A few days ago I was writing about the terrible weather in 1947 that my mum (Doreen Buckle) described in the dairy she was keeping at the time.
Although the weather had improved a little by Wednesday 19th February, she recorded that she "went to work feeling very fed up. Snow still on ground."
It snowed again a couple of days later and she noted that it was "freezing" at night.
Meanwhile at work, staff illness meant she had to "manage by myself" and she was "very busy, very tired." She worked as a library assistant at the County Library H.Q. but was sent out to various branch libraries when there was a staff shortage.
Even though she went out to a dance at the weekend and enjoyed herself, she mentioned twice that she was "thinking about joining up."
On Tuesday 25th February she "went to work still feeling pretty fed up. Stayed in at night and started re-knitting old jumper."
During WW2, after clothes rationing had been introduced, the Ministry of Information published pamphlets to encourage people to make their clothes last longer. The aim of clothes rationing was to reduce consumption to free up available factories and workers for war work.
Everyone was allocated points and when buying new clothes they had to hand over some of their points with their cash; garments had a points value which reflected the amount of fabric and labour used in production which was displayed alongside the price.
In 1947 clothes were still rationed and the 'Make-Do-and-Mend' campaign still offered advice on how to repair and recycle old clothes.
To re-knit an old jumper was one way to make-do-and-mend requiring the knitter to unravel the wool of the existing garment, re-wind it into manageable balls and then re-knit it to a new pattern. Anyone who has ever tried this will know that the un-ravelled wool is crinkled by the washing and ironing of the old garment and quite difficult to knit with.
Fortunately clothes rationing was gradually being phased out and had completely ended by 1949.
There were more heavy snowfalls during the night of 26th February and Doreen recorded that she couldn’t get through to work and did the afternoon session at Royston library (in her home village) before going to the "flicks" in the evening.
The next day she managed to get through to work but despite being on time "got told off again" and recorded that she had "decided to join the Land Army if possible."
Even getting her pay of £9 16s 1d didn’t cheer her up. When she went to work on Saturday March 1st she "was told off three times" and was "determined to leave H.Q." She recorded again the next day that she had "decided to see about joining the Land Army."
The Land Army, which was not in any way military, had been introduced during the First World War as a way in which women could join the labour force and work for the good of the country by trying to boost the food supply. At the start of WWII it was re-introduced. At first the recruits were volunteers but later on the Land Army was included in the conscription programme and around 80,000 individuals were involved.
The role has become glamourized by films and TV series but it was anything but. The work was hard and strenuous; the uniforms ill-fitting and uncomfortable although many women found ways to adapt the uniform to make it more tolerable both to wear and to look at. Accommodation was often Spartan and young women from towns and cities found the rural way of life difficult to cope with.
The Land Army was maintained until 1952 to try and boost the availability of home grown food; one can only guess what it must have been like working the land during that dreadful winter of 1947.
On Monday 3rd March Doreen "went to work still feeling fed up" and after going to the British Restaurant for lunch went to the Labour Exchange to see about joining the Land Army. She was given an address to write to.
The Labour Exchange (what we now call the Job Centre) was the place to go to get all the information about what work was available. Originally founded in 1910, the exchanges were an integral part of the post-war Welfare State of which the foundation stone was Full Employment.
Because she was under 21 Doreen needed her father’s permission to join the Land Army. This he refused to give so her plans to escape Library H.Q were scuppered.
Born on the 23rd February 1884, Mary Ann Jannette Murray was the fifth child of James William and Kezia Murray. At the time they lived at 13, New Street, Gravel Lane, City of London. James was employed as an umbrella frame maker.
Mary Ann Jannette was baptised at St Botolph's Church, Aldgate in the City of London on May 25th 1884.
(Photograph:© Copyright John Salmon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence)
By 1901, aged eighteen, Mary Ann Jannette had become a sewer in a factory and was living in her brother Edward's house in Bow, East London. Edward and his wife Amy had two young children. They also had three lodgers living in the house. One of these was Thomas Wingad who later that year married Edward and Mary Ann Jannette's sister, Esther Rose Murray.
By 1911, Edward and his family had moved to Forest Gate, East London and Mary Ann Jannette went too. There were now three children in the family but no lodgers. Mary Ann Jannette had become a self-employed blouse maker working from home.
There are some good examples of blouses from that era on this website: Blouses to wear with a tailored costume 1911.
