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Charles Binyon's diary: June 1919

Diary Entry

JUNE 1 Sunday - Very hot and close.  Thunderstorm in the late afternoon but with hardly any rain.  Much cooler after.  Church at 11 and 6.30.  Mr Edwards took the services.  Very infirm and loses the thread.  Chimed tenor.  Visited Wilkins at night.  He is in a very poor way.

JUNE 2 Monday - Overcast, cool.  To Evesham Union.  Committee of housing.  Land valuation report on sits a good deal lower than our offers.  Gave instruction for negotiations.  Visited J W Roberts re H Hall’s affairs.  Paid rent at Webbs.  Helped at onion hoeing in the afternoon.

JUNE 3 Tuesday – 35o minimum.  Very cool NE wind, dull.  We are still sending off large quantities of onions.  To office.  Lettuces Cos 5/8 to 3/4.  Onions 3¾ to 3½.  Mr Beach came.  He wants us to keep in touch with him.  He was on his way to London to preside at a meeting of Jam Makers to ask the Government to take off the control of jam.  At present prices are fixed for jam but not for the fruit, so they are afraid of working at a loss.  I hoed at the Sand in the afternoon.  In the early evening an airship went over, the first that has ever been over here.  At 7.30 I went to Wickhamford to hold an inquiry into the need of houses.  Very good muster.  14 applications.  Some of them wanted parlours!  No opposition.  We then inspected several sites and picked out three suitable ones from which to make a final selection.

[First airship visits Evesham written in red in margin.]

JUNE 4 Wednesday - Some rain at last but not much.  Cleared up at midday and the ground only wet on the top.  We sent off 360 dozen onions, and finished planting tomatoes.  2200 Sand 4600 UB Total.  We also planted sprouts between the Senators.  I tackled some nitrate down the pea rows.  Met Cadbury’s men and arranged for purchase of the canning vats.  I had a new back tyre put on Jo - Dunlop magnum.

JUNE 5 Thursday - Fine again.  We sent off over 200 dozen onions.  This finishes the piece at Garnetts 2290 total.  I finished hoeing the dwarf beans at the Sand.  They are sowing the Recreation Ground with grass.

JUNE 6 Friday - Fine, very hot at times.  We hoed the Senators giving the sprouts some superphosphate.  I also gave the small piece of King Tomatoes near the big hovel some ammonia.

JUNE 7 Saturday - Hot sun, cool wind.  Pea hoeing finished.  To Evesham, then at 12.05 started on Jo - reached the top of Broadway Hill at 1.05, Moreton at 1.40.  Then I tried a new route keeping to the valley of the Evenlode.  This made a very nice change - it seemed quite a new country.  I went through Evenlode village and near Adlestrop Station, then on past Daylesford to Kingham.  Looked at the church which has a western tower with 4 pinnacles and two embrasures.  The belfry window on the east face has been walled up and the clock face inserted.  Large square stair turret.  Nave and aisles with parapet and some fine corbel heads - clerestory very low without any windows - an unusual feature.  Some very nice reticulated windows.  Nice wooden roof inside, door to rood loft, and very curious stone bend ends which has a most peculiar and not altogether pleasing effect.  I left at 2.30 and passing near Kingham Junction turned off through Lyneham to the wound pound, where GCB was waiting at 3.05.  We rested a quarter of an hour and then went down to A[?] and along the main road to Charlbury 4.10.  We had tea here at The Royal Oak.  Quite nice but very slow in coming.  We came on back by the main road through Woodstock reaching 279 Iffley Road just after six.

[Ride to Oxford written in red in margin.]

JUNE 8 Whit Sunday - Another beautiful day!  Went to Iffley Church at 8 and to the cathedral later.  Walked back by Christ Church meadow and the Botanical Gardens.  The buildings looked lovely.  After tea we took Mother out in the chair down Iffley Road, Longwall, The Broad and past St Giles.  She enjoyed hearing the bells of the various colleges and St MM.

JUNE 9 White Monday - Actually a slight shower but it all cleared off by 11.  Wrote letters.  In the afternoon GCB and I went down to the Free Ferry.  It took quite a long time to get across there was such a crowd.  We walked back up to Iffley Lock.  There wee several eights and fours being coached.  Many steamers all packed with people.  After tea we went on Jo to Sandford Lock and lay down and watched the traffic.  Quite a gay scene.

