Comfortable night in hostel, which I had to myself. One-storey wooden building with huge coke stove which kept it very hot. You pay 1/- for bed, 2d for the stove and put pennies in the gas for cooking. Bread, milk etc. on sale at hostel. You have to have your own sleeping bag but get blankets, mattresses and pillows. Tiring evening because the warden’s son, I suppose out of kindness, came across and played ping-pong with me till I could hardly stand on my feet. In the morning long talk with the warden who keeps poultry and collects glass and pewter. He told me how in France in 1918, on the heels of the retreating Germans, he looted some priceless glass which was discovered and looted from him in turn by his divisional general. Also showed me some nice pieces of pewter and some very curious Japanese pictures, showing clear traces of European influence, looted by his father in some naval expedition about 1860.
Left 10 am., walked to Stourbridge, took bus to Wolverhampton, wandered about slummy parts of Wolverhampton for awhile, then had lunch and walked 10 miles to Penkridge. Wolverhampton seems a frightful place. Everywhere vistas of mean little houses still enveloped in drifting smoke, though this was Sunday, and along the railway line huge banks of clay and conical chimneys (“pot-banks”). Walk from W’ton to Penkridge very dull and raining all the way. Villa-civilization stretches almost unbroken between the two towns. In Penkridge about 4.30 halted for a cup of tea. A tiny frouzy° parlour with a nice fire, a little wizened oldish man and an enormous woman about 45, with tow-coloured bobbed hair and no front teeth. Both of them thought me a hero to be walking on such a day. Had tea with them en famille. About 5.15 left and walked another couple of miles, then caught bus the remaining 4 miles to Stafford. Went to Temperance Hotel thinking this would be cheap, but bed and breakfast 5 /-. The usual dreadful room and twill sheets greyish and smelly as usual. Went to bathroom and found commercial traveller developing snapshots in bath. Persuaded him to remove them and had a bath, after which I find myself very footsore.
Distance walked, about 16 miles. Spent on conveyances, 1/5. On food, 2/8½.