With the rain dampening spirits outside it is good to sit around this grubby, unswept, somewhat littered accommodation and rest my weary bones. It has been a bit trying physically as I have been attempting to cycle, exercise and work and now wish not to do anything far from the laptop.
Yesterday was a busy time at the museum. The shop has begun to attract the browsing fraternity, the ones who come in, touch, feel, hum, hah!, and wander around the shop and walk out without buying. There is also those who do buy, we smile at them, and many who came in yesterday for one of our many local books or to ask a query of some sort. I ended up with several queries yesterday some of which could be answered. I was a little irked that one photo of a local man has turned out not to be who we thought it was. The cap badge looked good but on closer inspection it is clear he was from the Northamptonshire regiment. This irked me when I discovered their regimental museum was under the control of the council who were rebuilding the museum in which it was stored and are not taking any queries until work is completed in 2020! While I understand this it is not helpful!
A film show in the afternoon was bringing in around 50 people. This was film a local man took on 8mm from the 60's till he died some years ago, many come to see this and look for themselves in the picture! By person or by phone they came all morning, interrupting my work, I have nearly finished that book now. Over all it was a good day, I never argued with anyone, folks from a wide area, including the States, passed through sort of happy, and those that went round the museum had a good time in spite of the mess created by changing from one exhibition to another. Of course I never got my tea until 11:30 and with people coming in it was tepid by the time I got to it!
One chap informed me of his relation to a name on one of the memorials and just had to tell someone. His great uncle was killed at Arras and this sent me searching more info on him and where he fell. Another attack that succeeded until it failed and they fell back somewhat daunted. Arras was a battle the British forces won but in the southern end they face the strongest German defences and lost out. General Allenby was replaced after this and sent to the Middle East. Some say Sassoon had Allenby in mind with this poem.
“Good-morning, good-morning!” the General said
When we met him last week on our way to the line.
Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of 'em dead,
And we're cursing his staff for incompetent swine.
“He's a cheery old card,” grunted Harry to Jack
As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.