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Sunday February 3, 1974

4th after Epiphany. Mother wakes me at 10. A beautiful morning - very bright, crisp, and clear. Have my breakfast with Dad who is on duty until 2pm. At 11 Mr Rhodes, the driving instructor (no relation) picked me up - drive until 12. Don't do too badly though I feel very self-conscious about the whole thing. Rhodes is quite a decent chap really - 35-ish. At 12 John goers out driving until 1. My next lesson is on the 12th.

In the afternoon, John Little brought Stewart, Mum's godson, to see his Auntie Nora. He's well and truly a little horror - being a typical 5 year-old. Spoilt, selfish and enormously greedy. John nearly died laughing at the tea table when the little lad crammed his mouth full of sticky chocolate cake - even Mum saw the humour in it. I suppose that most 5 year-olds do the same. To Lynn's relief he went at 7. Poor Lynn hates children. I'm sure she'll be the type of mother who beats the brains out of her little Angels (joking of course).

Chris rang at 7. John decides to go out - but I decide to have a quiet evening. Monty Python comes before any other method of enjoyment. See a slapstick war comedy on tv - quite funny. Monty Python gives me heart-burn I laugh so much. It was the episode about storage jars exploding in the House of Lords...

Mum and Dad go to Burley-in-Wharfedale. Home at 11. I talk with Dad about the current political problems until well after 1 o'clock.

"Tiger Feet" by Mud.


Saturday February 2, 1974

Susan gives me a shake at 7.30 and I have a greasy crumpet for breakfast. Laugh at the thought of it because 'Greasy Crumpet' is Chris's description of Miss Helen Taylor. Get the usual train in Guiseley. See in the YP that Reginald Maudling, a former Home Secretary, was injured by a letter bomb last night. Also, Ronald Biggs, one of the 'Great Train Robbers' has been arrested in Rio. The bugger's been on the run since 1965.

Finish at 12. Rush into Leeds and get a pair of shoes for £7.99 - not bad really. See 'Dr Who' on tv after fighting my way up the lane in driving downpours. Have a bath and John and I get the 8.0 o'clock bus to the Emmotts. Poor Ivy isn't in her usual corner, and I continue to worry even after Martin V-B assures me that the old girl is not dead. MM and David come in, but we leave 10 minutes later. Chris, we learn, discovered his wallet under a seat at the Black Bull and he and his father proceeded to carry on drinking until 2.0am. I never thought he'd see that again.

At 10.0 Chris and Linda and Christine and me go in Pete's car to Meanwood - 'The Cat's Whiskers' no less. John and Andy go with Keith and Helen. Not particularly over the moon with it - the disco that is. Too large and poorly planned. The service isn't too good either. Anyway, John and Andy arrive safely and we remain until 2.0am. Helen and myself danced in 'the cage' - and so did the others later on, but we set the initiative.


Friday February 1, 1974

Quite an eventful day. YP very much the same, but the evening was riddled with exciting incidents which usually occur within months of each other.

At 7.30 John and I leave for the Queen's where we are joined by Chris, Andy, Laura (with her new car), Linda and Christine W. Keith Brown and the delightful Helen call in at 10. MM and Marita drop in. At 10.0 we decide to go to the Black Bull at Otley. Chris, Christine and I go with Laura, and the rest go with Keith. At the Black Bull Helen decides to adopt John and myself - great fun calling her 'sis' all evening. At 11.15 I make a silly suggestion that we should all go back to our house - thinking no one would take any notice of me. However, when Laura dropped me off at Pine Tops, I am surprised to find Linda, Andy, Keith and Helen listening to the record player in our dining room. On top of that, Chris rings 10 minutes later to say he had lost his wallet, with everything in it, including £12 and a Barclaycard. His Dad was taking him back to Otley to look for it. I doubt whether they will ever find it again. The guests leave at 12.45. We go immediately to bed.


Thursday January 31, 1974

Marita 19. The last day of January, and it certainly is a good month to have behind you. We have had an unbelievably mild winter so far but February always holds a few snowy surprises up its sleeve. March isn't much better either.

Went to Benton Park at 12 on the 55 with Sarah. Very nice journey together. Sarah and I always seem to have the same half-days. School is completely hateful. CB is obviously angry with me about something or another. MM says very little. We play a guessing game all afternoon - Maggie Edwards and Liz Clapham are fun. Leave at 4. Home by 4.30.

Quiet evening at home with a massive surprise at tea-time. Discover an extra £12 in my pay. A sizeable tax rebate. Mum is thrilled at my sudden rise in fortune. See 'Top of the Pops' - Mud is still in the number 1 spot. Bed at 10.30 when the tv closes down - such a hideous innovation on the part of Her Majesty's government.


Wednesday January 30, 1974

Charles I was Martyred, 1649. Can't be bothered to become involved in the intricacies of everything. Work as usual, and I don't intend writing anymore.


Tuesday January 29, 1974

Dad points out that in the present 'crisis' the Royal Family know what to do and that is to get out! It seems as though the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Princess Anne and Capt Phillips are all out of the UK. Even Lord Snowdon seems to have deserted the sinking ship. However, the good old Queen Mother is still moving among us, and what we woulod do without that dear lady I shudder to think.

Quite a busy day. Typed the paper up this morning. Janice was on half-day. I am taking Thursday and intend goint to Rawdon Library and calling in at Benton Park.

Train strikes will take place next week, and I am now beginning to seriously wonder whether the whole country will live to see the first daffodil of Spring. A General Strike cannot now be avoided. Lord Carrington made suggestions that a 'Two Day Week' will be seriously considered by the Cabinet. The Confederation of British Industry says economic collapse of unprecedented proportions can only arise from such an action...and all MPs can find to argue about is whether it is immoral for a man and his wife to take a bath together! I think it's a very good thing. The poor woman who suggested the idea must think that is an original idea! All the best couples have bathed together since the beginning of time.

Mum and Dad go to Esholt at 9. Sue and I make beans on toast. See a good tv programme about Hugh Heffner, owner of the magazine 'Playboy'. Oh, what it must be like to own all that wealth!

(Greed, greed, envy envy, etc).


Monday January 28, 1974

Nothing much today. Kathleen is now well and truly at the helm of the ship. Janice Bloody Williams will receive a mouthful of naughtiness from me before the week is over and done with. The little bitch really puts my back up. Oh, she's so superior. The poor child is taking on all the airs and graces of Carol, who is no more than a strip of a girl herself. I can tell you, it's not an easy life working with 5 bitchy females.

The Commonwealth Games are dominating the few hours of evening tv which we are permitted to see. The 10.30 deadline is quite pathetic. Poor Mr Heath looked awful on 'Panorama' tonight. Joe Gormley, Mick McGahey and all those train drivers cannot be doing his health much good. Not forgetting the miners. However, I admire the Prime Minister for showing courage and fortitude and not giving into the demands of the miners, who are controlled by a strong Communist force. My opinion is that the present dispute has nothing to do whatsoever with wage claims. Instead it's an outright attack by Marxist union men to overthrow the elected government of this country. Evidently, Mr Heath thinks so too.


Sunday January 27, 1974

Mama is going to flog the family jewels so that she can make her annual pilgrimage to the hot climate of the Continent. Lynn and Sue will be taking Al and Christine Dibb along as chaperones.

Get up at nearly 12. Have beans on toast for luncheon then see the tv until bedtime. Monty Python closed the evening. A boring Sunday by anyone's standards and the weekend is over far too suddenly.

The selling of the family jewels seems to be the only item of excitement, and what poor Lady Crawshaw would say if she heard I don't know. You may recall from last year that Lady Crawshaw is Dad's only sister. Born Dorothy Claptrap-Rhodes she married in 1951, the Hon Leslie Muggins-Disley-Cutout, DSO, and the peerage is held by 'Aunt Dot' in her own right. She's the 18th baroness. The heir to the title is her eldest son, the Hon Robert Muggins-Cutout, educated at Trinity College, Cambridge.

The items of value in Mama's jewelry collection amount to a semi-platinum-nu-form-vinyl-type locket (Woolworths Ltd circa 1963) valued at fifteen shillings in old currency. The other main article in the Muggins Collection is a plastic, unbreakable mug (1923) commemorating the birth of Lord Harewood. The last article, is, in fact, quite priceless.


Saturday January 26, 1974

Andy, Linda, Christine W and myself today saw 'Jesus Christ Superstar' at Yeadon. Both Christine and I had doubts about going, but we all thoroughly enjoyed it. However, it wasn't the type of musical which you could dislike. Very modern. I have a tendency to like religious films. We called in at the Clothiers before and after the film. Andy cannot remember when he last only had had 2 pints on a Saturday night. We met John, Chris and Pete Mather at 10.20, the latter bringing us home at 10.45. Unbelievably quiet for Saturday evening, but nevertheless an enjoyable one.

Saw Martin V-B and Helen Taylor in Yeadon High Street - looking a lot more more friendly than 'just good friends'. Helen looked somewhat 'put out' when I made a comment. But the poor girl saw me leaving the cinema with Christine W. The poor dear must still fancy me.


Friday January 25, 1974

Miss Kathleen Rainford today succeeded as head librarian, Yorkshire Post Newspapers Ltd. Very busy. Anne and I spent the afternoon making photostats of the Leeds Intelligencier from June/July 1815 - 'The capture of Buonoparte', and praises of the Duke of Wellington.

Miss W (as you can see) appeared in the paper this morning - and the photograph stands as a comparison with the usual attempts of the YP photographers - hopeless. Poor Miss W -though I say it myself - looks much more pleasant than this. The poor girl didn't really want to leave.

Whilst travelling home on the train with Judith I see in the stop press that James Pope-Hennessy, the renowned author and biographer, was murdered today in his London home. The thing I remember him for is the official biography of Queen Mary, completed in 1958. The poor man died of stab wounds in hospital.

Chris rings at 7.30 and we decide to go to the Queen's in Apperley Lane. John and I are on our own until Andy, Chris, Laura and Martin (her new boyfriend) arrive at 9. We all sit in the little room with the large picture of Her Majesty over the fireplace. I think it's one of Leonard Boden's creations, and it stands as a reminder that the poor Queen is ageing along with the rest of us. What a beauty she was 20 years ago.

After 3 pints in the Queen's Martin drives us to the Emmotts. He then takes Laura to Horsforth. Give Sue Crosby a birthday kiss - can hardly believe that we have endured a year since her 18th birthday. I remember her last birthday as though it was yesterday. John and me get the 11.10 55 bus. Home at 11.40. Dad gives us a demonstration with the new kettle, and I retire at 12.30.