JUNE 10 Tuesday - Hot and dry.  Started off at 10.0 with GCB through Eynsham and Witney.  Then we branched off through Crawley, past the Akeman Street to Field Assants and Fordwells then on to Langley by the Wireless Telegraph Masts.  There are ten, and I estimated their height as 320 feet.  They appear deserted.  We went up to the base of one.  They are well stayed with wires, and looked gigantic.  They are a most conspicuous landmark as they stand on ground 600 feet above sea level.  We had a very fine view a little further on over the Moreton valley with the Ebrington Hills in the distance and Shipston in the foreground.  Here the heat from the ground caused much rare faction of the air.  GCB turned back here.  I went on through Shipston - a very charming spire broach with pinnacles and spire light something like Witney.  Then to Milton and Bruern through thick woods and over the line to Sarsdon.  Then down to Kingham Junction and Bledington.  Church with two stories - no aisles - Perpendicular.  To Stow where I had tea.  I left at 3.45 and reached Badsey 5.05.  Trimmed a few tomatoes.

[Wireless Masts written in red in margin.]

JUNE 11 Wednesday - Hot and dry.  We sent off 216 dozen onions today to Liverpool.  36 dozen in a pot.  Price last week 3¼d-4d a dozen.  I put some ammonia to the top piece of tomatoes Under Badsey.  The others were parsnip hoeing. I visited F Bubb at South Littleton in the afternoon.  He is going to Ventnor tomorrow for treatment.  Also visited W R Wilkins who is very bad, though the doctors don’t seem to know what the trouble is.  Planted out a few sprouts at the Sand.

JUNE 12 Thursday - Very windy.  Some slight showers.  474 dozen onions today.  I fed the Sand tomatoes with nitrate of soda and sulphate of ammonia.  A gale at night and more rain, but nothing to get in.

JUNE 13 Friday - Cold, but fine again.  To Evesham.  We had a special meeting of the Housing Committee at which our new inspector Mr Atkinson was present.  We went through letters on sites and gave instructions.  In the afternoon we planted out 2000 sprouts Under Badsey, pegging them into dissolved bone and well watered.

JUNE 14 Saturday - Very warm and bright again.  Planted out a few tomatoes.  V Rees sort.  At 12.20 I started off walking with 2 boys,  Jelfs and Reg Knight to Willersey Halt.  I had the small telescope and we noticed 2 groups of spots on the sun.  A great deal of goods traffic on this line.  A GW consolidation engine passed with a long train and later at Toddington we passed a North British outside cylinder goods engine.  We got out at Winchcombe and walked to the town and looked in the church which never fails to please me.  W Davies was about.  We went up on the roof and up the tower.  Then we walked to Postlip Paper Mill by the footpath thence to Cleese Cloud by the old coach road.  The view was not so good as sometimes.  We could just see Tewkesbury Abbey but Gloucester was invisible.  There were many people about.  We went down to the Rising Sun and took the tram to Cheltenham where we had tea.  Then we walked down the Promenade and admired the fountains.  Then on to Lansdown Station passing a Tank which is placed on a concrete block.  We left at 7.20 and arrived at Evesham at 8.05.

[Winchcombe and Cleeve Cloud written in red in margin.]

JUNE 15 Sunday - Fine.  Church at 6.30.  Had a short stroll.  The poor old clergyman is painfully shaky.  He says some parts of the service twice and invariably read the wrong collect!  Visited WRW after church.  Not much improvement.

JUNE 16 Monday - Fine again!  We have pulled the last of the Lisbon today.  Went to Evesham.  The Local Government Board will not sanction sites which cost much above the valuation.  This will mean compulsory powers must be used.  We are getting very busy with the sites and increased powers are now given to our Committee.  Not much other business.  I got home at 2 and went down to the office and met Hopkins of Stoke.  Went to Aldington at night.

Atlantic crossed direct for the first time by aeroplane.

