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Charles Binyon's diary: July 1919

Diary Entry

JULY 1 Tuesday - 30.0.  Some nice rain at intervals.  Quite the best since May 6th.  Went to office.  Broad beans 5/- to 7/-, peas 8/-, onions 4¾, cabbage 2/3, strawberries 8d, gooseberries 4d to 5d.  Dealers are offering 20/- per pot for Egg Plums.  Housing inquiry at Norton in the evening.  26 present.  Here the problem appears to be the very poor nature of the present accommodation rather than a large influx or great overcrowding.  I suggest to my colleagues that an inspection of the cottages would be useful so we adjourned and inspected about a dozen.  Some of these had only one bedroom with a tiny window low down.  All had very step awkward stairs, low ceilings, very small windows.  In many cases the floor was below the level of the road and so very damp in wet weather.  Many rooms were tiny.  All were extremely stuffy and awkward.  It was a revelation to Aldington and White.

Crop report - Broad beans fair nearly ready to pick.  Senator peas fair nearly ready.  Late sowing not so good.  Onions very small for time of year, not fit to bunch.  Runners very poor, very little bloom as yet.  Dwarfs good at the Sand.  Early July has pods about half an inch long.  Prolific in flower.  Tomatoes at Sand good.  First truss set well, plants strong and sturdy about 1” high.  Sprouts poor.  The best piece is at Garnetts near the road planted 24 May.

[Enquiry at Norton written in red in margin.]

JULY 2 Wednesday - 42.6.  Some very heavy rain.  Between the storms we staked the tomatoes at the Sand.  Men have pulled the pipes (hot water) apart and cleaned them.  Paid a visit to Coppice Grounds and Lloyds at night.

JULY 3 Thursday - 47.0.  Heavy showers at times.  Seed beds at the Sand dug.  We started building the shed at the Sand and also fixing the hot water pipes.  Went to Offenham in the evening to look at sites with Aldington and the Surveyors.  Dwarf crops very good there.  Peas mostly picked.  A lot of sprouts just planted.  Came back by Aldington.

JULY 4 Friday - 47.7.  Fine.  Hot sun at times.  We have finished the shell of the shed at the Sand.  Met H M Ransome at L&B.

JULY 5 Saturday - 52.3.  Fairly heavy rain at times.  Finer later.  To Littleton with P J Bayliss to see an old woman who dare not go to bed because of spirits.  All alone.  I made an order for her removal.  Called at office.  Shed nearly finished at the Sand.  In the afternoon to Beeholme with HMR.  Pear Tree Corner and Wickhamford in the evening.

Airship R34 has reached Newfoundland.

JULY 6 Sunday - 53.2.  Fine.  Peace Thanksgiving.  Church at 11.  Visited Wilkins in the afternoon.  After tea we did some ringing.  Doubles with 4, 6, 8 coverings.  I had the sixth.  Later we had six only, and I had the tenor.  The Parish Council attended the evening service.  Mr Honiball preached a short but excellent sermon.  We had special prayers - one for the League of Nations.  The service finished with God save the King.  After service we sank the bells.  I had the sixth again.

[Peace Thanksgiving written in red in margin.]

JULY 7 Monday - 74.9.  Fine, bright at times.  Women pea picking.  Men picking broad beans.  Today we sent off 11 pots Senator Peas and 31 bags Broad beans.  I went to office and then to Police Court.  Very little business.  Called on Surveyor of Taxes about adjustment of Income Tax.  In the evening HMR and I rode on Joes to Willersey, Broadway to the old church and Snowshill Road and back by Wickhamford.  Just after starting we saw a very large airship which we believe to be the R33 which was due to go from Worcester to Leamington.  It was a long way off.

R34 safely arrived at New York.  The longest unbroken flight ever made.

[Airship R33 written in red in margin.]

JULY 8 Tuesday - Fine and bright.  Skimming the sprouts Under Badsey.  Pots peas sent.  To office in the morning.  In the afternoon in Mr Bowden’s car to Aldington to inspect the root.  Then on to Offenham Cross and South Littleton to the office.  Then I met Cadbury’s representative and arranged as to cutting off the dangerous corner.

JULY 9 Wednesday - 82.4.  Fine, very hot sun.  Skimming and hoeing Under Badsey.  20 pots Broad beans sent from Garnetts.  Trimming and tying tomatoes at the Sand.  Giving them nitrate and ammonia mixed with lias bones.  In the afternoon to Seward House - fete in aid of the Recreation Ground.  Mrs Bowden opened the fete.  A very good concert by the schoolchildren was given in the Barn.  Some of Standard I were dressed as very old men and women and were very good.  Kathie Cave was a milkmaid in one item.  “Roses red and white” were pretty and a Japanese fan song was excellent.  The top class did “Six of you and six of us”.  Six boys and six girls paired off with great fun.  After it was over I took photographs of the various groups.  The affair seemed a great success and something over £140 was taken.  Finished Froude’s Henry VIII.

