Wednesday, August 15, 2012

January 18-24, 1941

Photographs released by the censor show Lawn Cottages and children enjoying snowball fights in the first snowfall of 1941. 

Swindon jewellers called time on all watch repairs as they struggled to keep up with demand as under staffed businesses reported a back log of jobs in local workshops.  With Switzerland cut off from trade it had become increasingly difficult to obtain spare parts and new watch movements, Mr P.F. Stevens, manager of a Swindon firm of jewellers told the Advertiser, and bombing in Birmingham, London and Manchester had wiped out other sources of supply.

Mr and Mrs Hillier Lack celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary this week.  Mr Lack was born in 1866 and grew up at addresses in Havelock and Henry Streets.  His wife, the former Hannah Maria Horsington, was the daughter of James Horsington, a brass finisher at the GWR Works where Mr Lack also worked as an engine fitter.

A keen sportsman, Mr Lack played football and cricket for St Mark’s Church.  “Tactics were not quite so gentle as they are today,” he told an Advertiser reporter, “and as shin guards were not in fashion one had many painful reminders of rousing games.”

The couple celebrated their anniversary at their home in The Mall with their two grandchildren.

Swindon boasted a growing number of moustaches according to an impromptu rush hour census taken at a town bus stop by an intrepid Advertiser reporter.  Out of 18 men who boarded the bus, seven of them were sporting the latest fashion in facial hair - three young officers, an airman, a clerk and two middle aged workmen.

“Today the young Lieutenant likes to hide the fact that he has recently been gazetted,” a local hairdresser told the reporter, “and there is little doubt that certain other young men have an idea that a well kept moustache adds to their charm in the eyes of the fair sex.”

News of the death of aircraftman Ronald Charles Alexander was reported this week in 1941.  His parents, Mr & Mrs T.H. Alexander of 39 Farnsby Street were informed that their youngest son had been accidentally drowned on December 15.  A former Clarence Street schoolboy, 23 year old Alexander had been employed in both the GWR Works and Garrard’s before volunteering for the RAF soon after the outbreak of war.

Tommy Godfrey, star of Garrison Theatre playing at the London Palladium, and radio favourite Band Waggon, made a surprise stop off in town this week in 1941.  Tommy was snapped by the Advertiser photographer when his car broke down in Swindon.

Swindon weddings this week included that of Colin Campbell Clark and Doris Joyce Powell who were married at Faringdon Road Wesleyan Church while Alex Iles of Whiteman Street and Joan Sutton from Broad Street were married at St. Barnabas’ Church, Gorse Hill.

Bridesmaids Joan Hewer and Shirley Sutton at the wedding of Alex Iles and Joan Sutton
Swindon girls were helping to brighten the lives of soldiers billeted at an undisclosed isolated mansion, where they attended regular Friday night dances.

The girls, all Garrard employees, were escorted by Mr T.A. Kemble, the unofficial chaperon.  When asked by an Advertiser reporter of there were any budding romances, Mr Kemble was suitably non committal.  “You never can tell,” he said.

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