Thursday January 24, 1974

I have finally rid myself of the old bag - namely Miss W. Things should now begin to brighten up. Anne and I discussed the changes we'd like to see at the YP whilst going for the train. Sarah, Carol, Kathleen etc, had gone with Miss W to the party in Mr Linacre's private suite -

Feel very tired on the train and sleep until we reach Guiseley station. At home, Mother entertains me with her home-made tea cakes. Nothing quite equals the smell of warm, newly baked loaves of bread.

See Prince Philip opening the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch on behalf of the Queen on tv. The poor duke looked quite ill bare-headed in the hot New Zealand sun. He read the Queen's message in a hoarse voice, and by the look of things he won't be with us for his 53rd birthday.

See Jimmy Savile on Top of the Pops. 'Tiger Feet' by Mud pushed the New Seekers from the number one spot on Tuesday. It's truly an amazing little disc. Everyone enjoys it.

Still reading Sir Thomas More. Have a bath. Generally a momentous day on all accounts. Let's hope Kathleen doesn't change from her lovable self. A quick surge of power can often ruin a sane being.



Wednesday January 23, 1974

Up at 8.30. Listen to Noel Edmonds as usual. Mum doesn't have much to say for herself, and I leave at 8 for my train. See Helen and Ian Appleyard. The poor boy is quite insane. Just because he's got himself a girlfriend he thinks no one else has ever experienced such feelings of elation & joy. His temperament is that of a 14 year-old male. Helen saw my amusement.

Kathleen had a day off, and Miss W saw it as a good opportunity to inform us all that 'Miss Rainforth' was her successor to the Kingdom. This gives me the idea to call Kathleen 'Miss Rainforth' on a joking-full-time-respectful basis. She'll hate me for it I'm sure.

Quiet evening at home. Chris rings and says he's failed his driving test - doesn't seem particularly bothered, but after all - he's used to failure. Make the usual arrangements for Friday. However, on Saturday night I think that Linda is arranging a party to the cinema. I think it's 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. I am very pleased that Andy and Linda are once again tete-a-tete, or whatever phrase you use to describe an intimate, cosy relationship. One can hardly believe that it's a year since he and Linda began dating one another, and this time last year holds many memories of romantic importance for me. But I will not go into lengths about my failures in life. Last year was beautiful while it lasted but I no longer desire to dwell on the subject of JB. She's through with my life once and for all.



Tuesday January 22, 1974

Poor Queen Victoria suffered one of the inevitable incidents which eventually comes to each and every one of us, namely death seventy three years ago today. The saintly old lady was in my thoughts throughout the day. Of all the people in history who fascinate me, Queen Victoria probably leads them all. What an adorable character she must have been.


Monday January 21, 1974

Miss Went is a very tiresome person. I'll be glad when she's gone. At lunchtime she bought the presents with the £50 we had raised. A silver tray and a watch.

My lunch is spent in the reference library. I am disillusioned to discover that the Right Hon William Lawies Jackson was later 1st Baron Allerton, of Chapel Allerton in the county of York. No one from the Wilson family could possibly have married a peer of the Realm. However, my genealogical studies into the roots of the Jackson family are far from over.

Come home at 6.30 expecting a peaceful evening, but these dreams are shattered when Andy phones. By 8.30 John, Andy and myself are in the Rose and Crown at Ilkley with Linda and a multitude of college bods. The place is a bit of a tip, with a large reproduction map of 17th century Middlesex in pride of place on the central wall. The wallpaper is made up of completely senseless colours simply hanging in place surrounded by the minimum of furnishings.

Philip C and Ray (Bond) come in at 9. At 10.30 a few of us walk to the college, breathing in the sweet moorland air. Ilkley is such a wonderful place. The college is what I expected it to be. Totally institutionalised - like a hospital - lacking in any signs of homely comfort. Thousands pile into Linda and Mary's room. We drink hot, insipid coffee until 12. Philip brings us home - and I'd rarther not comment on the journey. Bed 12.30.


Sunday January 20, 1974

2nd after Epiphany. Death of George V in 1936. My theory about toilet paper rationing was used by Giles in his Daily Express cartoon this morning. He pictured thousands of football fans queuing for sheets of toilet paper to throw at the match. Whatever became of petrol rationing anyway? They soon quietened down about that didn't they? The poor, deranged MP was said we should all clean our teeth in the dark apologised - it seems he tried it on several occasions, and emerged with his hair spattered in Macleans, or something equally nausaeating. Old Lord Carrington suggests that if we're good we may be put on a four-day week very shortly! Isn't it nice of him? But in general, this week's been another step down the path to destruction. Pity really.

Wake up at 2.45 in the afternoon! Have a nice lunch and see a very funny film about marriage. Completely domestic evening. See Monty Python's Flying Circus. Died laughing.

The poor Duke of Windsor became King Edward VIII thirty eight years ago today. The massive burst of 'Windsor mania' which erupted at the time of his death in May '72 is now quite stagnant again. No one gives a damn about the duchess, who winters in Cap d'Antibes. The poor old thing will be 78 in the summer.


Saturday January 19, 1974

Dad wakes me at 6.30. Feel absolutely gone to the world. Deaths door seems very near. Have a shower and listen to a dreadful BBC2 programme. Wake Sue at 7.45 and go for my train at 8.

Work is absolutely fabulous. Whilst discussing old people I recall something old Auntie Mary (born 1878) told me about being related to somebody called Jackson who was Lord Mayor of Leeds. On researching this I discover that a William Jackson was Lord Mayor in 1895-6. Knowing Auntie Mary is a reliable source I am enraptured. Jackson went on to become a Member of Parliament. I am the great-great-nephew of a Conservative MP! If I mention this publicly I'll probably be lynched, what with the Three Day Week and the toilet paper shortage.

Frank and Marlene and the kids come for tea.Mark brought his Formula One racing cars. Frank makes Dad mad by referring to him as 'Uncle Lawrie'. He's only a decade younger than Dad.

At 8 John and I go to the Hare and Hounds. Denny and I have a laugh about pretending to be engaged. All the mob gathers in honour of the 19th birthday of Linda which takes place on Monday. At 10.30 I go in Philip Cartwright's car to the Cow & Calf. Dance until 2am. The college girls are great fun and we joke about cottage cheese manufacturing! Everyone piles into different cars, and poor Christine W and myself are left in the back of Pete's van. Home at 2.30. Wait in the garage until John comes home with the door key at some later hour. Well, 20 minutes later actually.


Friday January 18, 1974

Mixed feelings at the YP about my change in hair style. Kathleen likes it, and Miss W pretends not to notice.

All the crowd meets at the Emmotts at 8.30. Denny rings while I am at work to say she can't go because of babysitting duties. Emmotts quite fun. Ivy was acting bitchy at the end but I ignored her. Chris cannot believe his eyes when he sees my hair. He says I'm copying MM.

At 10.30 Andy invites us all back to his place for coffee. Mrs Graham is a nice old thing. She asks us whether Mum went on a camping expedition to the Dales in 1948. I say that I don't know -thinking it was a funny question to put to a tired 18 year-old youth. Mr Graham comes in at about 11 and we have a great time. Chris, Linda, Christine W, John and me. Mr Ratcliffe came to collect Chris, but settled for a double whisky instead. We all played a game whereby we pile match sticks on the top of a milk bottle. Andy's Dad won every time. He joked with us about being born in Pudsey, saying he once lived in Richardshaw Lane. But everyone knows Richardshaw Lane. He brings us home at about 1.0am. Sleep until 6.30.


Thursday January 17, 1974

A very satisfactory day. Spend all morning busily filing and by 12.0 am completely finished. Sarah is also on half day. Raining again, but I won't bang on about the weather - thereby avoiding depression among my multitude of readers.

A poor demented MP is now saying that we are all using too much electricity for domestic purposes. We all ought to be cleaning our teeth without the bathroom light on, and sitting around in a darkened lounge staring at a blank tv screen, perhaps making models out of old, and rare, toilet rolls. Anyway, we are all frantic with the speculation that Mr Heath will have his election before February 7. The Tories are 2 points ahead of everyone in the last Gallup poll - and the Tory back-benchers are urging Uncle Ted to dissolve. Not personally of course, but Parliament that is. He'll have to go see the Queen of course.

At 12.0 I went to have my hair cut. Emerging 60 minutes later looking somewhat replenished - my hair shorter - surprise Mum and Dad with my new image. Mum and Dad go to Morrison's and I watched a good film on the BBC. Settled down in front of the tv - do not intend going out tonight. See 'Tomorrow's World' and 'Top of the Pops'.

Retired to bed early. Read a good book on the life of Sir Thomas More, a victim of King Henry VIII - not a biography though.


Wednesday January 16, 1974

Election speculation continues. Poor Mr Heath must be quite distraught. I do expect that old Harold (Wilson) is lapping it up.

The Royal Family have cancelled all engagements until after the funeral of Lady Patricia Ramsay on Monday. It should be a nice break for them all, because they cannot have got on too well with old Pat, a bit of a recluse.



Tuesday January 15, 1974

The whole nation is hysterical. Today no trains ran anywhere in the United Kingdom, and the general feeling is that the General Election will take place before February 14. It seems as though the Three Day Week will last into the Spring, and it was announced on the 9 o'clock news that a massive toilet roll shortage will make rationing inevitable. From Thursday everyone in Britain with the surname beginning with A and B and ordered to attend their local Post Office in order to collect toilet paper rationing books. Each person is allowed three 5in squares of paper per week. However, many people with foresight who realised that legislation was inevitable have made ample provision for the coming 'Three Day Shit'. Mr Heath, for one, had 7,000 rolls of Kleenex toilet paper delivered to Chequers early this morning. And by the looks of things he's going to need every single sheet before the winter is over.

By this time next month 10, Downing Street, my have a new occupant. I wonder whether Mrs Gormley will re-decorate the Cabinet Room? I wouldn't be surprised to find she's already chosen the curtain material.

Go to Leeds on the 33 bus. Arrive YP at 8.30. Lousy day. Miss Went yelled at me for forgetting that certain pictures should have been returned, and I'd filed them. Janice was on half day. I'm having Thursday again. Intend having my beautiful locks removed - haven't had a decent haircut since July!

Chose 2 pairs of shoes from Muriel Rawnsley's catalogue. Bed at 11.0.


Monday January 14, 1974

Climb out of bed at 7.30. Listen to Noel Edmunds until 8. Get the usual train. Very busy at the YP.

Surprised that we have no file for Lady Patricia Ramsay, who has died. This woman was one of the last surviving granddaughters of Queen Victoria, and she broke the tradition of marrying within the royal circle. Instead she married the son of the Earl of Dalhousie, disclaiming her royal rank. The Queen, still at Sandringham, has ordered Court mourning to be observed by the Royal Family until after the funeral of Lady Patricia. I think the Countess of Athlone is the only surviving grandchild of the old Queen, and she is on her way to South Africa at the age of 91. Still obviously a lively old soul.

