MAR 1 Saturday – Fine and dry. Cold wind, sunny. I left Shrewsbury at 8.20 and came down the Severn Valley line with the Yorkshireman – quite a character. Speaking of the present reconstruction he said that always after a great catastrophe – a war or a flood – men set about building a tower, the top of which would reach to heaven and always with the same result – confusion of tongues!
This is a very pretty line. The old bridge at Ironbridge looks interesting. I had to change at Kidderminster and arrived at Worcester at 11 am. At 11.45 I went to the cathedral, having a ticket for the enthronement of the Bishop. The bells were ringing merrily. In the nave, cadet boys showed us into our places. I got a seat two rows from the pulpit. The procession entered from the cloisters, went down the south aisle to the west door and then up the nave. The choir headed it, followed by Kings scholars and then the clergy of the dioceses. When the cross arrived at the choir stalls, it [?] and the new Bishop went to the west door which was then shut. The Bishop knocked three times on the door with his staff, demanding admission. The door was then opened and the Dean said in a loud and [?] voice, “By what right do you claim Enthronement here?” Then documents were produced and a “notary public” read the Archbishop’s mandate, but I could not catch a word. The procession restarted. I thought the clergy were an extraordinary looking lot of men, all different sizes and heights and many of them with peculiar heads and faces! The Bishops of Coventry and Hereford came next, then minor Canons and the Archdeacon of Canterbury (White Thompson), lastly the Canons, Dean and Bishop. While they were passing psalms were sung. On arriving in the Choir the Bishop made the Declaration of Fidelity to his Cathedral Church. Then the Dean said “Let the Enthronement now proceed”. After prayers, the Bishop took the oath, then the Archdeacon of Canterbury placed him on the throne saying that “I hereby induct, install and enthrone you the Right Reverend Ernest Harold Pearce, Doctor of Letters, into the real, actual and corporal possession of the Bishopric of Worcester, with the rights, privileges, dignities, honours and appurtenances thereof, etc.” The “Te Deum” was then sung. The Bishop gave two addresses, one to the Clergy in the Choir, of which we in the nave could hear nothing, and then another from the nave pulpit to the laity. He had no text, but began “Dear Brothers and Sisters” and gave a simple talk on “bearing witness” especially in this time of upheaval. He mentioned the miners and the Commission and asked for the prayers of all for it. At the end he asked the congregation to kneel and repeat after him sentence by sentence a prayer for peace – peace among nations, peace in the industrial world and peace in the church. The followed the hymn, “Arise, arise, good Christian me” in which the Dean asked all to join. The Bishop gave the blessing and the procession came back, followed by the Mayor and corporation of Worcester City. It was a fine service and the cathedral makes a fine setting for it. I came back with the Sladdens in a 1st-class compartment, as the train was full.
[Enthronement of Bishop of Worcester written in red in margin.]
MAR 2 Sunday – Fine, drying day. Church at 11 and 6.30. At the evening service we had the bells up. I had the 7th. Mr Greening of Offenham took the service.
MAR 3 Monday – Wet again. Walked to Evesham Police Court. Application for billiard licence for the Bell, not in order, adjourned until April 14. Two school attendance cases, one fined 1/- the other 10/-. Case against renewal of Fish and Anchor licence was taken. Objector said that on a Sunday he was not served with drink when he called, whereas there were three men in the house drinking. Hobson handled this man roughly and he did seem a very discreditable witness. After hearing all the particulars, the licence was granted. Fine in the afternoon. AJT and EM digging at Garnetts. Clock jobbing at Churchills in the evening.
[Petty Sessions written in red in margin.]
MAR 4 Tuesday – Dull. Men digging belladonna root Under Badsey. Visited kilns and office. Cash book debit checked. Clock jobbing at home in the afternoon. Liberal Committee in the evening.
