27th July 1940

Men of 34 years old had to register for military service today. Luckily most of them are in reserved occupations.

Rang up Maura Benham today, as I heard she was home, and arranged to take her out tomorrow morning [for a drive with Bob]. Old Bob can still do that much, although I don't think he will be ridden again. It is just over a year since the great Windsor journey. How long ago.

Eric is referring to his historic farm exhibition at the Royal Windsor Show in July 1939. His horse, Bob, went by train with him to Windsor and after the show Eric drove Bob back from Windsor to Colchester as described in the following newspaper account:

'Museum Success at the Royal', Colchester Gazette, 19 July 1939:

From visitors to the Royal Show at Windsor I hear nothing but praise for the old English Farm staged there by the Colchester Museum staff.
It was undoubtedly one of the outstanding features of this, the grandest of agricultural shows.
In his broadcast about it, Mr A G Street paid tribute to the cunning way it had been designed when he referred to its natural appearance. "Everything else here," he said "looks as if it had just been erected in the Great Park; this farm looks as if it had grown out of it; it looks as natural as the oaks here."
Royalty showed a great interest, and Mr E J Rudsdale, who was responsible for the exhibit, was presented to the King and Queen, the Duke of Kent and the Princesses.
I believe, however, that of all his experiences there the one of which he is most proud is driving home his 20-year-old pony, Bob, who had been a prominent feautre of the farm, the 88 miles from Windsor to Colchester in 19 hours. Bob, who must be one of the best-known quadrupeds in the town, finished his journey on Saturday by covering Brentwood to Colchester in the day.


Hogday said...

From one Essex Boy to another, this is fascinating stuff `EJ`. My respects to you, Sir. I will be dropping in regularly.

E J Rudsdale said...

Thanks for your kind comments, they are much appreciated. Do keep following - plenty more wartime news from Essex coming soon! CP

Hogday said...

Grandfather was WW1 Essex Regt. Nice museum they have in Chelmsford, too.

E J Rudsdale said...

Yes - the Museum is well worth a visit, especially the Essex Regiment Museum. My great grandfather was in the Essex Regt WW1 too - perhaps they served together! CP