Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wednesday 7th July 1937

Benfleet and Hadleigh. £2-17-0. There were two promising cold canvasses. Lunch time slackness. “Symposium” (“It means a musical poem”, said a bus driver.) Asked a tea shop girl who had no conversation, what it meant. To my surprise, she had read Scott, Galsworthy, Dickens and other masters. Called at the local library, discussed “symposium” and borrowed a book called “Common Fodder”. The librarian was one of those charming “brilliant” ladies, - like Mrs Srase-Dickins.

Left Benfleet 3 o’clock. I’d be home early! However, en route, one of the previously mentioned promising calls occurred, and later I spent an hour with Mr Page of Hadleigh Builders Supply. My first client, he is now my best client. “I think I’ll eventually build up quite a sound connection for your stuff”. he said cautiously this afternoon. During the War, Mr Page was in the Secret Service. He told me of an extraordinary incident which happened behind the German lines. One hears interesting stories on the road.

Just finished reports in time to dash to Leigh a 8 o’clock. 11 drills now. No 870844, no. 92 in the battery, posted to “B” sub-section. “Dawson? You’re in my section, I think”, said Porter, the leader of “B”, when I went into the store to sign for canvas. To my horror he added, “I’ll probably put you on the fuse dial. Nobody in the section can do it yet”. Mathematical job, they say. Anyhow, I’m glad I’m on a gun. The U.B.S. men particularly, seem a weedy, affected crowd. Rifle drill: more cunning now, I went in the elementary squad. Learnt to order, present and port arms. Learnt it thoroughly too.

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