20th March 1945
Fine, but still windy, and a clear night, with a crescent moon. Busy on museum chores, and then in the afternoon Mr A.P.D. Penrose called. He is very like his brother Lionel. We had an interesting talk on museum matters, and he left to go to tea with his aunt, Miss Peckover, at Bank House.
Tonight at 8 went to a meeting of the Wisbech Society at the Grammar School, when S.E. Dykes-Bower gave a talk on “Village Building After the War” (always assuming that there is an “after the war”. Penrose was in the chair. Dykes-Bower gave a good talk on the usual lines, but showed a considerable ignorance of the
– he could not understand why the Fen villages were not built round village
greens in the traditional way, and suggested that more use ought to be made of
the “local stone” such as flints!
He talked until about 9.15, and was just beginning to show lantern slides, when the siren sounded. The lecturer made some facetious remark about it being obviously desirable to get on with his talk without delay, and the audience sat in grim expectant silence, while outside in the moonlight ‘planes of unknown nationality dived and soared. The slides were run through by about a quarter to ten. Whereupon Penrose thanked the speaker and said that “under the circumstances” it was probably just as well to conclude the meeting, adding grimly “I hope you all arrive home safely.”
I had promised to go back with old Curtis Edwards, so instead of being free to scuttle through back lanes and alleys, I had to walk very slowly through the town and across the Park. Just as we came into the Park, a ‘plane dived in from the east in a most alarming manner, I quite thought it was a jerry, and said to Edwards, quickly, “If he drops anything, lie down!” “Who? Who?” asked the old man, “Who drop anything?” Age must have many compensations. However, the ‘plane dropped a red flare and scuttled away towards
Lincolnshire. Nothing else came over, but there was no
‘all-clear’ until 11 o’clock. Begins to
look as if the Germans had formed another air-force.
Noticed this morning that builders’ ladders were leaned against the Mayor’s house, where the bombs fell the other night, and men were at work. The “unexploded bomb” has not yet been found, and there is still a soldier on duty in the Vicarage Paddock.