EJ Rudsdale on Twitter from 3 September 2019

14th December 1941

A horrible, wet, miserable day. It began to rain about 10 o’clock, and got steadily worse, but I was determined to go to Dedham, so in due course I set off, heavily laden with 14lbs of mixed corn on the carrier. It was a fearful journey, with a strong wind blowing across, great clouds scudding along with feathery edges. I looked at Walnut Tree Farm, Bromley. It is quite wrecked, roof off, doors and windows, all blown out. The two little farms on either side are also badly damaged, but I did not go so far. [Walnut Tree Farm had been hit by bombs in an attack on the Bromley Radar Pylons on 27th November 1941].

Went along by Ardleigh, and had to wait at the railway gates. The rain came sleeting across the grey little station, where two or three people were waiting on the down platform. The little cottage by the gates, where I so often had tea with [EJR's schoolfriend] Daven Soar’s grandparents, is deserted now, and the room in which we used to sit is full of sand-bags and concrete, to form a machine-gun post. The train came in, enveloped in steam, haul’d by the monster “Audley End”, hissing and dripping with water. After a moment or two it drew slowly out, heading away towards Norwich, 60 miles away.

Ardleigh Station closed in 1967.

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