This morning drove over to Wix, and I must confess I had never been there before. As Robin had not been out for so long, I went by all the smaller lanes, past Oldhams Farm, and came out by
. There is what appears to be a tumulus by the Park pales, yet this is not marked on the O.S. 6” map. The adjacent plantation is however called “The Old Mount”. The mound is about 5’ high and 40’ across, bell-shaped, with little sign of a ditch. It is not mentioned in Historical Monuments Commission Report. Mistley Park
Drove along through very pleasant country to Bradfield, which I did not know was such a large straggling village. Two curiously named inns there – the “Ram & Hogget” and the “Village Maid”. Turned right, and across a couple of little valleys, lovely rolling country, very well cultivated. Horses everywhere, ploughing, harrowing, drilling, almost all of them Suffolks. Saw two farmers riding across their lands. The whole appearance of the district is very different to the Lexden & Winstree.
Wix Abbey is a fine red brick house, mostly early 17th century I should think, surrounded by a prosperous looking farm, with large and well-kept buildings. Rather unfortunate to have erected a red tin-roofed Dutch barn quite so near to the house.
Turned right again at Wix “Waggon”, onto the main road, and stopped at Paskell’s works. Great activity, stacks of timber, farm carts in to be repaired, a brand-new trolley on pneumatic tyres, noise of circular saws and machinery at work. Saw a member of the firm, and discussed the possibility of their building wagons for the Committee. He told me the price would be £65 each, and he thought they ought to be able to manage a couple before harvest. I am not sure whether they are really good enough for our work, as they are built on the chasses of old motor-cars, and I doubt whether they are strong enough. The price is rather dear, in fact more than we are paying at Polley at Ardleigh for much better stuff. Paskell’s cannot make iron tyred cars, as they have no wheelwright.
Drove away towards Horsley Cross, past a big convoy of guns and bren-carriers. Robin was awkward, so I signalled them to stop, which they did, and I saw that all the crews were Czechs.
Passed a good many horses and wagons belong to Mr. G. Cooper, a big farmer in these parts. Suddenly noticed Tendring Workhouse, just across the fields, and had not realised how near I was to it. I have not seen it since I cycled that way in either 1928 or 1929.
Reached Horsley Cross, saw engineers mending electric wires broken in the gale. Two fine teams ploughing in a field nearby. The ploughmen stopped and the horses whinnied as Robin trotted by. Went straight over, and on towards Little Bromley.
Got back at 2 o’clock, having begged a truss of hay from Frank Girling. Hay is terribly short. Washed and changed, cycled down to Stratford to see if Mr. May could let me have any hay, as he had done 2 years ago, but he had not enough for himself. Back to
, and had tea at the café, called at Sissons’ for a moment, and then back to the Mill. Tonight writing until nearly 11. Dull and cloudy all day. Very glad I had not to go into Dedham Colchester.