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Odd bits deleted from The Warp

At nine I wake, dreaming of Nell. At ten Patrick and I drive along North End Road in perhaps two cars. Once I cranked mine, forgetting it was still in gear, and was left with the handle in my hands in wild pursuit as it careered off backwards down the road. ‘Poor car,’ as Nell said, ‘frightening it so.’ Lunch would perhaps be sandwiches.

Conversation in a greasy spoon café

As we sit down in the dining room an aged snuffly man seems to be longing to talk to us. He was, he said, a roofer, and efficiency in roofing depended on the right sort of base. His base was haddock, he had one a day, but always gave half his to his missus. He’d got five children. The eldest was a nice girl, but she was thirty-four, too old for marrying.

‘You’ve had it,’ he told her the other day. ‘You’ve had it.’

His eldest boy was courting of course, in a mild sort of way. His next was a young girl, a good mixer. She mixed with all sorts, provided that they come from a good class, so long as they were nice steady lads.

Downstairs in the caf, he explained, you get the real working man but upstairs is more what you might call the middle class.

He told a story about a friend of his Dad’s who met two wanton girls in the street and invited them in to his flat to warm themselves up. Before he knew where he was they’d both got into his bed and it took him six months to get them out.

A confidential man on the other side leaned over and said, ‘It just shows that you can still go someone a bad turn,’ he says. Then he told a long story about his son, who had owed money to all and sundry, and later, died.

Ozymandias squawkingly perches on a frond in a bowl. Feeling ignored he flies blindly on to the mantelpiece, scattering forty Christmas cards on to Clarissa’s lap. Nell says, ‘Ozzy, aren’t you a bad bird?’

And I throw her down on to the sofa.

Nell and her sister and I are eating, sitting at the round table in the huge pillared room. Cooper, the butler, with his rugged but impassive face, brings round the silver dishes. The huge and symbolic figure of Mrs Cooper lurks somewhere in the background.

‘It’s time for the sticky green,’ says Nell’s Dad, and a bottle of green chartreuse is produced. Then he says later, ‘Cooper, another bottle of the best champagne.’

Sometimes he sets two bottles in motion - he will have one bottle for himself and send the other round the table. His bottle is better than that which he gives to his guests.

He has a love-hate relationship with his guests. As one lot finally leave, he sighs and says, ‘Oh dear, that’s one lot gone, I don’t feel I can face the next lot.’

Another ten or so guests file in and, after they have been getting on his nerves to the point that he is at his wits’ end, Philip suddenly siezes a copy of the works of Richard Burton and reads in a voice fraught with drama.

There is a chorus to this and Nell chirps back the chorus and the effect is very strange - the innocent voice that has experienced nothing contrasting with the dessicated voice of the man who knows too much.

Lunch at the Mitchells

Tony’s father says of Julian’s poetry, ‘I call it an unscrambled message from America!’

Tony puts on a record of ‘Facade’ and, as someone declaims he announces, ‘Well, all I can say is, I’m glad I’m not married to her.’

The person actually performing is Peter Pears.

‘When Edith really begins,’ he says, ‘well now, I’m even more certain I don’t want to marry her.’

Nell and I, as we listen to Facade, lie embracing each other on the floor. The hard boards I remember contrast with the soft wiriness of her body.

This morning, writing to Lucy, I gazed across the park to the crashed cedar with the trees and horses. Then I looked round and there on the sofa lay Nell. I gazed at her over the back of the chair and she, consciously or unconsciously, changed her position drowsily over the volume of Wilenski.

The telephone rang and she spoke down its end, then I threw myself on her on the rhubarb sofa. ‘No, no!’ she cries. ‘Yes, yes!’ I say and then she changes, ‘I will, I will!’ she cries.

Now in the grey London evening, having run through the chilly fog, I sit alone in the restaurant.

I think back to the Cottrell’s dance. Nell in her green and white striped dress for only summer wear contrasting with the other dancers - seeming the incarnation of spring itself.

I throw her on to the sofa and that moment Daddy looks through the window and cries, ‘Get off my son, I want him to bring up the horses.’

Nell’s dad gives me some advice, ‘You ought to go to America. As a young man I spent several years in New York.’

‘I would do, only I don’t like cities, I think I should get claustrophobia.’

‘Yes, I used to feel like that. But when you’re actually there, it’s often quite different. There’s nearly always a friend with a sea plane dropping in around the weekend.’

‘Oh unicorn beneath the cedars

To whom no magic charm can lead us.’

Later he told me of the time when he had been Master of the Tedworth Hunt. He said; ‘We used to hunt the most surprising things. We even used to hunt unicorns when I had the Tedworth hounds. We used to put up foxes in the rhododendron bushes. Hunt quite often ran to the car park and even as far as the stables. I always arranged to have a few litters there, made it so much easier when we wanted to come home.’

Telephones. Telephones. Telephones and taxis, hallmark of the bourgeois romance. Once when I ring her, her sister Serena says; ‘I’m so sorry, she said she was going out to get a record and she’s just disappeared and I’m terribly cross with her.’

Then there is the sound of a scuffle, muttered shrieks, then I hear Nell speaking in her best telephone voice, ‘Hello?’ Then she cries, ‘Go away, you horrid man!’

I hear grunts from the man and then he picks up the receiver and says, ‘You there, you’re a bore.’

‘It’s her lover,’ says Serena.

‘Do you sleep with him?’ asks the man.

‘Yes, of course I do, every night, now go away David.’

David grasps the receiver again. ‘You lucky man,’ he says.

Lunch at Eaton Square where the murky light shines through the heavy red curtains and the interior is lit by glowing lights, held up by brass gods and goddesses and glimmering along the line of books. Nell’s sister Serena is there at the huge round table. ‘You two make me terribly frustrated,’ she says. ‘I think perhaps I’ll go to Oxford tonight.’

Nell reads to me from someone’s diary about her mother, how she arrived at a country house in a friend’s Rolls Royce, the friend driving another. On arriving they found that the gates were shut. They slowed down or, rather, one of the cars slowed down. As regards the other, Nell’s mum unfortunately pressed the accelerator in mistake for the brake. The hindmost Rolls rocketed into the one in front which in turn rocketed into the gates and knocked them down (chaos of heavy rococo, rustication, ironwork, stone, the wrecks of two Rolls Royces). That night she also broke a radiogram and got drunk, so by the next morning she had decided that it was time for her to leave. She telephoned a friend who landed his aeroplane in a nearby field and carried her off to fresh locales, fresh destruction.

Now I lie with Nell on the sofa, more soft than any bed. Nell is laid out on the sofa for me. We are talking of Lucy. Earlier she asked if I had been engaged to Lucy. ‘You must remember if you were engaged to her or not?’ she asks.

I feel exhausted as I get back to the studio. Clocks in shop windows on the way informed me that it was six.

‘Good morning,’ says Patrick. They have been up, like me, all night. There is a huge squat form by the stove, half awake, half asleep, ponderously filling an armchair as if a statue had been laid there. It is the massive form of the sculptor.

‘I hear that you know the Dunns.’


‘Have you been to stay with them in Wiltshire?’


‘We went down there, I remember, in a jeep and as we got to the door we skidded. And there was a man from Cambridge there who stood at the door, surveying the scene, and said; ‘What fun!’ Next day we went to dinner with a lady who had written a cookery book. It began; ‘What would you do if Trotsky, Stalin and Einstein dropped in for dinner?’

Another shadowy form stirs beside the stove. It is Robert. He says; ‘A friend of mine was carrying an elk’s head with a friend, a huge great vast great thing which they’d wrapped up in an old sheet they had with them. And in time they lost their way and put down the elk head in front of one of those houses which are all alike deep in the depths of suburbia. When they came back there was a man standing above it, looking down on it, who said; ‘What do you call that, anyway?’

‘That? Oh, it’s an elk’s head.’

‘Oh, that’s what it is, is it?’

I went down to the country for the night and there I wrote in my journal; ‘The Pagan world is about me, the true world, the world of sunlight and wind, of mists and wild music. I feel now that up-to-dateness, journalism, are little beside the peace of the country, its sweet peace. The country is like a frame which gives to everything its true worth. Books and music particularly, whose sweet voices are hidden under the loud clamour of traffic. In the country life can be perfect. In London it cannot. There I only snatch at a series of stimulants to waken me from its ugly lethargy.

About tea-time Nell arrives from the Courthold. The light having ‘gone’ Patrick joins us. Sometimes, in his chair, lit only by the firelight, he falls asleep and Nell and I are caressing each other on the sofa.

‘What is so nice,’ she says, ‘is that you don’t say ‘I love you’ like other people do. You say it happily and laughingly.’

‘Have a lot of people said it to you?’

‘Oh, guardsmen, after a few dances at deb dances.’

I enjoyed the poetry of this article. I also enjoyed its banality. Deciding that I’d like to do something like it myself, I applied for and landed the job of writing a column in the university weekly newspaper ‘Cherwell’. I called it, in an endeavour to root it firmly in the Brideshead tradition, ‘Julian’s Journal’. The first article began: ‘A punt, swaying its heavy way down the channels of Cherwell, and on the punt a harmonium, and leaning against the harmonium, David Gailbraith was the tight-trousered figure who sang among the green tree shadows.

‘Arkadi Nebolsine, whose family relinquished their princely title through modesty in the twelfth century, dipped his long fingers into the keys of the harmonium, and John Rickett as an amorous Elizabethan was half flauntingly launching into the chill air a madrigal of Philip Rosseter.’

