The first week of 1941 saw Swindon couples keen to tie the knot. Velvet dresses, muffs and bonnets were worn by the bridesmaids of Annie Amelia Lawrence at her marriage to Gunner William John Cole. A reception at the bridegroom’s home in Pinehurst Road followed the wedding at St. Barnabas’ Church.
Meanwhile Barbara Jones had four bridesmaids and two page boys in attendance when she married Gunner Albert Edgington at Christ Church, Swindon.
As the Food Ministry announced a rise in the price of chocolate, women and children queued outside an Old Town sweetshop for twopenny bars of chocolate while retailers warned they might be forced to close if they were denied supplies of sweets.
Mr J.G. Mathieson, president of the Manufacturing Confectionery Alliance reported that the demands of the Services were often in excess of their needs with stock remaining on NAAFI shelves for weeks. He demanded a more equitable distribution of available supplies between priority orders and the demands of the public.
And Swindonians were advised to dig deep and get their gardens in order for 1941 as the ‘Food is a Munition of War’ campaign continued.
Lord Woolton reminded the British public that half their food supplies came from overseas on ships under attack by German U boats.
“Now, here is your part in the fight for Victory. When a particular food is not available, cheerfully accept something else – home produced if possible. Keep loyally to the rationing regulations,” advised the Minister of Food. “Above all – whether you are shopping, cooking or eating – remember food is a munition of war. Don’t waste it.”
With home grown veg set to play an increasingly important role on the menu, the Advertiser published tips for a better yield. Success was all in the preparation, as gardeners were told to dig at least to the full depth of the spade and to make good use of their compost heap to ensure productive soil. Householders were encouraged to plant fewer potatoes in 1941 and to concentrate on root crops, onions, leeks and particularly winter greens. One third of a plot planted to potatoes should be the maximum, was the general advice.
“Efficient cultivation, combined with economy in the use of seed, will greatly assist in the national welfare and in the campaign for a greater quantity and better quality of home produced food,” reported the Advertiser with readers advised to visit a demonstration plot to see how it should be done and to pick up tips.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Information addressed the gardening topic in their regular cut out and keep newspaper item ‘What do I do…’
“I dig now and leave the ground rough so that the frost may act on it. If I cannot get manure I dig in leaves or any vegetable or animal matter. I give up any ground I can spare for the purpose, including flower beds and lawns. If I have no land I can apply to my Local Authority for an allotment. I do all I can now to make a start for the early spring campaign."
Signalman K.R. Bradford, only son of Mr & Mrs E. Bradford of 93 Lansdown Road, Swindon, was granted a commission as Second Lieutenant in the RAOC with the designation of Ordnance Mechanical Engineer following a course at an Officer Cadet Training Union.
A former student at Commonweal Secondary School and The College, Swindon, Signalman Bradford had also won the Little Fund Scholarship for an engineering degree at the City and Guilds College, London.
A GWR apprentice engineer, Mr Bradford had joined the Army on November 1, 1939 and had been posted to the Royal Corps of Signals.