Can’t write much of the insanities of the last few days. It is not so much that the bombing is worrying in itself as that the disorganisation of traffic, frequent difficulty of telephoning, shutting of shops whenever there is a raid on, etc., etc., combined with the necessity of getting on with one’s ordinary work, wear one out and turn life into a constant scramble to catch up lost time. Herewith a few notes on bombs, etc.:-
I have seen no bomb crater deeper than about 12 feet. One opposite the house at Greenwich was only (interrupted by air raid: continued 11.9.40) about the size of those made in Spain by 15 c.m. shells. In general the noises are formidable but not absolutely shattering like those of the huge bombs I saw dropped at Huesca. Putting “screaming” bombs aside, I have frequently heard the whistle of a bomb – to hear which one must I assume be within at most a mile of it – and then a not overwhelmingly loud explosion. On the whole I conclude that they are using small bombs. Those which did most of the damage in the Old Kent Road had a curiously limited effect. Often a small house would be reduced to a pile of bricks and the house next door to it barely chipped. Ditto with the incendiary bombs, which will sometimes burn the inner part of a house completely out while leaving the front almost intact.
The delayed-action bombs are a great nuisance, but they appear to be successful in locating most of them and getting all the neighbouring people out until the bomb shall have exploded. All over South London, little groups of disconsolate-looking people wandering about with suitcases and bundles, either people who have been rendered homeless, or, in most cases, who have been turned out by the authorities because of an unexploded bomb.
Notable bits of damage so far: Tremendous fires in the docks on 7 and 8.9.40, Cheapside on 9.9.40. Bank of England just chipped (bomb crater about 15 feet from wall). Naval college at Greenwich also chipped. Much damage in Holborn. Bomb in Marylebone goods yard. Cinema at Madame Tussauds destroyed. Several other large fires, many gas mains and electric cables burst, much diversion of road traffic, London Bridge and Westminster Bridge being out of use for several days, and enough damage to railway lines to slow down rail traffic for a day or two. Power station somewhere in South London hit, stopping trams for about half a day. Said to be very heavy damage in Woolwich, and, to judge by the column of flame and smoke, one or more of the big oil drums in the estuary of the Thames was hit on 7.9.40. Deliveries of milk and letters delayed to some extent, newspapers mostly coming out a few hours late, all theatres (except the Criterion, which is underground) closed on 10.9.40, and I think all cinemas as well.
Most of last night in the public shelter, having been driven there by recurrent whistle and crash of bombs not very far away at intervals of about a quarter of an hour. Frightful discomfort owing to overcrowding, though the place was well-appointed, with electric light and fans. People, mostly elderly working class, grousing bitterly about the hardness of the seats and the longness of the night, but no defeatist talk. . . . . . People are now to be seen every night about dusk queuing up at the doors of the Shelters with their bedding. Those who come in first grab places on the floor and probably pass a reasonably good night. Day raids apart, the raiding hours are pretty regularly 8 p.m. to 4.30 a.m., i.e. dusk to just before dawn.
I should think 3 months of continuous raids at the same intensity as the last 4 nights would break down everyone’s morale. But it is doubtful whether anyone could keep up the attack on such a scale for 3 months, especially when he is suffering much the same himself.
 See ‘My Country Right or Left,’ 694.
 In Piccadilly Circus. The Windmill Theatre, as it proudly boasted, also ‘never closed’; it was a little to the northeast of Piccadilly Circus. Peter Davison