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20091221

Saturday March 1, 1975

St David's Day. Weird goings on indeed today. The bloody fog is still here, and so I refuse to venture out of doors until the call of the pub summons me in the evening.

Down to the Hare & Hounds where I discover that a party is being thrown in Otley by one of Linda Smith's colleagues. At first the idea doesn't seem too bad, but hang on a minute. Chris brings Denny down with him. She's no longer a smoker, and discos are no longer a thrill and a joy to her. Ade is ruining her life but she refuses to realise it. The poor girl will be engaged and married off by the summer of '76 - you mark my words. Linda Smith says that Christine Dibb and Helen Lockyer (Jane's sister) can't come to the party, but I protest and also refuse to go. The three of us remain at the Hare. June Dixon, a real snobby weirdo, and her pal, Brenda take the three of us to the Fox - the next pub down from the Hare. We stay until 10.45 and go after being insulted by one of the barmaids. Back to Helen's in Menston. Drink Martini, beer and whisky in front of the TV until it closes down and then go through a book containing the works of Salvador Dali. June and Brenda leave at 12 - in something of a hurry after I said something disagreeable, and the three of us remained until 3.30. Finished off with toast and Bovril then Jane drove us home.

-==-

Friday February 28, 1975


Go to Leeds on the 55 bus and encountered Philip Knowles no less. He had certain unrepeatable things to say about Christine, but otherwise it was a pleasant journey. Work was busy but pleasant. Didn't arrive until 9.15 and left at 4.30. My lovable boss is worth her weight in gold.

On Wednesday in the Hare I had an interesting conversation with Helen and we decided to hold a joint birthday celebration on April 5. Something like Chris and Laura did last year - a coach party job. She's going to do some ringing round over the next few days. May as well arrange it as soon as possible.

At lunchtime I get another pair of trousers - brown this time though.I'll be something like a living tailor's dummy by the time Spring pops up.

To the Hare & Hounds with Lynn and Dave. Chris comes along. Christine is babysitting or something equally obnoxious for a Friday. Keith and Helen, Carol (with her hair up). No Phyllis Whitethighs she has galloping pnuemonia or something. John and Naomi in all their splendour. Helen (or Southern Comfort Sally), and that's about it. The Happy Family in the Hare and all is well. Some move on to the Malt Shovel in Menston, but the life and soul remain faithful to the Pub of Pubs.
To Wikis where Christine Dibb and I dance ourselves into a semi-state of unconsciousness. At 1.30 whilst we are still dancing the others creep home leaving us to our own devices. We walk home together at 2. a bit misty, but no cold which was a God send.

-==-

Thursday February 27, 1975


More ruddy fog all day. I don't mind snow. I can tolerate frost, ice, rain, heatwaves and hurricanes, but I draw the line at fog. A lung congesting white blanket which does nothing but depress all who who into contact with it. Sickening.

We all, other than Kathleen that is, evacuate the library and perch in 'the Black Hole of Calcutta' as Ronnie Wilkinson would say. Bogged down cutting yesterdays EP and todays YP.

Escape to the Central with Eileen again for our Thursday afternoon booze-up. This is becoming quite a regular thing, and I only hope we can manage to keep it up. The trouble is I become so tired after a lunchtime drink. By 3.30 I'm invariably snoring under a desk or in a semi-coma behind a filing cabinet. Out at 4.30 and home by 5.15.

Tomorrow Uncle Harold and the Labour government more or less celebrate their first birthday. I say 'more or less' because the general election was on Feb 28, but the late Mr Heath didn't resign until the middle of August or something. Please do not think that my views about the government have changed in any way. That would be the last thing I'd want. It's just that I've made up my mind that Uncle Harold isn't such a filthy old Bastard after all. In fact, he's quite human really. If he changed to a Tory I'm sure he'd do everyone a favour. Anyway, he pushed the Queen's money through parliament last night, which was good of him.

Let the Bells ring out! Marita just rang. She's coming out with us the weekend after next.

-==-

20091220

Wednesday February 26, 1975


A busy day really. Sarah, Carol and I go down to Whitelocks for a few jars and a bite to eat. Sarah is really funny. She could get pissed on a pint of water. Two ciders and she's anybodys.

Maybe I'm just a cynic but I had to laugh at a marriage announcement in the Times this morning. Lady Jane Fitzalan-Howard, daughter of the old Duke of Norfolk who was taken from us three and a half weeks ago, is to marry Lord Ancram, the elder son of the Marquis of Lothian. Now you may think nothing of this at all, but I can't help having my doubts. The old duke must have refused to allow any of his daughters to leave his side. Threats of cutting them off without a penny, &c. Was Uncle Bernard typranical? Let's see how quickly the three remaining daughters grab a few men and march them down the aisle.

