Saturday, February 02, 2008

Wednesday 17th November 1937

A bitterly cold day. Set forth into the grey country – Nevendon, Vange, Stanford le Hope. Grey names too!

Billericay. Sold 3 gallons S O Gloss to a new client. Lunch at Chelmsford. (It becomes increasingly difficult to find a warm café. I did not succeed today.) Waited, shivering, half an hour, to see an estate builder in Broomfield Road. And eventually – “Nothing today old man; too busy. See you next week”.

I glance covetously at the large prosperous town of Chelmsford. The only people I can visit there are County Council architects etc and builders who trade from an address in my district. Chelmsford! I’ll have it soon! Already it forms a salient at the boundary of Areas “A” and “B”. Already I have taken certain suburbs – Great Baddow, Sandon, Bicknacre. Next I will make tentative calls in Margaretting, Broomfield, Springfield and Writtle. When the Firm confirms those calls, the circle will be complete. Siege!

It was dusk and raining steadily, and cold. Fed up I drove homewards, but saw some half-built houses near Sandon. This later led me down a rutted lane to Sandon Hall, where I introduced myself to the builder. (In the pig sties, in the muck.) He gave me a small order and then I drove on more happily.

The windscreen wiper clicked, the engine droned, the water swished under the wheels. I smoked. End of the day.

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