1st March 1945 - St David's Day

Had a good breakfast, left at 9, and caught a bus on the Horkesley Road.  To the Museum and saw Poulter.  Spoke about a Mr Kitchen who lives at Bures and who is an official at the Ealing Film Studios.  Might be a useful contact.

Went to see Diana, and took her for a coffee.  She spoke about a woman who said she wanted her daughter trained for dancing, especially for the ballet.  The woman said: “She’s only eight, but she ballets beautifully!”  Diana said she wished I was back in Colchester.  Called at the Town Hall and spoke to Harvey about the ARP troubles at Wisbech.  He advised me to see the County Controller at March, or, failing him, the Regional Commissioner’s Office at Cambridge.

There was a small excavation just outside the Albert Hall, and a few fragments of Roman tile and Septaria were thrown up.  It is approximately where the north boundary wall of the Roman main street might be expected.

The station was full of conscripts and troops, with notices all over the place – “Recruits for Mecanee Report Here”, “All Returning BLA men Report RTO on other Platform” etc.  Saw old Sim the horse-loader, who asked about Grubb.  On the way down to the station, looked in at the North Castle Stables, but there was no sign of Robin.

The train was made up of decent, clean, comfortable coaches, most unusual.  Surprised to see Mrs Seymour and Anne get in, on their way to Ipswich.  Anne looked very pretty.  Her likeness to Alan in both appearance and mannerisms, as he was as a boy, is quite remarkable.

Train ran well on time, past all the old places – Ardleigh Station and the little gate lodge, the Land Settlement, Birketts Wood, the long meadow.  Humberlands among the trees, (What of the General?), then Sherbourne Mill, the house, and the buildings, with some washing hanging out.  At Manningtree the tide was full, and little sparkling waves glittered all over the estuary.

On the other side of Ipswich, up the green Gipping valley, the deep auburn coloured Suffolk horses were cropping the sparse grass under a pale eggshell blue sky.  The trees and hedges were just tipped with green, and the winter corn is beginning to show in the dry sandy fields.  The great timber mill looked very fine.  Here and there the landscape is spoilt by harsh lines of Council houses.  In many places horses were at plough. 

Got to March at 4.20, and found no train to Wisbech until 5.40.  Spent the time making sketches for an  Art Club competition “March” – they mean of course the month, but I can't resist a feeble pun.  Noticed what a common thing it is now for officers to carry their own luggage.  

Away at last, home at 6, and feel ready for a quiet night.  Called at the office, but disappointed to find no letters at all, nothing from Edinburgh, nothing from Ann.

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