinner at Gibb’s Hatch.  Ices etc. 8/-.  Called at school!  Saw Tanks!!!

Thurs July 11

Went to Horsham.  Had dinner at “The Cotswold” 7/-.  Went to flicks.  Saw “Sons of the Sea” & “Jungle”.  Had ices etc.

Fri July 12

Went Cranleigh.  Had tea at The Singing Kettle Café.  5/-.  Went to flicks, as it rained.  Saw Madeline Carroll in “Husbands or Lovers” also “I Was a Convict”.  Jolly good, had ices and _____ 2d each apples.  Got film and shopping.  Had lift in Jack’s lorry back!  Appologized for not going to house.  Regret not going.  Got off with College boy.  Please turn next page….

Sat July 13

Went to village took girls with us.  Bought sweets.  Went up Rosemary Lane!  Saw Miss Grose.  Boy did we laugh.  I drove car.  Took snaps.

Sun July 14

We played tennis, also made hay.  Mr. & Mrs. Lever came.  Mummy went & had drink.  A: did not come.  Fed pigs each day, also collected eggs.  Mummy nearly missed train.  Got off with soldiers.  Also boys.  Soldier got hold of bike.  Wendy forgot doll.  Mummy went home.  They charged 6d for case!  What a rush.

Mon July 15

It teemed with rain.  Had lift in Lorry.  Saw army.  Had to knit socks all day.  Got soaked dinner time.  Gee it’s lonely without mummy.

Tues July 16

Still raining.  Guess it’s going to rain 40 days,40 nights!

Wed July 17

Have still to knit socks.  Going home week on Friday.

Thurs July 18

Did not do much today.  School is closing for good.  Saw lots of tanks.  Had lift in lorry.

Fri July 19

Took Pamela to dentist.  School closed.  Had photo taken.  Saw soldiers, spoke.  Plane crashed.  Real machine guns fired.  Saw German.  I was not scared, everybody else was.

Sat July 20

Went to flicks, saw Ronald Coleman in “the Light that failed”, also Bob Burns in “I’m from Missouri”.  Got off with Jimmy.  Saw soldiers.


Cynthia’s Diary – June 23 – July 6, 1940

Sun Jun 23

Had breakfast in bed!  Did not do much in the morning.  Feathers gave me piece of German plane.

Mon Jun 24

Went to flicks.  Saw Otto Kreuger and Mary Maguire in “Black Eyes”.  Also Jack Buchannan, Bruce Seton, Kathy Walsh in “Middle Watch”.  Met Boys, nice.  Saw Ken, few soldiers.

Tues Jun 25

Air Raid Warning in night. 3rd.  Lasted 2 hrs.  Made Pamela pair knickers.  Altered dress.  Paul gave me bullet.

Wed Jun 26

Saw Flood, came to school on cross-bar.  Had Raid warning, but did not have it.

Thurs Jun 27

Went to school.  Ball match, singles, won.  Saw Bob, Patrick, Don etc., all said “Hello”.  Had quite nice time!

Fri Jun 28

Had spelling and puzzles.  Mary won.  Saw lorries of soldiers.  Mummy says can’t go to U.S.A.

Sat Jun29

Did washing and work.  Meant to meet June to lake.  Went to Auntie Jessie’s.  Had cider.  Saw Millie, and boys, badies.  Went to top of hills.  Had fish and chips by —–.  Soldiers said “Hello sweetie”.  Saw Boys and few others on way back.  Saw Phyllis.

Sun Jun 30

Saw Roy with girl friend ride past.  Had rides on Feather’s and Morris’ bikes.  Also sat on motor bike.  Girls had strawberries!

Mon July1

Went to flicks.  Saw Tommy Founder in “Laugh it off” also “Trunk Case”.  June met Eddie from Cranleigh College, we had cigarette.  I got off with few boys.

Tues July 2

Told Renee about pen-pal.  She was not annoyed!  Mummie’s coming on Tuesday.