[Fete at Seward House written in red in margin.]

JULY 10 Thursday - 95.5.  Sultry and close.  Women shallot pulling.  AJT and EM skimming at Waldren’s.  After tea I went a ride with HMR to Evesham, past Wood Norton to Fladbury and back by Charlton and Hampton.  The stretches of Runner beans are gorgeous now.

Public meeting at night to decide how to celebrate Peace Day.  It was decided to give a tea to the school children and to all over 70.

JULY 11 Friday - 100.3.  Very hot sun.  Cirrus from NE, wind NW.  Feeding sprouts and hoeing.  Skimming at Waldren’s.  School Managers’ meeting in the evening and also Peace Day Committee.

JULY 12 Saturday - 121.7.  Splendid rain in the early morning about half an inch.  Fitting up Sand Hovel and hot water pipes.  Fine afternoon.  On Joe with HMR to Elmley Castle, Little Comberton and Pershore.  Visited the Abbey.  Came back by Wyre.  Visited the church there.  Plain rectangular nave with aisles.  Very ancient plain round headed chancel arch with squint on each side.  Wall on north of chancel appears original.  All except chancel arch rebuilt.  Bell cot over chancel arch.  Developed one film at night.

JULY 13 Sunday - Fine clear NW wid.  Overcast and showery at night.  Church at 11.  Vicar home again.  Went to V Cockerton and J Hartwell’s ground in the afternoon.  In the evening went with HMR on Joes to Broadway, up the hill to the Rish and up to the tower.  Very strong wind up there.  It looked very rainy to the west, quite bright and sunny to the east.  We went on to the old signpost and thence to Campden and home by Aston and West sub Edge.  Visited WRW.

JULY 14 Monday - Heavy showers at intervals.  25 bags of Broad beans sent off.  First Dwarfs picked.  Half pot from Sand, 55 lb from Garnetts.  To office and to Evesham Union.  Great deal of business on Housing Committee.  Draft plan produced.  We are still delayed by the LGB not sanctioning our sites.  At the Guardian’s meeting my motion to revert to fortnightly meetings defeated by large majority.  Housing Reports all passed.

[RDC written in red in margin.]

JULY 15 Tuesday - Fine. To office.  Thomasson’s came over to talk about the canning.  Peas 12/-, 8/3.  Broad beans 5/6, 3/4.  Gooseberries 5d, Redcurrants 5¾d.  All my broad beans now picked.

JULY 16 Wednesday - Skimming at Waldren’s.  In the afternoon I helped FEA to get off a good many qualifying heats for the children’s sports.  We marched all the boys into the Stockey.

JULY 17 Thursday - Fine.  In the playground we got through the potato race, egg and spoon and needle threading in the morning.  In the afternoon we went to the Stockey and did the girls’ flat and really races.  Meeting of Sports Committee at 8 pm.

JULY 18 Friday - Fine, very close.  Broad bean ground all cleared.  I have trimmed the Sand tomatoes for the second time.  Alleys hoed.  I had two small boys to skim the Sand tomatoes.

JULY 19 Saturday - PEACE DAY.  Dull, rain started at 11 am and continued incessantly and increasing.  Very wet night.  Church at 8.  We went to the Stockey and prepared the ground for the children’s sports roping in the course, pegging down the sheet and fixing up the obstacles.  At 10.30 we rose the bells and had some ringing until 11.0.  I had the 6th.  Then we had the service - very fair congregation.  Part of the while the choir stood at the altar rails.  The service was marred by the absence of the organist, the Vicar having to play.  We had a short peal after.  After dinner the decorated bicycles and perambulator arrived and were judged, but as it kept raining the procession of school children and others was given up.  At 3 we started ringing again.  This time only 6 turned up.  I took the tenor and covered doubles.  We sunk the bells just after four.  Then I went to the school where the tea was all ready.  The Vicar went to each room and said grace.  All went off well.  The old folks had tea in George Marshall’s barn.  We decided to postpone the sports as it was so very wet, but some informal sports were held.  I noticed one of the inns was still open at 10.15 so I called the landlord out.  There had been too much drinking at this place all day.  He closed at once.

[Peace Day written in red in margin.]

JULY 20 Sunday - Wet.  It appears that over 1 inch of rain fell during the last 24 hours.  Church at 6.30.  Visited WRW in the afternoon.  At A E Jones in the evening.  Smith was there.