JUNE 17 Tuesday - Fine at first.  Very slight showers in the evening.  We sent off today 246 dozen onions, the last of the Lisbon’s.  Went on Jo to Evesham and caught the 9.35 to Worcester, travelling as far as Foregate Street with Mrs Slater, who was much interested in the forthcoming election for a Guardian for All Saints’ Evesham.  I changed at Hereford and went on by the Express from the north.  The front half went to Devonshire, the back to Cardiff.  It had two engines, “City of Truro” and “St Helena”.  Very long train and very full.  The corridor was packed until the train divided at Pontypool Road when more carriages were put on.  The Black Mountains looked splendid - also Blorenge.  It is a very fine stretch of line.  I reached Cardiff just before 3 and met the Directors of the Channel Brokers.  They do not seem to be a harmonious set and seemed to be at sixes and sevens and the secretary was away.  I thought very poorly of the organisation.  Some of them said that any scheme for distributing English fruit and vegetables was no good.  Others said it would be a very good thing.  I think they should have decided their policy one way or another before asking me to meet them.  I had a walk down Bute Street with its cosmopolitan crowds - negroes, Japs, Arabs etc.  There was not much sign of the recent disturbances, but many police.  I saw one large steamer still had her gun on deck.  I left Cardiff at 6.45 for Newport.  I had some difficulty in getting a bed - hotels full up.  At last I got in at Morrish Commercial Hotel very near the railway and so very noisy.  Explored a bit at night but it rained a bit.

[Cardiff written in red in margin.]

JUNE 18 Wednesday - Brilliant sun again!  After breakfast I went to Morris & Griffins Fertilizer Works.  I got them to allow discount off our account and made arrangements for buying a complete fertilizer for use made to our order and put up in bags marked with our name.  The manager then took me round the Works.  They were crippled on account of a serious fire they had last year.  There were large stacks of bones about - but the glue-making department at present is in abeyance.  He showed the rough phosphatic stone as it came in from Algiers.  He had some very hard stuff from America which made the 35% grade superphosphate.  This is all mixed with sulphuric aside after grinding.  They make their own acid.  It is made from one from Spain, which is roasted in ovens.  The gases are conveyed to a tower and distilled into acid.  Some of it has to be pumped with the aid of sulphurated hydrogen to get rid of the arsenic, which does not appear to be needed.  The roasted one is then sent to the copper works and about 5% of copper is extracted.  Most of the rest is iron ore and used up.  New buildings of ferro-concrete with asbestos roofs are being put up.  They will have storage then for 8,000 tons of fertilizer.  I left the works about 12 and walked down the Corporation Road, past the Orb Iron Works to the Transporter, which took me over for 1d.  It is a fine structure, very like the one at Rouen.  In the afternoon I went up Stow Hill to St Woolo’s Church.  Very fine peeps can be had from the churchyard in various directions.  The church is most peculiar.  A tower at the west end, then a very ancient looking “foreclad” with very rough deeply splayed small printed windows.  In the east wall of this is a very rich Norman door leading into a fine Norman nave, with round columns, scalloped capitals, round arches in two orders, plain square edged.  Above a clerestory with small single round leaded windows deeply splayed.  These now open out on each side into a loft perpendicular aisle, as there is now no real clerestory.  Curiously at the east end an early perpendicular clerestory windows had been substituted for the old Norman one.  This also opens into the aisle.  The chancel appears to be modern.  I left Newport at 4.07 engine “Orion”, this time travelling via Chepstow and Gloucester.  There were fine views after passing Severn Tunnel Junction of the Severn Estuary.  The National Shipyard at Benchley appeared to be deserted.  There was work going on at Chepstow years - a ship appeared to be nearly completed.  I had over an hour at Gloucester, time to walk round the cathedral outside.  I left at 7.0 by the Midland and arrived at Evesham at 8.05.

[Newport; Morris & Griffin’s Works written in red in margin.]

JUNE 19 Thursday - Fine but rain threatened.  Went to office and met the Directors and reported the result of the trip.  We decided not to pulp on a large scale.  In the afternoon I went to Mr Wickhamford and met Mr Lord to choose a site for the houses.  He understood the situation well as he was Chairman of the Martley RDC.  R Aldington and W J White were there.  We decided on 5 acres near the Reading Room if it can be drained.

JUNE 20 Friday - Some rain in the morning but not enough to get in.  We decided to plant the sprouts at Garnetts.  We had planted about 3,800.  I am busy trimming the tomatoes at the Sand.  Rather more than half have fruit on them.

JUNE 21 Saturday - Fine and clear on the whole, but a few very short sharp showers at intervals.  We had Boaler’s dray and fetched water from the old Fourteens’ well which is now showing the stage I put in half-way down.  All the sprouts planted yesterday were watered.  I planted out a few late tomatoes and sprouts at the Sand.