Thank God it's pay day tomorrow. I'm really stony broke this week. What with saving up for Majorca and bloody Barclaycard I'll be bloody grey and toothless by my 20th birthday. It's a week since I've heard from Marian. So I may as well wave bye bye to her, and Gillian's stopped mauling me. So I once again revert to a celibate state. Anyone would think I'm standing for Pope at the next election. Pope Michael the First. Yes, that's got a nice ring to it.

John doesn't go out. Chris collects me at 8.30. To the Hare & Hounds with Laura and Carol. Have a few laughs, though nothing startling occurs.

-==-

Tuesday February 25, 1975



Bit of a miserable day really. Do all my work before lunch and do sweet sod all in the afternoon. The whole day dragged by and I was positively thrilled to be able to get away at 4.30.

Nothing spectacular in the news other than the death of Marshal Bulganin, a trumped up Russian war hero.

Home at 5.30 and indulge in a meal of liver, chips and peas. Most enjoyable to say the least. Mum, having been to the bank for me, hands me back my book containing £16.33, and when the £10 in Chris's possession is added to this a sizeable sum is conjured up.
Chris Monckton is now writing in the 'People' section of the YP. Why am I telling you this? Well, I'm just proving what being heir to a title can do, and where it can get you. It's editor here we come for Chris one day. Just you see.

Look in Crockford's Clerical Directory for the Rev A.B. Downing, but he isn't in. Horrid thought immediately spring to mind. Is he a Methodist or Presbyterian minister? Aaarrgghh....John cannot be associated with a daughter of one of those.

Old Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone is 92 today. I've worked it out that on June 15, 1977 she will be the oldest ever living member of the British Royal Family. The one in the lead at the moment is Princess Augusta, a granddaughter of King George III, an aunt of Queen Mary. Come on, Alice! Don't give in! It would be great if she managed it. But at 92 people can be so unpredictable, or is it predictible?
See a good Jack Lemmon film on the BBC.

-==-

Monday February 24, 1975


More bloody fog all day. Creep to the YP with Jim in the car, bumper to bumper all the way. See in the papers that Uncle Harold is to make a statement in the Commons today about the 'Royal shares' leakage. On the 6 o'clock news tonight Harold says the reports in the Morning Star are true, and Scotland Yard are looking into the whole affair. Some filthy swine has obviously waited until the Civil List is about to be debated before dropping this bombshell. Many MPs want to know how we can possibly justify giving £450,000 to the Civil List when private royal finance interests are unknown and shrouded in privacy. The poor Queen can't be enjoying her Mexican visit at all.

Home at 5.15. Lynn is in bed with funny pains in her stomach. Mum says she's had some idea that something's been wrong for about 10 days, and appendix cannot be ruled out. She doesn't look too good. I'll be glad when the doctor has seen her in the morning.

Old Mrs Thing across the road was found dead in bed last night. I hate people dying without letting people know - most inconsiderate, and it's always such a messy business what with the police and the Coroner, &c, &c. I delivered her morning paper many years ago, but otherwise I never came into contact with her.

John discovered this evening that Naomi's papa is a vicar! Yes, the Rev A.B. Downing is listed in the telephone directory as living at Naomi's address, so it must be the case. Please remind me to watch my language when I meet her again.

-=-

Sunday February 23, 1975


2nd in Lent. Up at 11.00am. See in the Sunday papers that the revolting Communist rag The Morning Star is in possession of certain papers, government papers too, relating to the personal share holdings of the Queen and other members of the Royal Family. The poor Queen will be distraught with grief. This country makes me sick. The shear lack of decency and manners shown by the Press emphasises too much the need for censorship, and interrogation and torture of all newspaper editors, and the need for certain people, who shall be nameless, to go down to the headquarters of certain annonymous socialist newspapers and reduce them to nothing more than rubble and ashes. May the Morning Star and all who serve in her be eternally damned. Amen.

Chicken for lunch, and then in keeping with the traditional Sunday afternoon we all go and sit listening to the Jimmy Savile programme on the radio. Don't really know what's going on tonight. John of course is going off to the Hare with Naomi, and Chris has mentioned the pictures, but I'm on the verge of bankruptcy at this moment in time, but I'd rarther not discuss anything involving financial topics.

