3rd April 1943

Lovely morning.  Lay in bed until the rising sun came through a chink in the curtains and marked the wall. 
Poulter back this morning, with a very good report, much better.  He has to go again, for another week.

Went to the market at 1 o’clock, but there were no horses at all.  Wolton, the travelling saddler from Bury, was doing a roaring trade from his van. 

Suddenly, going by Fenn, Wright & Co’s yard, I saw poor old Longhorn, standing in a pen by herself.  Quite involuntarily I said “Why, Longhorn!” and she looked up at me, with huge brown eyes.  It was really rather horrible.  Last night she was in the warm yard, deep in straw.  This morning, in a filthy pen, never to know comfort again.  Not yet dead, but as good as dead.  I went away, wondering if she recognised me, and if so what she was thinking.  Did she hope I had come to let her out?  I wish I had never seen her there.

Lunch at home, then carting hay.  Hampshire and I have only 6 trusses between us, with two ponies and the mule to feed.  There is none to be had anywhere in Colchester, as far as I can find.

Went round by Stratford St. Mary, just for the sake of a ride.  Called to see if Ida was home, but she is still in London.  The wind had quite changed by now, from N.W. this morning to S.E.

Went past Stratford Church just as the clock struck 6.  At Dedham had tea at the café opposite the Marlborough, an extraordinary good meal for 1/6.  The place is very clean and nice, and it was such a comfort to sit at a café tea not worrying about alarms, time, work or anything.  I must go there again, one Sunday perhaps, and take a girl, (if I can find one to go).

Left at 7, lovely sunset, and the sky clearing.  When I got back, I found Joy feeding the calves.  She talked about Longhorn, and wondered if she was still alive.  I never said that I had seen her.  I watered the cows, and collected the eggs, 25 from 24 hens, a remarkable effort.

As we were having supper, about half past 8, there was an alarm, which lasted over an hour, but nothing came.  Once or twice I heard the sound of planes, very faintly in the distance, and twice, just after all-clear, slight concussions.


Jane said...

Fenn Wright and Co? I assume a connection to the modern estate agents?!

Also sad story about Longhorn.

E J Rudsdale said...

Thanks for your message, Jane. I believe the auctioneers were the forerunners of todays's estate agents, Fenn Wright. They were founded in 1768.

And yes, it's a very sad story about Longhorn isn't it - a moment in farming life recorded and recalled 70 years later. CP