EJ Rudsdale on Twitter from 3 September 2019

15th April 1942

Old Goodey came in the office today, in a great way because he has not been able to get a Fordson tractor. This is “Trooper” Goodey the gipsy, who bought Severalls Hall from Colchester Corporation last Michaelmas. He was wearing a new suit of a sort of purple tartan tweed, with the usual massive watch chain. He waved his arms and banged his stick on my desk, almost upsetting the ink, and was really very annoyed. He said “I know what dirty work is going on. I’ve been all the way up to [the War Agricultural Executive Committee at] Writtle, and I’ve seen all them cars stuck outside there – dozens of ‘em. Look at them Committee men, them Joe Percivals and Alec Craigs, letting themselves have tractors. [EJR added a note here: '(This is quite false)'] They reckon they’re ‘big shots’ now, but I had horses when they had nothing but sets o’ harness.”

He said too “This war was begun because of corruption I know that. But I think it’s a mistake to carry it on in such a corrupt way. That’s why we’re losing, that’s why we lose every bloody thing!”

This is from an assuredly uneducated gipsy.

Every afternoon I see from the office window some of Young’s grey Percherons going home about half past 4, generally two teams, the trace horses tied on behind. They look very fine in the spring sunlight.

The controversy over which farmers were selected by the War Agricultural Committees to receive tractors led to many incidents such as the one EJR describes above and added to farmers' resentment of the high-handed methods of the War Agricultural Committees.

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