Some rain early, cold; but finer later. Strong N.W, wind. Monthly Horse Sale, but nothing there except two miserable ponies.
This afternoon went to Wrabness. Caught a train at 2.40, taking cycle. Four police, two men, two women, at the station, and everybody getting off the
train made to show identity
cards. (When I told Poulter I was going to
Wrabness, he said “Is it necessary to carry an identity card there?” I said “My God! of course it is. It’s necessary to take one everywhere. Don’t you?” and he replied “No I haven’t seen
mine for two years.” He even goes to
Harwich without one). London
Have never been by rail along the Harwich line before. Saw the great Naval mine depôt near Bradfield. Enormous place, quite undamaged, yet they have tried for it again and again. Big crater, fairly new by the look of it, in a field near the railway, about a quarter of a mile away.
At Wrabness nobody bothered to collect my ticket, so cycled away to the Rectory, not far down the road. Lovely view across the Stour estuary, to
, with its great tower rearing up
above the woods. Holbrook School
The house looked forlorn and derelict, yellow-grey brick, square and ugly, badly in need of painting. One approaches along a grass-grown drive, the lawns overgrown and ragged, with decaying trees dropping their branches in all directions. Parchedig Wade-Evans was in the garden when I drew near and came forward to meet me. I said “Sut yr ydych diwi; Mr Evans? Dymmo yr sal dda”, and it seemed curious to say that on the edge of Essex, with the
in front of us. He seemed glad to see
me, and invited me in. The hall seemed
cold and drear, and very dark, with a horrible musty smell.
“First,” he said “you must meet my wife. She is a complete invalid, quite helpless. Not mad of course, you know, but helpless – can't do a thing for herself.” We went into the room on the left, very long and tall, dark green walls, old fashioned furniture, book shelves on the walls, tea-things on the table, where a woman was cutting cake. This was “Miss” (I forget what) “my housekeeper”. And then – “My wife”.
Sitting on a chair by the hearth I saw a woman like a tiny wizened monkey, a long simian face, short grey hair like a little girl, hands clasped on her knees, spindly legs hanging towards the ground.
“My dear”, said the Rector, speaking slowly and clearly, “This is Mr Rudsdale”. A vague smile flitted over her face. I saw what it was - thyroid disturbance. She has apparently been like this for years.
We had tea at once, and she was lifted to the table and made to eat cakes and drink tea, while her husband held the cup and talked to her as one would to a small baby.
Afterwards we went into his room to see his books – Place Name Society publications, “Y Cymmrodor”, Archaelogia Cambrensis, etc – as well as new Welsh books, “Cann Cuneirin”, and “Dywelliant Gwenia Cymm” recently brought out with beautiful illustrations by Iorwerth Peate. Wade-Evans has known Peate for years, and all the other leading Nationalists. We had a long and very interesting talk. I brought him my French-Breton dictionary to see, and my “History of Wales” by Caradoc of Llancarvan, neither of which had he ever seen before, so I lent them to him. At last I got awayand he walked with me down to the main road. There I left him with “Diolch yr fawr, Parchedig, nos dawch”, just as if I was 300 miles away.
Cycled away slowly, on an excellent road. Always enjoy seeing the rich farming land in Tendring, so much better than our side of the river. Wheat is coming on wonderfully.
and saw the helm and crest which were brought into the Museum for cleaning and
repair some years ago. Bradfield Church
So on into Mistley, where there are Irish Guards at the old Territorial Barracks. For some reason the sentry on the gate was wearing an American-type helmet.
Saw a lovely dapple-grey Welsh cob in a little paddock near the Lawford road.
Called at Sherbourne Mill, and collected half a dozen eggs. Joy is selling her trap at
Ipswich market the week
after next. Pity.
saw Sissons, and talked about No 6
Trinity Street. He had already been over
the place, and agreed that it should be carefully watched. He was in Dedham yesterday, and saw that the
“Hercules” House, near the Cathedral, had recently been burnt down. It had survived all the raids, but was turned
into a club of some sort, with the result that it was set on fire. Norwich
Stayed some time at
, so that I had to
walk back to Boxted. Few ‘planes about,
and some flares in the sky south of Dedham Colchester. Got in at 2 am, very tired.
Annie Ralling is very bad, and can't live much longer. Poor Mary is dreadfully upset.
[Apologies for any mistakes in transcribing the Welsh language in this diary extract - CP]