Tag Archives: Blaikie

Blaikie – A leading member of the South Durham Street United Methodist Free Church. Very little is known about him.

27 December 1915; Monday

Walked round town in the morning. In the afternoon went with Blaikie and Willie to the Victoria Hall pictures, but there was something the matter with the lighting kit. So went on the car1 to the Mill2, but it was closed. Went with Willie and his father to the Havelock House3 new picture house. Very nice place, but poor subjects for pictures. Alf and Ada to tea and supper – and Aunt Mary, – and played ping pong at night.

  1. “On the car” means on the tram car. 

  2. “The Mill”: Hendon Paper Mill, where ALL had been employed as a clerk before volunteering to join the RAMC. Evidently the Mill was closed for the Christmas holiday? See also Sunderland map. 

  3. “Havelock House”: The Havelock cinema opened on 16th December 1915, only a few days prior to this diary entry, on the former site of  the Havelock House drapery store, itself famously destroyed by fire in 1898 – purportedly the worst fire in the history of the city. The Havelock cinema was still in use well after WWII. It became the Gaumont in 1950 and closed in 1963

19 September 1915; Sunday

Got up at about 9 o’clock and had to hurry to chapel to the Harvest Festival. Had walk with Father in the afternoon. Mr Blaikie, and Willie Whittaker to tea. We were at chapel at night and sang Sun of my Soul, and Charlie took the solo. Said farewell to everybody. Charlie had a big crowd to see him off including some from the chapel and Mr Newrick and his daughter. Went to Newcastle, changed again at York and left Charlie there.

18 September 1915; Saturday

Arrived home about 12.30 a.m. Didn’t expect me. Charlie and Joe at the station waiting for Ernie. Ernie arrived about half an hour later. Father in bed and didn’t know that we were all here. Got up about 9 o’clock. Telegraphed for an extension until reveille. Went to the office1 and saw them there. Stayed in in the afternoon. Blaikie called and we had a few songs. Went to Grandmother’s later and saw them. Called into town at night and then went down to the chapel. Decorating for the Harvest Festival. Spoke to a good many people.

  1. “The office”: Hendon Paper Mill, where ALL had been employed prior to joining the RAMC. See Sunderland map

15 June 1915; Tuesday

At work as usual. Busy all day. Finished in decent time. Went down to practice. Walked up with Willie Whittaker and Blaikie and Joe.

Air Raid on the Tyne1. Damage to Palmer’s†2 works and 16 killed & many injured. Zeppelins arrived about mid-night. They were seen by some people in the town here.

Miss Aitchison commenced in the Office.

  1. This page at Strong-Family.org has extensive detail about the air raid. 

  2. Palmer’s: the shorthand, which is indistinct, looks more like “Abraham’s” or “Abram’s”, but has been transcribed as “Palmer’s” because a) that is known to have been the business most damaged in this raid and b) the detailed record at Strong-Family.org as noted above confirms the same number of fatalities at Palmer’s shipyard as recorded in this diary entry by ALL. 

8 June 1915; Tuesday

At work as usual. At practice at night. Directors’ meeting. I had one letter off Mr Lawson. Got work well up to date. Went to choir practice with Charlie and came up with him, Willie and Blaikie. Grand day. Got measured for suit of clothes at Stewart’s but cost 35/61.

  1. i.e. £1 15s. 6d. (£1.77½ – roughly equivalent to £180 in 2015.)  

3 June 1915; Wednesday

At work as usual. Had dinner at the office. Got well up to date. Went down to chapel at night and walked up with Blaikie and Willie Whittaker. Spoke to Billy Winter on the telephone and offered him to keep in touch about enlisting. Fine night. Kitchener received decoration of K.G.1

Turkish transport sunk by British submarine.

  1. From the London Gazette: “The KING has been graciously pleased, on the occasion of His Majesty’s Birthday, to appoint Field Marshal The Right Honourable Sir Horatio Herbert, Earl Kitchener of Khartoum, K.P., G.C.B., O.M., G.C.S.I.,G.C.M.G., G.C.I.E., to be a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.”