EJ Rudsdale on Twitter from 3 September 2019

25th June 1940

Raid alarm just after 12am this morning, which lasted until a quarter past 4. Seventeen people came into the Vaults, quite a lot for this time of night. ...

This evening, being in the Old Heath Road, I suddenly thought I would like to call at Winsley’s Almshouses to see the dated beam, which I had never previously done. So I went in, - asked a kindly old man its actual whereabouts. He directed me to a little cottage on the left of the old chapel block, to which I was at once admitted by an old gentleman who seemed to know me, and who appeared to be by no means surprised that I should wish to see the date.

It is on a beam across the fireplace, which has on one side the initials HB and on the other 1649. This quite obviously refers to Henry Barrington and it is an interesting commentary on the present times that, although his house was burnt down in 1648, he seems to have been doing some sort of structural repairs in the following year. Whether the beam is in its original position I do not know, but I rather think it is.

Winsley Square looked very quiet and peaceful, with several of the old folks sitting before their doors in the cool June evening. Another old man hailed me by name, but I did not know him. He had in his arms a very old black Tom Cat, and when I stretched out my hand to scratch his ears he said “Careful Sir, Charley doesn’t like strangers”, and he looked at the cat with the greatest affection.

Today I got some Roman sherds from an Air Raid Shelter on St. John’s Green. The whole soil there is a mass of sherds, all broken very small. There were pieces of a grey ware platter, almost complete. I suppose they represent burial groups, broken by cultivation presuming that the green was cultivated at some time or another.

Work is still in progress on the shelters in North Hill, and the site proves to be of the greatest value.

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