Sunday, May 6, 2012

October 10-16, 1940


Tips to help the hard pressed housewife were regularly published in the Advertiser and this week’s recipe was for a fish and celery casserole.  Cooked with potatoes and milk the dish was described as a light nourishing meal.

To save fuel housewives were also given instructions on how to make a hay box, the war time equivalent of the slow cooker.  Soups and stews should first be brought to the boil on the stove before being placed in the saucepan in the hay box, a hinged wooden box lined with newspaper and stuffed full of hay.

Allowing at least twice as long as usual to cook, the pan was then returned to the stove again before serving.

But the humble onion was proving too expensive for many as Swindon housewives welcomed the decision made by the Minister of Food to introduce a maximum price for this basic ingredient of so many meals.

An advertiser journalist went shopping in both Old and New Town and reported prices between 8d and 1s a pound.  “There is undoubtedly a shortage of onions, due to the cutting off of supplies from the Continent,” the report read, “but there is no getting away from the fact that big profits are being made by somebody.”



Swindon Wheelers Cycling Club vice president Arthur Edington motored into lead position in the club’s annual mileage competition this week in 1940.  Seventy eight year old Arthur had already clocked up 8,000 miles with three months left in the competition.

A keen cyclist for more than 65 years, Arthur had pedalled no fewer than 513,409 miles in his career, recording each journey in his vast collection of diaries.

“In 1884 he astonished local club cyclists by winning a 50 mile road race on a penny farthing cycle in three hours, at a time when the national record stood at two hours forty nine minutes,” reported the Advertiser.  “Between then and 1905 he specialised in one mile track races and won many prizes.

But this wasn’t the extent of Arthur’s physical endeavours.  A keen swimmer, track runner and rugby player, Arthur also engaged in some long distance walking.  Between 1912 and 1928 he walked more than 10,000 miles.

Arthur joined the Swindon Amateur Bicycle Club in 1891 and became a founder member of the Swindon Wheelers in 1923.



Audrey Godsell, a nineteen year old Swindon born nurse was reported killed when the Surrey hospital to which she had been evacuated was bombed.

The daughter of Mr & Mrs H.B. Godsell of 29 County Road, Audrey was a former pupil of Clifton Street Schools and later studied commercial classes at Swindon College.

She began her nursing career as a probationer at a children’s orthopaedic hospital at Thorp Arch, Boston Spa, Yorkshire and moved to St. Mary Abbott’s General Hospital in South Kensington when she qualified.

Staff and patients had been evacuated to the Sutton Emergency Hospital where Miss Godsell died when the ward on which she was working received a direct hit during a bombing raid on October 7.


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