20th October 1942

Glorious fine morning, much to my relief.  Cycled in along the By Pass.  Damage does not look so bad in morning light.  About 18 or 20 houses have broken windows or tarpaulins over their roofs.  Workmen all very busy, hammering up bits of wood, chipping out broken glass.  Some houses had all the windows broken, but the chimneys were smoking merrily.  A big convoy came along, running west.

Clouded over after lunch, and I felt very nervous.  I heard planes several times, and once guns, but there was no alarm.  When I got to Lawford tonight I found there had been several alarms at Manningtree during the afternoon, and gun fire all round.  Heavy rain at 4.  Very wet cycling out.

Yesterday’s attacks were at Tiptree (17 hurt), Southend, Chelmsford, Ipswich and Needham Market, besides other places up in Norfolk.  Defences were of course non-existent, although one or two planes were brought down, more or less by accident.

St Dennis Fair [today], but forgot to look if the customary notice was posted on the Town Hall. 

St Dennis Fair was originally a week long Medieval fair to celebrate Michaelmas and was held  in Colchester from at least 1318.  It is still commemorated today at the annual Colchester Oyster Feast, which is also held in October.  St Dennis Fair was last proclaimed by the Mayor and Town Council from the Town Hall in 1938.  CP 

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