Mary Ann Jannette's nephew was Percival Edward Murray who was still living at home in Forest Gate when war was declared in 1914. Percival joined the 5th Battalion of the London Rifles Brigade and in 1915 went out to the Western Front. He was promoted to the rank of Lance-Corporal and was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme in 1918.
It seems likely that Mary Ann Jannette moved back to the Aldgate area and died in 1933.
Mary Ann Jannette was a sister of Maurice John Arthur Murray, my husband's grandfather.
I wrote in a blogpost a few days ago about the films my mum went to see in 1947. She recorded the details of some of them in her diary. I've been collecting the posters and trailers for them on a Pinterest board.
I've only recently started adding interesting items to Pinterest but am already finding it to be a fantastic way to save and organise your researches. Here are a few more 1940s films I've added to the collection.
On February 26th, despite heavy snowfalls in the night, Doreen went to see The Hamaland Mystery. I can't find any reference to this anywhere on the Internet so can only conclude that her spelling was inaccurate; although the diary is so small and her handwriting so tiny it's almost illegible in places. Any suggestions as to what the film might have been?
On 3rd March she went to see Love Story which she thought was Very Good. This was a 1944 movie starring Margaret Lockwood and Stewart Granger. It seems like a wonderfully romantic film; ideal for a nineteen year old on a cold, wintery night. (Remember this was the worst winter on record.) Lockwood plays Lissa Campbell, a concert pianist with a serious heart problem who is determined to enjoy what time she has left. She goes on holiday and meets a pilot (Granger) who is probably going to lose his sight as the result of an explosion. You can read the outline of the story here: a real tear-jerker! "We're all living dangerously. There isn't any certainty anymore. It's just today and the hope of tomorrow. Oh, darling, please, let's take all the happiness we can…."
When she went to see A Matter of Life and Death a few days later she thought it was smashing. The film was the surprise hit of 1946 and has come to be regarded as one of Powell and Pressburger's best films. Set in England during the Second World War, it stars David Niven, Marius Goring and Kim Hunter in a romantic, fantasy film released in U.S.A. with the title Stairway To Heaven.
On 15th March she was off to see Renegade at The Ace Cinema which she decided was not a bad film. My efforts to track it down have been fruitless unless she meant a 1936 film version of Custer's Last Stand but that doesn't seem very likely.
Then, on 3rd April, at the start of the Easter weekend, she went to see Great Expectations at the Empire. This David Lean classic has stood the test of time and is as well regarded now as it was then. Check out the official trailer on Youtube and if by any chance you've never seen it, put it on your bucket list. Doreen really enjoyed it: another film she thought was smashing!
Ellen Disley and Richard Ashworth were married on 18th February 1868 at the Wesley Place Methodist Chapel, Bacup, Lancashire. (The chapel was built in 1866 and was demolished one hundred years later.)
Ellen was the oldest child of James and Margaret Disley. She had three brothers and two sisters: Thomas, William and John; Elizabeth and Margaret. James was a farmer at Height Barn, Spotland, Bacup. Ellen was nineteen years old when she was married.
Richard Ashworth was a farm labourer at Clifton Dean, Newchurch, Bacup. At the time of his wedding, Richard was twenty eight years old. He was the youngest of six children, his siblings being John, Margaret, Elizabeth, Francis and Mary. The 20 acres farm where Richard worked belonged to his mother, who was the widow of John Ashworth.
Ellen and Richard had their first child, John Thomas, in 1871. He was followed by James (1872), Richard (1874), Maggie (1877), Mary (1879) and Alice (1881).
By 1881, Richard was farming 26 acres for himself. He continued to farm throughout his life becoming a dairy farmer at Holmes Barn Farm in his later years. He was still farming in 1911 aged 71 years and his youngest daughter, Alice, was employed at the farm as the dairymaid.
There is an interesting account on the Bacup Times website which includes a reference to Richard 'Dicky' Ashworth:
Milkmen (farmers) came around the streets with their horses and milk floats, selling milk to householders -the practice being to carry at least 2 x 12 gallon cans on the float and the farmer filled from these a gallon tin which he then carried to his customer and poured into their jugs a gill or pint, whichever they required; or you could go to the float and he would dip into the large container a gill or pint measure, whichever you required. Perhaps three or four farmers visited Underbank. Names which spring to mind are Handford Howorth of Far Old Meadows Farm, H. Pilling - Broadclough Farm, Butlers - Hay Slacks Farm, Dicky Ashworth, Holmes Barn Farm, and Jack Holt with his son Ben "always drunk") from Old Meadows Farm.
