Terribly cold. Had to go down to the Hythe this afternoon to see Pertwee’s. The River was full, with the tide coming in. Only three barges in, one just sailing, going round the bend by the swinging-berth under auxiliary engine, steam and fumes rising from the stern, and the dinghy bobbing behind in choppy yellow-grey water. I went round by the Distillery. The Laundry is now entirely rebuilt, and there is nothing left to remind of the tragedy that dull autumn day in 1940. The style of the new building is not very impressive, in plain red brick with numerous buttresses. The familiar laundry smell drifts out of the place.
An account of the bombing of the Old Heath Laundry in Colchester on 3rd October 1940 appears in EJR's book.
Intense cold. Roads like glass. Back to Holly Trees at 10, and Poulter told me that Miss Oldfield is leaving [the Castle staff] to join the ATS, in fact she has gone today, without notice or any arrangements being made. She is such a strange child, never speaking, never giving any idea what she was thinking about. I fear she will not be missed, except in fire watch rota.