The article describes David joining a group of ‘exquisites who toyed with shrimps and chicken’ in the ‘canopied stern’. ‘How the people in England look at one,’ he remarks. ‘Thank goodness I’m soon off for some concerts in Spain. In England even the portraits on my studio walls seem to stare ... But Oxford always brings back memories of my lost youth.’

I asked him if the loss was irrevocable. David’s reply probably seemed less deja vu then than it does now; ‘He vanished among the gasworks one night.’

Into Esmeralda’s bar. The last proprietor committed suicide in a flat with a girl he’d gone home with, Tim told me.

The present proprietor is a wonderful lady, sophisticated, placid as the sea. As she talks she waves her arms sinuously, love making in its most exquisite form, making love to the air itself.

Esmeralda’s bar has been decorated by Anigoni with forks, hoes, sheaves of corn. In the club there are loose lipped semi-queers with paunches, bare shouldered debs, shirted bankers.

He’s in shipping and says, ‘I love the ships. The mere fact of a ship being a ship is incredibly romantic to me, apart from any intrinsic beauty it may have.’

First we went to New College gardens where an orchestra was playing the last act of Gluck’s Orphée and the conductor was Hugh Woods, bouncing and dancing, lost and overwhelmed in the music, and I envy him his heartwhole passion.

To John Buxton’s rooms, strewn with early editions and typed copies headed ‘A Panegyrycke’. New pictures on the panelled walls of Una and Duessa.

In the Junior Common Room I found the Denis Wirth-Miller dog very arresting, the Duncan Grant extremely faded with time. Beresford Parlett was talking non-stop about Robert Graves. He married his third wife to get his son into Arundel, he says. His second was Laura Riding who decided that it was better for creative activity not to make love at all.

Hugh Wood joined us and said, ‘There’s a little thing I’m doing for Bishop Valentine, you know what I mean.’ Then through the lovely meadows down to the river, over the rafts and into Folly Bridge. A tell-tale voice can be heard downstairs - Christopher Johnson. We go up to Mark Tennant’s room. He tells of Lord Berners Leaving for the Isle of Lesbos, leaving the instructions; ‘No male will be forwarded.’

Dinner with Christopher at Folly Bridge. The traffic roars past his window and he sits among the sad furniture which quivers with the traffic, like a huge something at a zoo. There is an actor there who tells us of a parrot he had which used to shout ‘Hurray!’ This parrot was a very good talker but he was not a very good listener. He was appearing in provincial repertory and told many stories; of slow fades that were too fast so everyone was left in darkness; of actors who started off in the wrong act and then remembered and had to say, ‘Oh, of course I’m not in prison yet’; of prompts, ‘Now evening falls upon the plushy hills,’ goes the prompt. Still silence and one of the actors says, ‘We’ve got that, but who bloody says it?’ Of the prompter who prompts with the wrong lines and the actor angrily responds, ‘I’ve already said that!’ Of a breakdown in the recorded music and the over enthusiastic extra who fills in the incidental music on a piano in the wings - POM ti POM!

Christopher describes how, recently in a train, he was trying to open a bottle of beer without success. In desperation, he called out to a passing ticket collector, ‘Have you a bottle opener?’ ‘Of course,’ says the ticket collector, getting one out of his pocket.

At a party Nell saw someone she knew and leapt down from a balcony into the tightly packed guests below. I zoomed down, landing so close to Fiona O’Neil that I slipped down the front of her dress. Nell also leaps, but lands in someone else’s arms.

Nell is wearing a blue spotty dress with a shepherdess hat of plaited straw. Elizabeth James is in green like a tulip.

Elizabeth and I climb down to the landing stage. The water makes strange glutinous noises as it sucks against the timbers and we climb among the rafters of the two towers, vast tarred wooden props set against the waters. She is singing the sailors chorus from Dido. Back to the Fantasie where a friend of Elizabeth Wroughton plays the Jeux Interdit theme on the guitar. The last guests go and we stay to help them tidy up the café, pick up the money and turn out the lights.

To David Galbraith’s place in Observatory Gardens, lying with Elizabeth on a mattress in front of the fire. And I am feeling how little I want to caress her and how attractive is Nell’s frank wildness compared to this affected cynicism. Elizabeth Wroughton said how like Juliet she was, so suddenly I feel deliciously incestuous.

Lynne Redgrave with her young man who says, ‘Have you got Othello for me? Or Traviata, or Butterfly?’ And then, after humming various parts to himself, mistakes Prokovief for Scarlatti.

Back in London, Nell is pregnant now and one day I drive her to the tall block of a hospital in the northern sector of the city.

I stand at one of the vast windows on the seventeenth floor, looking out over a London covered with coursing snowflakes, coursing down past the window and sometimes adhering in damp globules to the outside of its panes.

Nell is delivered of a boy to whom we give the name of Roc.

Valentine Day Wedding

On Valentine Day, the wedding of Mr Jeremy Sandford, son of Mr and Mrs Christopher Sandford, and Miss Nell Dunn, daughter of Sir Philip Dunn and Lady Mary Campbell, was celebrated at St Patrick’s Church, Soho. Before the service the bridegroom played a short piece of his own composition, especially written for the occasion. The altar was flanked by vases filled with green snowballs, red tulips and spring branches. The bride wore a diaphanous Italian wedding dress, Medici fashion. The sleeves and train were embroidered with a motif of silver twigs. A small crown of flowers sat straight up on her brow. Four small pages carried her veil and train: Teifion Owen, the Hon Robert Fermor-Hesketh, Jonathan St Clair Erskine, and Lord Burghersh. Victoria Calvert, as a child bridesmaid, followed them in a high-waisted muslin dress and hat. Mr Patrick Killeary was best man. John Donne’s magnificent ‘St Valentine’s Day 1613’ had been set to music by Hans Selig. The service ended with ‘At a Wedding March’ by Gerald Manley Hopkins, with music by Hugh Wood.

At the wedding reception held at the Ritz the couple’s young friends from Oxford wore irises as boutonnières and silken waistcoats. There was a witty and fantastic display of hats. Among the parents’ friends were Mr and Mrs Sacheverell Sitwell, Anne, Lady Cowdray, Mr and Mrs Peter Thursby, Lady Elizabeth von Hofmannsthal in a red rose Juliet cap and mink, and Mr Patrick Leigh Fermor, who is finishing his book on Greece, Lady Sherborne, sister of Sir Philip, in green and a scarlet feather toque, Miss Judy Montagu and the Hon Hamish St Clair Erskine. Augustus John, O M, had emerged from his reclusion, in tweeds and a scarf, of course. The promising young artists Mr Campbell Methuen, son of Lord Campbell-Methuen the painter, and Miss Julie Guyatt were present, also the bride’s sister Miss Serena Dunn and Mrs Hugh Fraser who, before her marriage, was Miss Antonia Pakenham. She wore two pale roses fastened to her right temple, with a veil smoothly drawn over her forehead. After a champagne buffet lunch the young people began to dance the Rock ‘n’ Roll. A pre-Victorian England had come to life - warm, splendid, generous and unconcerned. The bride appeared in a fitting dress of rose printed silk with pink accessories and an inverted-basket hat. Dancing, the young couple took their leave. They drove away under a shower of rose leaves. Instead of floating in a balloon over Kensington Gardens, as previously planned, they were sent off safely by Sir Philip in a car, and are spending their honeymoon in Spain.

I wasn’t a bit surprised. For right from the start this had been the craziest wedding of the year.

The fun started in St Patrick’s Church, Soho, when Nell and Jeremy shook the congregation by stopping a few yards from the altar ...

And going into a long, lingering kiss while the organ played music specially composed by Jeremy for the occasion. A piece called ‘Prelude for Nell’.

Ritz Rocked

Some of the elegant guests on the bride’s side of the church - like Lord and Lady Westmorland and Judy Montague - looked a bit shocked.

But the groom’s chums - arty types in striped waistcoats and purple irises in their buttonholes - took it in their stride.

Which was more than the Ritz did when it came to the reception.

For this couple’s idea of a jolly wedding feast was a rock ‘n’ roll session - with solos by the bride and groom for an encore.

‘Never known anything like this,’ said a startled waiter as Nell and Jeremy rocked by.

Music to Suit

The bride and groom put down the knife they’d used to cut the cake and rushed off to join them.

Jeremy played a piano solo while Nell sang one of Mistinguette’s old numbers. Dad, Sir Philip Dunn, applauded wildly.

Above the din, groom’s friend Ian Graham told me: ‘Dashed shame they couldn’t leave in a balloon as they planned.’

Bizarre days lie ahead for 20-year-old heiress Miss Nell Dunn, younger daughter of millionaire Sir Philip Dunn, who was married to 26-year-old surrealist and writer Jeremy Sandford last month.

When I last spoke to Mr Sandford, he was enthusiastically producing love letters from a mechanical brain called Muk. At the moment he is hot on the trail of a dancing robot.

‘It’s in France, and it sounds quite fascinating,’ he said.

‘Not only does it move about in its cage, it’s a most remarkable looking machine. But it has its own way of dancing according to the sort of music you play.’

His part in its development?

‘I might become its agent and try to introduce it to this country,’ he said.

Mr Sandford, pictured week-ending with his bride at his parents’ home at Eye Manor, near Leominster, in Herefordshire, talked of other enterprises in which Nell, it appears, is to collaborate.

She writes plays, and they are planning a tragi-comedy about a marriage.

Then there are the birds. ‘Both Nell and I are greatly interested in mechanical bird music,’ said Mr Sandford. ‘We are hoping to produce some.’

‘And we are writing an account of the Surrealist movement.’