MAR 5 Ash Wednesday – Very wet again. Men brought down the glass to the sand. At the shed later. Church at 8. I went to Moreton-in-Marsh with R Aldington by the 3.40. L E Horne met us. After tea I went with a Mr Sharp to Bourton-on-the-Hill to a meeting in support of LEH who is seeking election as a County Councillor. When we got to the school there was no fire and no light and we had to get the key and borrow a candle! Very few turned up. Sharp spoke for about 5 minutes and I was then left to keep the thing going until LEH turned up, which meant an hour’s speech. However I managed to keep them interested and covered the ground pretty well. LEH was in fine fighting form. We drove back to Moreton.
[Bourton-on-the-Hill written in red in margin.]
MAR 6 Thursday – Beautiful day 27o. Clear and bright. Moreton Street which last night was one huge lake is dry. Polling day. I left by 12.34 train. Men digging belladonna Under Badsey. I sowed 5 lights of sprouts. Meeting of war memorial meeting here tonight. We selected suitable sites and made arrangements for interviewing the owners.
[Glos Co Co Election Moreton written in red in margin.]
MAR 7 Friday – Wet all day. Men at shed weighing over tomato tins. I was at office in the afternoon.
MAR 8 Saturday – Dull but fine. Went to office then left on Jo. 11.15 reached Willersey, 11.45 went up the Hill. The road down Bourton was very bad. I had to walk part. I reached Moreton at 1 pm. Met GCB at Chipping Norton at 2.05. Had a light lunch. Left at 2.25 and reached Oxford at 5.0 Chain gave trouble, so walked up all the hills. Found MB well.
[Oxford written in red in margin.]
MAR 9 Sunday – Dull again. GCB and I went up to St Edward’s School in the morning. Chapel at 11.0. Fine buildings. Aisleless nave with apse. After Osbert and Geoffrey Eyre took us over the buildings – library, big school, dormitories, dining room and swimming baths. In the evening I read “Great Men and Women of the Bible”, Hastings, a book very well done. 45 today.
MAR 10 Monday – Dull, strong wind. Went into town in the morning. Left Jo to be seen to. In the afternoon we went down to the Free Ferry. Were taken across flooded fields in the ferry punt. The Torpids were beginning. As there were only 16 eights, bumping races were dropped for this year and instead the American time racing was taking place. Two eights were started from the bank about 100 yards apart by a man with a pistol. A man on horseback with a stopwatch rode with the boats along the towing path and at the Folly Bridge end of the course were two posts with semaphores. These were exactly the same distance apart as the boats were at starting. The arms were held up by a card and directly the bow of the boat reached the post the cord was let go and the arm fell. The rear post man attended to the rear boat, so that whichever arm went down first showed the winning boat was opposite it. We watched several eights start and also some fours at the winning post. There was some erratic steering. Of course the war has made a tremendous gap in the men.
MAR 11 Tuesday – Wet and windy on the whole. I called for Jo. They said a new chain was wanted but that such a thing could not be got in Oxford! They couldn’t supply brake blocks either, so that I could nether ride up or down the larger hills. Fairly fine until I reached Begbrook. Then very wet. I walked quite a long distance out of Woodstock and Enstone, and arrived at Chipping Norton about 1. I called on LEH in Moreton. He got in well at the County Council election. I reached Badsey about 5. At 7 there was a meeting in church to discuss the war memorial in church. After much discussion we decided on a tablet to be of first-class material and durability and if there is any money over a screen should be erected at the west end across the belfry arch.
MAR 12 Wednesday – Very wet again. Visited office and shed.
MAR 13 Thursday – Beautiful day. Sunny and warm. We tried digging Under Badsey but after the frost went out 9.30, it was too sticky, so we sent the German home and went to the Sand and dug out the foundations for the greenhouse. Also we got out a lot of gravel. We came across a 4th drain running well and quite clean – a useful find. I had all day on the ground. In the evening with DSMcD checking cash book analysis. A big plane came over about 5 pm.
MAR 14 Friday – 26o. All men digging Under Badsey – belladonna root. A load taken down to Aldington. I had most of the day finishing cash book analysis and got all square except for 3d which is not much amiss in £24,000. Went up to see Mrs Waldren about Fred.
Mercury very plain at 7 pm.
[Symbol of Mercury in red in margin.]