See the tv all evening. Depart to my bedroom with a book on the modern monarchy by Sir Charles Petrie, Bt, which is not what I expected. In effect it's a copy of all the other books on the British monarchs since 1837. Traces of Wheeler-Bennett, Pope-Hennessy, Nicolson, the Duke of Windsor, and Strachey are all evident. But it entertains.


Sunday January 13, 1974

Get up at 3pm. Beautiful sleep. Awake feeling very refreshed. Nearly tea time, and light is already fading. Have lunch and see a film starring Gregory Peck - a western.

A very quiet evening and nobody rings at all. Last night's party was very successful, and I enjoyed it much more than New Year's Eve.

Sue is still wearing her engagement ring. Such a darling child she is - very good at keeping a joke. Whilst listening to Tom Brown and 'Solid Gold 60' Lynn tells me that Nigel Smith wasn't even at Martyn Cole's party - but I don't let Sue know this just to keep the joke rolling on.

The girls go to another party tonight and John, Mum, Dad and me see a Bette Davis film - not equal to her usual so-called 'thrillers'.

Bed at 11 after seeing a pantomime Princess Margaret on Monty Python's Flying Circus. Hillarious.

I'm going to scribble the number 1 record in the corner every Sunday to create a record of the top records of 1974.

'Merry Christmas Everybody' by Slade.


Saturday January 12, 1974

Up with the larks at 7.0. Love working on Saturday mornings. Not at all as bad as Sarah makes out.________________.

See the film 'Spartacus' in the evening. John goes to the Yorkshire Rose, where he meets the gang. Mum and Dad go to Bradford with Auntie Eleanor, Uncle Jack, Auntie Hilda and Uncle Tony. All the gang come back here at 10.30. Everyone has a great time until 2.0am. Have fun with Denny. Sue comes back from Martyn's at 10.30 saying she's engaged - wearing an engagement ring. Everyone is over the moon. I cannot believe she'd become engaged to Nigel Smith. But it's all fun. Mum and Dad home at 2. They all leave at 2.30. Andy and Linda have got off together again. How long will it last?


Friday January 11, 1974

Very busy at YP. Rushed like Hell all day. Have a laugh with Anne. Make photostats of a mining accident at Morley in 1872. The detail of the reporting was fantastic - makes todays reporting look very shoddy indeed.

Catch the train at 5.20 - absolutely exhausted. Undecided whether to go out or not. John persuaded me to go the Emmotts, where we sit quite alone until 8.30. Philip Cartwright comes in, followed by Chris and Pete. Andy arrives last of all. Despite all the misery Chris felt about the London trip, it was a tremendous success, and he actually paid a visit to the Tiger Bar (see Oct 1973). Linda and Christine W come in with MM at 9.0 o'clock and we sit telling jokes for the remainder of the evening. MM goes to talk with a foul looking female. Very pleasant evening. Peter takes us all back to Linda's for coffee. Home at 1 after a weird experience with Pete. He kicked us out of the van, in the rain, in Park Road. He's a very sadistic little beast at times.


Thursday January 10, 1974

Leave the YP at 12.0. Makes a nice change having a half day. Get soaked to the skin again travelling to Rawdon. Arrive at Benton Park at about 12.30. MM calls me "immature" over the 'Mud on the Datsun' escapade. I tell him the whole incident had nothing to do with me, and besides, he is the one who enjoys practical jokes. I suppose he thinks it's different when the jokes are directed at him. Did I complain when he threw my continental quilt from by bedroom window onto the lawn?_____________.Spend the afternoon with Christine and Maggie playing guessing games. See Pamela 'Sex Mad' Barlow who insists she is descended from Robert the Bruce - a relation of our own Royal Family no less.


Wednesday January 9, 1974

Uneventful day. The weather persists in being a complete bore. Nothing but rain all day. Looking forward to tomorrow's half day. Should be a laugh at Benton Park.


Tuesday January 8, 1974

A most efficient day at the YP. By 3 I had completed all my usual work. Janice was on half-day and to celebrate Miss W's birthday we all had a large cream cake each - really sickly. The afternoon tea was revolting and resembled hot water.

Since midday rainstorms have lashed West Yorkshire, and by 4.0 we, or should I say the girls, we panic stricken about getting wet on the walk to the station. Sarah, Anne and I leave at 5. Within 10 minutes I am soaked to the skin. Dive onto the train and sit next to Helen, who repremands me for not attending her New Year party. I make my apoligies. Mr & Mrs Saxton are on the train and little Kathryn and Margaret keeping shouting my name. "Bye bye Michael", when I exit the train on a desolate, monsoon-hit platform, which was of course Guiseley. A terrible walk home was endured, and I fell through the door at 6 absolutely soaked to the skin. Have a hot shower and grab something to eat. See tv in the evening. The close-down at 10.30 is such a ridiculous bore. Mr Heath doesn't deserve my loyalty at all.



Monday January 7, 1974

Interesting day at the YP. Now that I've finished typing I find I can plod along with the work much more efficiently and I find I take more interest in what I'm doing.

See some new pictures to file of Lady Jane Wellesley, and quite an attractive thing she is too. File the obit. of Lord Nunburnholme, who died on New Year's Day. The files will be completely taken over by the peerage before I'm finished.

Poor Chris went to London today for one week on a banking course. The poor blighter will simply dissolve without his usual ale at the Emmotts.

Dave went back to Worcester. He rang late yesterday to see if I was going out - however, I decided to remain indoors. I must remember to write in a few weeks time - he gets horrid fears that we will lose touch completely.

Miss W was in a foul mood today, probably because it's her 60th birthday tomorrow, and she must be feeling older.

Generally a terrible day weather-wise. Rained constantly.

Walk home with Judith, that vivacious creature from Fieldhead Rd. I can't understand how she manages to be so lively.

See tv all evening. Mum and Dad go to Esholt. Retire at 12.15 and have a shower. Bed 1.30.


Sunday January 6, 1974

Epiphany. Mother wakes me at 11.45. Have bacon for breakfast and then stagger upstairs and have a hot shower with Jimmy Savile providing the backing music. Sundays are so much better than they used to be.

See an old film on the BBC in the afternoon. Petula Clarke was only 15 years-old! That shows how dated it was. See another good film in the evening 'How to Murder Your Wife' with Terry-Thomas and Jack Lemmon. V. Amusing.

A completely relaxed day. Chris rang me at 7 to bid me farewell for a week and Denny rang at 7.30 to see if we were going to the Emmotts.

Bed at 11 after the tv had closed down early. Lay talking about old times with John until 2.30am.


Saturday January 5, 1974

Nearly noon when I awoke, feeling very much improved. No blocked up feeeling at all. Have no breakfast and leap into the bath at 1.30. Try to have a shower but something is wrong with the warm water.

During lunch Denny rings and I tell her that everyone is going to the Cow and Calf tonight - she is overjoyed. I suppose we'll get a lift with Pete Mather.

After lunch I sit with a Guinness in front of the tv. By 4.30 the light is nearly gone completely and the night is once again upon us.

Hear from Chris at 6.30 who intends going to the Emmotts for 8. John and I arrive at 7.50. Sit with Ivy who is in very high spirits. Chris and Pete come in at about 8.15. Andy, of course, has been propping up the bar since 7.30. Dear Denny, wearing a beautiful coat, sits on the other side of Ivy. At 9.30 we go to the Red Lion in Burley-in-Wharfedale. Dave Lawson left John without a lift after going out of his way to offer him one. Subsequently, about six of us had to pile into Pete's car. At 10.30 we go onto to the moor to the Cow & Calf. Denny and I take turns in buying drinks for one another. We have a couple of tremendous dances. 'Dance with the Devil' by Cozy Powell is the greatest record I've heard this year.

However, I feel too self-conscious when dancing with Denny because she is such a good dancer - perfect in fact.

Pete brings us home in dense fog at 2.0am. Singing all the way.


Friday January 4, 1974

Awake at 11.30 feeling very much better. The morning in bed's done me a lot of good. Slip into a robe and go downstairs for lunch.

Mum comes home at 12.20 absolutely frozen solid due to the electricity and heating cuts in her office. This 'Three Day Week' will give everyone pnuemonia.

See a George Formby film in the afternoon - not very funny, but hear all the unusual, out-dated swear words like 'twerp', which I think means a pregnant fish or something.

At about 7.30 John goes to the Emmotts whilst I sit by the fire. See a 35 minute programme on the Royal Wedding - very impressive. The BBC must be showing it to cheer everyone up in the present crisis. A cartoon in the paper the other day said what we now want is either a royal wedding or a royal birth. That ought to be the green light for the Prince of Wales.


Thursday January 3, 1974

Awake feeling terrible. A runny nose, watery eyes, dry throat, blocked ears. Terrible. Stagger to Guiseley for the 8.20 train. See Judith who says I should not have ventured out in my condition. The weather is also terrible. Icy wind and very thick frost. I can feel it getting on to my chest. A nasty cough is round the corner.

Poor Dad spent the day in bed after being horribly sick in the night. The meal at the CW cannot have agreed with his digestive juices. However, Auntie Hilda has also been violently sick recently, but her case can be diagnosed very easily. If you drink an entire bottle of Bacardi you cannot expect to feel bright and breezy for a couple of days. She denies that the drink is the culprit, saying it must have been something she ate at our buffet!

Stagger home from the YP and go early to bed.Decide not to go in tomorrow because I do not intend killing myself for the sake of a cheap little newspaper.

Sit, propped up by pillows, until 8.20 when I fall asleep.

The papers are still full of the Prince of Wales and Lady Jane Wellesley. Somehow I can't see anything coming out of this affair at all. The Mail says Charles is only using her as a cover for Lady Cecil Kerr, a Catholic. I don't know what to think.


Wednesday January 2, 1974

Back to the YP after the day off. Mother and Father's birthdays. Poor Dad is 40. Mother is 39. Don't want to write much because I feel uncomfortably ill. Of all the ways to begin a New Year this must be the worst.

Hear from Lynn that Sue Riley had a baby boy on December 30. Samuel is his name.

Mum and Dad go to the CW for dinner. It upsets Dad's stomach. He probably over ate.

Bed at 12.30.


Tuesday January 1, 1974

The radio behind the bar of the Commercial at Esholt announces the arrival of 1974. We all kiss and link arms in the singing of 'auld langs ayne'. Denny, as usual, is emotional at the passing of the old year. By 12.15 Uncle Jack complains he is on the verge of starving to death so we all leave, in dense fog, for Pine Tops.

The party is a tremendous success. Andy, Chris, Linda, Christine W, Peter Mather arrive, followed by MM and Marita. A couple of police officers arrive (as guests) and the party is underway. Uncle Harry is drunk, along with Auntie Hilda. Poor Uncle Tony sleeps in the lounge. The Blackwells came in for an hour or two. Truly a fantastic evening. Chris, in keeping with his previous New Year record, was in a terrible mood. He'll be in trouble next week for not going to Laura's party. Everyone agrees that Mum and Dad are tremendous parents.