In 1956 there were over 12,000 people in England living in temporary shelters provided by local authorities. It was also estimated that over three million people were living in appalling slum conditions. And there were uncounted others searching for a roof over their heads for a day, a week, a month. Such is the background to Jeremy Sandford's Cathy Come Home (1966).

Cathy was screened four times on BBC television, and may be the most effective drama on contemporary social and living conditions ever shown on the BBC.

The form is that of a documentary drama. Cathy marries a driver, Reg. There is an accident. He loses his job, and with cash now tight they have to leave their apartment. Slowly, they begin to move down the social ladder, living in rooms, slums, camp sites, and ruins. Finally, Cathy and her two children are forced into an institution for the homeless, while Reg vanishes, looking for work.

There is little in the way of conventional conflict and drama, and the continual occurrence of so many disasters would seemingly become very boring - but doesn't. This is partly due to the excellent acting and to the superb directing of Ken Loach, who later made Poor Cow and Kes. It is also due to the accuracy of the dialogue and situation, and to the high degree of involvement that Sandford is able to create on the part of the viewer.

'But besides all this,' Alan Rosenthal has written, 'there seem to me to be three other reasons for the success of Cathy. First, it was fairly unique in being a play that felt no need for British balance. It condemned unequivocally and without pulling punches. Second, the need for a secure home environment is one of the necessities of our civilization. So among the viewers there was probably a strong element of "there but for the grace of God ..." Finally, Cathy attacked a target which could leave most viewers' consciences clear. Instead of "us", the target was the impersonal "them", - feelingless bureaucracy, the local authorities, the grey men.'

Critical reaction to Cathy among most newspapers was tremendously enthusiastic. But there were also other voices, like that of the Birmingham city councillor who said of the characters, "They are just puppets strutting across the screen, poisining the minds of the people watching."

The programme consisted of recordings of homeless people interspersed with what struck me as the somewhat bland and heartless explanations of those who had the job of looking after them. The place where we went to record was called Durham Buildings. It was an unpleasant place but not nearly so nasty as Newington Lodge, the place I had visited right at the start. However, all the families in Durham Buildings had passed through Newington Lodge, and the experience had clearly had a terrible effect on them. Even in Durham Buildings, everybody still felt desperately insecure. The men here were allowed back with their families, but there was still a lingering sense of shame. One man said, "I was a prisoner of war and I spent five years behind the wire fighting for this country, and I still feel I'm a prisoner. I've never had a place of my own where I could do what I like."

The reaction to the radio programme Homeless Families was absolutely nil. One had the impression, as one has so often when working for radio, of shouting something very important down a deep well.

After the radio broadcast I was commissioned by the BBC to script a film on life in a luxury hotel. Treading the flashy corridors of the Savoy, then passing through the green baize doors, and entering the squalour of the stark quarters inhabited by the staff gave me the opportunity to think a little about our society, which provides so much for some and so little for others. This stately, cynical, somewhat irreverent film was brilliantly directed by Tony de Lotbinière. Later he went on to make films about the royal palaces, and somehow I don't think his feelings about the Savoy were the same as mine.

I was immensely pleased with the finished film and its public reception. I realised what a wonderful medium a television film is and, disturbed by the fact that my friend in Newington Lodge was about to be evicted and lose her children, I resolved to try to write a film about this. The film would use many of the techniques of the documentary, but would nonetheless have a story line and be done by actors.

Real people are often inarticulate, especially when disaster hits them. There can be flashes of emotion in a true-life documentary, but these flashes cannot be sustained through a film. An actor with an actual script avoids that problem. Also, at this time, cameras were not allowed in the homes for the homeless. Even had I been able to get in and make a television documentary, as I had done with the radio programme, I wouldn't have been able to do justice to the emotional reality of the condition of these human beings who were in there. Instead I saw it all in the form of a play. I had written plays both for radio and for the stage and had always been intrigued by Shelley's line about writers as, "the unacknowledged legislators of the world." Any writer worth his salt seems to me to have a social responsibility, and the situation of the homeless was exactly the kind of situation one had to write about.

Therefore, enthused with the success of the Savoy Hotel film, I decided to try to write a full length story film about a girl called Cathy. Ted Kodcheff, who had previously directed a play of mine at Coventry, was anxious to do it with me and to direct it as a film, either on television or for the commercial cinema.

I had done the writing on speculation, as I do most of my work; but as it shaped up I believed there would be no problem in selling it. I was wrong. Ted and I tried to raise cash from many areas - including various charities, foundations, film companies, and television companies - but were unable to do so. "The television play should not be a political forum" was the sort of reason given. One producer referred to it, even after its first showing, as "patronising the proles".

What I had conceived was, I think, something new. It was a new idea, halfway between drama and documentary; and its newness may have alarmed people. The general feeling of film companies we approached seemed to be that the subject was too gloomy. The charities we approached also reacted negatively, although since then many have grasped the possibility of using film in order to popularise their causes. Some have since approached me to do films for them, including Christian Action, which didn't even bother to reply when I wrote to them about Cathy.

The research for Cathy was nearly all done for other media. The caravan section, where Cathy goes to live on a rundown caravan site, was basically researched in a radio interview programme called Living on Wheels. The tapes that I used in this radio documentary in fact formed the wild track for the equivalent part of the Cathy film, of course supplemented with others I made on the actual location while the film was being shot.

It was while doing research for a series in The People newspaper that I learned of the appalling number of deaths in caravans which caught fire with children in them. I asked how often this occurred and discovered that you could reckon on one major fire involving children every month. It was while working on the newspaper series that I came upon the actual case on which the fatal fire in Cathy was based. I followed the proceedings in the coroner's court, and then I more or less transferred what occurred to the sound track of Cathy. For instance, there's the scene where the girl describes how the caravan was filled with smoke, and how she escaped with little Gary in her arms. "And what happened to the others?" the coroner asks. "They all got burned up," she says. The dialogue is verbatim from the court report.

The research for the section in which Cathy lives in a slum and then camps out in a derelict building was done while compiling another newspaper series. Most of the articles were written out of Liverpool, where I found whole families living in basements and houses without windows, electric lights, gas, beds, or any conceivable amenities except a few sodden mattresses on the floor. I remember water dripping down the walls, from which the women would fill kettles and boil up a cup of tea. Later, I did further research in the Birmingham slums, and also drew on a radio documentary I had done called The Old Backyard.

However, the most important influence of all in the writing of Cathy was my involvement with a particular girl, seeing the situation through her eyes and feeling it through her heart. It was through knowing her so well that I was able to experience the human tragedy and suffering behind this, and the destruction of the human creature. If I had not been able to indicate this, the writing of the play would have been pointless.

Meanwhile, I was also researching into the larger questions concerned. I read Audrey Harvey's excellent pamphlet, Casualties of the Welfare State, and this had a great deal of influence on me. A careful reading of the Registrar General's Annual Report also made me realise that the number of children separated from their parents each year for no reason other than homelessness was in the thousands.

After my experience in Newington Lodge, I didn't go to those in authority for information. Instead, I spoke to those directly involved. When I met a woman in Liverpool or Birmingham who had been many years on the housing list, with no chance of getting a house, I didn't need to consult statistics to know that her situation was a grave one. Later, I got the figures which were used in wild track in Cathy. I also had some good friends in official positions in the bureaucracy - childcare officers, other social workers, people working for the Social Security - and under a cover of secrecy, they were prepared to tell me everything that they knew.

I started by writing Cathy as a short story of three quarto pages, single spaced. It was the story of a girl who came down to London full of hope, built up a family, and then lost that family - husband, kids, the lot - through a complex chain of events. I realised it was essential from the point of view of audience identification that Cathy should be blameless, and one of the things which had struck me in Newington Lodge was the blamelessness of most of the people. It would have been a different sort of film if I had presented, in Cathy, the story of a girl of whom people could say, "Well, she was inadequate and a hopeless sort of person. It's a pity, but it could never happen to me." In the girl Cathy, there is a certain feckless quality, which is good because I was anxious that she not be too perfect. For instance, she and Reg take on an expensive flat without working out how much it's going to cost. They then start a family without working out how they are going to be able to continue to pay for the flat when Cathy has to stop work because of the pregnancy. This sort of thing was intentional, because it is a sort of fecklessness I have myself and yet I don't think of myself as basically inadequate. Cathy's dreamyeyed decision to have kids, without ever having considered where she was going to live with them, might also be thought of as feckless; but in my experience this is a common habit of the majority of womankind in England and every country. They tend to have the children first and worry afterwards. I don't personally blame them for this. I feel that a civilised society should be able to take this into account and not punish many of them as ours does.

So, although Cathy was to be feckless, I also wanted her to be basically blameless. She was to be a girl that any girl could identify with and any boy accept as a possible girl friend.

I scripted Cathy coming down from the country to London, courting and winning her dream boy friend, and setting up home with him to be almost like a commercial. I intended that as far as possible it should correspond to the perfect dream romance and marriage as envisioned by a great number of people. I didn't want Cathy to have too strong a character; I wanted her to be the kind of person that the maximum number of people could identify with. Having created the situation - the very typical situation of a young girl in a beautiful flat, married and in love, and starting her first kid - I got to the point where the story got interesting for me and, from then on, the structure fell into an unusual pattern of an unending series of disasters.

There were five sections, each ending in a worse disaster than the previous one. Cathy is turned out from her luxury flat because children aren't allowed, and anyway it is too expensive for them. She and her husband Reg run into debt and are shocked to find that it is so difficult, on a low income, to find accommodation that will accept children. Then Reg has an accident, so that his earning power is now a fraction of what it was. After trying many places and meeting many rebuttals, Cathy at last finds an extremely unhygienic couple of rooms in a Birmingham slum. They and the children are happy in this slum, but are finally evicted from it by a trick carried out by the new landlord who takes over when the existing landlady dies. Again a hopeless search, till they sink another rung, when Reg finds a place for them on a caravan site.