MAR 15 Saturday – Fine on the whole, cold wind. Rain in the evening. Men still digging belladonna root Under Badsey. I went to office. In the afternoon to shed. T Higgins has fixed up the top lamps. Later I went to Aldington pastures and saw Badsey Rangers play Harvington. Rangers won 6-1. Most of the scoring near the end of the game.
MAR 16 Sunday – Fine. Drying wind. Warm in the sun. Church at B. Went to see Blake in the morning to persuade him to act on memorial committee. In the afternoon on Jo through Bretforton, Weston, up Aston Hill, Campden to Paxford. Gaukroger’s two little boys are growing well. Jim appears to have got brains and can use them. Left at 9.45.
MAR 17 Monday – Fine, cold wind. Went to office. Cement has arrived. FTJ and Germans finishing the belladonna roots. AJT and EM harrowing piece of ground for broad beans. I went to the Police Court, only one case and defendant did not turn up. In the afternoon I marked out the ground for the broad beans and AJT and EM started the planting. We have about 1⅙ bushels to plant. The harrowing cost on present prices 1/4. The planting about 7/-. The piece is 2¾ chains – rows 18 inches apart. In the evening we had a Parish Council election. Very few present. The old members re-elected with A Sears and JEK to fill the two vacancies.
Lunar Hals 22½o.
[Broad beans sown written in red in margin.]
MAR 18 Tuesday – Dull, turning to rain after dinner. FJ and Germans Under Badsey. AJT and EM have finished the broad beans. We have sowed a mixture of superphosphate and organic manure over the ground for onions at the rate of ½ ton of each to the acre. One lot was sown on the ground already harrowed. This I drilled straight away with up-to-date onions and used about ¾ lb to the chain, putting the marker a little more open than the onion mark. We have got ready nearly ½ acre – harrowed and manured. Spreading the manure and harrowing works out at about 10d a chain. Cost of manure 14/- chain. In the afternoon AJT and EM put on the boiler mud-hole lids and I tried the profit and loss account. I find that the profit for the LBG for last year will be but small. In the evening we had another meeting of the War Memorial Committee. I submitted the draft appeal which was approved. Plans were submitted by FEA of buildings already erected. These were most helpful.
[Onions drilled written in red in margin.]
MAR 19 Wednesday – Wet all day. Very cold. Snow on the hills. Liberal meeting in the afternoon. Tea at the Granville, Evesham. Church at night.
MAR 20 Thursday – SNOW again 1½” deep and snowing or rain all day. Floods out. The water was higher at Blackminster than it has been this winter – over the road. Went to office and met Mr Giles of the AOS. Had a good talk with him. In the afternoon to Evesham to Smith & Roberts to sign documents re H Hall’s affairs. Tomatoes sown in Mrs Cave’s greenhouse.
Coal Commission report.
MAR 22 Saturday – Very cold wind, now on the ground again but fine. To shed. We got steam up and tried the electric light. We got 100 volts with the engine running slowly. It all seemed quite in order.
MAR 23 Sunday – Fine, but very cold wind. Snow all gone in the Vale but hills all covered. Church at 11. In the afternoon to Willersey, Collin Lane and back to Evesham by Broadway Road. Tea at J W Roberts.
MAR 24 Monday – Very cold wind. Drying up well. FJ and Germans digging Under Badsey. AJT and EM planting broad beans on the ground lately dug – Murray’s – sprout ground. To Evesham Union. At the Sanitary Committee we discussed several sites and also a letter from Holloway tendering his resignation as Surveyor. This was accepted with great regret as he was most efficient in carrying out the Housing Schemes. At the Highway Committee we discussed the tin can nuisance, and decided to have notices printed and posted in the villages. At the Board meeting we had some resolutions before us, and I explained very briefly the new bill for establishing the Ministry of Health. This was the last meeting of the board after six years session. I proposed a vote of thanks to Mr Ashwin, the Chairman. In his reply he said his family had presided for many years at the Board, but he supposed the life of the Board was soon coming to an end, which he thought was a great pity. At the District Council meeting, the Chairman wanted us to try and get Holloway to reconsider his resignation, but as he had definitely undertaken work at the Air Force it was considered useless, so three of us were appointed to meet three of the Pebworth Council to see what best be done. We decided to advertise the post offering £300 a year, £200 for ERDC and £100 PRDC. F Cope is resigning after 6 years excellent work. We finished about 2. In the afternoon I visited the school and got a number of children to take round our war memorial leaflets. Visited Mr Sladden in the evening.