Very few people go home, and by 7am most people have fallen asleep in all sorts of places. Cousin Jackie, Neil, Al and Martyn and I awake at about 10 in the lounge. Mr Graham collects Andy, Christine and Linda.

Spend the rest of the day relaxing in front of the tv. My throat is burning and dry, but it isn't down to drink. I consumed very little last night. Poor Auntie Hilda was blind drunk, after knocking back the contents of a whole bottle of Bacardi. She kept calling me: 'My favourite nephew.'


Monday December 31, 1973

Back to the YP. The trouble with Christmas is that I can never remember what day it is. Get a preview of the 'New Year Honours' and see that the leader of the TUC is now Lord Feather! Honestly, I hate these socialists who accept titles. Of course, the public don't know yet. Quite a pleasant day at the YP. Miss Went took the day off. Kathleen, in her infinite goodness, lets us go at 4 and I am home for 5.0.

Mother is preparing for tonight's party but I am more than slightly sceptical as to how popular it will be. Whilst I am in the bath Denny rings. John and I go to the Emmotts where it is packed beyond the limits of human comfort. We, the three of us, leave after two drinks. Home for 9.30. Mum, Dad, Auntie Eleanor, Uncle Jack, Auntie Hilda and Uncle Tony are leaving for the Commercial. Mum instructs us to escort Uncle Harry to Esholt when he finally decides to arrive. He comes at 11.30. Denny, John and I take him, in thick fog, to Esholt. We all have a tremendous half hour, but I hate it when the year changes. 1973 has been such a tremendous year. Some months were the ultimate in happiness whilst others were equally sad. This year, on looking back, will be the year of June. I hope 1973 will remind her of me. That's all I ask. May God carry me through 1974 with as much care.

The radio behind the bar in the Commercial announces the New Year. All the family, with Denny, link arms singing 'auld langs ayne'. Kisses are wildly distributed by one and all. At 12.15 we all leave for Pine Tops. Denny, John and I travelling with Uncle Harry and all the others with Uncle Jack.

(For details of the party see the 1974 diary. I now formally close this for ever. My pen will never touch these pages again. Goodbye O' faithful diary.)


Sunday December 30, 1973

1st after Christmas. Wake up at 7.30 and find myself on top of the bed feeling cold. Without much hesitation I climb into the bed where I sleep until 12.30. Feeling quite rough when I finally get up. The weather is cold, sharp, and sunny. Peter Mather laughs when he sees me staggering towards the bathroom. It isn't until my face is in cold water and I come round that I remember, with horror, that Christine W finished with John last night. The bust up will probably not be permanent. Andy and Linda S are back together again.

Denny, Pete, John and I clear up the mess with Chris whilst Andy watches tv. We then watch one of the Whicker in America series about plastic surgery.

John and me get a bus into Guiseley. Home for just after 1.30. Have a nice lunch. Then see the tv. 'Antony and Cleopatra' starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor - described as the 'most expensive flop ever' but I think it's quite good.

Bed at about midnight after having a few drinks with the family. Still no word from Sue Riley or the baby.


Saturday December 29, 1973

Get up at 6.30 shower and dress and leave for the YP at 8. Every national newspaper has Lady Jane Wellesley on the front page. She's staying with the Prince of Wales for the New Year at Sandringham. The Telegraph predicts a New Year engagement, which I think is absolutely ridiculous. Both Miss W and Janice are off - we spend a quiet morning. Only the second Saturday on which I have worked for the YP. Finish all my my work at 12.10 and bid farewell to Kathleen and Sarah. Go down Wellington Street to the Railway station buying a 'Private Eye' on the way. Home by 1.0.

Do absolutely nothing all afternoon and see 'Dr Who' again - the greatest series on tv. See 'The Generation Game'. Bruce Forsyth married Anthea Redfearn in Windsor on Christmas Eve. He's a fantastic wit - when he and Frankie Howerd get together it's totally hillarious.

Chris rings at 7 and asks us, meaning John, Denny and myself, to go to the Fleece. We carry out his orders. We find Andy propping up the bar where he's been since 7.30! He isn't pissed either. Denny's been supping since 8 o'clock. Chris, Pete, Laura and Maggie come ages after and I am feeling very uncomfortable in the heat of the bar. At 10 we set off for Chris's house. David and MM are outside the Fleece, and Denny (who is sick of Laura) drags me into the back of MM's Datsun and we go to the Ratcliffe residence. Plenty of drink - and Tamla - as usual.

I remain quite sober but we all have a good time until about 5am. Andy, John and me crush into Chris's bedroom, where I fall immediately to sleep until the following afternoon - fully clothed too.



Friday December 28, 1973

Mum got me up at 7.15 and I went to Leeds on the 8.20 train after having only a lemonade for breakfast. Most unusual morning - only 3 hours work because it's my half-day. Have finished all my filing and everything by 11.55. Home by 1 o'clock. Have soup for lunch. See Mother for only a few brief minutes and she dashes back to work until 4.0.

A rainy, uncomfortable day. All we've had this Christmas is rain upon rain.

Poor Sue Riley is showing little, or no, signs of delivering a child into the world. I don't think it will come until the New Year now. A pity really. Sue's baby would have been a fitting close to 1973.

Chris rings and I say I'm not going out. John triies to convert me into celebrating Friday. Dave rings at 7.15 and I decide to go to the Fleece with the gang. Everyone gathers at about 8.15. At 10.15 Peter Mather takes 8 of us back to the Emmotts where we all have one more drink. In all, I consumed 4 halves of Guinness and 3 packets of nuts. Andy was annoyed when Linda, Christine, John and myself refuse to go back to his house for a drink. Andy and Chris don't realise that some people have to work Saturday mornings. Home at 11.30. St with Mum, Dad and Sue until about 12.30. Quite a laugh it was too.


Thursday December 27, 1973

I wonder if Sue Riley's given birth yet? When I pass the CW on the bus I see no sign of life and therefore pressume that the poor girl is in the clinic suffering the rigours of childbirth. The little blighter is already four days late. Discussing this with Mother she says I came on the exact appointed day; John should have been born on September 22; Lynn was six days late and I think she said Susan was early.

Rushed home from the YP in order to prepare for this so-called party in Horsforth. Hell, what a total disaster the evening was. Arrive at the house at 8.30. And from the start Helen Taylor thinks that she has me hooked. After 90 minutes of wandering around the streets of misty Horsforth - past June's house - I tell it's no good us starting anything permanent. I admit to her that June is still the only girl in my life. She begins to cry outside Diane Rushworth's house in Horsforth and I make a hurried departure. I do so hate upsetting these females, but what else can I possibly do?

Pam Barlow rang to invite me to Judith Lea's party on Saturday - I refuse, using Chris as an excuse. Helen also asked me to go to the same party - not knowing that Pamela is also after me too. Generally an intolerable evening.


Wednesday December 26, 1973

Get up at about midday. Denny, Lynn and Susan are chatting downstairs. See a bit of tv and have a delicious lunch.

Denny is a marvellous darling and I get on with her more than any other girl - at this moment in time._______________.She is a perfect thing. She is so undemanding and never tries to force her views or ideas upon one. She leaves about 2 o'clock. See a horrid Doris Day film.

Go to cousin Derek's at 5.0. The first time I've been to see Derek and Jennifer. She's pretty, but quiet. Auntie Eleanor, Uncle Jack, Jackie, her sailor boyfriend Neil, Stephen, Brian and Valerie were there. I love Auntie Eleanor. Spend the remainder of the evening at the Gadsby residence. The usual 'soot' jests and things. Auntie Hilda was a bit slewed, but I drank very little. John had virtually nothing alcoholic. Mum was on lemonade! Auntie Eleanor won the 'press-ups' competition. Uncle Jack was second and Tony third. Dad refused to enter. After an exchange of gifts we all go our separate ways. The whole clan is to meet at our place on New Year's Eve.

Home at about 2.0am. Turkey sandwiches - succulent.


Tuesday December 25, 1973

Christmas Day. Awake with a hangover at 12.30. Mother is not too pleased at my drunken arrival home. John was also sloshed at midnight - when Andy and Chris brought him home and carried him upstairs and dumped him on the bed.

Christmas dinner is excellent. The 20lb turkey is exquisitely cooked. Meal begins with prawn cocktail. For the first time in years I do not have any Christmas pudding - my poor misguided stomach couldn't tolerate it.

See the Queen on tv at 3 o'clock and fall asleep immediately after the 15 minute broadcast, and sleep until almost 5.0. I have no recollection whatever of the traditional rubbish-type BBC pantomime which they try to force onto us once a year.

The weather is abominable for Christmas. Rain, rain and even more rain. See a bit of the 'Morecambe and Wise' Christmas show then have a shower.

John and I leave for Dave's at 9.0. Meet Denny in Guiseley. The party is genuinely a success. Two flashing Christmas trees! All the gang came - every single one. Denny was pissed by 12. She comes back to Pine tops at 2.0 - and camps down in the girls room - won't they have a surprise in the morning.


Monday December 24, 1973

Christmas Eve is here at last. Finish filing at work at 11.30 and we all go behind the filing cabinets for a makeshift party - received 2 nice presents. The afternoon is given over to enjoying ourselves, and I get a train at 1.10 out of Leeds.

John and Lynn are watching tv and poor Sue is working all day at the hairdressers. Mum and Dad are shopping until 3.0.

At 7.30 John, Christine W and I go to the Emmotts where Marita, Laura, Chris, Andy, Peter, David and MM all assemble. A boozy evening.Feeling totally pissed. Denny and I go on to Peter Lazenby's party on Park Road, Guiseley. My God, don't ask me what I drank, but the whole evening from midnight onwards is a complete blank to me. Home at 3. Immediately to bed. Sleep until noon on Christmas Day.


Sunday December 23, 1973

4th in Advent. Awoke at 12.30. John says he had a great time at the 'Cat's Whiskers' in York, where Christine W and he exchanged Christmas presents. He received a record token, and she received a watch. He says Dave is coming up today with a written invitation for a party on Christmas night. John received his invite last night.

Sandra and Doug have separated. She is now living at Dave's. All couples seem to be doing it these days.

David and MM came at about 4 o'clock and they sit with John and myself until about 5.30 when Dave goes home to tape 'Solid Gold 60'. Both were quite pleasant but I can't help laughing at____.

Mater and Pater collect the turkey from Rose Farm at Burley-in-Wharfedale - a real whoppa it is too!