JULY 21 Monday - Fine on the whole.  Slight showers in the later part of the day.  We sent off 5 pots of Dwarfs (4 from Garnetts, 1 from the Sand), also the first marrows, two pots.  I went to Evesham.  No business at the Police Court.  Had my hair cut.  Went to the Workhouse and examined Dr Atkinson’s plans which I thought on the whole very good.  After tea we finished the children’s sports in the Stockey.  There were a great many people there.  The other sports were held at the same time.  We had some excellent tussles.  It is interesting to see how certain families shine on these occasions.  The potato race was very popular, this was open to boys and girls, but although some of the girls got into the final, in the end the prize winners were all boys.  The obstacle race was won by some quite small boys.  In the high jump, the winner, Clarence Willis jumped 3’ 8”.  We finished about 8.30.  The slow bicycle race was then on.  Philip Crisp won this well.  Other races went on until nearly 10.  When I came home to illuminate this house, which I did with candles stuck in flowerpots behind coloured glasses.  I had just time to join the torchlight procession which looked very pretty.  We went all round the village.  We got home about 10.30.  After there were some most brilliant lights on Broadway Hill.  I could see to read by it here.

[Children’s sports; Torchlight procession written in red in margin.]

JULY 22 Tuesday - Wet at first, improving later.  Pipes in greenhouse painted and hovel tarred.  To office.

JULY 23 Wednesday - Fine, dull.  5 pots dwarfs sent, 2 from Sand, 3 Under Badsey.  Gillies planted at the Sand, Lisbon onions sown on the Broad bean ground at Garnetts, 3 rows 7 inches apart every 4 feet, gaps left for digging.  Drill set at spinach.

JULY 24 Thursday - Curious dark day.  We sent off over 4 tons of belladonna root this morning.

JUL 25 Friday - Dull, rather misty.  To office.  At 12.23 I left on Jo, through Willersey (12.43), up Willersey Hill, walking up I had company in the shape of a small boy who told me about the peace celebrations in his village.  I reached the main road at 1.25 and found my brakes defective so I had to walk down Bourton on the Hill.  At Moreton I met L E Horne and J Pethard.  I had the brakes done here and started off again at 3.05 reaching Chipping Norton at 4, Woodstock 5.03 and Martyrs’ Memorial at 5.50.  Met Frank and Ethel.

JULY 26 Saturday - Fine, sunny.  Walked to free ferry.  In the late afternoon we had a boat and FDB and GCB rowed us past Iffley to Sandford and back.  Walked to Iffley at night.

JULY 27 Sunday - Dull, muzzling rain at times.  Went with FDB to the cathedral.  Dr Hedlam preached, a deplorable sermon about consideration for others, which did not mean taking money from other people and giving to the poor.  He appeared to consider that the Russian revolution was caused by “prohibition”.  After we went into Queens and looked in the chapel built by Wren, with old glass in the windows.  The. We visited Trinity and saw the fine carving in the chapel and the portraits in the hall.  Newman’s was especially interesting.  After dinner I set out for Badsey and reached Moreton just after 5.  I had tea with the Hornes and then I had a walk round his farm.  His potatoes looked very well indeed, also his mangolds.  Wheat fair.  I left at 8.12 and reached Badsey at 9.23 (12.9 miles over the Cotswolds).

JULY 28 Monday - Dull, cold.  We sent off 11 bags Dwarfs from Garnetts and 13 pots peas today.  To office.  Dwarfs 11/-, peas 9/-, green onion 2¾, apples 5d lb, gooseberries 5½d, marrows 7/- pot.  Meeting of Directors at night.

JULY 29 Tuesday - Dull, cold.  Started off with HJC at 6.15 am for Honeybourne.  We just caught the 6.48 mail train and put in the bicycles.  At Moreton we stopped 35 minutes and had a walk round.  We got to Oxford just before 9 and met GCB and FDB at Magdalen Bridge at 9.15 (264.0), GCB came with us.  We went up Headington Hill through Wheatley to Thame and on to Stone, where we visited the Church and saw the very curious old Saxon font.  We stopped for dinner at Aylesbury (284.7) and looked in St James Church Barton, curious for having two storied aisles.  We reached Wing at 2 pm.  I visited the church.  The arcade was formed with cutting round headed arches in the wall, leaving large piers.  Above the chancel arch a Saxon window.  Clerestory Perpendicular.  Chancel Norman with an apse - all raised up considerably.  Underneath is a very old, roughly vaulted crypt of Saxon date.  Well worth a visit.  We reached Leighton Buzzard at 2.30 and found the cattle market on.  We went on to Woburn passing some very curious sand pits with strata of different coloured sands, some silver, some yellow.  Just past Woburn we came across a field of permanent wheat, part of the experimental farm.  Poor crop as might be expected.  At Ridgmont we passed a modern church with one of the best spires I have seen in new work.  We passed through Ampthill at 4.25 and reached Bedford just after 5.  After tea we left for Sandy.  We found the onions a very good crop everywhere.  Sprouts backward, other crops good.  Accommodation being scarce at Sandy we went on to Patton which we reached at 9.05 pm having ridden 72 miles.  We had a short walk in the evening.  Rose & Crown.

