17th May 1942

Such good habits now that I woke at 7 o’clock.  Breakfast of bread and cheese at 8.  The cell [at Colchester Castle], [as EJR had been on duty at the Castle that night] looked very dreary and dirty.  Went over to the office [at Hollytrees] for an hour, then the stables and Bourne Mill.  Lunch and a bath at home [ie: at Rudsdale's parents' house in Winnock Road, Colchester].

Set off with Robin at 3.30, and went round by Severalls Hall and Langham Lane, checking ploughing orders.  Glorious fine day.  Old “Trooper” Goody was at the gate of Severalls Hall, whip in hand, coloured scarf round his neck, the typical gyppo dealer.  He stared very hard at the cob, and when he recognised me he waved his whip and shouted “Hullo Sir!  How are you, Sir!  Nice handy little cob, Sir!”  I shouted back, but did not stop, as the cob was going full trot.

I had to go to Whitehouse Farm, where I have never been before.  Pleasant place.  Modern house and good buildings.

All along Langham Lane there were people cycling, mostly with baskets full of wild flowers or green food for rabbits.  Everything has come on wonderfully this last few days.  Hedges and trees are bursting forth into brilliant green, and cuckoos are calling all around.  I could not see any sign of the seven deer which are said to be loose in these parts.

Went by Perry Lane.  There is an old fashioned pair horse breaking cart by some farm buildings near New House Farm.  It might be worth taking for the museum, but it is in poor condition.

On to Lamb Corner, Dedham, and saw a piece of the Park which Freeman has ploughed.  It was only 20 minutes past 5 when I got to Dedham, which looked at its best in the afternoon sunshine, with the great trees by the church towering masses of green.  The main street was empty, everybody being at tea.

I drove along Pound Lane and up Jupes Hill.  Mr. Moorhouse’s little son was just putting his tiny pony out to graze in Stour House Park.  Stabled my pony in the cowshed at Sherbourne Mill.


Robin King said...

Wonderful bright feeling of spring in his voice! One can practically hear the horse trotting along. I wonder what he was doing at Bourne Mill. Was is still a working mill at the time?

E J Rudsdale said...

Hello Robin,

Yes, a nice extract for a glorious spring day!
Rudsdale was the custodian for the National Trust at Bourne Mill, which the Trust had acquired in 1936. He also stabled his horse, Bob, at the stables at Bourne Mill, whilst stabling Robin at the stables he rented in Port Lane.
Bourne Mill was still in working order and the last mill owner rented it back from the National Trust during the war. CP