MAR 25 Tuesday – Bitterly cold, 26o. At 9 am 30o. Strong wind. FJ and Germans Under Badsey digging sprout ground. AJT finished setting the broad beans. I drilled more onions, finishing the up-to-date. AJT drilled the Bedfords putting them much thicken 2 lb on. Chain. Went to office at night, worked till 11 pm with DSMcD. Steam roller at work in main street.
MAR 26 Wednesday – Beautiful day, bright sun, cold wind. To office and then on Jo with the ledgers to Pershore via Hampton. There is still a lot of snow on Bredon Hill. I had an hour with Mr Feek then came back. Mitchell Senior and AJT were carting the stuff from the Fourteens to the Sand and in the afternoon we started pulling down the hovel. Church at night. Wound the church clock and called on AEJ, who showed me some interesting old deeds. It appears that the Silk Mill was first started in 1818 by J Thorp.
MAR 27 Thursday – Very heavy storm of hail and rain at 6.30 am. Bright afterwards but very cold strong NW wind. FJ and Germans digging near the brook. AJT finished pulling down the hovel and it has been carted to the Sand. I sowed 6 lights of Brussels sprouts (H Masters’ sort) at the Sand. Then AJT and I cleared 3½ chain of sprout ground on Murray’s and harrowed it. Harrowing ⅓ clearing and shaking out sprout stems 3/6. In the evening we had a public meeting at the Council School to discuss war memorial. Very poor attendance. Captain (Dr) Sladden present. £224.4.0 promised so far – all tendered. No one has been asked yet.
MAR 28 Friday – Cold NW wind. All men at Garnetts. The 3½ chain dressed with dissolved bones 4 [?] and organic 6[?], £1 a chain. I drilled one pound of white Spanish onion. Drill set just beyond the word onions – rather more open than last year. 1 lb did 1 chain. Shallots planted. Cost 7/6 including marking. 1st lot of onions planted rolled. Belladonna digging at the Fourteens started. After dinner I went on Jo to Pershore. I had a slow puncture about 3 miles from Pershore. Had to pump up 4 or 5 times, but had it mended in Pershore. They charge 9d now. I had about 1½ hours with Mr Feek going through the accounts and reserves and had tea there. I left about 6.05 and arrived at L&B at 6.57. Herb meeting. We decided to send a circular to all members telling them to burst up as much as possible and on no account to plant any henbane or belladonna this year. Full Committee after to discuss reconstruction report. At last it was carried. Very little snow left now on the hills.
MAR 29 Saturday – Snow again about 2” thick. Brilliant sun all day. To office. Wrote letters and drew plan of Roman sites for Mr Savory. Then DSMcD and I cyclostyled the postcards re herbs. Put the church clock on at 10 pm striking it round.
MAR 31 Monday – 25o. Bright sun, west wind. All men digging belladonna at the Fourteens. Evesham Police Court. Two “no lights”, 5/- and 7/6. 4 Grammar School boys charged with throwing acid on a dress. It seems one of the boys went to a chemist and bought 6d of sulphuric acid for a set battery. Coming home in the train two other boys begged some and put it in some empty cartridges at L&B Station. These two got out and somehow the acid got on the young lady’s dress, but it could not be proved that it was maliciously done. None of the boys were convicted but they were cautioned. Went to old age pensions committee. 11 cases. We planted more sprout seed under 6 lights on bricks. War Memorial Committee in the evening. Great difficulty as to the question of sites. Paid my club.
This has been a very wet, cold spring. Planting is all behind. Only half the onions in. No parsnips yet. Bed forking begun tonight. Snow still on the hills.
[Petty Sessions written in red in margin.]