Ellen and Richard were my great great grandparents. Their son, John Thomas, married Emma Jane Gooding and one of their children was my grandfather.
But when though art near me
Sorrow seems to fly
And then I feel as well I may
That on this earth there dwells not one
So blest as I.
Miss Edith Smith received this postcard in 1909.
The remainder of the postmark is smudged but it looks as though it starts with Fe.
It was posted in Dover (Kent) and she lived in Royston (near Barnsley, Yorkshire).
The message on the reverse is:
In answer to your card I received a few years ago sorry to hear you have been poorly, sick and sad dear heart.
I hope you have bucked up a bit by now.
We expect arriving home Thursday noon worse luck, another festival.
sending love to all good and bad.
There is no signature; just a smudgy, anonymous, ink-stamp.
Do you think this is a Valentine's Day Postcard for Miss Smith?
See more of Miss Smith's postcards here.
I've been writing recently about the terrible winter in the early months of 1947 (snowdrifts; potatoes rationed; electricity cuts; buses to work cancelled) based on a diary my mum kept at the time. She was nineteen and, despite the weather, she was planning a holiday. She recorded that her friend Doreen came down to their house and they “had a talk about Holiday Fellowship.”
The Holiday Fellowship was an organisation that aimed to provide walking holidays in the countryside for young working class people for the price of an average week’s wages.
The Fellowship was founded in 1913 by the Reverend Thomas A. Leonard as a spin off from the Cooperative Holidays Association which he'd started in the 1890s.
The C.H.A. had initially offered basic accommodation, food and fell walking in the Lake District and had expanded to cover most areas that were attractive to walkers. Accommodation standards had improved to become nearer to country house hotel style and Leonard didn't consider this was in the spirit of what had originally been intended; hence the breakaway group.
During WW2 most of the Holiday Fellowship centres had been requisitioned by the military but after the war some of them were gradually being brought back into use.
Community singing, ranging from hymns to popular songs of the day, was a feature of the evening entertainment.
Rev. Leonard died in 1948 aged eighty. A lifelong social activist and pacifist he became a Quaker and was involved in the formation of The National Trust, The Youth Hostels Association and The Rambler's Association.
There is a memorial plaque at Catbells, near Derwentwater, in the Lake District, commemorating his life and work which says that he was:
Founder of Co-operative and Communal Holidays
"Father" of the Open-Air Movement in this Country.
Born London March 12th 1864.
Died Conway July 19th 1948.
Believing that "the best things any mortal hath are those which every mortal shares"
he endeavoured to promote "joy in widest commonality spread".
The Holiday Fellowship re-branded itself in 1982 and is now known as HF Holidays and continues to provide outdoor and walking holidays at a number of hotels in different parts of the country.
My mum (Doreen) and her friend Doreen, were still "discussing holidays" on February 16th but by the 4th March they'd decided where to go; saved up the money to pay for the holiday (£22/6); and, on March 5th, "sent money for holidays".
They'd decided to go to either Grizedale Hall or Llandogo Priory Holiday Fellowship Centres.
Grizedale Hall in the Lake District was used by Holiday Fellowship but actually owned by The Forestry Commission. It was a forty bedroom mansion which had been used as a prisoner of war camp during WW2. Specifically, Grizedale Hall was used to imprison the officers from German U-boats which had been sunk and aircraft which had been forced down. It was the camp from which notorious prisoner Franz von Werrer escaped before being re-captured and re-located in Derbyshire. Von Werrer was shipped over to Canada but escaped again in the USA and made his way back to Germany via Mexico and Panama. He re-joined the Luftwaffe and started flying again but his plane came down in the sea near Holland and he died in 1941. However his story continues as it was filmed as The One That Got Away in 1957.
Holiday Fellowship stopped using Grizedale Hall in 1950 and it was demolished in the mid-fifties.
Llandogo Priory is in the Wye Valley in Herefordshire and became a Holiday Fellowship venue in 1930. It was built in the 1840s on Tiddenham Hill close to and over-looking the village of Llandogo. Built on a 100 acres site, the house enjoyed magnificent views over the River Wye and its valley.
