29th July 1940

Lt. Col. Dimmock of the Royal Engineers came in today, to report that his men had inadvertently broken into the Sheepen [Farm] Hut and removed the entire contents, all of which have been destroyed. He was very charming about it, and asked if I would go up with him to see the place. We went up in a huge army car, driving right across the fields, ruts and all, and saw how the hut was lined with a wall of sandbags, 2 ft. thick. I pointed out that the hut floor would probably collapse, as it was on brick piers and not flat on the ground, as was apparently believed. The Colonel suggested that Hull should put in a claim for al the timber etc. which has been taken. It is very lucky that the furniture, crockery etc. had been removed some time ago.

There was a Raid Alarm this afternoon at half past 5. 166 people came in, nearly all of them women, mostly with babies. Nothing happened.

Tonight I was running round to see Watts, Colthorp and others about ARP for horses, and I wrote to the Mayor, urging immediate action.

Sheepen Farm in Colchester was an important archaeological site which had been excavated by the Colchester Museum staff in the 1930s. The site showed evidence of occupation in the Iron Age and was also the location of a Roman temple, Roman pottery kilns and a Roman mint. The hut that was broken into can be seen on this photograph of Eric in 1934.

2 comments:

Hogday said...

Remarkable! Have you been to the joint services museum in Maldon? Excellent job they have done. I went there in 2006, when I worked for a large Museum, and wrote a report for them, supporting their lottery funding claim, which was successful.

E J Rudsdale said...

Thank you for drawing my attention to this Museum, I shall look forward to visiting it. Delighted to hear you were able to help with their lottery bid. CP
For anyone else who is interested in the Combined Military Services Museum in Maldon, Essex, the website is at: http://www.cmsm.co.uk/