Thursday, May 24, 2012

November 22-28, 1940

Winter woollies and boots by the baleful made a timely arrival in Swindon this week courtesy of the Red Cross Society of the USA for the relief of evacuees.

“Our American friends are far seeing and organise well ahead,” Mr T.H. Fessey, secretary of the Swindon Council of Social Service told an Advertiser reporter as he showed him a consignment of more than a thousand summer cotton dresses.

All the clothing was reserved for issue to children and adults evacuated to Swindon and further stocks were expected.

A door to door collection made by volunteers led by Mr & Mrs Fred Kiddle had resulted in close on 30 motor car loads of stuff, most of it as good as new.  These items would be distributed among the old and needy of Swindon.

“This phase of voluntary relief work has now reached to comparatively huge dimensions,” reported the Advertiser.  “In one month alone an average of 2,000 articles are issued.”

Mr H.C.W. Ludgate, manager of Swindon Corporation buses, announced an increase in passengers of between 18-20% on last year’s figures.  The recently recruited bus conductresses also received a pat on the back as Mr Ludgate congratulated the twelve women who had been employed to take over the jobs of men called up for military service.  Most of them were engaged on the single decker service but two had been moved to the double deckers where they worked two or three days a week.

And at a meeting of the Town Council, Coun. W.G. Green confirmed that buses would continue to run during an alert until such time as danger was considered imminent.

Mr and Mrs Edward Sloper of 29 Granville Street who celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary this week in 1940 began married life in 1890 in two rooms at number 3 Dean Street.

Mr Sloper, who was born at Rushall near Pewsey, left school at the age of ten to work on a local farm.  In his twenties he got a job at the GWR Works but his love for the open country forced him to leave and return to farm work after just 18 months inside.

Mrs Sloper, born Emily Cox in Chiseldon in 1866, had also been employed as an agricultural labourer before her marriage.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill celebrated his 66th birthday this week in 1940.  Among his birthday presents was a donation of £35,000 from the Netherland East Indies and a further £11,500 from Malaya, enough to buy nine Spitfires.  Number 10 Downing Street announced that Mr Churchill would spend his birthday ‘getting on with the war.’

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