Although the conditions here are terrible, they achieve more happiness than perhaps at any other time in their lives. They get in with a group of people who are free, happy-go-lucky, and don't care too much about anything. But then a fire in which children die awakens public interest in the site. The local authorities move in, the caravans are towed away, and the odyssey continues. But Cathy has suffered too many moves and is demoralised. She tries to sleep out in a ruined building and makes a few more discouraging attempts to find accommodation; finally, she, Reg, and the children arrive at the doors of the home for the homeless. So the story continues. Reg disappears, and Cathy is eventually evicted from the house and her kids taken from her.

I designed Cathy's husband Reg to be an attractive man, who is ultimately not strong enough to keep the family together. I wanted viewers to identify with his dilemma where, after a certain point, he is too ashamed to continue with his family. I didn't want to show him as a thoughtless bastard because, then again, this would have given viewers a case of special pleading, special inadequacy, and the tragedy would become a particular one rather than a general one, which was what I wanted to show.

Nearly everything in the film was founded on something which had actually happened. An incident, like the fight in the home for the homeless where Cathy strikes one of the staff, was an amalgamation of two real incidents. One concerned the principal of one of the homes who alleged that an inmate had talked to the press, and in consequence they threw her out. The other incident involved the death of a baby - something which I'm sorry to say happened more than once in homes for the homeless - and the belief of the inmates that this was due to dysentery. The staff claimed that it was due to the mother's neglect. I combined these cases into a cameo where an inmate writes to a paper about a baby's death.

In earlier versions of the script, I had myself in as journalist who appears at various intervals in the script. The journalist watches over Cathy's plight, grieves at her deterioration, and tries in vain to do something to help her. Later, I realised that to have myself in the script was purely selfindulgence, and that it detracted from the simplicity which I wanted to achieve in the story.

When we first discussed the script, the director, Ken Loach, felt that we should cut out the caravan sequence. He thought it would seem too way out for viewers to be able to identify with. However, a stay in a caravan is so frequent an occurrence in the story of the average homeless person. The incident also provides a moment of lightness in an otherwise grim story, so we decided to leave it in.

The actual process of writing was as follows: I filled a hard-backed spring binder with bits of quarto paper which had the headings of the various sections of the film on them, such as caravan, slum, luxury flat, courting, mothers-inlaw, the first home for the homeless, and so on. I then worked from a very large number of newspaper clippings that I had accumulated through the years, transcripts of tape recordings, actual tape recordings, notes of people I had met, and places I had been to. I went through all this material, picking facts and incidents out at random, seeing if they fitted what I wanted to do or not. Most of the selection I ultimately rejected; but those incidents which seemed to fit, I would put in, sometimes in an altered form, sometimes almost verbatim. This all went on for a couple of months.

Having written a large number of little scenes like this for each section, I juggled them around into the best order; then I had the whole thing typed. The story went to the typist two or three times after that. Each time I would work it through, trying to see the development with objective eyes, excluding some scenes, altering the position of others, amplifying incidents, and writing in a few new scenes out of my head. I'd add touches to Cathy's character, and so on. It was the general drudge which I expect many writers go through till they consider the script is right.

In all, this took three or four months. I try to avoid working at home; and I had found a delightful, very small attic room, very high up at the back of a house in Oakley Street, Chelsea, with white walls and ceiling and a little fireplace. It was a bit tatty but rather delightful and very pleasant. I was able to scatter papers everywhere in deep piles like snow, and I was going to enjoy myself. But, in fact, writing Cathy was a very grueling experience; and although I had a feeling of immense satisfaction and fulfillment, I often finished the day feeling more dead than alive, since I had never tackled so large or serious a subject before. And sometimes, especially when writing the final sections, I would find myself weeping uncontrollably.

I had thought there would be buyers for Cathy, but there were none. I had a first-rate director wanting to do it. I thought it was a powerful script, but there were no buyers. So, for a year and a half I worked at other things, periodically pushing Cathy in all sorts of directions. In the end, I became so doubtful whether anybody would buy it that I decided to turn the script into a book, so that Cathy could have some kind of a life. About halfway through the transformation into a novel, a BBC producer named Tony Garnett, whom I had never met, rang me to say that he had found my synopsis at the bottom of the BBC Wednesday TV play filing cabinets, was very enthusiastic about it, and wanted Ken Loach to direct it.

We met for lunch in the BBC canteen, and I explained to Garnett about the play's previous history of refusals, thinking that this would put him off. But it didn't. We did resolve, however, to keep the subject of the play a secret and for the moment to give it a different title. We also agreed that if anybody asked us about the play we would refer to it as a knock-about family comedy, which it was in a way, except for the comedy bit.

The director, Ken Loach, has a wonderful gift for simplification and made many suggestions at this point, the effect of which was to give the story a more simplified or "classical" shape. The major suggestions which he made and I agreed to were in the opening section of the film, where I had gone at great length into Cathy's arrival in London. I had shown Cathy getting a room on her own. I showed her relationship with the people who were living in the street and her reactions as a country girl finding herself in town. I had also gone into more detail about her courtship. Ken suggested we prune these scenes, and also pointed out that Reg veered a little towards being "wet" and that it would help things if we could make him stronger. He was certainly right about the second thing, although I'm not sure about the first. I think there's a danger that the beginning is too glossy, and a little more time getting to know Cathy before the commercial-type love scene might have been better. But I don't know.

I was very satisfied with the way the script was finally translated to the screen. I don't think that any writer could feel that his ideas had been translated more accurately or with more compassion. Ken and I worked together on choosing the locations; but all of them were actually found by me, mainly because I knew the right areas from my research. But it was the production assistant, John McKenzie, who had the unheard of audacity to ring Newington Lodge, the most infamous of all homes for the homeless, and ask whether we could shoot a film there. To our amazement we were allowed to, so that when the team moved in it was amidst the situation of children still being carried off with dysentery and husbands still having battles with the staff owing to being separated from their wives.

This atmosphere of hopelessness and helplessness which hung around the home for the homeless had an immense effect on the cast and enabled them to live out the scenes with conviction. We shot nearly all of the film on location, which enabled Carol White, who played Cathy, to identify very closely with, for instance, the caravan site. Ken shot very freely; often, vision and words run separately, so that while the camera is exploring one thing the words continue to carry the sense along.

The film is fantastically closely packed. This was my original intention, and Ken adhered to it. One gets the feeling often that there are three or four strands going contrapuntally. An official voice quotes statistics. In the background we hear somebody else talking about the inadequacies of the toilet. And on the screen we see, perhaps, the face of one of the protagonists talking, against a background of life in the homes. I think the compactness is important, and I find that different people often remember different things about some specific sequence in the film. The reason for this is that often much more is happening at any given moment than the average person can take in, so that, like existence itself, one subconsciously makes a selection.

The film was shot in three weeks. Given all these locations and something like a hundred speaking parts, it was a miracle of organisation. I can never speak too highly of Ken's direction. I feel that he gave life to something that in the hands of another director could perhaps have not lived so vibrantly. His craftsmanship was consummate, and without him Cathy could not have been the film it was.

I feel some regret at the success Cathy has had, because it's so much better known than anything else I have done, thus labeling me the "Cathy author". But as regards its effect on the country and the housing situation, I can only be glad. It is good to know that I have altered, if only slightly for the better, the condition of life in my own society.

As a result of the film and certain meetings which we held afterwards, Birmingham and various other towns ceased their practice of separating three or four hundred husbands per year from their wives and children. The husbands were allowed to return to their families in a great gushing stream. It was intensely moving. I was lucky enough to be present on this jubilant occasion; and that moment, if no other, justified not only my writing of Cathy, but also my own existence.

‘Props of the aesthetic shrubbery fond of mouthing buns and bonhomie and toying with mugs of tea foregather each week for Mary Stanley-Smiths’s salon in Ship Street; and here I found bubbling Joy Gregory and a visiting bloom called Julie Wood. Gavin Constam helped Charles Robinson and Tony Woodward through their passes for the New College Edward II (private performance); during the usual lull Val Saville remarked ‘.... But lipstick is out - in Belgrade’. Apropos of the Skeaping’s at the Ashmolean Geoffrey Peck was describing ‘Spike-ism, the latest ism of the London critics. ‘.... Look at Reg Butler!’ he was saying, ‘and look at life! Everywhere you’ll find a latent spike ...’

‘“Horrid, quite horrid,” Hans Seelig was heard muttering to himself during a momentary pianissimo at the first night of Irmelin. At the back of the stage Antonia Willis was showing a different attitude in her touching performance of a hussey - or did she underestimate the brilliance of the footlights?’

‘Feverish beer drinking accompanied the sensational victory of New College Fourth Team (captained by Charles Foster) over New College First in the semi-finals of the university Bridge Championships. Team One contained not only ‘Winchester’s cleverest man’, Jeremy Morse, but also the Editor of Cherwell. Keystone of Team Four’s policy was a huge dinner in the George where, plying their opponents with wine, they themselves drank only water, this causing sense of false security. Asked about his hopes for the finals, Charles replied, ‘There’s only one hope; at this moment Julian Potter is looking through his father’s early manuscripts to see whether he can’t rediscover the famous ‘Ploy of Ploys’, lost in 1934 ...’

Later, I remember saying to Mark; ‘I’ve been upset by John, he’s been very cold towards me. I think perhaps he gave me more of himself than he meant to, and then he felt I’d trampled on what he gave me.’

