From the 'Miscellany' file, dated February 1st 1961 comes this entry:
We had a visit from the Minister of Culture for the Ukraine (old USSR).
I was asked by Clifford to co-ordinate the visit which involved accompanying the party around the sites and keeping the office informed by phone of their movements and keeping the visit on schedule.
There were the parties, help with the local community ie. The Youth Club and drinks in the 'Duke', (that smoke stained den which smelt of sour scrumpy). On one occasion, the American constructionist, John Ernst gave a talk and passed round a bottle of whisky! There was carol singing; the main aim was to do the round of the thirteen or so pubs in the immediate area of Corsham. I do however remember that the first stop after the Royal Oak was a house in the High Street where we all crammed in for mince pies and mulled wine and a good welcome from Sir Michael Tippet the composer (A Child of Our Time).
There was a lovely Irish cook, who, knowing that I enjoyed my food, occasionally served me up with a nice bit of rare steak!
When I first arrived at Corsham, I shared accommodation with Sid Donkin and 'Thatch' Leighton-Mathews at The Old Parsonage, Pickwick but soon moved to a tiny 16th Century cottage adjoining Priory Cottage in Bence's Lane, only a stones throw from the back gates which led to the Estate Yard. This was a good short cut when late for breakfast or lectures and when the gates were locked at night, we scaled the ten foot high stone pillars!
There was a ghost, I think she was known as the Grey Lady, when I saw her, she appeared to be dressed in black and was walking near the west wing!