20th February 1943

Got up at 6, - lovely clear moonlight.  At 7 – thick cloud, which remained all day.  Went in by bus.  

Went out after doing post to trace a man named Hayes, whose small holding we had not got on the records.  Found him near Brickwall Farm.  On the way back, called at Magazine Farm, and saw Blake.  I mentioned I had met his Irish milk girl.  He said he had three girls on rounds now, one only 15.  Saw the Irish girl in Park Road. 
Back to Holly Trees, and heard that Poulter was back, and was in the Castle with the Committee.  Very rushed with work, and was so busy I forgot to be scared when the siren sounded soon after 12.  It was ideal conditions for an attack, but nothing happened, and all-clear came in 10 minutes.

The Committee were in the Castle for an hour and a half, everybody trying to make the old Chairman see how bad things were.  He is determined that there shall be no public scandal.  He asked Poulter if Hull drank?  Poulter was very embarrassed, and said he did, rather.  The cool impudence of the Chairman to ask such a thing, when Hull has gone to Committee time after time, three parts drunk.

Poulter's voice is better than last week, and he spent the whole morning talking to the Committee, quite clear and distinct.  He said they found Hull’s office comparatively tidy, as indeed it ought to be, considering that Mrs. Hull and two of the men spent all Thursday on it.  Smallwood gave the show away, by telling Harding there was to be an inspection.  Harding told Mrs. Hull, when she called for letters.  Poor little man, how scared he must be, fast in bed, and all the time wondering if he is going to lose his job.  

This afternoon carting hay – got a quarter ton from Pulford.  Poor old Bob is getting very thin.  It will be touch and go if he lasts until the spring.  Home to tea.  Mother said that news had reached Mr. Cox that Jimmie Cox is alive and well in Singapore.  He was not heard of for a year and a week.  He is ten years older than me, but I remember him well when the Coxes lived in Old Heath Road.  His mother Nellie Cox, who died of cancer many years ago, was the daughter of old Mr. North, the first headteacher of Barrack St. School, when my Father went there in 1898.  [The Barrack Street School is now the Wilson Marriage Centre for Adult Education in Colchester]

Cycled out to Lawford, got there at 7.  Quite light, clouds clearing, and the moon beginning to show.  Dorothy Nunn was taken to Severalls last night.
Several stupid confusions this week about various kinds of permits.  Applications are received, approved, forwarded to Writtle, and the permits issued, only to be returned by the merchants as being out of date, the wrong kind, or as being issued in an irregular way.  There is no doubt that production is seriously interfered with by these absurd muddles.

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