15th November 1944 - Shurlock Row

Fine and sunny.  Writing in the morning, and then decided to go to Maidenhead.  Went to Food Office and got ration card for the week, bought some cakes, went to Library.  The “museum” is practically closed.  The case of material from the Castle Hill villa is now in the entrance hall.  There is a letter exhibited over the Castle Hill case from R A Smith, 7/9/05, in which he calmly accepts the possibility of Domituin, Gallienus, and Constantine all in one grave!  And in the Reference Room are two table cases (one broken and patched with brown paper) in which local archaeological material has been arranged by Williams-Hunt, Maitland’s friend.  Nicely done with labels typewritten in red, quite attractive.

There is a magnificent Bronze Age spearhead, from the Thames at Windsor, lent by Newbury Museum, and a nice little series of Achehian and Chellen hand axes from local sites.  Feel sure that they had once a cast of the great Maidenhead axe, but not there now, unless in the broken case. 

Beautiful polished axe, about 10” long, from below Maidenhead Bridge.  Incomplete Saxon sword, v. good.

Long case in the passage to Juvenile Library contains mass of mixed rubbish, hair of Wellington’s charger, fragment of Napoleon’s Standard, miscellaneous ethnology, hardly a label in the lot.

Alderman Silver’s excellent map of the district 100 years ago no longer to be seen.

Cycled back by 5.30.  The Essex County Standard for last week arrived today.  Poor old Harry Lazell is dead, last Monday week.  He was 86.  Wonder what will happen to his negatives and photos?  His daughter was so furious at the Museums 2 years ago that I fear she will not be disposed to be very friendly.  Must write to her.

Account of the Mayor making – Ald. Piper is Mayor again after 20 years.  Suddenly noticed that poor little Smallwood is dead – Pye, the retiring Mayor referred to him.  Poor little chap, he had been terribly ill during the last 2 or 3 years.  He was a useful man on the Museum Committee, and who is to fill his place I cannot see.  Laver, Benham, Hazell, Smallwood – Blaxill well over 70, Sam 71, Rendall about 94.  What is to become of the Museum?  There is no one to follow on at all.

Smallwood’s death puts Hull more firmly than ever in the saddle, for Smallwood was the one man who was determined at all costs to get Hull out of his job.  He was a good friend to me.  I last saw him when I went to see him to discuss my position.  He looked ill then, but was as kind as ever.  It was of course intended that Smallwood was to have been Mayor this year, and he was very disappointed when the proposal was rejected.

Looked at the obituary column, and found that Uncle Frank had put in a notice for Mother –

            “RUDSDALE, AGNES – November 13, 1943
In remembrance of my dear sister.  She looked well to the ways of her household, and in her tongue was the law of kindness.”

I appreciate this very much, and cannot think how it could have been done better.

See that Tendring Rural District Council wants more shelters and a siren, and the Copford people say they’ll put in an “unofficial” siren if they’re not given one.  And 3 months ago we thought the war was over.

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