Before tea I cut John's hair. Yes, he finally decided to hand it all over to the National Trust, and I am sure that the national will be eternally grateful. John and Naomi go out, but I stay in with Mum. Sue is at Peter's and Lynn and Dave are at the pictures. Come to bed at about 12.30 after seeing a Bridget Bardot film. John created a sensation with his hair in the pub, and says the general opinion of the gang was a favourable one.

-==-

Saturday February 22, 1975


Don't climb from 'neath the sheets until 12.05. Take a liberal breakast (not Jeremy Thorpe on toast) then John suggests a trip in the ailing car. We go up to Yeadon, but don't stop, and rocket in the direction of Otley. On our arrival at the place of Thomas Chippendale's birth we seek solace in the Black Bull, a homely ale house of little ostentation, with friendly, genial locals. Only consume one pint each before venturing home.

We spend the remainder of the afternoon with Sue & Pete in the lounge playing a selection of records old and new. Mum in the meantime attempts to bake cakes in the kitchen, and we only realise at tea time to what extent she went to make such a vile creation. If you'd seen the cake you'd certainly realise I'm not exaggerating.

At about 7 I departed to the bathroom with a pair of nail scissors and a mirror. Half an hour later I emerged with a new hair-style - semi-short and shaggy, but quite good really considering.

To the Hare & Hounds again. Dave is home again and once more in our midst. So we were garaunteed an eventful evening. John, Naomi, Andy, Linda, Peter Mather, Carol and her latest friend went to Rockerfellas leaving the remaining people in the Hare until nearly 11. Dave goes off to Mick Orchard's at 11, saying he'll sdee us in two weeks, and the remaining chosen few come back to Pine Tops to see a pathetic film, 'The Reptile'. Bed at 1.30am.

-==-

Friday February 21, 1975

Cold day at work. The conversion men having moved in have stopped all the heating in the place, and the sound of many knees knocking together simultaneously with the unnerving chatter of teeth and dentures has created a worrying atmosphere. However, the cold has given one and all the impetus to run round the office, and we completed all the filing in record time.

To the Hare & Hounds with Naomi, Christine and Chris, not forgetting John, that is after a chase round Horsforth and a quick one in the Fleece. Went to Christine's to pick her up and sat with her Mum & Dad for 10 minutes. A nice couple, with the Braithwaite humour stamped all over them.

The gang move on to Wikis as usual, and I pass a pleasant but uneventful evening. Marian is nowehere to be seen, and Gillian is flaunting one of her spare gentleman friends. Home at 2.30 in the usual style and after taking the two C's back to Horsforth. Sleep soundly.

--==--

Thursday February 20, 1975


Eileen and I go to the Central for lunch again. I say 'again' because we did the same thing last Thursday, but that seems to have been missed from these historic pages. Swill down a few pints of lager before moving reluctantly back to the YP.

Chaos reigned this morning. Evidently, the Dowager Lady Mowbray, Segrave & Stourton saw fit to do herself in last night, and alas, no photos of the obscure, highly neglected lady are to be found in our files. The newsdesk and Donald Futrell went berserk, but calmness was dispersed by our beloved leader, Miss Rainford.

Us librarians are getting sick of the quiet and the cold, which we are forced to endure while workmen install new air conditioning in the press hall. Will we survive until May. Wait and see.

At 8.30 John and I go to Gillian's for a beer and record session (nothing else either). Have one glass of Dad's home brew concoction, then decide not to bother with any more. Listen to the Monty Python LP (mine) and a bit of Bowie's 'Diamond Dogs'. Gillian gets even worse, and I'm going to have to make it clear that a) I'm not going to sleep with her, and b) marry her, or c) buy her the Smirnoff Vodka Company. Home at 12 feeling horribly tired, or incredibly bored. I expect it was the latter disease.

-==-

Wednesday February 19, 1975


Beautiful day. A crisp morning with the sun as big as a football following us all the way to Leeds. One would hardly believe it's 93,000,000 miles away, or something equally fantastic.
Margaret Thatcher picked her shadow Cabinet yesterday. Willie Whitelaw is the deputy leader, and the repulsive Sir Geoffrey Howe is 'Chancellor'. Peter Walker and Geoffrey Rippon have received the boot, as it were, and the prodigal Reggie Maudling's been forgiven all his sin sand receives the Foreign and Commonwealth job. Definately a right wing leap for the Tories but I can't say that I disagree. The country needs a good old Churchillian party.

