8th April 1945

Unpleasant dream in the early morning in which Joy Parrington, Molly Blomfield and myself were all being machine-gunned from the air, somewhere out in fields where there was no cover.  Still no further divers anywhere in the country.  Can this be the end?

Gorgeous day, spent the morning writing and got a good deal done.  People riding and driving ponies and horses along Clarkson Avenue all the morning.

Very nice lunch, and while eating it listened to a programme on the radio from Caernarvonshire – not very good, but a delight to hear once again the lovely Welsh voices.  Mr Benison remarked “Curious how some people still speak with an accent, isn’t it?” blissfully unaware that his Middlesborough background showed every time he opened his mouth.

Writing letters, then to post.  Came back by Queen’s Road, and outside the school saw two Army staff cars, an army lorry and two or three civilian cars standing outside.  Wonder what’s up. 

Had a look round the old cemetery at the North End.  The chapel was built in 1848, and the gravestones begin about the same time.  The break in tradition compared with the 18th and early 19th century stones in the churchyards is very striking.  Most of the designs here are absolutely hideous, with bad vulgar lettering, but we must get out a corpus of them, as they are decaying fast.  One grave has a most peculiar cast-iron canopy over it, apparently derived from the mediaeval iron “herse”, now apparently falling into powdered rust.  On one stone noticed the name “Kerhannappugh (Kate) Ollard”.  There are several odd names in the town – Favarque, T. Tong, and a butcher called Goodby.  There used to be a butcher called Hardmeat!!

This evening to the Levers’ in Sandringham Avenue.  Spent a very pleasant evening, talking about the museum, school work and so forth.  Miss Quayle called to say goodbye, as she is leaving the town on Tuesday.  We talked about Wisbech scandal with great enjoyment.  It seems that Ollard, as ARP Controller, frequently comes on duty drunk, and bringing with him a loaded revolver.  He had a theory that if bombs fall in Wisbech, the populace would mob the Report Centre, and he proposed to defend the place to the end.  On one occasion he made a most offensive speech to the ladies who voluntarily serve at the Report Centre, ending with “The trouble with you women is you want a man!”

Came away at 10.30, into brilliant starlight, with a great mass of searchlights to the north, lighting up a little fluttering silver ‘plane.  Apparently another night exercise was on.  

Saw Miss Quayle home to Norwich Road, and then back to my own room, writing until past midnight.  Back very painful today.

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