Saturday, March 30, 2013

March 8 - 14, 1941.

Men in the GWR Works announced plans to defy a no smoking ban at a specially convened tea time meeting held in No 5 Shop at the Carriage and Wagon Department. “It was resolved that the members of the shop represented by the ETU, AEU and NUR request the Federation of Railway Trades Unions immediately to place before the GWR management a request that smoking shall be allowed at all times in the factory, except in such places as are already agree to be dangerous,” The Advertiser reported.
The dispute had arisen from inconsistencies in enforcing the ban across the works.  The men pointed out that certain men in the workshops were permitted to smoke as were outside workers such as engine drivers and shunters even though they may be in the factory.Smoking was also allowed from 5.30 to 7.30 pm and on Saturday mornings as this was during overtime work. It was unanimously agreed that should management refuse their demands the men would smoke as and when they pleased and they called upon all men in the factory to support them by doing likewise.

William Sidney Hillier was awarded the Imperial Service Medal following his retirement from the Post Office at the end of 1940.  Mr Hillier, who had worked as a postman for 36 years, received the medal awarded to employees who had given 25 years or more of unblemished service.  The presentation was made at the Swindon GPO Sorting Office by Mr A.T. Warren, Head Postmaster.  Mr Hillier also received an umbrella and a smoker’s cabinet complete with cigarettes, tobacco and several pipes from his Post Office colleagues.

Swindonians were reminded of the importance of carrying their gas masks at all times as the town’s air raid precaution authorities expressed concern with residents apathy to a possible gas attack. Wardens expressed their concern that the panic which would ensue in the event of a gas attack could do more harm than the gas itself.
“For the town is singularly behind hand in gas mask drill as it is with regard to the carrying of them a fact which has been repeatedly pointed out in these columns,” the Advertiser reported.
Members of Swindon Press staff were pictured setting a good example during one of the regular drills carried out at Newspaper House. Everyone was asked to take part and wear his or her mask for gradually lengthening periods. Mr Raymond Thompson, director and general manager explained that the staff would become accustomed to continuing working in the event of a gas attack.

Leading Aircraftman Wilfred G. Thatcher and Miss Gwendoline Adams
Spring weddings got off to a flying start in March when Leading Aircraftman Wilfred G. Thatcher, son of the Prince of Wales Inn licensee Mr S.C. Thatcher and his wife, married Gwendoline M. Adams at the Baptist Tabernacle.  Butterworth Street Methodist Church was the setting for the wedding of Private Alfred George Ind of Manor Cottage, Walcot and Gladys Annie Mary Mayell of Shelley Street, Swindon.  And at Christ Church Acting Corporal Donald William Jarvis of Shrivenham Road married Beryl Whitney of Clifton Street.  Leslie Theodore Barton and Iris Jane Jackson also married at Christ Church where the bride wore a white velvet gown with veil and wreath of orange blossom and carried a bouquet of lilies.

Private Alfred Ind and Miss Gladys Mayell
At Swindon’s Juvenile Court this week in 1941 Frederick A. Blake JP of Stratton St Margaret put the blame for the rise in juvenile crime on mother’s who neglected their obligations and father’s who gave their children too much pocket money.
“If children are given too much, great temptation is put in their way.  They are not satisfied with what they get – they want more and more,” Mr Blake told a father who said he gave his son three or four shillings pocket money each week.
Mr Blake also listed insufficient attention to moral education in elementary schools and the falling off in attendances at Sunday school as contributing factors to rising juvenile crime figures.

The son of a former GWR boilermaker received the distinction of being the first man to hold the newly created Flag rank of Instructor Rear Admiral of the Royal Navy. Instructor Commander Arthur Edward Hall, RN, Director of the Education Department at the Admiralty grew up in Andover Street, the son of Charles Edward Hall, a foreman at the Swindon GWR Works. A former Technical School pupil, Rear Admiral Hall went on to study at the Royal College of Science, Kensington.  He joined the Royal Navy in 1915 and during the First World War he served with HMS Inflexible at the Battle of Jutland.

Regent Street department store McIlroys revealed an eye catching window display, which caught the interest of schoolboys and roof spotters alike.  Mr Harry Webb was responsible for the photographic history of the Royal Air Force with almost every type of aircraft shown. “A reminder of the success of our boys is given in pictures of crashed German planes.  The salvaged metal is used in the construction of more aircraft for Britain,” reported the Advertiser.  “Roof spotters from all surrounding stores have visited the window to refresh their knowledge of modern aircraft.”

Cinema goers could find themselves paying 1s 6d for their seat and an extra 10s if they parked their car on Princes Street, magistrates clerk Mr A.E. Withy pointed out in Swindon Borough Police Court. A recess caused by the reconstruction of Princes Street was presenting a convenient parking space for drivers on their way to the cinema that is until they received a summons for causing an obstruction.  Mr Withy suggested it would be in the public interest if a ‘No parking’ sign could be placed there.

The Ministry of Information announced another of its ‘cut out and keep’ advertisements – What do I do….if I can’t get BBC programmes on the usual wavelength.  Listeners were reminded that broadcasting stations were not operating as they had done during peacetime and to try all the BBC wavelengths in turn on 449, 391, 203 and 49’38 metres.  And listeners were reassured that using a wireless set during an air raid did not help the raiders.

Edwin and Caroline Dewe celebrated their golden wedding anniversary this week in 1941.  Mr Dewe, who was born in Appleford near Abingdon, came to Swindon as a 16 year old to begin work as a sawyer in the GWR Works.  Mrs Dewe, the daughter of George Richardson an engine fitter, had moved to Swindon in 1881. The couple, who married in 1891 had four married sons, one of whom lived next door to them in Albion Street.

Popular entertainer, Mantovani wowed his Swindon audience at a charity concert held at the Savoy Cinema. Mantovani conducted his orchestra in what he described as a ‘new style’ programme, a mixture of both new swing and old favourites such as Begin the Beguine.  Proceeds from the concert went to the British Seamen’s Society, St John’s Ambulance, Stratton and the Swindon branch of the NSPCC.

 Swindon savers marked a new record this week in 1941, chalking up more than £26,000, the highest total since June of 1940.  “Swindon’s accumulated war savings total since January 1 of last year is now £1,274,856,” reported the Advertiser.

Mrs P. Mulholland (dark coat) and Mrs A Poynter, two of the first women porters, unloading milk churns at Swindon Junction station.

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