JUNE 22 Sunday - Fine but windy.  Church at 11.  Only three chimeras.  We had 5 bells.  It is very painful to have the poor old gentleman again.  He reads nearly everything wrong - very often twice over and gets absolutely lost.  We did without a sermon at 6.30.  In the afternoon I went up to Foxhill with three boys, J Jelfs, R Knight and H Agg.  The sun has 7 spots on it now.  I had tea at the Sladdens.  Went to Wilkins in the evening.  He seemed weaker.

JUNE 23 Monday - Much colder, windy, occasional shower and some sun.  We got 1000 sprout plants from JEK to finish Garnetts.  The LBG are trying their new £100 horse today.  To Evesham Police Court.  Many cycles ridden after 11 pm without lamps.  Fined 5/- to 15/-.  The last was a man who did not stop and who did not appear last Court day.  One case of a lad of 17 caught stealing 2 egged.  He was bound over.  I have nearly finished trimming the Sand tomatoes the first time.  Paid my club.

The Germans have sunk their ships interned in Scapa Flow!

[Petty Sessions written in red in margin.]

JUNE 24 Tuesday - Quite cold, strong NW wind, cloudy, a little rain early in the morning.  Broad beans hoed, ammonia put to onions, also to products Under Badsey.  I have finished trimming the Sand tomatoes the first time.  Went to office in the morning.  Had a talk with C D McKay.

JUNE 25 Wednesday - North wind, cloudy with a [?] or two at first.  I lefty Badsey at 7.05 with HJC, AJT, TFJ and EM on Joes.  We reached Tewkesbury 15 miles at 8.25 and halted there half an hour to shelter from a shower.  We reached Gloucester 25 miles at 9.50 and had some tea and bread and butter.  At the canal side they were building two concret ships, and another was launched and nearly completed called the Crateriffe.  The road was tarred and good all the rest of the way.  Beautiful village green at Stone.  We reached Thornbury 12.45 and had ham.  I visited the church, a fine Perpendicular one.  Curious tracery in aisle windows.  Large clerestory and fine tower 130 feet, plain but with the Somerset type of pinnacles.  Very pleasing.  At Almondsbury we had a nice view over the Severn and soon after passed the Severn Tunnel line.  “Madresfield Court” was just panting up the incline with a long train.  Then we passed the large aerodrome at Fulton - very quiet - no aeroplanes up.  We reached the outskirts of Bristol 59 miles at 3 pm, and found some beds near the Tramway Centre.  We had some tea and then walked past the cathedral to Cumberland basin where we saw several passenger paddle steamers still in their war paint with the guns on.  They had apparently only been demobilised.  We could see the name “Devonia” on one painted over.  We watched a steamer, The Menapion, being taken out of dock.  It required much judgement as the tide was running very strongly.  She went down the river with a tug.  Then we went under Clifton Bridge and up the road to the Downs and visited the Clifton Zoo.  There were some very good lions and bears, one or two leopards, but not a very great variety of animals.  The few monkeys were very amusing.  There was a young one, which seemed a great pet as the others carried it round on their backs and when it pretended to get hurt, it flew to its mother which cuddled it.  Some sort of fete was going to be held in the gardens tomorrow.  Very gorgeously painted roundabouts and swings.  We came down to Hotwells by a steep path and took a tram to the centre.  Thence we walked to Temple Meads Station to look up the trains.  Then we had supper and afterwards went to the Hippodrome.  Much of the programme did not appeal to me, but I think the others enjoyed it.  The best was a conjuror, who also had some very wonderful tame pigeons.

[Ride to Bristol written in red in margin; Clifton.]

JUNE 26 Thursday - Fine, clear and bright.  We rode to Temple Meads Station and put the Joes in the 8.05 train and we travelled through the Severn Tunnel to Newport.  There are a very great number of allotments near Bristol.  The tunnel was traveled in 5½ minutes.  The train was stopped several times outside Newport where we left it.  We hunted for beds and found a place in Commercial Street.  Then we left on Joes for Cardiff.  There was a never-ending procession of motor cars on the road going to Cardiff.  Some very fine views on the way over the Channel.  Cardiff was beflagged for the Prince of Wales’ visit and packed.  It was most difficult to get through but at last we reached the Royal Show. There were hundreds of motor cars about, and great cords - it was a record, 58,000.  The entries were large, 569 horses, 867 cattle, 580 sheep, 389 pigs and nearly 400 stands of implements.  A great many small petrol engines were working and some were driving machinery.  Also steam engines.  A fine show of concrete work.  Also a model of a coal gallery.  Morris & Griffin gave us some pop and bread and cheese.  Then we separated.  EM and I made a thorough round. We saw some of our tinned fruits at the AOS tent.  Then we had a talk with the AWS people.  A pig was sold for £140 as we looked on.  We finally met at 6.30 pm and left for Cardiff.  We made a detour to avoid the crush.  We had some bread and cheese and pop on the way.  Very clear views.  In the evening we visited the transporter and took a trip across and back.  It was very nice.  The docks were lit up at dusk.  The “Tremeadow” was in the dry dock.