Wed July 3

Saw some soldiers, they all waved.  I have a lift in the milk lorry every morning now.

Thurs July 4

Saw tons of tanks.  There was a soldier in the lorry this morning.  Boy! Was he nice!  Mummy is staying in Bham.

Fri July 5

Did not get letter.  Very disappointed.  Had spelling bee.  Our team won!  Saw soldiers.

Sat July 6

Went to flicks.  Saw ”Just William” & ”Hell’s Cargo” with Walter Pigeon etc.  Saw Feo, Ben, Joan, etc. Tons of soldiers.

Cynthia’s Diary – Jan 1, 1940

January 1940

Mon 1

Went to cinema with Auntie Pat, Pat, Pam & Wendy.  Saw Mr. Motto Takes a Vacation, Stanley & Livingstone.  Good.

Tues 2

Mummy took Pat, Pam & myself to see “All the Best”, a review.  2/-  seats, ices and sweets, enjoyed ourselves.  Wendy at Auntie Pat’s.

Wed 3

Went to Auntie Pat’s, helped with curlers.  Torch broke.  Had film developed, jolly good.  Put them in album mummy gave me for Xmas.

Thurs 4

Went to Auntie Pat’s.  Mummy came later, arranged to have a party, we were going to play tennis on Friday, too cold.

Fri  5

Had a bit of a party.  Phoebe came gave me 6d.  Had a nice tea.  Mummy came out without key.  I was at Auntie Pat’s, she came in slipped???

Sat 6

Came back to Alfold, such a night, nearly got on wrong train, held it up, met Janet, went to new billet.  Quite nice, Miss Watson gave me 6 l. Mummy saw us off.


Cynthia’s Diary – October 1, 1939

The Rectory 1939 (Cynthia waving)

When Cynthia was evacuated from London, in September 1939, she and her baby sister Wendy were first billeted at the Rectory in Alfold village.  Her bedroom faced the cemetery, where a large rock supposedly marked the grave of a witch.  A previous occupant of the room, a girl named Mary, had scratched her name on the pane of glass with a diamond ring.  I wonder if it is still there?

Dorothy, Wendy, Margaret at the Rectory garden, facing Surrey Downs, October 1939

Cynthia’s Diary – Story of evacuation to Alfold, September 1939, page 8

I would have to guess mostly what she was saying, as her accent was really broad.

Naturally, I took advantage of the opportunity to get out, although in a little village like that, there was nowhere to go anyway.  I used to meet some of the other girls, and a few of the village boys.  It was all very harmless.  In the cold weather, if there happened to be ice, we’d go sliding around on it.  In the warm weather, we’d just walk and talk, and the boy I liked and sort of paired off with, would walk me home, and give me a shy boyish good-night kiss.

I think my trouble started, when I was invited to a birthday party for Beryl Burst.  A number of us went, and as the Eildons (Newburys??), went to bed fairly early they gave me the key to let myself in.  It was a wonderful party, and none of us got home until about 1 A.M.  Mr. Eildon informed Mr. B. that they had worried over me for hours.  I really don’t know what time they expected me to arrive home from the party.  Anyhow I was given a reprimand, and was told I had to get permission every time I went out, and to be back by 9 o’clock!  What humiliation, after all I had had permission to go to the party.

In my spare time, I wrote some letters, one to a girl friend, and one to the Daily Mirror, which I really hadn’t any intention of mailing.  Anyhow in the girl’s letter, I had mentioned a boy named Red, had kissed Joan, and had now got the measles, and in the other, had asked any lonely soldiers, sailors or airmen, if they wanted a pen pal, to write to me, as I was lonely too.  Mrs. E. must have been looking through my belongings, because one morning her husband asked me to please bring down the two letters I had in my drawer upstairs.  I like a frightened chick, went upstairs and got them and handed them over to him.  Next day, I was called to the headmasters study.  What a catastrophe, apparently it was immoral for the kids to have crushes and kiss boys, and there would probably be an epidemic of measles, (naturally the girl in question, denied kissing the boy), according to my letters the whole school was corrupt.

