7th May 1945
Heard a cuckoo this morning about 6. Busy day. Committee meeting at 11.30, only six members came, with dear old Guy Pearson in the chair. I presented the 109th Annual Report, which was accepted. Among the gifts was the metal cannister which contained the bombs dropped on 17 March. The ARP people apparently don't want this, so we’ve taken it.
The meeting then adjourned at precisely 12 noon to the Library, when 5 more members arrived. Not a single subscriber turned up! Edwards assured me that this was quite in order.
We then did the whole thing all over again, and elected the Officers and Committee. Miss Peckover was made President once more, although it is hardly likely that she will ever again attend a meeting.
Then they made a presentation to poor old Edwards – a cheque for £25, as a token of their regard for his 22 years service. The old fellow was most moved, while I sat gazing down the corridors of time at 1967. Meeting ended quarter to one. This is really farcical, and next year we must make some sort of arrangement to have it at a more convenient time.
And now it is nearly midnight, and the war is over. All day there was an air of expectancy, with the press yelling “any moment now”. Then at last the announcement came on the radio at 8 p.m. – tomorrow and Wednesday are to be holidays, all shops shut. The Swifts were very pleased. There is a total German surrender to all the allies, but the Russian attitude is still not clear. By this evening there were flags all over the streets, people standing in little groups, people carrying flags, (even quite small Jacks on sticks cost 10/-). Went into Porper’s bookshop, and a woman came in and said “I think I’ll buy a book – just to celebrate.”
And so ends this long and disastrous war, and I find myself alive and well, with a home and my books intact. But amidst all the rejoicings there must indeed inevitably be sadness – what will the poor firewatchers do now? What can take the place of those happy hours in the Control Room and Report Centre?