Go to town with Eileen at lunchtime and spend £1 on absolutely nothing. Must be a sign of the times. I can recall the days when I got one shilling and six pence a week, and on Friday I still had change in my pocket.

Prince Andrew is having another quiet birthday today. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are of course out in the Bahamas; the Prince of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and Earl Mountbatten are in Nepal for the coronation of the King; Princess Margaret is on holiday in the sun, and Lord Snowdon is working in Australia. No one to help him celebrate. I bet they've had a job finding counsellors of state. The Hon Gerald Lascelles and the late Lady Patricia Ramsay will be acting in this capacity no doubt.

To the Hare with John, Naomi and Gillian. The latter young lady certainly knows how to keep hold of someone. Just because I got carried away with her in Peter's van last Friday she thinks I ought to be infatuated for life. Not on her Nellie. Chris, Laura and (Jane's) Helen joined us. Boring really.

-==-

Tuesday February 18, 1975


Busy day really. Kathleen and I mess around for hours with the files - shifting massive, filthy cabinets from one end of the office to the other. Quite strenuous really.

Home at 6 and debate the idea of going out or not. Decide not to bother.

Marian rings at 6.30 and says she'll pop up tonight to collect Alan's (her brother) coat, which I loaned on Sunday. She arrives on her moped at 7.15 and I make her a cup of tea and let her thaw out in front of the dining room gas fire. We chat for about half an hour and then she moves off in the direction of Yeadon. She certainly is a weird kettle of fish, but I am quite at ease with her. Not good looking at all either, except for her hair and eyes, as I've already said, but I've known some gorgeous looking birds who've been so foul characters it can't really be described. She told me that Maura and Dave (Knowles) are probably back together again.

At 10.30 John comes back in with Naomi and Gillian - talk for an hour.
Uncle Harry rang from his convalescent home tonight and Mum & Dad went out with him. Uncles are certainly a laughable bunch.

-==-

Monday February 17, 1975


Quiet day at the YP. Do all my routine before lunch and sit with a beef and onion sandwich and 'The News of the World' after. George Best is publishing his memoirs in full sordid detail, so what with Richard Crossman it seems like an embarrassing time for certain people at the moment. Lord George-Brown and Sir Matt Busby will be particularly ruffled by these publications.

Crossman makes the Queen out to be a feeble, pathetic figure. She's always 'The poor Queen'.

A bright, sunny day. Home in the light for the first time this year. Salad for tea. Just watch TV later.

Bob Cryer, the silly MP for Keighley, is now joining Mr Hamilton in the ritual humilation of the Royal Family. He is criticising the Queen and Prince Philip's current state visit to Bermuda. 'Most people don't have the chance to get away like this', he said. I quite agree. Most people don't 'get the chance' to go on a gruelling tour, shaking 7,000,000 hands, dishing out medals, and throwing large, sweaty banquets for old diplomats, and not many people want to do this either. Mr Cryer must think the Queen is going on holiday. Another example of 'Westminster ignorance' which is reaching epidemic proportions.

--==--

20091218

Sunday February 16, 1975


1st in Lent. Wake up on Gillian's floor at about 8.30 feeling obnoxiously cold and uncomfortable. Marian is underneath her coat next to me, and the faithful, flimsy scarfe is draped between us - the only link between us. Like an umbilical cord. Up at about 9 and we sit huddled around a gas fire. To my surprise I see that Denby and Co have gone off in the van without me. Filthy sods. My jacket was in the van and I now have no other clothing in which to venture forth on the great, perilous journey home.

Walk into Headingley, about a mile in all, then hitch a lift to Horsforth. Call in at Marian's for breakfast. A nice family - especially the mother who is quite a joker. It begins to snow, and so Mrs Read loans me the use of her son's coat for the second part of my journey. Arrange to see Marian sometime next week.

Home at 11.00. The clan are just getting up, and I join Mum for breakfast. Dad was stoned out of his mind last night at a dinner-dance in Ilkley. Dave B and John had to carry him upstairs and dump him on the bed. He was too drunken even to speak. Mum was quiet at first but laughed herself silly about it later.

Don't go out in the evening. See Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole in 'Becket' on ITV, and stagger to bed at 10.15. Tired and shagged out beyond description.

-==-

Saturday February 15, 1975


Go with John to Otley and mess around for an hour. Come home with 'The Laughing Policeman' a really revolting record, and a box of chocolates for Motherdear. A bright sunny day, but chilly and cold.

Hear on the radio that PG Wodehouse is no longer with us. Knighted only a month ago. His death brings a 70 year career as a writer to a close. 'Lord Emsworth and Others' is the only thing I've read of his.

