Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wednesday 30th June 1937

Half pleasant – half unpleasant. The day started with a hectic interview with Mr Brockbank, architect for the General Hospital contract. (Secretly, I feel too inexperienced to deal efficiently with this job; however I’m learning fast.) Caught the 10:40 to Billericay (with bicycle). My most promising prospect failed me: he was away. Having had an introduction to a firm of speculative builders at Great Baddow I then cycled northwards – right out of Area A – and found my prospect within two miles of Chelmsford. (It was a pleasant seven mile ride along country roads with honeysuckle in the hedges; through woodlands and farmlands. “Country eyes, and quiet faces…”)

Took a trial order from my speculative client. Only 20/- but it was definitely a trial order. They usually buy in 5 gln. consignments. Should prove a useful contact. 14 houses built, 170 to build. I was joyful about the poaching aspect, - “Deliver to … Great Baddow, Chelmsford.”

A weary ride back to Billericay. The wind was dead against me; I felt cold and dirty. Tea and cakes at the café of the fair-haired girl. Did not seem so attractive this time. I heard her use the expression “ain’t”. She reads a periodical called “Secrets”. According to the “Writer’s Year Book” this contains stories, “with strong dramatic action and love interest, to appeal to working-class young women.”

Reached Laindon about 6 o’clock feeling even more dirty and now tired as well. Langdon Hills. Tea at a café. Arranged to use it as an accommodation address for 6d per week, calling for letters from time to time. “Mansfield”, Dry Street, Langdon Hills. Rather a sinister place, kept by a tall dark woman with a moustache and an uncouth child. Possible the latter is afflicted in some way; she has a malignant face.

Afterwards the wind was behind me again. Pitsea, Thundersley. Hadleigh… Arrived home 9 o’clock, feeling beastly stiff.


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