[Ride from Newport to Cardiff; Royal Show written in red in margin.]

JUNE 27 Friday - Threatening at first, but beautiful later.  Very fine views.  We left Newport after doing some shopping about tea and went through Carlson and made for Usk.  I bought a cyclometer there and we tried to fix it on by the road side but we couldn’t get it quite right so we took it off.  Then after a bit my pedal stuck.  They took it off and took the balls out and at Usk I had it put right.  We left Usk at 12.0 and went on to Raglan, getting some very fine peeps of the Black Mountains, Sugar Loaf and Graig Serrerthin.  We saw Raglan Castle from the road and got into the Wye country past Mitchell Troy, reached Monmouth over the Monnow bridge at 1.20.  We had dinner here.  I visited the church, which has a plain, tall tower and spire.  The body of the church appears modern but a Norman half pillar shows at the west end.  It has the merit of spaciousness.  We left Monmouth at 1.55 and had glorious scenery up the Wye Valley to Whitchurch.  We avoided Kerne Bridge and went on through Pencraig to Ross 3.0.  Another tall tower and spire of a plain character.  Very large church which three almost equal aisles divided by tall slender columns.  In the end of the north aisle two trees are growing in the church, or at least two trees covered with Virginian creeper.  We had a very hard pull out of Ross, but the road was well engineered and took a sharp bend just at the top, through a wood.  Then we could see the Malvern in front and Brendon Hill and the Cotswolds, also May Hill.  We had a nice run down, then another little ascent then down to Much Marcel and to Ledbury 4.20 where we had tea.  The church here is well worth a visit.  It also has three aisles with slender columns.  The chancel has Norman arches with round, deeply splayed clerestory windows now opening into the aisles.  There is a fine Norman door at the west end with Norman pinnacles above with a large modern decorated window over the door.  St Catherine’s Chapel to the north is a beautiful specimen of rich decorated work with a profusion of oak flower. The tower and spire 203 feet are plain and quite separate from the church.  The tower is battlemented and the spire rises within.  We left Ledbury at 5.15 and went up the hill to Easton getting fine views of the hills.  We were able to ride up to the top of the Hollybush pass and then we had a glorious run down to Tewkesbury 6.25 getting very fine views of the Cotswolds.  The Abbey stands out well from this road before you get to the Mythe bridge.  We left at 6.33 and finally reached Badsey at 8.03 having done 77 miles from Newport.  The 52 miles from Monmouth actually took 6 hours 13 minutes or deducting stops 5 hours almost exactly.

[Ride from Newport to Monmouth; Ross and Ledbury; Home written in red in margin.]

JUNE 28 Saturday - Clear.  SW wind.  I fixed the cyclometer on today.  Men hoeing peas Under Badsey.  Hoed at the Sand.


JUNE 29 Sunday - 30.  Strong NW wind.  Cool.  Slight showers, some sun.  Church at 11.  Mr Honeyball took the service.  He is a very good preacher and gave a helpful address on the Peace.  In the afternoon I went to Paxford and came away about 8.30.  Looked in on WRW who is no worse.

JUNE 30 Monday - 21.8. Strong NW wind.  Very cold!  Dull, some rain in the evening.  To office, then to Evesham Union.  Housing Committee.  We decided to apply for compulsory powers in the case of Hampton and referred other [?] sites to the District Valuer.  We recommended the Clerk should have £30 for clerical help.  Then we had a Highway Committee to settle various matters and the Roadmen’s hours.  Fixed at 47 per week.  Then we had a Workhouse House Committee and recommended increases of salary to all the staff!  In the afternoon we had a Joint Hospital Board.  No patient in the sanatorium for 3 months!  A smallpox Committee followed.  I reached home about 5.30.

[Housing written in red in margin.]

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