16th April 1941

Saw the Mayor, looking rather pale, [after collapsing a few days previously] hurrying up High Street this afternoon.

No less than five raid alarms during the day, but no planes were seen or heard. It seems a miracle that we are preserved so often.

Hull went into Castle Park again today, with two officers and two soldiers. There is certainly some plot being hatched down there. I only hope it will not involve damage to either the [Roman] Gate or the [Roman] Drain.

The Army were planning to construct a secret dugout which British Resistance fighters might occupy in case of invasion. M.R. Hull, the curator at Colchester Castle, assisted the Army to find a suitable location. As a result of the information provided in EJR's Journals, this dugout has now been identified by Colchester Castle Museum and Castle Park staff after 70 years. EJR was concerned that the Army's activities might damage the Roman archaeological remains in Colchester's Castle Park. The full story of the establishment of the secret dugout can be read in EJR's book.

Benton phoned today about the Little Horkesley figures, which he fears (rightly) may be further damaged by persons interfering with them in their present exposed position in the main hall [of the Castle]. I met Duncan Clark this morning, and he mentioned the same thing. I rang Blomfield, who promised to bring it to the notice of the Museum Committee. Duncan Clark has already reported it to the Chairman himself.

EJR refers to the wooden effigies and medieval brasses that the Museum staff had rescued and restored following the bombing of Little Horkesley Church in September 1940.

Many planes over tonight, from 9.30 onwards. Beautiful, clear starlight, pierced by the wandering beams of searchlights.

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