27th May 1940

Took Father and Mother up to London. I got them to Paddington and put them on the train, and while I was on the platform who should come by but Balfour of Sutton’s Farms at Slough. I spoke to him, and introduced him to my parents. He said he was very busy now, and was in charge of the Local Defence Volunteers.

After the parents had left, I took the Tube to Tottenham Court Road. At Bond Street a girl got in and, after studying the route maps, asked me if she was right for the Post Office. We chatted on, and she told me she had been a reporter on the “Liverpool Post” and came from Manchester. She had resigned her job and had come South to join the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force), but had been turned down on medical grounds. She was now more or less on her beam ends in London, working as an attendant at the Monsignor Cinema near Marble Arch for 36/- a week, which is not a high wage for a B.S.c. Manchester.

She was greatly interested in London, and found considerable difficulty in finding her way about, so I gave her my street map, for which she was grateful. They cost 2/6, and you don't get many half-crowns spare out of 36/-, after paying 17/- a week for a room with breakfast in Kildare Terrace, Paddington.

A typical London street map of the time similar to the copy that Eric gave away.

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