‘I’ve never given myself to anybody like that,’ said Mark. ‘Not because I didn’t want to, but there never was anyone ... You’ve had a very nicely balanced life, both as regards what you’ve given to others and they’ve given to you.’

Once, squirrels broke into her marquee and ate many of her specially imported demonstration corn dollies. Besides recreating the ancient models she also embarked on new designs of her own. Among the most unusual of all her creations were two gigantic seven foot ‘corn maidens’ for the harvest celebrations in the opera Eugene Onegin at Covent Garden. Many of her corn dollies are now on permanent display in the Churchill Gardens Museum and Gallery in Hereford.

During this period my mother was also directing drama for Eye Womens Institute. ‘We became involved in a charming world of make believe, culminating in the yearly County Drama League Competition,’ she told me. ‘Whole winters were spent in making props and costumes, and producing plays with actors from our own community.’ There was the Chester Play of the Deluge, in which the part of God was played by the vicar, the Rev. Meredith Davies, standing behind a sheet on a step ladder, speaking through a megaphone. In ‘the Bodenham Bogey’, a thriller by their friend, the Herefordshire writer Jessica Frazer, the bogey was played by my father, emerging from a well in mid stage, heavily made up in green greasepaint, wearing a green hessian outfit, with long and unkempt locks made of green bast.

My mother was also active with the local Womens Institute, and rose to be president of the Herefordshire Federation of Womens Institutes. There were many other activities such as bottling and dress making to fill the days, and she designed and superintended the work on a largish number of embroidered banners for local Womens Institutes.

Even more engrossing than any of these was the operation of opening Eye Manor to the public. My mother and father assembled collections of clothes, dolls, corndollies. Period furniture, old masters, the Golden Cockerel books and her illustrations were on show.

Despite all these other activities in the post war years, my mother had found the time to illustrate some more books, now using pen and ink. There were Aucassin and Nicolette, Arabian Love Tales, and Lancelot and Guinevere for the Folio Society, and The Letters of Maria Edgeworth for the Golden Cockerel.

In theory my father’s work took place in a room called The Cockerell, partly after the press and partly after the plaster cockerell that adorned the ceiling. In practice he found this room too secluded, and preferred to work in the drawing room, one of the biggest rooms in the house, where there was more coming and going. Sitting under the ornamental plaster ceiling showing hunters and hounds amid ornamental foliage, by the big French window, he could look down the length of the garden, and I remember him remonstrating with my mother that she should not plant a tree which would, he said, interfere with his view of blue distant hills.

There was an air of quiet activity in our home, with the rustling of papers at my father’s long table at the centre of it. For recreation he would leave this table and push a huge motor lawn mower over the lawns, swerving dangerously at the last moment to prevent him and it falling down into the haha.

He and I used to ride together, before breakfast, through the green fields of Herefordshire. His horse was a largish chestnut thoroughbred called Dr Syntax. My pony was called Jet. For years I thought this was because she went so fast. She frequently bolted, and when she did I usually fell off. In fact she had been called Jet because of her colour, which was jet black.

Our idyllic life was occasionally interrupted by deadlines in my father’s publishing. Once, in order to catch the afternoon post, I remember him correcting proofs under a beech tree on the ancient fortress of Croft Ambry whilst the family picnic which he’d promised to go on took place around him and the fair fields of Herefordshire stretched away to a blue horizon. Once he discovered that a ‘special’ of one of the Cockerells had not been correctly signed, and so set off with my sister in his ancient Jaguar to get the required author’s signature at the further end of Wales.

Late that night they arrived back. They claimed that a storm had nearly caused them to be benighted on the slopes of a mountainous area.

I discovered the entrance to an underground passage, hidden under gravel. Inside were bottles piled high on racks, each with a piece of cloth attached. I ran back to describe my find. My father hastily drew me aside and explained that he had combined the picnic with a visit to one of his ammunition dumps, and that I must not mention my discovery to anyone.

In the Magic Forest, the first Boars Head Press book, my father talks of the importance of innovation. He says that ‘the typographer’, in other words himself, ‘has in fairness to admit that his most objectionable critic has not been the old hand who complains, “You can't do that, Sir. Why, Sir? Well, it isn’t usual!” but himself, who is never satisfied with his work, but must ever go chasing after a coy nymph “Perfection”.’

Pondering this book, he decided that the Chiswick Press ‘Antique’ type, with its bolder face, would have combined better with the rich ‘colour’ of the wood blocks to yield the page he had before his mind’s eye. Alternately, he wondered whether it would have been better to have printed this story of the sixth century in some ‘primitive type’, but then reassures himself that that would have been a retrograde step, ‘since those faces, which few people can now read with ease, have been replaced by more legible types’.

My father once said that as a young man he’d been advised to go into something lucrative like women’s underwear, not private press printing. There was no real choice though. He had a vocation to become a publisher.

When Eye Manor was opened to the public, my father put many of the Cockerells on view in our former nursery, arranged on wooden racks. He wanted people to be able to handle the books, and get the feel and smell of the pages and sumptuous bindings, even if this meant that they were sometimes in danger. It is the Cockerells which have won wordly fame but the ten Boars Head Press books have a particular place in my affection, perhaps because I was born around that time.

Over the years her work was shown in mixed shows at the Anthony Blond, the New English Art Club, Gallery One, and other galleries in London, and she later exhibited in many shows featuring local Herefordshire artists, in one at Hereford Museum called ‘Lettice Sandford and the Golden Cockerel Press’, and a very successful final show at the Kilvert Gallery in Clyro.

For this exhibition Lettice had printed some special artists proofs of her favourite engravings. At this time she also looked through her papers and discovered some prints that had originally been done for her own delight and never appeared in public. All these were printed from the original blocks by Reg Boulton, with the exception of one which was printed by John Randall.

At one point she decided that my two sisters were ‘too much for me’ and took me away with her for a holiday in Bognor, and later Weymouth. She was working on her etchings, but the dim lights of the hotel strained her eyes, and not long after this she had to give up wood engraving and etching. In later works, such as Aucusson and Nicholette, and her childrens books Coo-My-Doo, and Roocoo and Panessa, she used pen and ink.

She produced very little artwork between 1950 and the 1980s . Later, long after the period that this volume describes, after a gap of many years, she returned to the life of an artist. Unlike her prints, which were mainly celebrations of the human form, her later work, usually in watercolour, was a record of those things that she found most delightful in the Herefordshire countryside, its buildings, meadows, hills, uplands, coppices and groves. Her finest work of all is probably nearly all to be found in books published by the Boars Head and Golden Cockerell Presses.

In the course of her studies on Camden Hill, she became interested in book illustration and moved on to the Chelsea Polytechnic in Manresa Road in Chelsea, where she was delighted to find that the Art Department was now being run by her old friend and teacher Percy Jowett. Another teacher was Robert Day who taught her engraving on wood, and she became part of a small and dedicated class in etching run by Graham Sutherland.

My mother’s first commissioned job was for the Christmas issues of the Illustrated London News in 1931 and 1932. It was to illustrate with wood engravings some Tibetan folk tales, which had been collected and transcribed by Barbara Bingley.

‘Meanwhile,’ Lettice told me, ‘Christopher and I both got so interested in finely produced books that The Boars Head Press came into being, named after the Sandford family crest. We ran the press as a joint enterprise, I illustrated many of the books, and Christopher set the type and printed them, using the facilities of the Chiswick Press, of which he was a director.’

Together they also chose the bindings, and my mother's work for the earliest of these, in books like Clervis and Bellamie and The Magic Forest, has something of the atmosphere and appearance of Mediaeval woodcuts.

Lettice was experimenting in other styles in wood and copper and was very excited by the edition of Comus, with illustrations by Blair Hughes Stanton, that was published by the Gregynog Press. ‘I admired his use of black figures set off by his intricate use of the graver,’ she told me, ‘and he had a tremendous influence on the direction my work would take, which can first be seen in my illustrations for Thalamos, with its rhythmic and free expression. This was the first time I thought of trying a black figure with white lines.’

Lettice illustrated the few fragments of poetry that have survived from Sapho, the poetess of Lesbos, for another volume from the Boars Head Press and the picture of myself, as a small shepherd boy, herding sheep.

She also did illustrations for Hero and Leander which were published by another of Christopher’s enterprises, the Golden Hours Press.

A year or so after this she saw some copper engravings by Matisse and was enchanted by his ‘sparse technique’. My father had now acquired from Robert Gibbings the Golden Cockerel Press and Matisse’s freehand inspired my mother in her illustrations for three great Cockerel books, The Golden Bed of Kydno, The Song of Songs, on copper, and The Cockerel Greek Anthology on zinc. ‘All these,’ my mother told me, ‘relied on a very sensuous line that seemed appropriate to the texts.’

In 1936 Lettice and Christopher moved to Eye, a manor house in North Herefordshire, built for Ferdinando Gorges in 1680. She was delighted with the move and this delight was manifest in the family Christmas Card for 1938 in which she showed her three children and other things she loved such as the weeping ash, the manor house, Creeping Jenny, her mother in law’s caravan in which she had travelled over the Alps behind oxen and the little GWR railway station of Berrington and Eye. This was a private edition for friends only, so that only later did it come to be seen by the general public.

‘In those last idyllic years before the war,’ Lettice told me, ‘I decided to write and illustrate a couple of children's books, inspired partly by the Baba books. My stories were about pigeons called RooCoo and Panessa and Coo-My-Doo, and for models I had the forty fantail pigeons which lived in a dovecot at Eye Manor at that time.’

