16th February 1943

Lovely day.  Heard there was a short alarm last night, but the evening papers say that no enemy aircraft were over the country and that it was a mistake.  I have never known them to admit that mistakes of that sort were even possible.

Telephone from Banell today, suggesting that we might take D’Arcy House, Culver St., for offices.  It belongs to the Corporation, who bought it a few years ago to destroy it, and would have done so had not the war begun.  The Fire Brigade have used it until recently, but they are now gone, as the number of stations in the town has been very much reduced.  I went over this afternoon and had a look at the place.  It is a very fine building, and without doubt dates from the time of William & Mary.  The interior is in a dreadful state, not only on account of damage done by the firemen, but because of crude alterations and additions done by Mrs. Peck when she had it for a boarding house.  I explored the whole place, very eerie with loose doors swinging in the wind, and I like it.  From the attic there is a good view across All Saints Church to the Holly Trees, which looks remarkably fine from that point.

This afternoon a man came down from Writtle to discuss the case of Young, of Blackbrook Farm, Dedham, who has appealed to the Central Tribunal about our treatment of him.  He is an awful rogue, and has no grounds for complaint, but it is feared that we shall have a lot of trouble with him.  We have the case of Mortimer of Abbot’s Hall, Wigborough, coming up on Thursday, - another rascal.

Tonight reading the “Life of Carson” by Colvin.  Interesting to think what Ulster has gained by its long stand against a United Ireland – war, misery, dreadful air raids, while the Irish Free State basks in peace and poverty, with lights on in the streets and shops.

Still very mild for the time of year.  If this weather holds, it will make a great difference to the harvest.

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