24th November 1944 - Shurlock Row

Dull, drizzle, but soon cleared off.  News headline in 'The Express' this morning “Strasbourg Freed”.  Uncle Jim said, “Seems strange to read about Strasbourg again.  I remember how we used to read about its bombardment in 1870.”

Lorries going up and down the manor drive all day – the naval agricultural camp is closing this week. 

Talking to Margery about village halls.  The old school here having been bought by the village, it is available for whist drives, dances, meeting etc. at 2/6 an hour with light and heat or 1/6 per hour without.  It is a dreadful dreary little place, the upper part of the walls a dirty cream, and the lower dark chocolate.  No attempt is made to make it attractive.  The local library (books supplied by County Library) is housed in a tall black cupboard.

A few years ago a builder living at the other end of the parish decided to build what is more or less a “community centre” on the lines now advocated, with a large hall, a bar, refreshment facilities, kitchen and even a swimming-pool.  This he did at his own expense, and hires out to all and sundry as a business proposition.  The first indication of the attitude towards this public spirited scheme was the refusal of the authorities to allow him to take water form the mains to fill the bath.  This he overcame by turning a small stream into the bath.

Next, the attitude of the villages was one of wrath, and indignation, as they considered it most unreasonable that this man should be “allowed” to open a hall in competition with the existing hall (re: - the old schoolroom).  The bath is popular with people from over a fairly wide area, who during the summer come over on cycles or in cars, while the village people ignore the whole thing.  The hall is used for dances, especially in connection with the aerodrome nearby, and also by some village festivities such as whist drives.  It seems interesting to record these points in view of the fantastic proposals now put forward for Youth Centres etc.

Every day the papers speak of more disasters caused by flying bombs or rockets.

Fine and cooler.  Moon tonight.

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