We dip into a scrapbook, compiled by Stan in autumn/winter 1937 and spring 1938, during the construction and fitting of one of the newly built Met homes in Carpenters Wood Drive
The house was one of scores built in Chorleywoodprompted by housing demand around the Metropolitan Line as a result of the Live in Metro-landcampaign (launched 1915) and private builders’ subsidies following the 1923 Housing Act.
Thursday April 4 1938. Stanley writes
“I was right about the paint which shows up beautifully against the white walls … The fireplace we eventually chose at Youngs, having the two bedroom fires panelled over so that we might use all our fiscal allowance on the two rooms downstairs. In the dining room we have a long low plain stone piece with tiled hearth whilst the back fireplace is in graceful buff tiles.
We are also very happy about our furniture. Tooth and Tooth* have provided two carpets… and we also purchased six Chippendale chairs for the dining room and a luxurious suite in beige and green for the drawing room. The piece de resistance was a mahogany bedroom suite from W Morris & Co at Stratford… Tommy is so excited that she cannot look me in the face without breaking into a silly grin.
The chief articles of furniture left are a sideboard for the dining room –‘ mahogany of course and bow fronted if possible – two armchairs for the same room and a carpet for the back room.
We must carefully choose a few pictures
Tuesday September 19 1939 Nearly 1½ years later
My diary which rather spluttered out like rain over a few hot twigs has risen like Phoenix from the ashes…
My garden suddenly was finished, Meadowland had become a pattern of lawns, steps. Flowers and a little lily and goldfish pond…
This Phoenix I mentioned is nothing more nor less than the common or garden fowl. For just over a fortnight England and France have been at war with Germany owing to the latter invasion of Poland. The air resounds with clarion calls to do one’s bit in producing what food one can. I have hurriedly turned over some ground sowing spinach and turnips and setting about fifty spring cabbage
The next obvious step was chickens. Tommy and I have always had a penchant for farming, not the half past four in the morning stuff, but that bit where you lean on a gate and prod the pigs with a stick. So now by keeping chickens we can take a step towards our goal, hep the state, improve the household budget and fertilise the garden all at the same time. I believe one or two of our neighbours may sniff but I have instructed Tommy to tell them that at times like this we prefer our old hens behind wire netting.
*Tooth and Tooth, just off Oxford Street, London. **Youngs Timber and Builders Merchants was located in Lower Road on the site which now houses shops CW Eyecare and MG Barbers. It became Gosletts and closed in the mid 80s