Auntie Hilda and family come at 7. Their first appearance at our place since early November. They go for a drink. Kim Dean rings at 9pm. At 10 John and myself go up to his house near JCT600, where a party goes on until 12. Glynnis and the girls are there. Poor Helen Taylor still fancies me. I give her a good time. MM brings John and myself home at 12.15. Very enjoyable party indeed. Diane Rushworth was pissed out of her poor mind.


Saturday December 22, 1973

Dad wakes me at 6.25am and I wash, dress and go downstairs where I blow up several balloons in the lounge. Mrs Blackwell bangs on the door at 7 with a story about the taxi driver being late. They are going to Torquay for Christmas to see their son and four grandsons.

The weather is shocking, fog and rain both at the same time. At 8.0 I get the 55 bus arriving in Leeds at 9.0. Spend three hours and £6 buying presents in near torrential conditions. See Sue Bottomley in 'Scene and Heard', who says June didn't enjoy the party at Benton Park on Wednesday. I tell her that I didn't enjoy it either, and she gave a wistful smile.

On arrival home I try ringing Jackie in order to get to the bottom of these latest 'June rumours'. Whilst talking to Uncle Jack the line goes dead and at 5.30 I had heard nothing further from Pudsey. Even Mum is hopeful that June and I will get back together. The prospect literally makes me feel like going hysterical with joy. Who knows what might happen?

John, Christine W, David, Marita, MM and Linda go to York until 4am. I await further instruction from higher places. I went to the Emmotts and sat with Ivy until 8.30 when Chris, Andy, Peter Mather and gang joined me. At 11 we went to a party near the Golf Club - gate crashed it. Remained until 1.30. Peter brought me home.


Friday December 21, 1973

The coming joys of the festive season have yet to take hold of me and all I think about is June. She's driving me crazy. I think I'll go and see her tomorrow.

Now that Princess Anne is truly established as a married woman I think it indelicate to retain her portrait in a prominent position in my bedroom. I have therefore replaced her by Miss Bottomley. The most angelic portrait I've ever seen.

At 5.0 I decided to ignore the EP editor's party and come straight home. Chris rings at 8.05 and says I can get a lift to Farsley if I'm at the Emmotts by 8.30. This is impossible. Sue and I remain indoors and see Stanley Baxter imitating the Queen's Christmas message - quite authentic.

Tonight was the first Friday since November 2 that I didn't enter a place set aside for the consumption of alcohol. It made a change.

I put up some mistletoe for Mother and sit by the light of the Christmas tree feeling generally sorry for myself.


Thursday December 20, 1973

Slept in this morning. Work by 9.50. Feel like breaking down and __________.Pathetic isn't it?

Everything was so bloody happy last Christmas. At this time I was madly in love with June. I still am, but at least last Christmas she felt some affection for me. I saw her last night. God, it will kill me. Cousin Jackie told Mum that she (June) was still very fond of me. Jackie sees her at college. I just want to be sick. If she is fond of me, and if I love her, why aren't we together? Christ, why must I suffer such tortures? I wrote her a letter again, but don't suppose I'll get a reply.


Wednesday December 19, 1973

Saw June at the Benton Park Christmas dance. She didn't say much and seemed disinterested in anything I do or say. Love sick, that's my trouble.

Generally, the whole thing (the dance) fell through. People trying to be things which they aren't. David didn't say much. MM had been for a haircut. June looked lovely. Lynn went to the Emmotts for the first time - and little Janet Roots managed to get a sherry out of me. John and I were wearing identical jumpers, and all the lower 6th girls had the usual fight on the topical question "who's gonna _____Mig Rhodes first".

I now know why Pamela Barlow rang. She's a bloody sex maniac. Talk about throwing yourself at someone! Laura attended in her usual capacity as "Tart of the Year 1973".

Ah well, if Liz Taylor and Richard Burton can get back together then June and I still have a chance. God, the thought of it makes my life a lot warmer. She's the only one to give me a purpose to live for.


Tuesday December 18, 1973

Interesting day at the YP. Work for Lynn at the Chuck Wagon . See Sue who is expecting her first child in six days. She's quite massive and is now much more blond and with very short hair. Toffer is much the same. Quite busy for a Tuesday. Les, the so-called "queer" brings me home in his Bentley at 11.45. Have a bath in the newly decorated bathroom, and the new carpet, fitted today, is superb. Not tired at all. Bed 1.30am.

PS - Pam Barlow rang whilst I was out. What can she possibly want ?


Monday December 17, 1973

Princess Anne and Mark Phillips return to desolate Britain. Chaos reigns in all places. Mr Barber announced his Christmas budget in the Commons this afternoon. A typical 'election type' budget, which gets only at the rich. Obviously, Mr Heath is planning an early general election. Some sources are going so far as to suggest January 24! My resources as a voter may be required sooner than I imagined.

An Aide-de-Camp to the Queen has been injured by a letter bomb in London this morning. Brigadier O'Cock is his name. It goes to show that this can easily happen to VIPs. The Queen herself is unaffected by letter bombs. Her mail will be thoroughly checked before it is placed before her and if it isn't, Brig O'Cock is a good example of what might happen.

The tv today closes down at 10.30. I go to bed at 10 o'clock to avoid the humiliation of seeing everything black-out at such an early hour.


Sunday December 16, 1973

3rd in Advent. Glance at the family documents again. The Rhodes family has never passed the same name on from generation to generation like some families do. Only a couple of Johns follow each other.


Saturday December 15, 1973

Go to Leeds with John. See nothing worth buying. Snow in Guiseley and extremely cold.

Later: rush down the lane to get a bus to the Woodside Tavern where I'm meeting Tiff and Martin V-B. Miss the soddin' thing. Go to the off-licence in Guiseley and buy a bottle of apricot wine in a whisky bottle. Get the 33 bus to Horsforth. Call in to see Chris then find Pam's house. Vilma, with her boyfriend, a cheery, bookish lower 6th female, and Pam are the only guests. Judith Lea arrives ten minutes later. Martin, Tiff and Andy Barrett arrive at about 10. Andy B and Judith Lea begin with the orgy. Pam and I make ice-cream for the dinner party - and what a bloody dinner party it was! Never have I seen so much food on one table! Martin and me toast everyone we can think of - for about an hour.

Later. Very much later.We leave for home suitably stashed up with bottles. Martin and I walk towards Rawdon wearing little green police helmets. At the crematorium we get a lift. I get out at Guiseley baths. Home by 2.45. A very good laugh. Especially Martin's impersonation of Tommy Cooper.


Friday December 14, 1973

Uncle Tony 'caught up' with Mother today. He's 38. Haven't seen him or the family since October. This time of the year tends to be a bad one for Auntie Hilda, who becomes depressed at the thought of spending money at Christmas. At the moment her main worry is Uncle Tony. Will he or will he not lose his job in the current economic crisis? We all know he won't, but Auntie Hilda doesn't. She's never content with life like Mum is. Not at all like sisters really.

Chris rings at about 7. Meet at the Emmotts at 9 o'clock. Martin Vere-Bunowsky and little Helen join us, with no Laura for a change. She's gone to a disco with Philip Cartwright. Martin and I discuss the party tomorrow evening. He thinks it'll be an absolute orgy... five of each sex... can you blame the poor boy's mind for thinking that way? All get merry. Leave Emmotts at 11.10. Bus home.


Thursday December 13, 1973

Britain today came to a grinding standstill when the Prime Minister, Mr Heath, announced drastic measures in the Commons. From Monday many industries will be on a three day week, which will create massive unemployment by the beginning of the New Year. Tv will close down at 10.30, and Christmas tree lights will only be allowed to be lit on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The steel industry is to close down and the so-called 'national boom' is dead. Poor Ludovic Kennedy was heart-broken when he realised that his prgramme 'Mid-Week' would be axed by Mr Heath's measures. The poor man was desolate.

Anyway, on the bright side, turkeys are free from the VD epidemic which wiped out millions of them last year, and no restrictions concerning the manufacture of Christmas puddings has yet been enacted by HM Government. Poor Sarah was shivering with cold at work this afternoon due to the ban on office heating. Petrol will not be rationed until the New Year. And if you want my opinion, all we want now is a World War and we will have had everything.

Went for a drink with Peter Lazenby at lunchtime. Didn't return to the YP until 2.20. Miss Went was nice about it. I was pissed. Drinking on an empty stomach always flattens me. Going to the editor's Xmas booze-up on Dec 21.

Bed at 11.30.


Wednesday December 12, 1973

Miss Went came back today after having had two days off. Uneventful day at the YP. Cold and rainy.


Tuesday December 11, 1973

An interesting morning filing the obits. The Prince of Wales was yesterday made a personal Aide-de-Camp to the Queen. The other ADCs are the Dukes of Gloucester and Kent, and Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

See in the Express that another of Prince Charles's girlfriends is engaged. Lady Henrietta FitzRoy, a daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Grafton. However, Jane Wellesley is still tipped for the top.



Monday December 10, 1973

Abdication of King Edward VIII, 1936. Miss Went is away for two days and a relaxed atmosphere prevails at the YP. Little Janice is far too domineering in her attitude to me - I'll put her in her rightful place before very long.

Praise be to God in Heaven! It's happened. The Burtons are back together again. Poor Liz was wheeled out of hospital by a jubilant Richard, and the couple flew to Rome to spend Christmas with Sophia Loren. This really does go to show that true love always finds a way. Liz said she'd separated from Richard because 'we love each other too much'. Eh?

Poor Mark Phillips is in bed and not with Princess Anne it seems. The poor boy has gastro-entiritis. Must be all that South American food he's been getting. Poor chap.


Sunday December 9, 1973

2nd in Advent. A completely restful day. Listen to Jimmy Savile all afternoon. Dad gives John and me dirty looks through the window - but how can he expect us to leap up and spend all day pulling up the dead foliage in his herbacious border? The sabbath is for rest, and we certainly obeyed that command.

No one rang in the evening and Lynn, Sue and I watched a Stewart Grainger and Jean Simmonds film 'Footsteps in the Fog' - quite thrilling. John went out with Christine W, and Mum and Dad went to Esholt where they saw Chris, Andy and Laura with the Cartwright Set. Mother thinks_____________. I'd better not tell him. He'd never come again. Bed after 'Up Sunday' at 12.


Saturday December 8, 1973

Get up at about 11. Do absolutely nothing all day, until evening that is. Chris rings early on and says he's going to the Emmotts. I ring Denise who is in the bath, and then have a bath myself. I hear from Chris that Denny purchased a moped the other day! I can just imagine dear Denny racing through the wilds of Arthington like a cat out of hell!

