1st - 3rd May 1943 (Extracts when on leave)
Staying Devonshire Arms, walked thru’ Bolton Abbey woods, bluebells coming out. After lunch, walked along Harrogate Rd, saw quaint Almshouses, old lady almoners showed us their rooms. Tea at Dev Arms, Ros rather shocked by my appetite, lovely dinner, coffee by fire in hall. Two old ladies & deaf fisherman & wife. Later; walked right up the Strid in the morning, v lovely, and up far side of river after lunch. Back for hasty tea, bill exorbitant; caught 5.11 to Leeds, met Tommy & Cynthia Fields. Stayed at Queens. (Cynthia = old Ros, friend from school days; Tommy = Gracie Field’s brother).
4th May 1943 (Back from leave)
Tram to Roundhay, waited for transport with 2 ATC. It never appeared, waited for 2 hours before fetched, Metcalfe sailed past! Taxi Anson to Yeadon with 6 passengers, went on to Barrow to pick them up. Flew over Bolton Abbey. Watched Defiants at Barrow. Firby caught low flying. Perfect day, home quite early. (Metcalfe = ground staff officer at Sherburn, Firby, caught low flying, why not me!).
5th May 1943
Doubtful AM, becoming lovely. Parcel of clothes from Mum. Nothing till after lunch. Hurricane to Silloth, Mustang back. Nice IIc Hurr shot up Cordingleys and rolled. Thick and dirty after Preston, nice landing. Lovely Mustang back, tail too high on take off. Flew over cloud, temp lost. V fast, clear near Bolton Abbey, shot up Whitley and rolled, lovely clouds. 430 over Sher, waited long time to land. Lovely landing in spite of Lanc and gliders on runway. (430 over Sherburn? = could this be ASI in mph? Mustang was fast, but that fast? Just possible).
6th May 1943
Doubtful AM. Anson from Sher to Dalcross, fitted dual, took Shirley. Over clouds after E Fortune, v nice. Fun whilst he pee’d, pushed nose down. Dropped him at Lossie, on to Dalcross. Watched Defiants, lunch in mess. Lizzie back, waited some time for it, wanted me to wait for Army blokes. Picked up Firby at Arbroath & refuelled. Heavy showers, uneventful to Sher shot up Cord’s, nice landing out of wind. ("Fun" = a rather unfriendly trick here for someone engaged in relieving themselves, resulting in what came to be known as "getting your own back!").
7th May 1943
Not much to do AM, took Anson to Yeadon with 2 ATC. Nice day, got 2 Spit’s after lunch. Lovely Vc to Kinloss, shot up Cord’s, climbed to 10,000 over lovely clouds, only just sufficient fuel, rolls at Kinloss. Whitley baulked me on runway, nice landing. Spit IX back, but U/S. Looked over Warwick. Beau VI from Lossie, lovely and light, dropped in at Leuchars with papers, Beau and Hampden burning after collision. Straight to Catfoss via Scarott’s and Cord’s. Lovely vis saw both coasts. Picked up by Burton. (Shoot ups = becoming tedious repetitions, and hard to believe now that I so often "shot up" the Cordingleys. With papers = We sometimes acted as express delivery with RAF items. Saw both coasts = must have climbed high enough to see both North Sea and Irish Sea coasts).
8th May 1943
Filthy weather. Very little to do, W/O A/M. Into Leeds with Jagger, Pass and Storer. Lunch at Collinsons, roast duckling. Saw "Once upon a Honeymoon" Ginger Rogers. Others saw "Random Harvest". Tea at Betty’s, back on the 6.30. Met Douglas Phillips, landlady’s son, a Sgt Navigator at St Eval. Betty (?) tried to persuade me to dance at the Londesborough. (Betty = probably landlady’s daughter).
9th May 1943
Poor AM, very high wind. Hung about Sherburn, good lunch, looked at Accident Reports. Walked over to dispersal and looked over Halifax. Walked from Sherburn Wood with Pass, wind still strong.
10th May 1943
Filthy day, rain & low cloud. W/O very early. Jagger beat me at chess, then I beat him. Into Leeds after lunch with Jagger, Pass, and Storer. Saw "Silver Fleet", excellent. Tea at Bettys, back on 6-30 again. DRO’s mention R/T on ATA aircraft. Log books back, 51 hours, quite a good month. (R/T = neither our own taxi a/c, nor a/c ferried had radio active, if installed. About to change?).
11th May 1943
Quite fine, but thick, strong wind. Anson from Yeadon in formation with P Legh and Storer, not v easy in Anson. Back to Yeadon and back in F/child. Martinet to Morpeth in late afternoon with P Legh. Formation take off and flying. Dog fight with Blen near Ouston. (Dog fight = sounds dramatic; probably just some tight, close manoeuvring).
12th May 1943
Windy and rough. Beau II from N Coates to Sherburn. Rather ropey, lying in open for some time, went well, bounced high at Sherburn, went around and made a beauty. Nothing else to do. Weather bad up north.
13th May 1943
Nothing to do AM, weather doubtful. Hampden to Edzell just before lunch, eat my lunch on the way. White Hampden with "George". Nice to Ouston, then filthy, low cloud & rain. Turned back to Catterick, waited there till 5, then proceeded to E Fort went on to Montrose, Covered in low cloud, returned low over the sea to E Fort, good landing. Barker in Warwick, Treen in Beau, there. Dinner at mess, stayed night there. (George = automatic pilot, E Fort = East Fortune, a well-used ATA bad weather port of call on the east coast).
14th May 1943
Lovely AM, up early, 7 o’clock, ready for T/O, 20 to 8. Slight difficulty in getting crew, lovely trip to Edzell. Beaufort back, trouble with batteries. At Sherburn in time for lunch, after circling some time. Taxi Anson after lunch to Catterick for Army and Croft for P Legh. Took Spit to Luton shooting up Goddards. Cushion too low but enjoyed trip, lovely weather. Stayed at Ralph’s, very warm. (Cushion too low = going on leave so took seat cushion in lieu of parachute).