The pylons at Great Bromley formed part of the Chain Home Radar System, which gave the RAF advance warning when German bombers were approaching. One of the pylons and the ancillary buildings survive on the Great Bromley site and photos can be viewed on the Derelict Places website. CP
Wild stories in the papers today about “conscription for all”. Tonight heard one of the “Colonel Britton” broadcasts on the radio, the most puerile drivel I ever heard.
This is the view that Eric Rudsdale could see from the windows
of Hollytrees Museum in Colchester Castle Park.
Part of Hollytrees Museum had been taken over by the Essex War Agricultural Committee as office accommodation during the war and this was
where Eric worked from 1941.
Rudsdale regularly visited Dedham and supported the campaign to preserve Dedham and the Dedham Vale in the 1930s, so this it will be a very fitting location to talk about his life and work.
Members of the public are welcome to attend. Please contact the Dedham Vale Society for further details. Many thanks, Catherine Pearson
It is just a year since the great air-raid on Coventry, when the centre of the city was destroyed and 300 people killed. I well remember it, for hundreds of German bombers flew over Colchester all night long, coming and going, sailing unhindered beneath the stars, as there was no opposition at all.
Went down to Sissons, and spent the evening mounting photographs, which are coming along very well. Back to Colchester at 11.30.
From the spring of 1941 all women had to register their occupation under the National Service regulations and single young women between the ages of 20 and 30 began to be directed into war work. By December 1941 the National Service Act (No 2) made the conscription of women legal for the first time and led to a huge increase in women workers of all ages being employed in the Women's Services or in essential war work.
Amazing story in the evening papers about a madman who today drove a car round Chiswick and Ealing, stopping here and there to shoot people. He shot 6 or 7 in all, and killed one. One man was shot quite near Argyle Road. It gives one a great sense of horror to think that there may be other such persons at large. I remember that about three years ago a man went onto a tube station in London, and for no reason whatever pushed a girl under a train. Ever since then I have always stood against the walls when on Underground stations.
The phaeton was a great success, and even with the hood up suited Bob admirably. Made all the harness fit, then back to Birchett’s Wood to lunch, (in a very cold room. Some people have no comfort in their houses). This afternoon we all went off to Dedham, Penelope looking really lovely. She suited the vehicle very well, looking quite an 18th century lady in her manner and appearance. Called at Sisson's, and he took photographs of us.
This photograph, which was taken by M.A. Sisson, shows Bob harnessed to the phaeton with EJR in the driver's seat and Penelope Belfield sitting beside him. Joy Parrington can also be seen riding her horse, Roger. The photograph was taken outside the Sissons' home, 'Sherman's Hall' in Dedham High Street. EJR labelled this photograph: ‘When we drove over to Higham'.
Then went off to Higham, bowling along the lanes in fine style, dear old Bob going well. The roads were thickly coated with fallen leaves, an immense number having come down in the last few days. The farms on the Suffolk border look well. At Moye’s farm near Stratford Church there were many fat stacks all very well thatched. At Higham, we called at Cedric Morris’s house, but he was not there, and the whole place looked very forlorn and derelict. It is strange that artists never seem to live in their houses, but are always somewhere else. While we were there I heard much machine gunning, bombing, and the sound of planes in the direction of Colchester, and was much alarmed, but the ladies were not in the least interested, merely assuming it was an attack on Leavenheath aerodrome. Back to Lawford, called for Mrs. P., and took the phaeton back to Lawford Hall, Bob still going strongly. Mrs. Nichols was there, looking just as charming as she did last year. We discussed Tandem driving. Mr. Nichols, who is Ambassador to the non-existent Czecho-Slovak Republic, drove off to London in a Rolls-Royce.
Settled Bob at the Mill, then walked back with Penelope. Just by Jupes Hill we heard sirens, and a few distant explosions. High tea, then caught the 8.20 bus to Colchester. Heard the all-clear soon after we left. To office, wrote some official letters, then to post, and was furious to find café shut at 10 o’clock, as I had no bread at all.
A most enjoyable day.
When I went to the little café tonight for supper, I thought as I walked along the cobble paving by All Saint’s Churchyard that William Wire must have walked along this very pavement. It is almost the last piece in Colchester, and shows clearly in a photo of 1858.
Lovely moonlight night, cold and still. Standing on the Castle roof, I could hear the machines at Paxman’s and Bracketts [factories], humming in the distance. No planes over.
All Saint's Church now houses Colchester's Natural History Museum. Can anyone tell me if the cobble paving that EJR mentions above remains near the Churchyard?
William Wire was a 19th century antiquarian who kept a diary of archaeological finds in Colchester from 1842-1857. EJR's decision to keep a journal had been influenced by his knowledge of Wire's diary.
Mrs. Rushbury was at lunch today in Rose’s café, with an artist whose name I forget. They were talking about Chelsea Public Library, where both had worked. Mrs. R. said she had met her husband there, when he very shyly asked her to let him paint her. She must have been a very pretty little thing 20 years ago. They seem to have had a good party at his birthday last week. One of the guests was sick in the garden.
[War Agricultural] Committee today. Very long and dull.
Cold wet weather. On duty alone [at the Castle] tonight, and relieved Winnie, [Miss Oldfield] a strange little girl, who has nothing whatever to say.