22nd April 1941

Museum Sub-Committee held today, on the instigation of [Councillors] Smallwood and Sam Blomfield, to enquire into the whole management of the Museum. From one point of view it was a hopeless failure, for this reason: Smallwood has told the Chairman his opinion of the Curator and his management of the affairs, and had stated plainly his determination to have an alteration before very long. Now an aged Chairman celebrates his 50th year on the Town Council in January 1942, and has been Chairman of the Museum ever since 1918. He is quite determined to see out his half century without a public scandal, and with this end in view he spoke to several Committee-men, and ensured that whatever criticisms were made by Smallwood they would be “toned down” before any recommendations were passed. This is, in fact, exactly what was done. Poulter is bitterly disappointed and has reverted to his despondent prophecy that Hull is here for another 25 years, but I quite appreciate the position – Sir W. Gurney Benham is not going to have any public scandal in the Museum while he is still Chairman. On the completion of his 50 years he will retire, - then anything may happen.

Today's meeting made only a few recommendations regarding Sunday opening and supervision, leaving Hull quite cocky. I believe he knew what was in the wind, and had been suffering considerable anxiety. Also discussion on what to do to “pack up” in case of compulsory evacuation, but mostly only talk. Nothing said about removing the Court Rolls.

M.R. Hull did remain as Curator of Colchester Castle for the next 25 years, retiring in 1963. CP

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