Saturday, June 9, 2012

December 20-26, 1940

Swindon celebrated a low key Christmas following a year in which the war had bit hard.  But the town and district made sure that the most vulnerable citizens were catered for, especially the evacuees, so far from home for the festive period.

Frank Leigh produced and starred in Jack and the Beanstalk, this year’s pantomime at the Playhouse.  Leigh scored a personal triumph in his role as Dame Durden according to the Advertiser reviewer who also commented on the ‘several pleasing specialities.’

And at Lethbridge Road School, children from the infant class put on a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for their mothers with Jean Hawkins in the lead role of Snow White.

But not everyone had the Christmas spirit and sadly some mean minded thieves were accused of pilfering parcels sent to troops in camp in the West of England.

“Many parcels are being delivered with wrappers torn open, string removed, boxes broken, and some of the contents missing,” reported the Advertiser.  One camp post orderly told a reporter that the parcels were received in such a bad condition that it was impossible to tell to which parcel the loose items belonged.

“They have obviously been pilfered,” he said.

Weddings during the Christmas period included two Boxing Day matches at Christ Church between PC Alfred Stephens and Iris Jones (pictured above) and Albert Edgington and Barbara Jones.

And one local resident received a nasty surprise this week when her wardrobe burst into flames.
“Mrs Maundrell of 42 Whiteman Street, Swindon had a shock this morning when entering a bedroom, she found the wardrobe on fire,” reported the Advertiser.  The fire brigade was called but members of the household managed to extinguish the blaze before their arrival.

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