E.J. Rudsdale Talk

I will be giving a talk as part of the Chelmsford Ideas Festival on E.J. Rudsdale's Journals, entitled 'Creating History: A Civilian's Experience of the Second World War in Essex' on Thursday 30th October from 7.30-9.00pm at Anglia Ruskin University. Tickets are free. Book your ticket here. Many thanks, Catherine Pearson

17th January 1940

Woke this morning to find it still snowing. I decided that tonight Bob and Donkey must be shut in the Bourne Mill stable, but I must let them out during the day to drink. This morning the Donkey was rolling joyously in the snow, while Bob trotted round and kicked up his heels. The Pond has been mostly frozen over about 6 inches deep for a week or more now. The stream side never freezes, and the horses can always drink out of the stream lower down.


Bourne Mill, 1940 - Bob can be seen grazing in the paddock on the left of the photograph.
(Photograph courtesy of Essex Record Office)

Apparently the depth of snow and possibly the need to economise in war-time made the Highways Dept decide not to attempt to clear the streets, with the result that the traffic moved silently all day long, on roads impeded by vast mountains of snow shovelled off the footpaths.

In Colchester Castle Park the white carpet lay undisturbed at a depth of about 18 inches. It was almost impossible to get into the Castle. I had to wear top-boots [leather riding boots].

It is terribly dangerous to ride a cycle, at least it is to me, as the roads are now solid ice. Plenty of [horse-drawn] coal-carts going about tandem today [for greater safety], a sight I have not seen so much of for many years.

They say there will soon be a very great shortage of coal and coke in the town. Already we have great difficulty in getting enough at the Castle.

A photo of Colchester Castle in the snow in January 2010 by Chris Kerry can be seen here and presents a similar picture to the one Eric describes above.

2 comments:

Jane said...

How similar to our weather experiences of late.
Love the description about the donkey at Bourne Mill!

E J Rudsdale said...

Yes - it paints a very evocative picture, doesn't it! Thanks, CP