4th October 1942

Woke at 6.  Up at 8, a thick fog, very damp.  Went to the office for an hour and a half, writing letters and doing tracings.  To the stables.  Catholics going down Priory St. to Mass – they always seem to be in a hurry.  Went to Spalding, down Hythe Hill, to borrow his trap. Paxman’s Home Guard Company was parading on the Hill.  Two little choir-girls, carrying their surplices, hurried out of Artillery Street towards St. Leonards’.  Went down to Bourne Mill and had a look at Bob.  Can't make up my mind whether to drive tandem next Saturday or not [to go to Joanna Round's wedding].

Went to Watts’ to pay stable rent.  Amazed to see the Garrison Church guarded by two Bren guns on lorries, while the service was in progress, as a protection against dive-bombers. There was one near the Royal Mortar, and the other on the pavement outside Dr. Clendon’s near Albion Grove.  This is the first sign of military “preparedness” I have seen in Colchester since the Australians left.

Had to go to Holly Trees again after lunch, and walked back through the Alleys.  Most of the houses in Portugal Terrace have been vacated, but the damage is not very serious.  There was a “Special” on duty at the corner behind the Terrace, smoking a cigarette while his steel helmet hung on the railings.  I could see several overturned goods wagons on the sidings below.  Two bombs had entirely destroyed three or four allotments behind the Magdalen Almshouses.  Chatted with the “Special” and remarked how fortunate the men and horses in the coalyard had been, and how calm they were.  He said “There’s a lot of advantage in being in horse work in times like these.”

Had an early lunch at home, and then drove over to Lawford in Spalding’s trap (mine is being repainted).  This ralli used to belong to old Dan Abbott Green of Donyland.  Very pleasant drive.  All fog gone, a lovely warm, sunny, afternoon.  Ardleigh Park looked lovely, great masses of fallen leaves making a complete carpet across the road.  Just as I arrived at Sherbourne Mill, pretty Margery Watmore came down the field path with the two Parrington children, her yellow hair gleaming in the sun.

This evening writing and drawing.  Mounted some photos.

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