16th July 1942

Felt rottenly ill all day.  Had to start out this morning in a torrential downpour, great clouds of rain blowing across the valley, very reminiscent of a scene in Wales.  Strong head wind all the way, so I had to stop several times to wipe the water out of my eyes.  Robin hated it.  Called at the wheelwrights about our cart and at Welshwood Park about chalking our fields there.  Had a tremendous scene with Robin on Hythe Hill, when he refused to pass a bus, after which I felt rather better.

Rheumatism bad all day though, and determined to get back to Lawford as early as I could.  Arrived at 7.30, to find Mrs. Belfield and Eversley Belfield there, with Capt. Dalgetti.  Had a delightful evening and cheered up a lot after raspberries and cream.  Some talk about illiteracy among Essex people, Mrs. B. holding very strongly that this was a good thing.

This reminded me of a story about a man from Wivenhoe being enrolled for the Home Guard, when it was found he did not know his mother’s Christian name, and did not feel it his business to ask her!  When asked what was his mother’s name he promptly replied “Same as mine of course!”

Also talk about Rank’s Flour Mills, monopoly of the big mills, and the C-3 nation, etc.


Anonymous said...


Of personal interest to me in today’s post is that Rudsdale should mention Rank's Flour Mills and the danger of a monopoly.

My late father worked for Haslers & Co of Dunmow, millers who had mills across Essex, Suffolk and Hertfordshire. His employment was before and after WWII (he did his war service with the RAF in India).

Haslers, like most millers, also traded in grain and animal feed and in the 1960s the company was taken over by Ranks (along with many other small mills to become the company Rank Hovis McDougall.) This of course fulfilled Rudsdale and his friend’s fear of the monopoly the mills.

My father left Haslers in the 1960s to join a small independent miller in Kent after a few years control by Ranks (his motivation to leave came after being told at a meeting that 'you could buy people!’)

Mike Dennis

E J Rudsdale said...

Hello Mike,
Many thanks for your very interesting contribution. Your father's experience really helps to put Rudsdale's discussions on the monopoly power of Rank's Flour Mills into context. I would imagine that the discussion that Rudsdale recorded arose from comments made by Matthew and Joy Parrington at Sherbourne Mill, Lawford who were still operating their own mill and would have been aware of the changes threatening smaller millers.

I was pleased to hear of your father's spirit in finding a new post with an independent miller after receiving such comments from Rank's staff. Rudsdale would have definitely approved! He hated to see the decline of traditional rural industries and agricultural techniques. CP