27th September 1943

Rather late this morning, in fact Higham Church struck 9 as I went past.  However, got in by 9.30, 7 miles in 30 minutes.  Cannot seem to get settled to any work, still lacking in concentration.

Air Ministry official in this afternoon, about lighting poles at Birch.  It will be months before the place is ready for night flying.  In the meantime, Langham is now almost empty.  The silence in the early mornings is delightful.  Several flights of heavy bombers went out this morning, starting about 7.

Left at quarter to 6, and went to Lawford.  Joy and Parrington seemed very pleased to see me.  Gave them a book on Rome by Rennell Rodd, illustrated by Rushbury, which I bought at Oxford.  Joy has sold Roger, and has bought a pure bred arab gelding, only 5 years old, a lovely thing, goes in harness.  Stayed to supper, then back to Higham under heavy clouds.  A few planes flying about with lights on, red and yellow.  Had tea and bath before going to bed almost 1am.  This life is suiting me very well.  Kitten sleeps in my bed.

It appears that the Museum Committee, at their meeting on Tuesday, September 21st, decided to give the War Agricultural Committee one month’s notice, to quit the rooms occupied at Holly Trees, on the grounds that members of the staff have interfered with books in those rooms, and that some books are now alleged to be missing.  It is also held that the War Agricultural Committee are responsible for the filthy condition in which the books now are.

Whether any books are missing I do not know, but it is a deliberate lie to say that the staff have interfered with them.  From the very beginning, we have allowed the Public Library and the Essex Archaeological Society to keep their books in our rooms, very greatly to our own inconvenience, and it is a perfect scandal that we should be treated in such a way.  We have always allowed all interested persons access to the books at all times.  The attitude of the Archaeological Society has been particularly objectionable, so that I resigned my membership last December.  

In view of the work which the War Agricultural Committee is doing it is really too bad of the Council to treat us as if we were undesirable lodgers.  Actually of course the Council have no power to enforce a notice to quit, as the rooms at Holly Trees are held under a requisition notice by the Ministry of Works, but apparently they don't know that!

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