It was visited by Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting Movement, on several occasions when he was a child and later it was leased by B-P's wealthy friend, Mr Arthur Burchardt-Ashton. Arthur allowed the grounds to be used to provide holidays for deprived children from inner cities who were accommodated in three chalets located at one end of the house.
These huts became the accommodation used by the Holiday Fellowship for those participating in their walking holidays. However around 1930 the whole house was bought by Holiday Fellowship to provide low cost accommodation in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Llandogo Priory remained in use by Holiday Fellowship until 1987 when it was sold off and adapted for use as a residential care home.
On Tuesday 25th March, Doreen noted in her diary:
Went to work.
Received notification that we have got in at Llandogo.
Went round to Doreen’s.
I hope they were pleased and I hope they had a good time at Llandogo!
February 7th 1921 was a very sad day for Sidney Henry Buckle and his wife Elsie because it was the occasion of the funeral of their only son, Vernon. To make matters worse, Vernon died when he was barely one month old.
Vernon had been baptised in the parish church of St. John the Baptist, Royston, Yorkshire a couple of weeks earlier but now the family was back again to have him buried.
The back page of the Parish Magazine for February 1921 records Vernon's baptism the previous month.
Sidney and Elsie had been married at the same church in 1908 and by the time of Vernon's birth they were 40 and 36 years old respectively. It was to be another three years before they had another child making them very mature parents for that era.
Looking through the 1921 parish magazine I found this wonderful illustration in the "Home Economies" section with an accompanying article by one Marcelle James:
Wouldn't you be proud to possess a coat which so distinctly bears the stamp of good style as the one shown in our sketch this month?
To buy a coat like this would probably cost far more than you or I care to afford - but when made at home it is another matter.
This is just what I am going to help my readers to do for I have arranged to have the pattern cut by experts and for the cost of a modest 7d. you can have all the help of a first class cutter at your command.
The pattern, remember, is always the most important part of a garment, whether it be a house-frock or an elaborately tailored cloak, and the skill of the cutter makes all the difference.
This design calls for four yards double width. It pays, for a coat like this one, to get a good material.
Some of the new checked tweeds are exceedingly smart; and there is also a vogue for ordinary serge and very fine gabardine ornamented with cable stitching in white or coloured silk in a checked effect. All kinds of embroideries are fashionable on coats just now.
Our model is set off with a large, roll-back sailor collar, with revers and cuffs to match, which give a very pretty finish.
The front of the coat requires facings and inter-linings of canvas.
How on earth would you cut canvas with a pair of dress-making scissors?
Marcelle then goes on to give instructions for making the coat and details of where to send off for the pattern. I'll pass it on if you want to make it for yourself!
On a different page in the magazine "Our Own Correspondent" writes about his work as a Christian missionary and tells this tale which seems an apposite ending for the day in 1921 when little Vernon was buried:
During a flying visit to a well-known parish in the industrial North I learnt over a cup of tea in the Vicarage, the secret of the missionary interest of the people.
About sixteen years ago (c. 1905) meetings in connexion with the Children's Special Service Mission were held by a medical missionary and his brother, and among their helper's was a boy of fifteen, a clergyman's son.
The lad was keenly interested in what he heard, and shortly afterwards, when taken ill with a disease which proved fatal, he kept talking about the wonderful work of medical missions.
One day his mother asked him, if he was taken, he would like to have a bed named after him. He was delighted with the idea, which the bereaved parents carried out after the boy's death.
Up to that time his father's parish had been to a great extent opposed to "sending money out of the country".
But since then the interest has steadily grown until now the parish supports six beds in China and one in North India and last year gave £1,180 (nearly £50,000 in present day money) for the Church Missionary Society.
If he'd lived, Vernon would have been my uncle as it was my dad who was Elsie and Sidney's second child. That the parish magazine has survived at least ten house moves and associated de-clutterings is, I think, quite amazing but I'm glad it has.
In the 1947 diary my mum kept she noted how bad the weather was: the snow was heavy; the roads were blocked; the bus was late. On Wednesday 5th February she had a particularly difficult time getting to work:
Went for 8 o clock bus, did not come.
Waited until 9.15 went home to wait until 11 bus.
That broke down, walked to Woolley got Barnsley bus to work.
Arrived at 12.20.
Bus late at night.
It continued to snow every day:
Friday 7th Feb.