Chris Denby and Teale give me a lift to the Highlander in Leeds at 8. Neither of them have past a driving test, and there we were in a large Bedford van rocketing through Leeds. Meet Marian at 8.30. Really a nice girl. Not particularly good looking, but her eyes are beautifully hypnotic. Gorgeous hair too.
Back to Gillian Barker's near the university for the party. Drink gallons but feel no adverse effects. Marian is such an intellectual conversationalist. You feel as if you should always be on your guard when talking to her. She rivets the hypnotised victim to the spot and keeps throwing up morsels of geniusly planned chatter. Quite unlike any other girl I've taken out.

Have no idea what time the party falls through, but Marian and I bed down on the floor in the largest room, with no warmth other than I beautiful scarfe which we share.


Laughing Policeman by Charles Jolly/Penrose

Friday February 14, 1975


St Valentine's Day. Farcical day, or perhaps I should say farcical evening.

Didn't get any Valentine's cards. John got two. Lynn had a massive thing from Dave, and so did Sue from Peter. My magnetic charm must be fading. Am I losing my sex appeal at 19 and a half?

Went to the Wellesley with Maura at lunchtime. She obviously fancies Dave still, and I suppose a reunion will take place shortly. The fool sends her telegrams,roses, and boxes of chocolates, &c.

Chris collected us at nearly 8pm and a vast multitude collected in the Hare. Gillian thingy or whatever she calls herself flung herself at me in the Hare and stuck to me all night, drinking about a quids work of vodka & lime in the process. Thrown together in the darkness near the end of Peter's van she quite naturally sought to reduce my resistence. I was in something of a quandry at about 11. Everyone said they were going to Wikis, but I realised Maura and Marian would be there. Wouldn't like to be confronted with Marian and Gillian in the beer swilling haven of our local night spot. Back to Gillian's pad with Peter M and Carol S. Stay until after 1am.
John came home at about 5.30am and didn't have a key. Woke to find him on the top of a ladder tapping on my window. Laughed myself to sleep.

-==-

Thursday February 13, 1975

Boring day really. See television all evening including 'Top of the Pops' and a few other miserable offerings. Have a bath and tidy myself up generally. Going out on a fool-hardy venture tomorrow night. All the way to Linton in the Dales just for a few drinks! Bloody ridiculous. You know, it was that place we went to in August with the ring on the ceiling.

-==-

Wednesday February 12, 1975


Ash Wednesday. Back out to the Hare again tonight. This week is like September 1973 all over again - or seems like it. Going down to the pub every night is a habit I wouldn't mind taking up again.

 John, Naomi, self, Chris, Laura, Helen (Jane's sister), and Carol S. This Naomi is the sexiest little thing I've seen in years. Doesn't look like she's short of a few bob, either.

Back to Gillian or somebodys at the new end of Tranmere. I say somebody because I'm unsure whether that is her name or not. Have a coffee and stroke the persian cat, Samantha. Home with watery eyes and itchy nose at 12. These foolish allergies are a bloody rotten bore.

The Prime Minister announced his intention to increase the Civil List from today. The vile Labour MPs were astounded by this action, and a certain Hon Member for Mid Fife said it is the most outrageous pay-claim in 200 years. It's not as if the four hundred and odd thousand extra will go in the Queen's pocket, as it were. The extra cash is only going out in household expenses. Her Majesty will feel no better off at all. A lot of misguided sods down at Westminster need shaking up a little.

-==-

Tuesday February 11, 1975


Foggy day. See in the papers that the good old Prime Minister will propose a pay rise for the Queen and the other people on the Civil List either today or next week. Good old Harold. It's the one good thing he's done in his first year in office. He can't be such an old sod really. He only pretends he's one.

Margaret Hilda Thatcher is now Head of the Conservative party and Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition. She beat Mr Whitelaw by about 50 votes. Truly a historic occasion and I think nothing but good can come of it. Whether she'll ever become Prime Minister is another matter altogether. Good Old Harold looks like seeing the 1970s out.

-==-

Monday February 10, 1975


A unusual Monday. After the usual ritual of work, John and I went to the Hare & Hounds where his ladyfriend had begged him to attend upon her. Quite a stunning piece she is too. Called Naomi, or 'Nay', an attractive name. It certainly made a change going out with a different crowd.

Had a letter from Denny today. She said she thought she'd been 'a cow' over the way she's ignored me and the happy family these past few months. I forgave her immediately. (Conceited swine that I am).