Cynthia’s Diary – Story of evacuation to Alfold, September 1939, Page 7

I omitted the fact that I had still another sister, Pamela, who had been evacuated with her school to Warminster, Wilts.  She wrote quite often, and quite enjoyed herself for a while, Mummy visited her too, and sent us both pocket money regularly every week we were away.  Pamela suddenly decided she was homesick, and wanted to come with me.  We finally arrived at a decision, that she should move in with Mr. and Mrs. B. and Wendy, and that I should be placed in another billet.  Naturally, I was thrilled, at last to be on my own.

We were allowed to go home for the occasional week-end and holidays, as the enemy had still not made an appearance over England.  When we got back, Mr. B. took me to Mrs. Robertson, the billeting officer, who was also Elizabeth’s mother.  She told us where to go, and said if the people weren’t home, to bring me back to her house.  I prayed they wouldn’t answer the door, as I would have loved to have stayed in that beautiful white house on the hill.  Mr. B. kept insistently ringing the bell though, and finally a woman with a broad Scotch accent came to the door.  She said she hadn’t expected me so soon, but if I didn’t mind sleeping with her sister for a couple of months, I was welcome immediately.  Being a rather shy child, I mention the fact that I could have stayed at Mrs. Robinson’s.

Mrs. Newbury introduced me to her sister who was a typical gaunt type Scots-woman, also to her husband, who was a likeable fellow, and their baby daughter, nicknamed Wendy.  They had a nice house, which he had built himself, being a bricklayer.  The room I shared with the sister was lovely, and I thought the coloured sheets were wonderful.  The bathroom had an imitation black and white marble bath-tub, and flush handle on the toilet, instead of the old pull chain, which was in existence in most places, so it was very modern for England.  It seemed like years before I had the bedroom to myself.  Every night was the same routine.  The sister would have the water bottle first, and finally give it to me when it had cooled off.

Cynthia’s Diary – Story of Evacuation to Alfold, September 1939, Page 6

For a long time after that, I can’t particularly remember going anywhere.  I was about the only one who didn’t have any freedom.  Cecily Bartlett must have felt sorry for me, and one day suggested that as it was almost my birthday, I could stay at her billet, which was in the Verger’s wonderfully quaint little cottage, for the week-end, and attend a dance at Loxwood Village Hall, at her expense.  We would go with the Verger’s daughter, who was about 18, and about six other young people.  I was sure I wouldn’t possibly be allowed to go, but Cecily apparently talked my guardians into it.

My first dance, and what an outfit I chose to wear!!! A thick woollen suit, wool sweater, lisle stockings, and flat heeled shoes, and to complete the ensemble, a white rose, which my Mother had given me to wear in the black-out, because it was luminous in the dark.  To me it was all very exciting, and when we went to call for John and Peggy Tye, twins, whose parents ran the village pub, we were all treated to a glass of ginger wine.  I imagined I felt quite giddy.  I was grateful for my flat heeled shoes, as we had no transportation, and the Hall was about 3 miles away.

I was pretty hopeless as a dancer, although Cecily tried hard to teach me.  It must have been pretty obvious to the young men attending, that I was pretty grim, consequently no one asked me to dance, until the last waltz, and the young man was almost as bad as I.  Oh!  What misery for us both, and those poor feet.  We were both glad when it was over.  Anyway, it broke the ice for the next dance, I attended months later.

My next outing was to the movies.  In London, I used to go about 3 times a week, and since the war, hadn’t been at all.  The nearest Cinema was in Cranleigh, about 5 miles away.  They were showing the Mikado in technicolour.  Which everyone thought would be very educational etc.  The only thing exciting to me, was the fact, that amongst the group was Elizabeth’s brother.  In fact we went in their car, and sat with them.  I don’t suppose Bill ever noticed little adoring me, as I was only 15, and he must have been in his twenties.