Meet Peter Mather, Philip Cartwright and Finlay - we all rush off to the Commercial at Esholt - Mum and Dad's local. Such a strange pub - more like the drawing room of a Victorian vicarage. Very Dickensian. Philip and Fin go off to do a disco, and we three return to the Emmotts. I have a Guinness and decide I ought to drink it more often. Mind you, anything is better than the Emmotts bitter, which is quite revolting. Peter brings me home after fish and chips from the shop opposite the Emmotts. Go to bed at about 12.30 after watching Phil Silvers on the Parkinson programme - quite funny.


Friday December 7, 1973

Busy day at the YP. I made photostat copies of all the family births, marriages and death certificates.

A very pleasant evening. Chris, Peter Mather, Laura and her friend Maggie, Andy, Philip Cartwright and myself all went to the Cow & Calf which is now 'Samantha's' - really beautiful now, but the memories of the old place will always linger. Dance until 2.0. Peter brings me home to the door. It is a cold, rainy night. Christmas is only 3 weeks away - not likely to be a white one either.


Thursday December 6, 1973

Pay day again. I receive an extra twenty odd pence. Old Mr Linacre must have realised by now that my service to the YP is invaluable.

Arrive home at 6.30. The train from Leeds was incredibly slow. Uncles Harry and Bert are devouring my evening meal. Uncle B is still suffering with a bad foot, gangrine or something.

Dad is so pleased to see his brothers. Mum thinks Uncle B is a strange character. He is so vague. Uncle Harry is my favourite uncle on Dad's side of the family - with a funny sense of humour. They go out to Burley-in-Wharfedale to see cousin Dorothy, who resides at the White Horse, not returning until 2.30. I see tv until 12.


Wednesday December 5, 1973

The train to Leeds is getting hideous. More and more people have to stand, and when petrol rationing comes in it can only get worse. The train will be even worse on Tuesday, when the railworkers go slow. What a state this nation is in.

See in the YP that Sir William Worsley, father of the Duchess of Kent, died at Hovingham last night. The new owner of Hovingham Hall is Sir Marcus Worsley, 5th Baronet, who is 49. I do not pretend to be a keen admirer of the Worsley clan, but the late Sir William was born on April 5, and for that reason alone he deserves a mention.

At 1.0 I meet Chris and Laura at the Jubilee, near the Town Hall, a pleasant half an hour. For lunch I had 2 egg and cress sandwiches.

The honeymoon of Pcss. Anne and Capt. Phillips ended today and they began an official visit to Ecuador in South America. The couple were all bronzed with the sun, and Mark looked quite pleased with himself. I am afraid to say the princess looked somewhat sullen.

Tv boring all evening. Bed 11.0pm.


Tuesday December 4, 1973

I awake at 7.55 with Dad's friend hammering on the door. Everyone had over slept. By 8.20 I was in Guiseley station. Phew!

Kathleen was not very pleasant at work today because last night she was "popped up" to the eye balls. The poor dear had a hangover.

My typing lessons finished today until next Monday - a weeks break will do me the world of good. Typing is such monotony at 'Sight & Sound'. Bed 10.30.


Monday December 3, 1973

I ought to _______________________in August, because my heart is broken beyond repair. Four months have passed since darling June left me, and yet no day goes by without me wishing for a miracle to return her to me. It's not as if I don't try to find someone else, but her image is always in my mind. Her voice, her sayings. I will never stop loving her.

Agreed, sometimes weeks go by without me writing her name, but you must realise that most things I write are only useless facts, to cover my innermost feelings. One day I do suppose that I will forget about my so-called broken heart, and look back upon these months with nothing but fondness. But one cannot act of context with the present. At this moment in time I love June more than anyone or anything else.


Sunday December 2, 1973

Advent Sunday. Awake at 12.0 and have breakfast. John was home for 11.45 - Mum didn't mind when I told her of the hour at which I had arrived home. Have a bath at 1.0 and listen to Jimmy Savile. The snow still lies, like a shroud, over the ground, and the sun cannot move it. A typical winters day. I hope we will have a white Christmas - like the one in 1970.

See the Royal Command Performance on tv. The Queen looked super. She was dressed in a aquamarine shimmering evening dress. As usual, the same old cracks about royalty were made. Not even the corgis escaped.


Saturday December 1, 1973

Mum gets me up at about 7.30 and I walk into Guiseley at 8 to catch the train to Leeds at about 8.20. A beautiful morning and the sun shines brilliantly, but the snow still refuses to melt.

Mum rings me at the YP at about 11.30 to tell me that John will join me in Leeds at about 12.30. Miss Went lets me go at about 11.50 - and I wander around WH Smiths - Leeds is packed out with Christmas shoppers all in a panic because it is now December. I buy a coat for £13.50.

Very hungry. Arrive home at about 2.0. A nice lunch, then John and I play records until nearly 6 o'clock. See Bruce Forsyth and 'The Generation Game'.

Telephone Chris who says he's going to the Emmotts and then on to Andy's - I say I'll join him. Go to the Emmotts at 8.30 where I sit with Philip Cartwright until 9. Chris and Andy went to Philip's last night and were rendered inoperably drunk - one of Mrs Cartwright's best tables was ruined. Anyway, a crowd gathers and at about 10 o'clock we all go down to Andy's with a pile of bottles ranging from ale to Southern Comfort and brandy. When his parents return Chris, Laura and myself go to a beautiful house near Philip's in the car of a certain Dave, surname unknown, where we remain until 3am. Everyone sits gambling until the cold light of dawn breaks through the Rawdon skies. Me and Chris went into hysterics, and caused damage to the record player, when we came upon a recording of 'Puff the Magic Dragon' - never will I forget the laugh that record gave Chris and myself. I slept on one of those sofas without a back, but with a roll on one end.

At 3am Chris, Andy and myself set off for home. I went to Andy's to collect my jacket, and he tried to persuade me to stay the night. I went on walking home and arrived home at exactly 4.05 - a four mile walk in 65 minutes. This is a remarkable fete for a drunk.


to be continued

Friday November 30, 1973

St Andrew's Day. Spend the day looking forward to Chid and Garth's annual booze-up. Ring Denny at about 6.30 and ask her to meet me in the Clothiers at about 8.15. Dad takes John and me to Christine W's, and we walked to Yeadon in the freezing, icy blasts of winter. John buys me a pint in the Clothiers but it makes me feel sick. The coldness makes my stomach revolve.

Denny doesn't arrive and at about 8.45 I ring her from the kiosk outside Morrison's and find no one at home. Very mad that she decided not to come.

MM and Linda Smith join us at 8.30. We walk down to the Liberal Club, or what's left of it, and are sadly disappointed. Chid's group may be good if you like that sort of thing, but the noise really persecuted me. Denny was sitting, all in white, behind one of the speakers. She was mad with me for not going to the Clothiers! Evidently, she's been in one of the other rooms and we'd managed to miss each other. At 10 o'clock I decided I'd go for the bus, much to Denny's disgust, and I went down to the bus stop outside the Town Hall. John and Christine walked down Henshaw Lane.

A beautifully calm evening, but the fallen snow is turning into ice. I run up Hawksworth Lane arriving home at about 11 o'clock.

See a good film starring Dame Flora Robson. Mum is surprised to see me home at such an early hour.


Thursday November 29, 1973

I see a photo in Jeremy Thorpe's picture file of Mr & Mrs Thorpe at the wedding in April of the Hon Jeremy Lascelles, Mrs T's son! No publicity was given to this wedding, which was, after all, of some constitutional importance. The Hon Jeremy is 21st in line of succession to the Crown. The new Hon Mrs J.E. Lascelles is called Freddie. Whatever next?


Wednesday November 28, 1973

The first of the winter snow fell in Leeds from about 11 o'clock this morning onwards. It was fantastic. The snow always deadens the noise, and the traffic moved silently down Wellington Street, for a change.

Ian Appleyard was on the train this morning. His sister Margaret is getting married again next month.

A busy, but pleasant day at the YP. A journalist wanted to know if I would play rugby on Sunday but I told him that I loathed the sport. He says it's the YP versus the EP. They'd kill me! All those 16 stone grizzly reporters - never!

At lunchtime I researched the genealogy of Lady Jane Wellesley. She is, of course, descended from the 1st Duke of Wellington, victor of the Battle of Waterloo, and she is a fifth cousin of the Queen. Yes, she's suitable enough and quite attractive - probably a bit plump, but nothing to get tangled about. Whatever happened to Angela Nevill?

Get the 5.17 train with Helen Willis. We discuss old school days especially the sociology lessons. What fun we had way back in those good old wintry days of December 1971. Home at 6 for tea.

See 'Coronation Street'. Albert Tatlock and Minnie Caldwell are thinking about getting married! I'll not venture to comment on that thank you very much.

You are well aware of my views on the subject of monarchy, but I'm going to break from tradition in order to say something very rude about one of the lesser royalties. King Feisal of Iraq is a "silly bugger", and I mean it. He's been very stubborn with his oil supplies at the moment and, as a result, petrol rationing books will be issued tomorrow.


Tuesday November 27, 1973

'A' Level History Exam. I arrived at school at about 9 o'clock and go to the exam room. Begins 9.30, ends 12.30. NO MORE EXAMINATIONS EVER. You probably don't appreciate what that statement actually means to me. For years I have wanted to shout this on the top of my voice, but this is the first time. Even in June when I finished the 'O'levels and 'A' levels I exclaimed 'no more exams until November at least'. That sentence says a lot for my character. 1. The cautiousness stands out a mile, 2. Modesty? 3. Pessimistic.

See Mrs Lane, who liked both papers. Leave for Leeds at about 1 o'clock. Didn't see Christine or MM.

Kathleen is pleased to see I'm well again, but poor Sarah is still indisposed. I argued with Miss Went about the relationship of King Constantine of Greece to the first King of Greece. She says his father was the Dane who became George I of Greece! Kathleen said he was the present king's grandfather but I insist on great-grandfather. I was right.

See tv. Bed at 12.0 o'clock.


Monday November 26, 1973

Get up at 7.30 after having had one and a half hours sleep without being sick. Not in the least nervous about the 'A' level History exam - I am far too used to them by now. I will now leave a three hour gap where the exam was.

(Fluffy cloud with "Three Hours" written across it.)

Phew! That was a bit of a stinker! Still feeling ill I go to Leeds where Kathleen sends me home because I look 'terrible'. Mum was not surprised to see me, and I sat down in the lounge in front of the tv until 6.30. After a bowl of soup, my first meal in 48 hours, I watched tv until 9.30 and then retired to bed where I immediately fell to sleep......Zzzzzz.....Zzzzzz....Zzzzz.


Sunday November 25, 1973

Last after Trinity. At 8pm I was severely sick and continued to vomit at hourly intervals until 4am. Hell, it's so terrible being sick. Feel so useless and animal-like. It must have been the pork I had for lunch. It's never been my favourite meat. Bed at 10 o'clock.