The house was a rendezvous for many of the artists and writers commissioned by my father to work for the Golden Cockerell Press. A typical day is celebrated in a poem, ‘Sunday at Eye’, by their author and poet friend Christopher Whitfield.

‘Sunday at Eye, that house of rural calm,

Where History sleeps, her head upon her arm,

Where Rodney's younger sons spent tranquil days,

Proud of their port, and wise in rustick ways!

The day begins, and from the freezing night

Rises reluctant with its Wintry light.

See, where the woods come creeping down the hill,

The bare trees white with frozen rime, and still!

See the flat fields, hoary and hard all day,

Where cattle stand, and chew their whispy hay!

See the grey sky where, in the cold dawn's light

The daws and rooks pass by in silent flight,

While the red sun blinks through the frozen haze,

And in Eye's windows sees his own red face!

The morning stirs, the children's voices sound,

Lighting the house with laughter from all round;

And by the ha-ha, through the cold there goes

The parson, muffled to his dripping nose,

While singly from the solitary bell

The notes sound out, the solemn hour to tell.

A child or two and two old ladies go

Into the church; the Sexton follows slow.

Now the bell stops, and seeing all is clear,

Daphnis and Chloe and their Friend appear.

The pigeons flutter to the opened door,

Fed but an hour since, yet demanding more.

The car is started, and with Tigger too,

The rural trio seek for rustick pleasures new.’

Daphnis and Chloe are of course my parents, thus named because my father had recently published their story. Tigger was their golden cocker spaniel. After a visit to the Black Mountains in Wales, they return for tea and;

‘Now to Eye's fireside do the trio wend

Their way through dusk that marks the day's chill end.

There the logs crackle, and with joy they see

Steam in their cups the aromatick tea.

The shutters closed, the curtains closely drawn,

They re-explore the day from dusk to dawn,

Take down the books that Daphnis' press creates,

While Chloe for her children, stitching, waits.

The busy brood arrives, and games begin

That turn to wisdom Adam's venial sin.

Shouts, laughter, children's joys, fill all the air;

What sweet domestick scene could be more fair?

But soon fair Chloe, lifting up her head,

Rises, and calls the happy brood to bed.

So goes the day. And when the house is still

And Chloe's cares are done, they take their fill

Of wise converse, forgetting not the jest

That lends the serious hour its wonted zest.

But night draws on, and soon they take their way

To bed, and sleep, to meet another day.

The Friend awhile reads verse of ancient Greece,

By Daphnis printed for delight's increase,

With fair engravings by fair Chloe made,

One of a hare loved by a simple maid.

Happy, he sleeps, though he with day must leave

These pleasant scenes for cares that make him grieve.

And, though his stay is short, his thanks come deep

From a touched heart that hopes their friendship long to keep.’

War came. Troops were stationed at Eye. Galvanised sheds were built as garages for vehicles and ammunition store, and subterranean hideouts constructed throughout the county. My father slept by day. He was busy, usually by night, setting up a resistance movement to be brought into action in the event of enemy invasion. The cellars at Eye had become a secret guerilla headquarters with Christopher in control.

Many things that my parents had planned had to be abandoned with the arrival of war and petrol rationing. Even shopping was difficult. Twice a week my mother and I rode the four miles to Leominster on bicycles with baskets fore and aft, returning laden with tins of powdered milk, small portions of whale meat, and other wartime delicacies, such as raw carrots to be made into Woolton Pie. Hens now perched in the shrubbery, pigs snorted in a specially constructed pig sheds, nine evacuee children and their schoolteachers moved in, and horses grazed the once immaculate lawns.

As so much more devolved on her, my mother had little time for art.

The war came to an end and slowly all sorts of things became possible again. My mother was becoming increasingly intrigued by a series of artefacts as ancient perhaps or even older than woodcut, and certainly stranger in their provenance. She was introduced to them by Miss Philla Davis, a council craftworker who, travelling by motorcycle, passed a night at Eye once a week to give classes in the school or village hall. The motorcycle of this remarkable woman was hung round with whatever was needed for that week of craft work, vital bits of hessian, old legs for restored stools, rope and straw, bolts of cloth, men’s boots, goggles, rush for chair seats, dummy figures, half upholstered chairs.

Inspired by Philla, my mother was to play a major part in the regeneration of the ancient craft of corn dolly making. She travelled far and wide on tours of discovery to learn the secrets of traditional makers, and regional variations. The closest maker of corndollies she visited was in the Herefordshire hamlet of Stockton Hennor, the furthest lived in Exmouth.

She wrote, and co-wrote with Philla, pamphlets and books, and for more than a decade hosted a long series of over a hundred 3-day corn dolly making courses at Eye. Also she travelled to America to teach. Once, squirrels broke into her marquee and ate many of her specially imported demonstration corn dollies. Besides recreating the ancient models she also embarked on new designs of her own. Among the most unusual of all her creations were two gigantic seven foot ‘corn maidens’ for the harvest celebrations in the opera Eugene Onegin at Covent Garden. Many of her corn dollies are now on permanent display in the Churchill Gardens Museum and Gallery in Hereford.

During this period my mother was also directing drama for Eye Womens Institute. ‘We became involved in a charming world of make believe, culminating in the yearly County Drama League Competition,’ she told me. ‘Whole winters were spent in making props and costumes, and producing plays with actors from our own community.’ There was the Chester Play of the Deluge, in which the part of God was played by the vicar, the Rev. Meredith Davies, standing behind a sheet on a step ladder, speaking through a megaphone. In ‘the Bodenham Bogey’, a thriller by their friend, the Herefordshire writer Jessica Frazer, the bogey was played by my father, emerging from a well in mid stage, heavily made up in green greasepaint, wearing a green hessian outfit, with long and unkempt locks made of green bast.

My mother was also active with the local Womens Institute, and rose to be president of the Herefordshire Federation of Womens Institutes. There were many other activities such as bottling and dress making to fill the days, and she designed and superintended the work on a largish number of embroidered banners for local Womens Institutes.

Even more engrossing than any of these was the operation of opening Eye Manor to the public. My mother assembled collections of clothes, dolls, corndollies. Period furniture, old masters, the Golden Cockerel books and her illustrations were on show.

Despite all these other activities in the post war years, my mother had found the time to illustrate some books, now using pen and ink. There were Aucassin and Nicolette, Arabian Love Tales, and Lancelot and Guinevere for the Folio Society, and The Letters of Maria Edgeworth for the Golden Cockerel.

It was subsequent to my father's death, and with the move to a pleasant cottage in the stable yard at Eye, that my mother returned to her early passion for watercolour. She once again got out her black Japan paintbox and returned to Norwich to look once again at the paintings of John Sell Cotman and the Norwich School of Watercolour. She joined the Hereford Painting Club, a group of some thirty artists which goes once a week to a country house or farmhouse or other picturesque spot to paint.

‘I began with the Club a series of paintings chronicling aspects of Herefordshire. Llandinabo Court, for example, with its number of bulls looking enormously rustic and chewing the cud peacefully, in a wonderful assortment of old and new barns.’

‘I remember especially, too, the edge of the lawn at Tedstone Court with its distant view of hills, sheep and donkey, magnificent pine in the foreground, and lych gate and church just visible.’

‘I love the cleanness of the statement of watercolour. We live in a watercolour world, and especially in these border climes in which water has made itself so much a part of everything. I've always loved the country and all of its seasons. This is a way of putting down what I feel about them.’

Of this, which was to be the last decade of her life, she said; ‘I don't want to go abroad or travel or anything. This is what I want to do.’

The artist Eugene Fisk, who sometimes taught on the courses, says; ‘With her large straw hat, her small folding chair and trolley easel, she was very much the traditional British woman painter, and was frequently the first to arrive and the last to leave.’

Besides the glory of her earlier engravings, my mother's watercolours will remain as record of a rustic bucolic Herefordshire which may one day be a thing of the past.

As Samuel Palmer said of William Blake’s illustrations to Thornton’s Virgil, her paintings and engravings are ‘visions of little dells and nooks and corners of paradise’.

Battersea gave the impression of being full of hard working people. At five every morning many hundreds of women surged over the bridges to clean the offices across the water. The hours of the day were marked by the blare of factory hooters. One day I ran into the director of a flour factory by the river.

‘There has been a mill on this site for a very great number of years. It was originally a windmill and produced quite a small amount of flour. Now, as you see, we have a very large building and we are producing as much as 180 bags of flour every hour. Practically all our people are Battersea people - all types. Men, women, and girls. And very good workers they seem to be.’

Battersea Woman 3: 'I come from the North, but I've been very happy down here. And I do like Battersea. They seem as though they cater for the older people. You know, there's all kinds of things that we can get to.'

'How long have you been living in Battersea?' I asked this lady.

'All my life. I was born in it, really.'

'And what do you think of Battersea?'

'Well, it's as good as anywhere else. As far as I'm concerned it is.'

'You wouldn't like to live anywhere else?'

'No, no. Certainly not.'

'What sort of qualities does Battersea have? What makes it different from anywhere else for you?'

'I suppose it's more or less that I was born here and got used to it.'

In the backyards of Battersea there flourished innumerable hobbies - gardening, rabbit keeping, snobbing, and pigeon fancying.

