Raid alarm at 11.45pm tonight. Half a dozen or so people came into the vaults, including a soldier, who walked in about midnight. He spoke with a very broad Lancashire accent, and was apparently on leave. However, Forsett thought it very suspicious, and took it upon himself to report it to the officer in charge of the patrol in the Park, who promptly arrived with a revolver and accompanied by a soldier, rifle, fixed bayonet and all. They made an impressive entry, except that the soldier, who was leading misjudged the height of the low archway, and became wedged, finally emerging into the vaults backwards. The poor solider was “put through it”, and after searching questions and much investigation of papers, was admitted to be on leave. He wore rubber shoes and carried his army boots round his neck because he said they hurt his feet. The soldier and officer retreated up the stairs, unfortunately without noticing the small step out of the Wall-Room, over which they both stumbled, while the words “Blast!” and “Bugger!” rang out in the darkness.
The steps leading up from Colchester Castle's Roman Vaults. The Vaults were used as an air raid shelter during the Second World War
About 1 o’clock on Wednesday morning Richardson came in, doing a round of shelters. I took the chance to tell him of our complaints, emphasising that we still have no fire-fighting appliances of any sort.
Before the alarm, I went down the Hythe on Tuesday night with Hampshire, investigating empty stables. In all, we found accommodation for about 30 horses, all at the bottom of Hythe Hill. What a time it must have been 30 years ago, to see all these stables full, with the rich aroma of horse muck hanging over everywhere. ...