[Ride from Oxford to Aylesbury; Leighton Buzzard; Bedford written in red in margin.]

JULY 30 Wednesday - Dull at first, some rain, then fine and clear.  Sunny later.  GCB left for Oxford.  HJC and I for Cambridge at 9.05 am.  We travelled by the south road through Wrestlingworth.  A great deal of clover grown here.  We reached Cambridge quite early but did not stop, except to peep into King’s College Chapel, but left for Newmarket.  We passed some flax looking very pretty.  We could see Ely Cathedral across miles of fenland.  We saw quite a lot of racehorses at the training stables and halted at the Devil’s Dyke to look round.  We had dinner at Newmarket and went on past mustard fields and some more flax.  Country undulating, many woods about.  The road had been newly tarred and sprinkled with clippings - very bad riding.  We reached Bury St Edmunds at 3.05.  Here HJC left me to go in to Ipswich.  I secured a bed at the Suffolk Hotel and then explored the town.  I visited the old Norman house now used as a museum and then went down to the abbey.  The Gateway is very fine decorated work and the gardens inside are very nice.  There are two large churches close together somewhat alike.  St James is used as the cathedral.  The general view inside is very fine.  Very tall Perpendicular arcade with clerestory.  It looks best from the wet.  It has no tower but has the old Norman Abbey Tower close to.  St Mary’s is also very fine but looks best inside from the east.  It has a fine wooden roof.  To the north there is a curious porch with a flat stone roof.  As it was still early I went off to Lavenham about 11 miles off.  This is a most magnificent church.  A very tall tower at the west end is very massive.  It is built of flint with fine stone buttresses which are carved and niched.  No pinnacles but an ornate plain parapet.  The nave is carved all over inside and out and the long row of clerestory windows, two over each bay, gives a very fine effect.  The parapet is partly pierced and very rich.  There are no pinnacles on the nave except two very large ones at the east end.  A very rich chapel stands on the south side of the chancel.  The aisles have buttresses with niches.  The chancel itself is earlier and has a very plain chancel arch, and is altogether simple.  The exterior of the church is grand, the tower is one of the finest.  The interior is not so pleasing to me, but still very fine.  I got back to Bury for the night, 69½ miles.

[Cambridge; Bury St Edmunds; Lavenham written in red in margin.]

July 31 Thursday - Fine and bright.  I left Bury St Edmunds about 9.30 and went off to Ixworth where there a a very pleasing flint church.  Red bricks radiating over the aisle windows looked pretty.  The tower is tall with no pinnacles but flush work battlements.  Small ornaments are carved on the freestone buttresses.  The porch is very rich flush work.  The roof is fine wooden angels supporting the roof.  Decorated chancel.  Perpendicular nave.  I left here at 10.15 and passed Honington (fine flushwork porch, red brick turret by side of flint tower) to Fakenham (Suffolk) which had squares of different [?] at the base of the tower.  No aisles.  Low side window has been blocked up.  I went on past Euston (fine house).  Here the hedges by the roadside were made of pine trees about 4 feet high and planted very close.  Farther on I went down an avenue of tall pines very fine, then tiny ones again, and over a heath where a large military establishment of some kind had been built (lots of sheds etc) on to Thetford where I had dinner.  St Cuthbert’s has a nice tower but is not interesting.  Then the road lay across a wide common, then fir trees and pines dotted about with hedges of spruce.  May trees had been cut down and light railways had been laid.  At Brandon I crossed the GER.  The road was straight and undulating with some more pine hedges.  Heath and copse all the way to Methwold with its two large windmills.  The church has a fine tall spire.  The spire stands on a tall panelled octagon which appears much too slight seen diagonally.  Sanctus bell cot on sout side of chancel arch.  Tall dignified clerestory.  Church locked.  The soil about here is very light, seeds and all get blown away sometimes!  More Common to Stoke Ferry.  West porch here plain, hammer beam roof.  Bell turret only, no aisles.  I passed Wereham and found my way to East Winch Hall which has been lent by Sir William Lancaster to FDB.  48 miles.

[Ixworth; Thetford; East Winch written in red in margin.]

Diary Images
Type of Document
Six pages in a hard-covered notebook containing diary entries 1919-1925
Location of Document
In private ownership