The Tory Fiasco reaches its cresendo tomorrow. Will it be Margaret Thatcher or old Willie Whitelaw? In my own mind I know that Mrs T will succeed, but anything can happen in politics. Have a bet with Sarah, Carol and Eileen. I stand to win 10p.

A year ago almost to the day I was saying that Mr Heath's (who's he?) leaning towards male company could not be doing him any good. I was right. One day you can be Prime Minister and the next you're just a middle-aged old puff who used to be a big shot in the Conservative party. Cruel, cruel politics.

-==-

Sunday February 9, 1975


Quinquagesima. Up at a decent time. Can't quite remember the exact hour, but it was well before lunch. See in the Sunday Express that the Queen has sprained her shoulder while chopping wood, and received treatment for it at a London hair salon. I realise that the Royal Family are in a poor state at the moment, what with scrapping those plans for rebuilding Sandringham. She's seen in the same hat and coat on different occasions over a five or six year period, but never did I imagine that the day would dawn when Her Majesty would be compelled for financial reasons to do her own wood-chopping. Mum says that she thought Auntie Hilda was the only woman alive adept at chopping wood, but evidently all the top people do it now.

Out with John, Andy, Mr Mather and Chris, who is really miserable. Oh, musn't forget Carol S and Miss Dibb too. No CB. Move on to the Station in Yeadon after the Hare & Hounds. John and I go on to Harry Ramsden's for the things people normally go to Harry Ramsden's for, and after devouring them in the car we return home. Too hot to sleep and lay awake for hours thinking of all things under the Sun. Hell, I've missed out the most important thing.

At 11 o'clock tonight John's unnamed girlfriend (Naomi Downing)  paid him a visit! She sat in a drunken heap in the lounge & he promised to go out with her tomorrow - me being the chaperone of course.

-==-

Saturday February 8, 1975



Up at noon. John and I take the car into Guiseley and then get a train into town (Leeds). Wander round aimlessly looking in shop windows and laugh at the craze which certain male members of our generation have adopted - wearing trousers ridiculously short. Poor lads - they've no idea at all. Home at about 5.
Marlene, Frank and the kids have come for tea. Mark is a nice little lad and we have several games of marbles before and after tea.

Leave for the Hare & Hounds at 8 so that John can attempt to pick up the girl he was with yesterday at Wikis (Naomi Downing). We're going to Tiffany's by the way. The female doesn't respond and we leave for the Fleece empty handed. Pick Christine B up and then meet Peter Mather and Andy in the Fleece. Have several drinks whilst waiting for Lynn & Dave. Andy goes down to the Hare & Hounds and well drive like hell let loose to Leeds. Never again. Tiffany's is the most diabolical so called disco I have ever had the misfortune to attend. Nobody in there looked younger than 65. Most of them with fond memories of Disraeli's last government and the Relief of Ladysmith. Truly revolting. Have a laugh all the same but vow with all my heart, body and mind, never to set foot in the place again as long as I live. The others liked the place, and some were so taken in by it all that they actually said they'd go again! Back to Ratcliffe Hall for coffee until nearly 4am. Absolutely tired and shagged out after the exertions of the evening. Bed and deep sleep at the unearthly hour of 5 o'clock.

-==-

Friday February 7, 1975


I feel as though I have another cold. It's only a matter of three or four weeks since I last had one, and the very thought of being tied up in bed for days and nights on end, with no other company than Tony Blackburn and David Hamilton sends vibrations of horror down my spine.

Go into town at lunch and get a new pair of cords and a Jersey - both blue. Lynn says they enhance my baby-face look.

To the Hare & Hounds with John - in the car!! Yes, it came back today after all those years. Move on to the Commercial, all except Chris and Christine, and it's packed out beyond belief. Mum and Dad are near the bar so they can relay the drink out to us. On to Wikis later. Meet Maura and a freaky, attractive friend of hers called Marianne (as in Faithfull and not in Robin Hood's girlfriend).

Maura drifts away and I remain in the company of Marianne until her taxi comes at about 1.30. We got on extremely well, and after a few minutes I really felt as though I'd known her for years. We're going to a party in Leeds a week tomorrow, something to do with Helen Willis I think. Home in the 1100 (with John of course), Christine Dibb, and John's new bit of skirt, who refuses to speak an audible word to me. He drops me off then takes her home, but to my horror I discover I'm locked out. From 2 until 4.30am when he returns, I amuse myself in the garage, mainly playing darts and leaping around to keep warm. However, it's my fault and John can't be blamed. Bed at 4.45 with a hot water bottle to calm my knocking knees.