Pigeon Fancying: 'I asked Mum if I could keep it in the garden, and she said providing you keep it somewhere where it's warm. Anyway, we decided that we'd keep it in the backyard in an orange box, and I guess that's how we first started. From then on, of course, we got more and more interested and decided to join a club. I joined the club with my brother and we were jogging along steadily and all of a sudden Dad got the bug. He decided that he'd like to join in and race pigeons with us. So that started us off. We went out in the backyard and we decided we'd build two good lofts. Well we started off one morning, on a Saturday, and by Sunday evening we were all soaking but the lofts were built. Then it was building the stock up. We were advised by one of the old fanciers in the club to go to a good man. So we set out on a Sunday morning to go and see one of the old Wimbledon Flyers - Mr Gilbert. We went over there on a Sunday morning and bought six pair, and we've never looked back so far.

'There are two routes on this flying. There is the North Road Route and the South Road. To my estimation, and a lot of other flyers, the South Road Route is the hardest route in the world, because we have to come across the Channel, where the North Road pigeons stay inland all the time. The North Road they fly from 82 miles up into Thurso and Lerwick which is five and six hundred miles. But on the South Road we fly down as far as Exmouth, which is 154, and then we shoot across the Channel up to our furthest point which is Barcelona, one thousand miles away. No matter how long the distances are they will do, and a pigeon will break his heart to try to get home.

'The pigeon faces many hazards in the course of its race. There are the mountains, there's the fog, there's rain, and there's that fellow they call the farmer. Also from other birds especially, if you're flying across the water, from hawks. We never seem to have any trouble from birds in London.

'Pigeons fly better over the earth than they do over the sea. Well, the earth naturally because a pigeon flies low when it comes across the sea, and that's what makes them go down, in my estimation. They see their shadows in the water and down they go, but they never come up again.'

Battersea gave the impression of being full of hard working people. At five every morning many hundreds of women surged over the bridges to clean the offices across the water. The hours of the day were marked by the blare of factory hooters. The director of a flour factory by the river;

I am a director of two of the flour companies operating from this mill. There has been a mill on this site for a very great number of years. It was originally a windmill and produced quite a small amount of flour. Now, as you have seen, we have a very large building and we are producing as much as 180 bags of flour every hour. Practically all our people are Battersea people - all types. Men, women, and girls. And very good workers they seem to be. I suggest that you should now go and meet some of them. This is Mr Sinclair, who is in charge of our warehouse. He will take you to meet some of his people.

Just inside there was a huge corkscrew arrangement which presumably brings down flour from the floor above, and we're surrounded by great silver conical bins which stretch twenty or thirty feet up into the air. I asked Mr Sinclair what was in these bins.

'Flour. Flour.'

In the comparative silence of the young women's department, one of them told me; 'I've always worked in a factory. I like it in a factory. You get a laugh. It's hard work to an office.'

When I asked Mr Sinclair what he especially liked about Battersea, he said; 'Well, the old days, you know. And all the barrow boys and things like that, you know; they used to have a right laugh. But that's all died out now. You don't get that, do you? It's not half so good now as it was in the old days. The Charleston's gone.'

Mr Prescott told me; 'The Council have an intense pride in their early pioneer work, in the early part of this century, when they were the first council to own an electricity undertaking, and the first to build houses by direct labour. Battersea started really with the coming of the railway. The first terminus was at Nine Elms, in about 1850. There were then about 5,000 people living in Battersea and within 40 years there were 150,000 people. Later, railways built up throughout the whole borough and then came Clapham Junction. The biggest junction in the world, and the whole borough is a crosscross of railway lines and workshops and sheds.'

'Are you conscious of the Battersea that existed before, the old Battersea Village?'

'Well, I'm very aware of it, as a sort of thread that goes right back through time for some thousands of years.'

'You are aware of the marsh that lies underneath the houses?'

'I am, yes. I almost feel it under my feet as I come into this part of Battersea which is the oldest.'

This obsession with the past so gripped Mr Prescott that he wrote a pageant in which he traced Battersea's history, and which was performed at Old Battersea Church.

The face of the land is dark. Smoke, grit, grime and dirt mar the beauty that once was here. Engines shunt to and fro, factories roar, traffic jostles. Clamour is fit to burst the ears.

Look, there and there and there. Mighty chimneys disgorging sulphurous clouds of smoke into the laden air. And there, a giant concrete mixer emitting a slimy stream of lava into ever-moving bowls.

But Battersea is proud of its achievements, proud to be part of a thriving, buoyant community.

Here is no frail flower that will disperse in the slightest breeze. The roots go deep; deep into the soil of the past.

'Cholmondeley, I'm told there's all sorts of cut-throats frequenting this place.'

'I think we'll hurry on and hope for the best.'

'I told you it would have been best to go the long way round.'

'Ah. Come on my varlets, let's be having your wallets - eh?'

'Oh, lor!'

Probably one of the most impressive moments in the pageant was the portraying of the marriage of William Blake. His 'Jerusalem' is still considered by many people to be the Battersea Anthem.

Philip Roger Lee, a scrap merchant living in Battersea;

'I like the borough. I like this borough very much indeed. I feel that there's a certain quality. To me Battersea spells home, and I will be sorry to leave it. But leave it I must because I just couldn't live in a concrete jungle. By the time the Planning Authority gets through with this place all these old Victorian houses will come down, there'll be no gardens, there'll be no places to put a car. Indeed, there'll be no place for anything, not even for little children to play.

'In the backyards here we've got the rose-grower, we've got the pigeon fanciers, we've the small boat builder, the small car builder. As a matter of fact I think maybe even a small aeroplane builder here now. And I think that their main complaint is that one day they're going to lose this garden. This little bit of backyard. It means nothing perhaps to some people, but to them it means quite a lot. And they're dreading the thought of having to give this up and move into a box where people we know are complete strangers to each other even after 5 or 6 years of residence.

'People know each other and they know each other's ways and fancy ways and good ways and all the rest of it. Of course every street has its queer little parties, you know, that no-one seems to talk to or they don't talk to anybody else. But in the main people do tend to draw together, and of course you won't get this feeling in the flats because people tend to draw away from each other. They become, what we term as, strangers in a concrete jungle.

In a little folder she has photographs of herself. People say to her, ‘But Signora, that’s not the impression I get of you, it’s not quite the same as my impression from these photographs.’ They were taken ten years ago.

She loves strange animals and tells long and accurate stories about them. She has that slight touch of sadism, how her sister was kicked by the mare, had her leg broken in three places, seven inches of silver put in. Then she made the mistake of jumping down onto her bones, thus seriously dislocating them.

‘There was this man lying floating in his swimming bath. He’d just sold a caravan to my sister for £200. He was so delighted with himself. And I rode the horse through the Whitsun rush hour traffic to join up with the caravan. We put it in the shafts and the horse had never pulled such a heavy or noisy vehicle before. There was a terrible clattering and the horse set off at a canter. The first accident we had was with a small Mini. One of the wheels got violently lodged against the Mini. The horse gave a great kick at this point, and someone who was helping us got a horseshoe shape on his jeans exactly the same shape as a horseshoe. Finally the police caught up with us, they said that we’d been going so fast they hadn’t been able to keep up.’

Cathy Come Home was consistently and increasingly to be voted the best T.V. play ever. However, it’s now thirty years later and media mandarins still have not got the message.

I Despite the public success of ‘Cathy’, don’t let’s forget it only got on to the air waves through subterfuge. The BBC establishment objected strongly. They saw to it that the ‘Cathy’ formula - or success - would never be repeated.

II There were various attempts to duplicate ‘Cathy’. None ever repeated Cathy’s unique cocktail.

III How I first learned that Mandarins march to a different tune - some personal memories.

IV And there were attempts to discredit ‘Cathy’ from inside the BBC as well as outside.

V The failure of management to come to terms with the new phenomenon and give the necessary leadership has resulted in a retreat from hard facts, evident in nearly every documentary drama since ‘Cathy’. The insulting nature of the leadership provided has meant that what could have been an important new strand in television was strangled.

Back to the ancient orchard amid whose trees live some of these fire artists and musicians, invited by Robert Grayburn, a traditional Herefordshire farmer, his fine white face often streaked with mud thrown up by the wheels of his spluttering tractor, as he rides by the caravans, bender tents, converted buses in which they live.

Robert spends his evenings in a topsy turvy room hung with sides of bacon in front of an open fire and greets guests across his stone flagged floors, wearing no trousers but in a huge chunky sweater pincushioned with straw. I wander round, visiting friends. In his caravan, Arahan plays jigs and reels on his fiddle, demonstrating the differing styles of Kerry and of Clare. Nearby, Maria's children, emerging spotless from a large bender tent, are on their way to the local school outing to Aberystwyth. The Herefordshire Traveller Support Group, of which I'm a member, has been fighting an appeal on behalf of these people because the local council has been trying to evict them.

Is this return by so many people to the countryside and to the simplest sort of homes just a product of the current housing famine I wonder? Or is it that life in the cities has achieved a critical mass of unpleasantness and pollution? Maybe this migration of thousands away from houses would have happened anyway, housing famine or not, since it springs from green ideals of returning to Mother Earth and living more lightly on her. The numbers go on increasing despite the insults and trashings by settled society.

I suppose that very few of the homes where the poorest people lived in the past have survived, hovels and bowers of those down on their luck and humble havens of hermits, holy folk, mystics, idealists. It seems to me that those less substantial bothies, cabins, cotts and caves, and village clusters of small round houses of the past have now, in converted bus, bender tent and caravan, found their modern equivalent. Why do they strike such shock horror into council officials, who often seem slow to grasp the terror that can grip a young mother bringing up her babies at the sight of council bulldozers which could so easily crumple her bender home?

