2nd April 1943

Up at 7, sky overcast, but clouds high.  Wind dropped a good deal and made an easy journey.  The sun came out most of the morning, and I had lunch at Rose’s.  She still looks very ill.

Dashed out at 5 sharp, went to Benham’s to buy a “Standard”.  Bought paper, and as I came out the sirens sounded.  The streets were packed, but hardly anybody took notice.  A woman near me, walking up town, stopped and hurried away in the opposite direction, but people waiting for buses never moved, and girls with soldiers went into Jacklin’s across the road.  I was on my cycle and down Stockwell St. in a flash, wondering if there would be a casualty board on the Public Library in an hour's time.  I cut through Stockwell and Ball Alley, and was at the Park Gates before the noise of the sirens died away.  Walked slowly up the Park by the Roman Wall, said “Good afternoon” to Beaumont.  There were children playing football in the Lower Park.  

Then I heard a plane, not easily distinguished among the distant sound of lorries on the By Pass and trains at the station.  There was nobody in the folley except myself and an old woman coming from the direction of Land Lane.  As she came near she asked me “Is that a plane?  I’ve been bombed out once, and I don't want to be caught again.”  At that moment I saw it, a Spitfire hurrying east, and I said “There it is, it’s alright, it’s one of ours,” and she hurried on.  I went down the Park to East Bay, and lingered by the rails a few minutes until the all-clear came moaning down from the town.  The whole alarm was less than 15 minutes, and once again nothing had happened.

To Bourne Mill to feed Bob.  Kenn came in this morning and borrowed my keys again, as he said he had two members of the National Trust down today to consult with the Town Planning Committee.  I know nothing of their schemes, and I am rather hurt at being left out of all the deliberations, although I realise that this is Kenn’s doing.
Back to Lawford at 7, under dull lowering skies.  Wind dropped.  Another calf born this morning, a heifer.  Old Longhorn goes to the market tomorrow.

A little, withered, yellow-coloured man came in the office today to complain about the behaviour of some Land Girls who had been billeted at his house.  He said his name was Crawford, (or rather his wife was Mrs. Crawford; obviously she ‘wore the trousers’) and spoke very bitterly against the Land Army authorities and the Pension people.  It seemed they had compelled him to take 5 girls at £1 a week each, and the Ministry of Pensions had then sent spies to his house to find out his financial position, with the result that they are reducing his pension and are making him repay £36.  He said “We might just as well have Hitler here, in fact far better, because the girls would then have to keep some sort of discipline, which they don't now.”

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