19th August 1943


Quiet night.  Lovely morning, no ‘planes going out for once, in fact hardly any moving all day. 

This afternoon went out to Wormingford with Molly Blomfield in her car, (on National Buildings Record petrol), killing two birds at once.  Went to see Balls Farm which now has the roof off, but the main frame is not yet touched.  All around were great masses of “wattles”, as fresh and “live” as the day they were embedded in the daub some 400 years ago.  Brought half a dozen away with me.

On the way back round the perimeter track stopped to see Harvey’s Farm, very nice early 16th century structure, with a lovely reeded ceiling extending over most of the ground floor.  This is not in the Report of Royal Commission of Ancient Monuments perhaps because the outside of the building looks rather modern.  Must get some measured drawings and a plan, and must take steps to save this ceiling.  Molly Blomfield was quite horrified at the weird desolation of the site.  Back to Colchester and called at Alderman Blomfield’s house for a cup of tea.  Mentioned about my going back to the Museum, about which he is very anxious, but nothing can be done yet.  

Back to the office, and found Capt Folkard very angry about excavator men’s pay.  He had just discovered that they get a bonus for work done – so much a chain – but they also get a bonus when the work is not done in case of breakdowns, on a basis of how much might have been done if the beastly machine had not broken down!  This mad scheme came down from Writtle, and is apparently sponsored by Priestmans’, the makers of the excavators which we use.

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