This county, Herefordshire, has just about the highest population of traditional Romany Gypsy Travellers in Britain, now joined by this new group of New Age ‘hippy’ Travellers. What special provision has been made for them? Over a hundred laybys and verges, traditional stopping places for travellers, have been ditched or blocked, often illegally, by the council; and 'waiting restricted' notices have been erected in many others with great zeal; all because of a hysterical paranoia about these poor people. Officialdom copes with poverty by criminalising it. What if Wales declared independence and began ethnic cleansing and impoverished English settlers, driven out, were camping in flimsy tents in the Black Mountains, this side of the border? Would they be allowed space by the roadside in England to camp? The answer is there already. Councils would ditch and block, ditch and block, and erect their little notices.

A letter arrives to tell me that now the first traveller vehicle homes have been seized and crushed by some councils (not ours), into metal boxes. Another letter tells me the Save the Children Fund has written to our council reminding them that the '89 Children Act says all local authorities must safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their area who are in need. A child about to be evicted is a child in need, and they're asking for a two week stay of the eviction so that the pregnant mothers can give birth in peace.

Next day the Save the Children Fund ring me to say they've received a reply from our council. It explains that the council has no responsibility for these babies because they were not present on the site when the enforcement notice was served last February. Careless babies! But surely they were present, in their mothers’ wombs. They should have read the small print and taken the trouble to be conceived in the correct manner. There has not been much change since these early days of the poor law when women in the last stages of pregnancy were driven across the parish boundary so that their babies would not be born there to be a burden on the rates.

Many people find it easy to shed a tear at stories of the tumbling of highland cottages and the driving out of pregnant women and invalids, depicted in nineteenth century engravings or sung of in folk songs; and find it harder to find sympathy for modern misfortune. Is it that modern poor people don't dress up their pain in the appropriate garb of pathos? That they're angry and they speak of rights, rather than charity?

Back to my home, Hatfield Court, for the overnight AGM of Oak Dragon holistic educational camps, which is traditionally held here since we have large rooms suitable for winter meetings. Waiting for me is the judgement from the Department of the Environment Inspector. Jubilation! The appeal has been successful! The Yoke Farm residents are to be allowed to stay; for two years at least.

The war came to an end and slowly all sorts of things became possible again. My mother was intrigued by a series of ancient artefacts to which she was introduced by Miss Philla Davis, a council craftworker who, travelling by motorcycle, passed a night at Eye once a week to give classes in the school or village hall. The motorcycle of this remarkable woman was hung round with whatever was needed for that week of craft work, vital bits of hessian, new legs for stools in need of restoration, rope and straw, bolts of cloth, men’s boots, goggles, rush for chair seats, dummy figures, half upholstered chairs.

Sharing with Philla her passion for craftwork, my mother was to play a major part in the regeneration of the ancient ritual of corn dolly making. She travelled far on tours of discovery to learn the secrets of traditional makers, and regional variations. The closest maker of corndollies she visited was in the Herefordshire hamlet of Stockton Hennor, the furthest lived in Exmouth.

She wrote, and co-wrote with Philla, pamphlets and books, and for more than a decade hosted a long series of over a hundred 3-day corn dolly making courses at Eye. Also she travelled to America to teach.

Such was the attractive everyday ambiance amidst which I spent my youth.

In what follows my mother is referred to as ‘The President’ because at that time she occupied this position in the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Womens Institute.

She observes the row

And, raising that voice (which, seldom mute

Has oft-times quelled the institute),

Thus speaks ‘Now come here dogs, now STOP IT,

Come on or else you won’t half cop it’,

With whom the SQUIRE with equal voice

Now come on PUCKY stop that noise’,

And thus at length they quell the riot.


Who is it that the policeman thus

Carries away with such pomp and fuss,

What is this steed he rides athwart,

Whose eye is noble tho’ his legs are short.

What ‘coutrements, what harness quaint,

What rapture wild, what stern complaint?


Mayhap ‘tis some run away

Escaped from gaol this very day.


Can’st be?


What then?


I know not!




This man that they clap into gaol

Perhaps ‘tis wrongly they arrest,

Perchance he is an unknowing guest?


Gad! But –


I know not –


But then –



We’ll see this through!


I stick by you!


Where start?


It matters not!


Where finish?


If we can but his cares diminish!’

Everything is finally sorted out, and Dr Syntax joins the family for dinner

Telling the CHASE, the wild pursuit,

While gnawing well at flesh and fruit.

Now do both dogs and family listen,

And SYNTAX tells about his mission,


Ah Armagnac, ah grand Chartreuse,

Ah Beaujolais, ah Seine et Meuse,

Ah Claret and ah sweet Chablis,

Ah noble vintage, pere et fils,

What can compare? Oh chaste VP

Melpomone now lusts for thee.

The PRESIDENT now leans her ear,

Says ‘You are come from far I hear?’


Ay madam, where the mountains brow

Scarce beetles ‘neath the clouds below,

Where crow and cormorant are found,

And all is rock that is not ground,

Where passes pass and all is gone,

About the headlands stormy frown,

How often have I travelled there!


Of course, we’re very quiet here.

Outside, the weather has deteriorated. Inside, Syntax is enjoying himself and confident that it will soon be time for bed, when;


Pray, SYNTAX, come into the Hall,

Pray Toni too, and Juliet – all.

You see these little oddments here,

We need to take them over there


What, in this weather?


Yes, why not?

Just ten journeys should do the lot.


But where is ‘there’?


Oh do not fear –

Tis only half a mile from here.

Now you take this and that, and that,

And this old screen, that tudor hat,

This basket here, this packing case,

And round your neck this piece of lace,

This curious piece of bric a brac,

This velvet gown, that dirty sack.

Now, are you ready? Follow me,

And mind your step, ‘tis hard to see

Which way one’s going, and this wild sleet

Has made it dampish underfeet.

The ground’s a little rougher now –

Ah, mind this unexpected plough.


Fails my heart I know not how.


What’s that?


I said that Fails -



It seems to me we’ve lost the route.

What now? Ah, here we are after all,

Yes, here’s the welcome Village Hall.


Now we must the stage put up,

So gird your loins and tonsure up.

Once they’ve put the stage up in the village hall, they entertain each other with an impromptu concert;


When battle’s o’er, when fighting’s through,

How sweet is the voice of a sweet little wife,

For her eyes may be brown or her eyes may be blue,

But she is the solace and joy of my life.

When trumpets snarl, when cornets bray,

Ho Ho! The foemen win the day!

The mighty ocean’s tremulous surge

Through beam and plank comes heaven’s purge,

Hurray for old England, the waves pour through

The bloodstained banners raised aloft,

Though it be torn and tempest toff’t

What ho the heaving waves!

Her eyes of blue come shining through,

Yes Britain rules the waves, the waves!


Cupid trilling, ever willing,

Waft me sweetly Philomel,

Where buttercups o’er meadows creeping,

Dandelions and dandruff sleeping,

Wanton fauns and satyrs ever,

Wand’ring by the wanton river.

Ever ever ever ever

Wand’ring ever wand’ring ever

Cupid trilling willing trilling

Waft me sweetly meetly sweetly

Cup cup cup cup cup cup cup cup cupid wand’ring ever.


Hail happy EYE thou seat of pleasures all,

Whose mellow charms and fancies never pall,

Where love and joy repose, and all is peace,

Where birdsong and where music never cease,

Where moderation has built up a life

That’s free from canker and from warring strife

Where nature and where art have both combin’d

To satisfy the senses and the mind.

Ah happy home with joys above all name,

Long in thy courts may happiness remain.

Another order created a ‘Chief Supply Officer for England’ who, although he was to draw some troop supplies from the German chief supply officer for Belgium, would ‘be responsible for seizing stocks of food, petrol, motor transport, horse-drawn vehicles, etc.’

Von Brauchitsch’s Proclamation to the People of England stated:

English territory occupied by German troops will be placed under military government.

Military commanders will issue decrees necessary for the protection of troops and the maintenance of general law and order.

Troops will respect property and persons if the population behaves according to instructions.

English authorities may continue to function if they maintain a correct attitude.

All thoughtless actions, sabotage of any kind, and any passive or active opposition to the German armed forces will incur the most severe retaliatory measures.

I warn all civilians that if they undertake active operations against the German forces, they will be condemned to death inexorably.

The decrees of the German military authorities must be observed; any disobedience will be severely punished.

The Announcement Regarding Occupied Territory was unsigned but appears to have been the draft of an order that would have been circulated by lower echelon German commanders. It warned: ‘Acts of sabotage are threatened with the most severe punishment. Damage to or removal of crops, of military stores and installations of any kind, and the tearing down or effacement of official placards will be treated as sabotage. Gas works, water works, power plants, railways, sluice installations, fuel tanks and works of art are specifically under the protection of the armed forces.’

The introduction of German Criminal Law and Penal Regulations in Occupied English Territory was also for von Brauchitsch’s signature.

‘Anyone in occupied territory attempting to commit acts of violence or sabotage of any kind against the German armed forces, its personnel or installations will be condemned to death.’

‘... Assembling in the street, producing and distributing pamphlets, holding and participating in public [von Brauchitsch’s italics] meetings and processions is forbidden and will be punished.’

The last of the dozen German secret occupation documents was headed simply Announcement and was no doubt to have been pasted on walls throughout occupied Britain, and was to have been signed by local army commanders. It stated: The following items will be ‘requisitioned’:

Agricultural products, food and fodder of all kinds, ores, crude metals, semi-finished metal products of all kinds including precious metals, asbestos and mica, cut or uncut precious or semi-precious stones, mineral oils and fuels of all kinds, industrial oils and fats, waxes, resins, glues, rubber in all forms, all raw materials for textiles, leather, furs and hides, round timber, sawn timber, timber sleepers and timber masts.


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