Saturday November 24, 1973

One of the greatest men who ever lived was born 78 years ago today. My Uncle Albert had few faults. In fact, most people who knew him admit that he was perfect. I wish he had lived longer than he did, because when he died in 1969 I was only 14, and hadn't grown up enough to appreciate his character.

John and myself go to Leeds at 11.30 where we buy a complete wardrobe, i.e. trousers, shirts, jumpers and coats. All for £18. Home for lunch. This evening see 'The Generation Game' on tv.

At 8 John and me go to the Yorkshire Rose where we are joined by Andy, Chris, Denny and Laura and Christine W. At 9 we all go across to the Town Hall, where we have the most fantastic times of our lives. Denny and I dance most outrageously. She's like one of the girls in Pan's People or the Young Generation. However, whilst we are having a good time John and Chris are delivered hopelessly drunk. Even Dobby, Susan's boyfriend, a certified alcoholic, is paralytic. Ian Appleyard is on the bar, and he helps with carrying John and Chris outside. Laura, poor thing, doesn't mind the idea of carrying Chris home to Horsforth, but she'll never do it. I am worried about her plight. Denny, the darling, comes home to Pine Tops, where she stays the night as a guest of Lynn and Sue.

Dad called in at the Town Hall, in uniform, to keep an eye on things. He laughed at Andy, who was also a bit gone.


Friday November 23, 1973

Enjoyed work, but loathed the Emmotts. Chris, Laura, John, Andy and Denny. Sickened off completely. Tomorrow is the third month without June. She never leaves my thoughts. I pray to God that she finds happiness eventually. She is far too ruthless, restless and beautiful to be the family type. I love her.

A very cold day. Bed at 1am.


Thursday November 22, 1973

A very enjoyable day at the YP. In the afternoon I sort through some picture boxes.

At 5.0 I go into Leeds. Look in Smiths and then at 6 I go to the Odeon, quite alone, where I see 'The Adventures of Barry Mackenzie' - tremendous brawl. All Australian cast. Catch the 55 at 10.30. Home 11.30. Hear that poor Mr Smith had a stroke this morning - after being in Devon for 5 days. Poor sod. The family are grief stricken.


Wednesday November 21, 1973

Before leaving for the YP Mum, reading the Daily Mail, mentions that the Prince of Wales is languishing on the Spanish coast with a 22-year-old daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Wellington. Of course, Buckingham Palace denied all reports of a possible engagement, but who can believe them? Nationwide, the lousy tv news programme, has suggested this list of possible brides:-

1. Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Marie of Russia, only child of the pretender to the Russian throne.

2. The Lady Victoria Percy, daughter of the Duke of Northumberland (don't know where he picked her up).

3. Miss Angela Nevill, daughter of Lord Rupert Nevill.

4. Lady Jane Wellesley, daughter of the Duke of Wellington.

5. Miss Rosie Clifton, daughter of a civil servant.


Tuesday November 20, 1973

The coldest morning of the year. I meet Judith, who has been off work since last Monday with a cold. We walked to the train in the icy blasts. After parting from Judith I met Anne on Wellington Street and accompanied her to the office. I also have lunch with her - off pork - and later show her how to file obits and personalities. Carol laughs because I have been lumbered with the new girl, but I don't care. Anonyone is better than Janice, who treats me like dirt.See in the EP that 'Barry Mackenzie' is coming to the Leeds Odeon today until Sunday. I must persuade Chris, or anyone, to see it with me - such an hillarious film.Arrive home to find a letter from Dave. I reply immediately. Dad and John are tiling the bathroom, a slow but worthwhile job. Boring evening really. My cols is only worsening. Bed 11.0pm.


Monday November 19, 1973

I reluctanlty march into the office thinking that the death of Sir Gerald Nabarro would be dominating the YP. Strangely enough, the power crisis is the main news of the day. What a relief. I can stand many sights the first thing on a morning but the pompous face of NAB isn't one of them.

I answer the phone and speakl to the editor of Tatler, Peter Townsend, who is looking for a photograph. I am unable to help him. Also, after lunch, the new girl, Anne, arrives. Very ugly but sweet. The Lord Mayor of Leeds calls in to see us whilst Miss Went is at lunch - his worship leaves by the back as she enters from the front. She was livid as missing such a distinguished character. He seemed a very likeable chap.

I think I can feel a cold coming on. My nose is running continuously. Exhausting Mum's handkerchief supply.


Letter from Christine Braithwaite

Benton Park Grammar School,
Harrogate Road,

19th November, 1973

Rawdon 2330

Dear Michael

We are writing to invite you to the Christmas Party, which will be held in the Sixth Form Block on Wednesday, 19th December, 1973, beginning at 8:00pm. Price of admission will be 20p, payable at the door.

If you wish to bring a friend, please could you send us their name and address, and when you arrive at the party, we would be grateful if you would introduce them to Mr Grove.

If you would like to come could you write back as soon as possible, so that we can anticipate numbers.

As last year, drinking will not be allowed before or during the party.

Hoping you will accept this invitation,

Yours sincerely,

Christine Braithwaite

Chairman, Sixth Form Committee


Sunday November 18, 1973

Sir Gerald Nabarro-Oh-No-What-Ho has died in his Worcestershire constituency (very painfully) at the grand old age of 60. From all accounts it seems he fell into a coma whilst looking in at the Royal Wedding on his 23 inch colour tv set. He never regained consciousness. Anyway, that's one potential pedestrian killer out of the way. Yes, the death of this great public figure gives me a better chance of crossing the high street without being flattened beneath the wheels of one of his 27 Rolls-Royces. Indeed, this is a great day for living pedestrians throughout the civilised, and indeed uncivilised world.

At 3.45 John and I were accosted by Andy in his Dad's car. He escorted us, and Chris, to Guiseley Swimming Baths. After thirty minutes in the water we drank some revolting coffee in a cafeteria and went home. The chlorine lingers for hours, but I must admit, it does my sinuses a world of good.

Marlene, Frank, Mark and Debbie come for tea. We spend an enjoyable evening. The kids are tremendous fun - so typically Wilson. See the second repeat of the first repeat of 'Shadow of the Tower' a drama based on Henry VII. It remains entertaining. Strangely enough, when the series was first screened (late 71) I began shaving. You may think I'm mad, but I remember silly things like that.


Saturday November 17, 1973

Got up at 10.30 and made everyone a cup of tea.Mum says she had the shock of her life last night when she found me face down, flat out on my bedroom carpet. I awoke, strangely enough, stick clad in my dickie bow, much to Dad's amusement.

(Cartoon of myself dressed for the fancy dress party at Baildon)


Friday November 16, 1973

Tonight I dressed up in a tramps garb and went to a party in Baildon. So did Chris, Andy and Laura. She wore a white evening dress with a strategically placed red rose peeping from the bossom....



Thursday November 15, 1973

With the wedding of the year over, what do we have left to live for? No coal. No electricity. No gas. No heating. No June. No fuel. No cars. No turkeys. No meat. No bread. No unmarried princesses, and sexy with it. No oil. No lights. No fairies. No 18th century mahogany chamber pot covers (£75 from any mahogany chamber pot stockist). No bacon, sausages, or canned tomatoes. No electric tooth brushes, etc. Britain will come to a grinding halt by next week. And what's more, statistics just out show that by 1984 Britain will be polluted beneath a blanket of 800m back dated copies of 'The Guardian'. The roads, fields, sewers, and woodland areas of rural Britain will be buried beneath an 18ft rotting heap of Guardians - not including the colour supplements. The thought is quite nauseating really. But Anne and Mark won't be bothered. Nobody reads the Guardian in the Caribbean...


Wednesday November 14, 1973

Let the bells ring out the joyous news! Princess Anne and the captain are wed. And what a day it has been. Awoke at 7. It was a brilliantly sunny but icy cold day. Hear on the 7.30 news that thousands of people have spent the whole night on the wedding route, and even the rain of last night could not deter them all. I dash into Guiseley feeling very happy. The union flag was flying (in honour of the Prince of Wales's 25th birthday and not the royal wedding).

The journalists are still on strike, and a total of seven pictures were waiting for me at the YP. The lights in the office are all off to comply with the rules of the State of Emergency declared by the government yesterday. However, who#s bothered about the miners when a royal wedding is in full swing?

By 11 o'clock nobody can concentrate and Kathy leads the charge across the office to the small black and white tv. We see the blurred silhouettes of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips exchanging marriage vows. A subs girl wept tears of emotion. It really was beautiful. The princess has never looked more radiant and beautiful. Spend a quiet afternoon with Kathy and Sarah.

Home at 6. The wedding is condensed and shown again at 7. The crowds outside the palace were fantastic. Anne obviously loved every moment of it and seemed thrilled by the exuberance of the singing and chanting crowds. The poor Queen Mother quite broke down in the abbey. Prince Philip was unusually pale. The Queen was very collected and looked radiant when leaving the abbey. The Prince of Wales looked embarrassed and Prince Andrew bored. Edward, with his cherubic face, enjoyed himself immensely. At 4 the couple left by open landau for Thatched House Lodge, the home of Princess Alexandra and old Ogilvy. They leave for the Caribbean tomorrow. Even Auntie Hilda had enjoyed it. She rang at 9.30.

Princess Anne succeeded in getting through the day without becoming Princess Royal - and I am relieved.



Tuesday November 13, 1973

Monday November 12, 1973


Sunday November 11, 1973

21st after Trinity. Remembrance Sunday. After about 4 hours sleep we all awoke at about 8.30, and my feet felt like a couple of blocks of ice. Chris's bedroom window had been wide open all night, and all I had was a thin blanket and a pillow case wrapped around my feet.

Andy, Chris and myself sat around until 9 debating the point that a bus was outside Grandways at 9.05. By the time we had decided that a bus was due it was too late. Anyway, it was a beautiful, crisp morning, and Andy and me walked to the crematorium where we boarded a bus at 10am.

By 10.25 I was home. Mother made me a cup of tea and we both sat in front of the tv to watch the Queen laying a wreath at the Cenotaph. A two minute silence followed. It was the eleventh hour of the eleventh month. Princess Anne was on the balcony of the Home Office along with Capt Phillips, the Queen Mother, Prince and Princess Richard of Gloucester and the Duchess of Kent.


Saturday November 10, 1973

After tea, Mum, Dad and John ganged up on me and demanded a court of inquiry into the way I am handling my financial affairs. I ignored them, and was probably extremely rude in the process.

At about 8 o'clock Dad took John to Christine W's and me to Rawdon lights. I then walked into Horsforth which took approximately 1 hour. I met Chris and Andy in the Fleece. We then moved on to the Stanhope, then the Brown Cow, the Kings, Grey Horse, Black Bull....

Laura joined us half way round the crawl, but by the time we reached the Grey Horse we were all extremely intoxicated.