-==-

Thursday February 6, 1975


Pleasant day. Eileen and I mess about in town at lunchtime and I return home furnished with 'How Long' by Ace, a particular favourite record of Miss Braithwaite and myself.

Pleased to see the flags flying in Leeds and indeed above Guiseley Police Station, for the twenty third anniversary of the accession of Her Majesty the Queen. These anniversaries certainly come round quickly. Two years time and it will be the Silver Jubilee.

The Tory party fiasco continues. The revolting reactionary Sir Geoffrey Howe is now standing for the leadership, along with the Nation's Sweetheart Mrs Thatcher, William Whitelaw, one of the bulldog breed, old James Prior of whom little can be said, and an unknown person called Peyton, who was originally thought to have become extinct along with the Dodo and Lord Hailsham.

Do nothing at all in the evening other than watch the TV, and play my new record a few times. Bed at a relatively early hour.

-==-

Wednesday February 5, 1975


Horrid day. Gordon Pickles, a reporter on the EP, was killed in a road accident in the early hours of the morning. I didn't know him really well, but it's nauseating to think I was laughing and joking with him on Monday about something in 'Private Eye'. Here today, gone tomorrow, or is it more appropriate to say 'here yesterday, gone today?'

To the Hare & Hounds with John, No one other than Andy arrives, but a pleasant evening is had. John and Andy certainy know a nice bunch of women, and I wonder what exactly I've been doing all these weeks while they've been pulling in the talent.

A silly old hag on 'Nationwide' tonight remarked that the late Mr Heath is 'a second Churchill' in his oratory abilities. She couldn't possibly be referring to the great Sir Winston, so I think she means either Baroness Spencer-Churchill ( a right little raver when she's roused) or her up and coming grandson, Mr Winston Churchill. God only knows where all this Tory party eye-wash will lead us.
Sit in bed with Agatha again. Finish 'The Mystery of Chimneys' - really entertaining. Pass out into a deep sleep at about 1 o'clock.

-==-

Tuesday February 4, 1975


Busy day again. Kathleen goes home at lunch with 'flu. Never seen Kate ill before. See in the Sunday People that another young lady is denying a romantic relationship with the Prince of Wales. The difference this time is that she's married. Yes, Mrs Rosalind Ward, the wife of a young millionaire landowner. Like Edward VIII and Mrs Freda Dudley Ward in the early '30s. Can't really say I believe it, but you never can tell.

Wait for ages in the cold for a bus home and meet Marita on Wellington Street. We come home on the 35 together. Hear all about the love, passion and ecstasy of Sheffield at the weekend. Her 20th birthday celebrations went with a bang in more ways than one I can imagine.

See in the EP that Margaret Thatcher won todays battle for the Tory leadership, but even better news awaits me on my arrival home. Dad informs me that Edward Heath has conceded defeat and will not stand in next Tuesday's ballot! The Grocer is gone! Ted Heath is no more! Tories all over England will feel numbed by it all, other than Margaret Thatcher and myself that is. Mrs Thatcher captured my heart sometime last week when the current affairs programmes were going to town over her. An utterly charming lady, whom I'm sure the Queen would love to ask: 'Come on, Margaret. Form a government!' A weird feeling hangs over us all. As though a great cloud has moved from above, letting the sunshine through for the first time since 1965. Only the ending of a war, the death of a beloved monarch, and the freedom from prison of a man who has served 29 years for something he never did, can be likened to the resignation of the hopeless Edward Heath. To be rendered insane at the height of ones political career is tragedy indeed.

-==-

20091217

Monday February 3, 1975


Busy day at the YP. Attempt to do a few letters in the afternoon but don't get through more than a handful. Sit in front of the television all night after having a bath. See 'The Likely Lads' - one of the funniest programmes around at the moment. Then sit in bed with Agatha Christie until nearly 1.0am.

Lynn and Dave went to Tiffany's in Leeds with Andy and his so-called cousin 'Judith'.________.

--==--

Sunday February 2, 1975


Sexagesima. A beautiful morning. Up by 11 o'clock. John astounds me when he says he's not going out tonight. I realise he told Chris last night of this plan, but I put it down to the effects of alcohol and delirium since he paid his £8 deposit.

Dreamed last night that the Duke of Edinburgh was dead and I was the only person in the office to deal with it.

