Monday, April 9, 2012

September 19-25, 1940

Swindon housewives were warned they would have to learn new techniques to keep the home fires burning with the arrival of coal supplies from South Wales this winter.

Described as economical with a low ash content and high heat value, the coal was virtually smokeless.

Women were advised to use lumps of coal of ‘approximately four inches and slightly smaller for cookers and combination cookers,’ breaking up large lumps with a sharp pointed hammer and not a flat faced one.

And the man of the house was told to leave the poker alone. “South Wales coal needs very little attention and should not be subject to vigorous poking.”


A fitter’s course, the first of its kind to be run at Swindon Technical College, was launched this week. Among the new students enrolled were painters, cabinet makers, carpenters, a coach finisher and a van driver who had all given up other jobs to gain a qualification in this important branch of industry.


The course was the direct outcome of an appeal to technical colleges to train men in specialised work. During their training the men received a living allowance from the Ministry of Labour and an assurance that at the end of the course posts would be found for them in vital industries.

A bag of bones weighing approximately 1 cwt collected by evacuee children at Brinkworth raised £5 at a Red Cross Agricultural Fund sale this week.

Swindon National Farmers Union reported that they were less than £100 short of reaching their £1,000 target following the successful sale in the Market Square.


Visitors bowled for a pig, played darts and created a mile of pennies while a single halter sold over and over again raised £10.

“Where’s Hitler? I want Hitler,” yelled drunken George Daniel Coker only to have his inquiries answered by a Swindon police constable.

Somewhat the worse for wear, Coker, from Stepney, had resisted attempts to get him back to his Swindon lodgings and was carried up Eastcott Hill to the gaol by PC Butler and a friend, reported the Advertiser.

Appearing before magistrates the following day, Coker explained that his home had been bombed while he was working in Swindon and he didn’t know where his people were. A former member of the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps, he had been discharged in August as medically unfit. On promising to go back to his work, Coker was allowed on his way.

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