Was at Royston Branch [library] all day, frozen silly.
and on February 9th she recorded:
Snow, potatoes very short.
Stayed in all day.
Went to Chapel + stayed in Doreen’s had quite a nice time.
Food supplies were cut off when rail and road transport was halted by the snow drifts and treacherous conditions.
Vegetables were frozen into the ground and completely inaccessible if not completely ruined. In some places they even tried using pneumatic drills to get the vegetables out of the ground.
The severe frost destroyed 70,000 tonnes of potatoes and supplies were rationed: a situation which had not occurred even during the war.
The bad weather continued and on the 10th and 12th of February she recorded that there were power cuts.
Snow, very cold, bus not too bad.
Electricity cut 4 hours.
Went to work bus on time.
Not too bad in day.
Bus late at night.
Coal stocks were low and the blocked roads stopped deliveries to the power stations. What little supplies there were were frozen solid and couldn’t be moved.
Power stations closed and the government introduced rationing of electricity.
Domestic use was limited to 19 hours each day; consumption by industry was curtailed to the extent that many factories closed and four million workers were put out of work; the hours that the radio could be broadcast was limited as was the size of newspapers.
On 13th February Doreen recorded:
J. Williams birthday. She got some lovely presents.
We cannot have the lights on at work from 8.30 to 11.30 and 1.30 to 3.30.
Went to Royston Br. [Branch library] on 4 bus. Not too bad.
The power cuts continued until on 19th February, the Prime Minister (Clement Atlee) was able to inform MPs that the situation had improved despite the dreadful weather because of the efforts of the coal miners who had produced almost 4 million tonnes of coal in the previous week which was 3% more than in the corresponding week in 1946. Stocks at power stations were gradually starting to build up again and the Prime Minister paid tribute to those working in the coal industry and those in road, rail and sea transport for their efforts in shifting the coal despite the appalling conditions.
Power cuts; food supplies under threat; difficulties getting to work; freezing cold: what a terrible year 1947 was proving to be but if you were only nineteen years old it wasn't going to get you down.
films to see;
shoes to buy;
and, on 16th February, holidays to plan:
Got up at 9.30am, lit fire etc.
Went to Chapel at night. Mr Batty preacher!!!
Went in Doreen’s at night discussed holidays. (To be continued...)
I wrote a few days ago about The Smith family enjoying their holidays in Blackpool.
They also liked to go to Southport and there are a couple of postcards in Miss Edith Smith's collection which were sent from there.
Postmarked Southport 13 May 1913
Just a line or two. We have had a lovely day to-day and are enjoying ourselves first class. Best Love to all. Yours Elsie
Postmarked Southport 15 May 1913
18 Victoria Street
All being well we shall be home tomorrow, Friday leaving here about 1 o clock. Hoping to be at Royston 5.20. Hope you are all well had splendid time. Love to all E.A.S.
Both postcards were sent to Edith Smith and it looks as though Elsie (her sister) had gone on holiday with their mother (Eliza Anne).
Southport is a seaside town on the north west coast of England about fifteen miles to the north of Liverpool. Victoria Street where Eliza was staying was a street of guest houses according to the 1911 census.
Like Blackpool, Southport had developed in the eighteenth century as a health resort. Doctors had started to recommend bathing in the sea as a cure for aches and pains as an alternative to going to the inland spa towns to take the waters.
Southport flourished because of its proximity to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal which brought visitors from many of the northern industrial towns and cities in the days before the railways. A local entrepreneur, William Sutton, had realised the significance of the canal system and in 1792 set up a bathing house in the virtually uninhabited sand dunes. In 1797 a cottage was built for seasonal lodgers and soon after that, Sutton built the South Port Hotel on the site of his original bathing house. He arranged transport from the canal to the hotel and the business was a success. Southport grew quickly and by 1820 was receiving 20,000 visitors each year.
Lord Street (first postcard) became the main thoroughfare of Southport.
Much of the land was owned by the Hesketh family who stipulated that the land they made available for development should incorporate extensive tree planting. The scene in the centre of the second postcard is in Hesketh Park to the north of the town which was built on land donated by the Rev. Charles Hesketh.
The tree planting scheme can be clearly seen in the view of Lord Street as can some of the very fine Victorian buildings for which Southport is renowned.
Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte lived in exile in Lord Street in the 1840s before returning to France as President and later Emperor. His was the responsibility for the demolition of much of central Paris and its replacement with broad tree-lined streets and covered walkways and arcades very similar to Lord Street in Southport. It has been suggested that it was Louis-Napoleon's memories of Southport's Lord Street which inspired his re-development plans for Paris! And if you don't believe me, take a look at this.
Again, it's interesting to note the confidence there was in the reliability of the Royal Mail: all being well we shall be home tomorrow on a card posted in the evening. And it sounds like they'd had a lovely time!
Check out some more of Miss Smith's postcards here.
I've got a diary that my mum (Doreen Buckle) wrote in the first half of 1947 in which she makes it clear how awful the weather was that year.
On 26th January she recorded that the weather was, "very bad". There was, "More snow" on January 27th and it was, "Still very cold, snowing too" the day after. On 29th January it was, "very cold still snow on the ground" and on February 1st it, "Snowed all day. Went to Chapel at night, snow fairly thick".
February was to be the coldest month on record since 1881. The exceptional, persistent cold and continuous frost and snow was accompanied by frequent high winds. This resulted in the snow drifting causing traffic chaos with roads blocked and public transport cancelled. On February 2nd Doreen recorded that she, "Went to work. Snow deep. Bus a bit late" and the next day: "Snow very thick, bus late."
The bus was late again that night when she was coming home from work and to make matters worse the boiler had burst: "We are living in room as boiler is burst."
Doreen's family had two downstairs rooms with coal fires (no central heating for working people in those days) and the fireplace in the back room had a boiler behind it for domestic hot water. It was this that had burst and so the room was unusable. The "room" was the front room which had the better furniture, was used less frequently (usually only when visitors came), and was not normally for everyday living. I can imagine that Doreen's very house-proud mother would have been having a fit.
Domestic heating depended heavily on coal.
The British coal mining industry had been nationalised on January 1st 1947. Coal miners and their families had gathered at pit heads in their thousands to celebrate “Vesting Day” which was expected to give the miners a five day week, decent wages, social welfare for the families and public ownership of a major national resource.
The struggles between the miners and the pit owners are legendary and had gone on for decades most famously in the 1926 strike. "Not a penny off the pay, not a minute on the day" had led to an unprecedented General Strike of miners, dockers, railway and transport workers, printers and iron and steel workers. However the General Strike failed to resolve the situation and the miners continued on strike for several more months before drifting back to work for longer hours and less money.
During WWII coal mining was a reserved occupation and miners were prevented from joining the armed services. In addition around 80,000 young men were conscripted to work in the coal mines as "Bevan Boys." Such was the dependence on coal in all aspects of industrial and domestic life.
It had been an election pledge of the Labour Party before the 1945 election to nationalise the railway, coal, iron and steel industries along with the emerging communications industry and the Bank of England. The people had voted overwhelmingly for these changes giving the Labour Party its landslide majority in the House of Commons in 1945.
The Coal Industry Nationalisation Act of 1946 created the National Coal Board which was intended to manage the coal industry on behalf of the people. Signs were erected at all the pits announcing that "This collliery is now managed by the National Coal Board on behalf of the people".
The miners expected to see modernisation at the existing pits and the creation of new ones; they wanted proper training for new recruits and safety laws; they anticipated fair compensation for accident and industrial disease, pensions, sick pay and the construction of good quality housing in mining areas.
Although the five day week and some of their other expectations were achieved, increasing wages were slow to materialise. It soon became apparent that the management had changed little and some of the private owners remained in charge of the pits despite being well recompensed for their losses. Hundreds of mines had been included in the nationalisation programme and the compensation bill was over ten billion pounds at today's values.
The government had instructed the NCB to provide subsidised coal for industry which made the coal industry look as though it was unprofitable. In addition the ancillary services for distribution; the manufacture of equipment and machinery; and its supply remained in private hands with no limit on charges whatsoever.
Meanwhile domestic coal continued to increase in price leading the public to feel that nationalisation was a detrimental thing. It wasn't long before the miners were back on strike finding one set of unsympathetic bosses replaced by another.
By the 16th February the back-boiler in Doreen's family home had been fixed but the dreadful weather continued. Coal supplies were extremely low and the snow-blocked roads stopped deliveries to the power stations. What few stockpiles of coal there were became frozen solid and couldn’t be moved anyway. Power stations were forced to close and, to add further to the misery, the government introduced rationing of electricity. (To be continued….)