These letters belong to my aunt Joan Punter ( nee Toller ). These contain interesting home front information and political views of the war. They were written by my Great Aunt Marie to her husband George Cruden. ( both now deceased. )
In several of these letter Marie refers to George as Peter Precious- as she was a Catholic from Ireland and didn't want to introduce him to her family as George ( the English kings name ) she called him Peter.
At 95: [ Oxford Road Cambridge ]
My Dearest x
Thanks for your letter, & it was certainly a gruelling journey- pity they don’t put more corridors on- what a life at London Road- that’s some billet- guess the sooner they decide about some other places the better for all concerned- as the a.m. people must be getting fed up with it too. They say on the wireless that they’ve got so many airforce personnel they are drafting them into the other two forces- particularly the army- as that is where they are wanted, seems such a daft arrangement, although they add they are continuing to take recruits. Do you think bringing up the matter of remuster has brought about the recent change about for you & those other chaps? Went to the pictures by myself on Monday night- mother dosen’t care for pictures she says- Monday 6 p.m. I did the front garden by cutting the grass, clearing the beds of toffee papers, rags & other odds & ends, & mowed the back lawn- but I’m scratched to bits for overlooking the rose trees, & plonking into the taller ones. The weather keeps nice, that’s one thing in it all. Yesterday we went to the Botanical gardens. Con & the children. They enjoyed it…can’t seem to think of anywhere nice to go except to Frenches & Brittans..It would have been nice by the sea this weather, wouldn’t it? Uncle Harry turned up at teatime last night- he does look so thin & ill- but he says he couldn’t stand life in that Linton institution any longer & has come back to the lodging house here- I got that tea tin open & passed it on to mother- its best to do that think, don’t you- Well dear, did your washing yesterday ( what a pile ) & hung it out, if she doesn’t do it on me , I’ll iron it. Well cheerio, love. Hope you are feeling better & looking forward to seeing you x Your own loving Marie xxxx p.s. Had a warning Monday night.
As written by my aunt Val Burroughs ( nee Toller ) March 2005.
Toys, Games and Occupations.
As my mother was into toys herself, she would be on the look out for any toy that she could obtain second-hand. She was delighted with a pedal-car she found in a second-hand shop in Bridge Street [Cambridge] and we would visit Shrives the toy shop near Christ's Lane and Eaden Lilly's basement toy shop. I remember going with my mother to an art shop in Trinity Street and buying watercolours in the four primary colours. Coloured pencils were restricted to those four colours. After the war I remember being just thrilled to have a wider range of colours. A girl in my class at Cambridge High School for Girls arrived at school with a packet of about a dozen coloured pencils and we all clamored around her asking where she'd obtained them. She told us a shop in Newmarket ( Woolworths I think ). Then Derwent pencils came out in Heffers and my friends and I used to go there each Saturday to choose another colour to add to our collection at 9 pence per pencil, which was quite expensive.
My mother used to take us to a shop at the corner of Bermuda Terrace to buy colouring books or magic painting books.
My uncles used to make me toys like dolls houses, monkeys or clown acrobats that swung between two sticks you had to squeeze; a balancing parrot.
We used to spend our time on the allotments- so many of my memories are of playing there and on the local Rec. in Richmond Road, where there were swings, a long rocking horse with a row of seats behind the horse's head and a really long swing with handles all along for several seated children- an older child would stand each end to keep the swing momentum going. Miss. Chandler used to take us onto the rec' sometimes towards the end of the school day. Then we would gather by a tree for the final afternoon prayer before being collected by our parents.
Mum went to Belfast for three weeks holiday to spend time with dad who was a Sergeant in the Army. When she came home she brought a baby doll for my sister and a white fur dog with lead weighted feet. My auntie used to knit dolls clothes for us.We decorated twigs with sealing wax-"blossom".
When my dad was due to come home on leave I remember drawing a picture of him in his uniform using the 'khaki' chalk.
When I'd been to the dentist in Newnham, mum took me to the toy shop there and brought me an orange pop-gun. The same shop sold us a toy sewing machine on another occasion. It did chain-stitch.
I remember tracing outline pictures from the newspaper using toilet paper as tracing paper as it was smooth, shiny and transparent.
Val Burroughs ( nee Toller )
About Michelle's Archives
This is a blog page for the archives in Michelle's own collection. It includes many of Michelle's personal family archives, tales and scrapbook items to all kinds of general archive items mainly from around Cambridge and East Anglia but some even more further afield. Search for items or subjects of interest under the categories below, by date or keyword, name or place etc. Any problems finding something or if you've any questions or comments please do get in touch by using the 'Contact' page on this website.