Friday November 9, 1973

John and I go to the Emmotts at 8 where we chat with Ivy about Tuesday's incident with June. Chris and Denny arrive soon after. We also see Kevin Taylor and Bob Thompson. The lovely Laura arrives shortly after C and D. We consume several gallons of ale and pernods before Andy arrives, and by 10.30 we are all staggering, that is to say except Denny who, due to boredom, departed at 10.0 with her ex-fancy man. John and I luckily get a bus. Chris, Andy and Laura have to walk -all the way to Horsforth!


Thursday November 8, 1973

The Daily Express Alcoholic of the Year Awards 1973 were held in London today. The 2,037 contestants have consumed nearly 2m gallons of ale since January, and in the words of the compere, Sir Ron Tetley, Bt, 'this is a very large quantity of ale. Nearly two million gallons to be precise.' Sir Ron is 103. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the winner was Mr Christopher Ratcliffe, AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), who collected a cheque for 19p, the price of a good pint of keg bitter.


Wednesday November 7, 1973

The last week of freedom for Capt Phillips is now upon us, or him. I do suppose that Princess Anne will become 'HRH The Princess Anne, Mrs Mark Phillips', following the precedent set by Princess Alexandra in 1963. I think it is silly. How can a princess be a Mrs at the same time? No logic at all. The chappie who came up with this idea must have been on the ale the night before.


Tuesday November 6, 1973

Chris persuaded the gang to attend upon him at the Emmotts where I encountered June and Susan Jepson. I still love her intensely, although she treated me terribly tonight. Sarcasm never used to be her main drive. Ivy was most upset to see us go our separate ways. Evidently, the only man Ivy ever loved died after a seven year engagement, and she steadfastly refused to ever marry anyone else. Only yesterday Carol J said that, if after courting someone for a year and it fell through, she couldn't be bothered to start afresh with a new partner. She voiced my feelings entirely.


Monday November 5, 1973

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.

(Large sketch of _______________ seen through the eyes of Michael Rhodes.)


Sunday November 4, 1973

20th after Trinity. One day when I'm famous, I do hope that _______________will forgive me for the sketch on the facing page. If he doesn't, I would like the publishers of my journal to leave out the entry for November 5. (But if the publisher thinks the journal will sell more copies with the sketch included, then publish it, and bugger me).


Thursday November 1, 1973



President Richard Nixon..................himself

Spiro T. Agnew..................................Dame Edith Evans, DCVO

Mrs Nixon..........................................Marlene Dietrich

Patricia Nixon's pet spaniel Spot....Lassie

Whore in Presidential bed...............Diana Dors

Patricia Nixon...................................Elizabeth 'Lassie Come Home' Taylor

President Nixon's mother...............Wilfred Hyde-White

Song: 'Tape me Home again, Kathleen'


Wednesday October 31, 1973

The Earl and Countess of Harewood have not been invited to the wedding of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips. Cousin George and Pat have been out of favour with the true royals for years. In fact 'Pat' was never 'in' with her old man's relations at all. I believe that Harewood's dirty goings on with his secretary killed the Princess Royal, who died 28.3.1965. The old girl had only just discovered that her son had an illegitimate son. The thought of divorce was too much for her. Even worse, the poor old Duchess of Windsor or the 'Unknown Queen of England' is also uninvited. But the sweet old thing is said to be 'looking round for a present'. Poor soul, it is scandalous the way she's been treated by her own family. She never shows any animosity towards them, although she's got every right to do so.

After a good days work I decide I want to stay in. John and Chris go to the Yorkshire Rose where Chris is asked his age by the staff. They walk out. Andy joins them. They come here with a supply of large cans of ale. We sit playing records and chatting until nearly 11. Andy goes for his bus. Chris rings his Dad but decides to stay the night. We look at photo albums until 1.30. Chris sleeps in the girls bedroom. A very enjoyable evening.


Tuesday October 30, 1973

Receive a letter from Christine in reply to the one I sent her over the weekend. She is hillarious!

Go to work after being dropped off in Guiseley by Dad, who is taking Mum, Lynn and Sue to Norfolk from today until Sunday. Auntie Hilda, Uncle Tony and the girls have been in Norfolk since Saturday. They are all freezing to death. I don't really like being separated from Mum - the invisible umbilical cord holds firm. Mother really is a fantastic person.

Fog is nationwide today. I love fog. It reminds me of June and my memories of last winter. I still love her. She is the only girl I ever want. We only had seven months together, beautiful seven months, and the happiest of my life.

See in the Evening Post that the Queen opened Parliament in State this morning. HM was accompanied by the Prince of Wales and Princess Anne.

Meanwhile, the wedding of the year is drawing closely near. TWO WEEKS! The poor captain will now be beginning to feel uneasy. After all, it's not every day you marry the Queen's daughter. The UK will soon have no unmarried Royal adult females. My chances will have gone!

Go to typing classes again. Even worse this time. Kathy, Sarah and I are almost killed on Wellington Street by a swerving lorry. Then minutes later I stepped out in front of a motor cycle. Sarah was a nervous wreck by the time we arrived at the station.

Come home to an empty house.


Monday October 29, 1973

It's a great laugh at the YP now that I've settled in. Today I went supplied with my urine sample in order to have the YP medical.

Fortunately Miss Went had arranged for my typing course to commence at 3.30 which disrupted the whole agenda. What a scream the typing thing was! The keys on the so-called typewriter are completely blank and one has to keep ones eyes on a screen in the centre of the room upon which the letters of the alphabet are situated. A silly voice, tape recorded, yells out the letter he wants you to bash, and you cannot look down at your fingers! A whole hour of insanity.

At 4.30 I went along to the medical room where I discover the doc is not in attendance. "Come back next Monday afternoon", said the aged receptionist.

Walk to the railway station with Sarah and see on a board that the Ilkley train is on platform 5 west. It said the same last week but it really was on platform 2. I therefore asked a porter from which platform the train was actually leaving from. 'You're a big boy now. You ought to be able to read. It's bloody 2. Platform bloody 2.'

Ena Sharples collapses on 'Coronation Street'. Is it the end for Britain's number one battle-axe? I hope not.



Sunday October 28, 1973

19th after Trinity. (Cartoon of the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Edward Heath).

The Sunday Express today published an article which said that the Queen and Mr Heath are not on very good terms. The reason for this is that the old boy made no gesture to the Queen concerning a title for Captain Phillips. Utter nonsense! The Queen could make Phillips Duke of London if she wished, and old laugher boy could do nothing to prevent her. Titles in the Royal Family are conferred by the Queen - they're her prerogative. Anyway, it isn't the captain who concerns me at the moment it's poor Anne. Will she become "Princess Royal"? I do hope so.


Saturday October 27, 1973

(Cartoon drawing by myself of the Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon Sir Alec Douglas-Home).


Friday October 26, 1973

(Cartoon drawing of the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Edward Heath).

Letter from Christine Braithwaite {postmark October 26, 1973)

76, New Road Side
Horsforth Leeds
LS18 4NG
(Don't forget the postcode)

Dear Mig, Mig (sorry, it's catching)

Well, thatnks for your creative letter! ( What were you trying to say anyway?) Glynis (sorry about the change in pen but I've left my other one at school) has got the photos and although they are bit dull they've come out all right (and the photos ~ at least someone appreciates humour). So, Helen's getting the negatives developed, or photos taken from the negatives, or something like that.

Well, what's all this about David not liking my letter? I was only being my usual dirty self! Has he changed all that much? I pity him if he has - he won't be able to have so many laughs with me if he has! But no, I'm getting nasty now, and David's not a person you can be mad with!

What are all these shady goings on at Worcester then? David hasn't told me. I got a letter from him on Tuesday and, despite all, it was a very nice letter.

How are you going on in your job? You know you must be cracked writing letters like that - mind you, I don't mind. Nice to have something to cheer you up! Today I discovered that I'd won the prize for English and can have a book of my choice, up to £2 (I knew there was a catch!).

I thought of ordering a year's supply of Mayfair or Playboy in Mr Ayling's name, but then I thought - NO. (My thoughts aren't very big ones - Oh!)

Anyway, do you like your job? There's nothing been happening here at school. No tears .... yet! Glynis and Helen keep asking me if I've seen you yet, and I say no, and they ask how you are getting on (could be a leading question) and I say I don't know, and it carries on like this.

Me and MM have thought up the first two lines of a verse but are now stuck, so would you help us out?

"Braithwaite, Braithwaite was up on a rape case,
she pleaded her innocence quite clearly"

And we're stuck here, so can you write back and send us the end (of the poem too!)

Just going to have a bath. I'm back now, all fresh. Anyway, what are the arrangements for your party? What time do we have to be there, or are we all meeting somewhere?

Anyway ~ God, I do say "anyway" a lot, don't I? Anyway, write back and tell me.

Anyway, is there anybody you fancy at the Yorkshire Post? There's a rumour that they are now going out of production. Is that true? And if not, why not?

Well, will have to dash to catch the post. Actually, I'm not trying to catch the post at all, because I've only got my nightie on and if you refer back to chapter 2 you'll find out that I've just got out of the bath - that's why.

Bye for now

All my Love

Christine xx

PS Write back soon, and don't forget "put a towel between you and the bottom sheet"



Thursday October 25, 1973

Evidently, by Christmas, Britain will have no petrol or oil supplies left. All road transport will have ceased. Mechanisation will halt. However, the government is only fulfilling its promises of 1970, because by killing the motor car, they are without doubt 'getting us all back on our feet...'

Get it?


Wednesday October 24, 1973

United Nation's Day. Likewise...

Tuesday October 23, 1973

Sorry folks - no comment today.

Monday October 22, 1973

Get the train to Leeds. See Judith Rushworth who laughs at the fact that I am not nervous about my first day at work. I must be funny that way.

Arrive at the YP at ten to 9. Sit about waiting until about 10, when some sort of personnel chappie drags us off (three of us) to a lecture, followed by a free lunch in the canteen. I do not meet the library staff until after 2 o'clock.

The other troops:

Kathy, 30, spinster, quite attractive with specs. Nicely spoken - good sense of humour.

Sarah, attractive, sophisticated, 20 year-old; unmarried, dark hair, expensive looking clothes, good make-up, childish voice, looks spoilt.

Janice, 18 year-old, typical Yorkshire girl. Looks very young, south Yorkshire accent, engaged to be married, down to earth, well meaning, no beauty. You always know where you stand with her.

Carol. Married. 20 years-old. Speaks with a plum in her mouth but is very unsophisticated, fat, immature, hates authority, work-shy, frustrated doing what she's doing thinking it's a waste of time.

Certainly a diversified bunch. I like Kathy, Sarah and Janice in that order. My opinions were formed immediately. I was shocked to find that Kathy was 30, thinking she was 23 or 24. She'll make a good boss.