8th April 1943

Cold, miserable day, high wind, little showers of rain and sleet.  Very glad indeed not to be going to the office.  Writing most of the morning.  Did not feel very well.  Went up to the buildings to bring Robin down, and felt very faint no doubt due to the intense cold.

After lunch cycled in to Colchester, and had tea at home.  Mother glad to see me, as I did not go yesterday.  Went to see Bob, and then up to King Harold Rd. to see a blacksmith who may be going to take one of the closed shops at W. Bergholt.  He seems a very likely sort of man.

Cycled back by way of Church Lane, Spring Lane, and along the By Pass, cutting up the track by Black Cottages and Dilbridge Farm.  Several lots of planes came in from the east, in threes and sixes, so I suppose there has been a raid across the other side.

A very big convoy came along from the direction of Ipswich, mostly A.A. guns.  About every second gun was manned ready for action, the crew riding on it.  Whether or not they would be fired if attached is another matter. 
When I went into Colchester this afternoon, the barge “Leofleda” was just leaving East Mill on a full tide.  She was very low in the water, with all her gear stowed on deck, to go under the bridges.  There were three men on board, pushing her off with long poles, so that she moved slowly under the bridge and drifted away down the river.  I suppose these barges must hold about 100 tons of flour or grain, which would need twenty 5-ton lorries or ten 10-ton railway vans.  The barge uses no fuel, but relies on the free wind, yet it is being put out of use as being un-economic.  Noticed quite a little crowd watched the departure, crossing over the road to see the vessel emerge from the bridge.

Lot of trees down in the storm.  All Birch telephones are out of order.  Two small elms are down near Humberlands, and some tiles off the buildings.

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