17th January 1945

Lovely fine day, sunny, and almost warm.  Spent most of the morning sorting photos and negatives in the so-called “Smith” Collection, but notice that a large number of the negatives are not by Smith but by “T.C.”.  Asked Edwards who this was, but he has no idea.  Have now got the whole lot stored in proper cases.  Opened a great chest in the Library, and found it to be full of maps of the district, most useful.  All very dirty, and will want a lot of cleaning.

Letter from Poulter, to say that yesterday there was to be a stormy meeting of the Museum Committee regarding Hull, who has written one of his insulting letters to an American major.  Instead of ignoring the rudeness as most people have done in the past, this man has written a complaint to the Town Clerk.  The Committee have, at the same meeting, arranged to receive from Hull a report as to what he proposes to do with regard to the Post-war development of the Museum.  What a farce!

The last of old Doctor Laver’s stuff has been sold by auction, and his Bale watercolours have been bought for the town at about £5 each.  Not clear whether they will be kept in the Museum, the Town Hall or the Art Gallery.

Left my money behind today, and so could not pay for my lunch, but was trusted until tomorrow.  Feel that I am indeed a citizen of this place.

This evening went round to a Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) exhibition of “Home Design”, advertised as being held at the Youth Club, Norwich Road.  Found the place to be a grim private house, tightly shut and locked.  Lights on inside, but no answer to my knocking.

Walked back along the Canal Bank, and out through a maze of little lanes and alleys to the Market, each lit with a glowing gas-lamp, looking very weird and mysterious, with tall, dark, dirty brick buildings.  Must do some research into the proper names of these places, before they are all lost and forgotten.  It is proposed to fill in the Canal, and make a road on it – such a pity, as it could be made so fine.  If cleaned, and the banks lined with decent buildings, it could be made as fine as the Brinks, and Wisbech would look like some Dutch town.

Noticed today that the great breeze-block wall in Hill Street, in front of Dr Groom’s house, has been taken down during the last few days – I saw a gang of ARP demolition men working on it.  Apparently Wisbech has decided that the war is over.

Went to the cinema for a couple of hours, to see “Mr. Emmanuel”.  Parts quite good, and interesting to see the people of “Magnolia Street” in the flesh, as it were.  At one part a notice was flashed on the screen to say that a Mr Cooper Jackson was wanted.  My heart leapt at first as I though it was a raid-alarm notice.

Sky overcast when I came out, and nobody about but a few people hurrying homewards.  Some American trucks parked in the Market Place.  Some soldiers trying a weighing machine, one saying, “Go on, put one of those Irish pennies in.”

Back through the church-yard, as the clock chimed the half-hour, the gas-light flickering in Museum Square.

Was thinking tonight that I am really determined to start drawing again – feel sure that I could.

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