Thursday, 7 May 2009

Week of 21 February 1944

Monday, 21 February

1 Pelham Place


A very noisy raid between 9 and 10 last night. Terrific flak. Reg rang up from the RAC Club later where he was spending the night to say it had been hit, and there was a fire but he was quite unhurt. Christopher’s opposite was completely gutted. Quite a lot of districts got it and I am afraid there were quite a lot of casualties.

Shopped in the morning. In the afternoon Anne and Sarah came and stayed for tea. I went in to Enid after they left.

Cruelly cold. Did some packing in the evening and felt very tired.

Lil lunched with G.H.


Tuesday, 22 February

1 Pelham Place – Bourne Hall Hotel

A quiet night though there was an alert. Bitterly cold. Lil and I finished our packing, lunched with Mabel at 12 o’clock and got off to Waterloo to catch a 1.30 train to Bournemouth. Comfortable journey. Taxied out to Bourne Hall Hotel, a dreadful place with nothing to recommend it. Dark, cold, forbidding, in the middle of a suburb and far from the sea. A depleted staff and no comfort. Decided straight away that we would leave tomorrow.

Listened in to the 9 o’clock news in an icy corridor and heard a résumé of Winston Churchill’s speech.

We both felt a bit low.


Wednesday, 23 February

Bourne Hall Hotel – Monreith Hotel Bournemouth

Bitterly cold again. Sallied forth after a meagre breakfast and inspected Weston Hall Hotel, West Cliff, very good public rooms but no suitable bedroom accommodation. Then saw Clairville, quite close, but very small and an unattractive position. Bussed down to the Square and had elevenses which we badly needed. Then saw Palace Court. No rooms vacant.


Thursday, 24 February

Monreith Hotel Bournemouth

A lovely sunshiny morning though extremely cold. I felt as seedy as I have done yet. Sat in the shelter on the esplanade for a while before lunch. Then rested till teatime. We had it outside at the Regent Cinema Restaurant.

A wire from Mabel this morning to say that all the family were well after last night’s raid.


Friday, 25 February

Another glorious morning but as cold as ever. I felt very badly all day but we were able to sit out by the sea in blazing sunshine both morning and afternoon.

There was another raid in London last night.


Saturday, 26 February

No raid in London last night. Lil had neuritis and slept badly and only got up in time for lunch. I still feel pretty rotten but a shade better. Went out for 11 o’clock coffee and did a little shopping.

After lunch we both went to the Odeon Cinema to see Wuthering Heights but it was half over when we got there. I was not very impressed. Had tea at Beal’s restaurant on our return. Left my case of pound notes there  but luckily retrieved it intact. Very cold and sunless.


Sunday, 27 February

A miserably cold sunless day, and Lil and I both felt wretched shapes.

We went over to the Pavilion before lunch for a glass of beer. In the afternoon we took a bus to Sandbanks but did not stay there as it was too cold. Poole Harbour looked very pretty. The ferry is not working except for troops. Came back to Bournemouth for tea which we had at the Ice Cream Parlour. Lil and I both very depressed and discussed going back to London!

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