Lynn is, at this very moment, preparing to go to Bolton Abbey with Dave, and I can't help thinking slightly proud of myself. Why is that, you are all asking? Well, you see I commend myself on the fact that my scheming back in September brought these two young lovers together in the first place. Not that I've had anything to do with it since, but I feel full of pride and joy at the sight of them bounding merrily through life's playground. Love is certainly a marvellous thing.

The brilliance of the afternoon sun fades at about 5, and a fog descends upon us. I was almost convinced that Spring was here, but things look quite different now.

See 'The Gospel According to Matthew' an Italian film which drags on for ages. I much preferred 'The Greatest Sory Ever Told' with Max von Sydow. John Wayne didn't even put me off.

Christine rang to see if I was going out. I say no and she says Chris is also staying in. Really unusual for a Sunday night. We discuss the idea of going to Worcester on Feb 22 - a great idea.

Sue is in the Dales with Peter, and Lynn is at Bolton Abbey with Dave. Dad is at work. So John, Mum and I sit before the television. I delve into the bookcase and select another Agatha Christie - 'The Secret of Chimneys'. It's up to her usual brilliant standard. Read and see TV until after 12.

-==-

Saturday February 1, 1975



Sleep until lunch at 12. Leap into the bath in order to revive myself, but even after this experience I don't really feel much better. All that sleep didn't seem to do any good.

See a film on the BBC and then go play 'Ruslan and Ludmilla' by Glinka and the prelude to Act III of Lohengrin by Mr Wagner. Yes, we aren't all unsophisticated Donny Osmond fans up here you know. The classics are as welcome here as they are in Covent Garden, and in some cases even more so.

My first free Saturday in years. Yes, I have the occasional one off, but it's much more pleasant to know that it's a permanent thing.

The papers are full of Edward Heath and Mrs Thatcher. I must admit, at first I abhored the idea of woman Tory leader, but these past few days have heralded a change. Good luck to her anyway. We certainly having nothing to lose. She can't make a worse mess of it than Heath did, and even if she does we'll forgive her because she's only a silly, dumb blond.

To the Hare & Hounds for a couple of drinks before moving on to a pub in Bingley, one of Andy's hang outs. The highlight of the evening was when Dave rang me up at 7 and said he was coming out. I'd no idea he was home this weekend. When the pubs shut John, Dave and I go to the new take-away in Guiseley. Food is horrible and what's more _______walked past on the arm of her boyfriend. ____ignored her completely.
Home in time to see a good Bette Davis film. Laughed all the way through. Sit in Lynn's bedroom until the early hours reading Agatha Christie.

-==-

Friday January 31, 1975



Marita is 20 today. She'll be in Sheffield by now, but I made sure her card was in the post in good time. The poor girl hates the idea of being 20 - no longer the little teenager and all that. I suppose I will feel ancient too when the times comes (4 months yet).

A frantic, chaotic day at the YP. The Duke of Norfolk died in the night, and the phones haven't ceased ringing with queries about the new duke and Earl Marshal. I know everything about the 17th Duke of Norfolk off by heart now. Born in 1915, Miles Francis Fitzalan-Howard eldest son of the 3rd Baron Howard of Glossop and the 11th Baroness Beaumont. Married 1949, Anne Mary Theresa Constable Maxwell. 2 sons. 3 daughters. Residence: Carlton Towers near Goole. Heir: Edward Fitzalan-Howard who now becomes Earl of Arundel. Clever lad aren't I?

Carry on working through lunch and so Kathleen kicks me out at 4. Meet Lynn, Christine D, and Alison on the bus, and we are all home for just before 5. Lynn lodges a few complaints about the unimaginative meal awaiting us, and I go off upstairs to prepare for the usual Friday orgy.

To the Hare & Hounds as per usual with the regular mob. Chris and Christine don't come until nearly 10 o'clock and until then I rotate round the mob discussing all sorts of things. Give Chris £8 for the deposit for project Majorca, but he later gives me £5 back to see me through the week. Go to Wikis where nothing much takes place. I chat with Miss Dibb and have the occasional dance with 'CB', as I used to call her. John and I walk home arriving in at 2.30am. Eat piles of cheese and biscuits before hitting the sack.

-==-

Thursday January 30, 1975


Whilst messing around with the EP at work I see that the headlines of last night's paper concerned Lord Snowdon and Mr Hamilton, the repulsive Labour MP who should have been shot years ago. It appears that Lord Snowdon has written to the publishers of Hamilton's new book 'My Queen and I', and has has asked him not to publish it. Obviously, he's been instructed to do this by Her Majesty herself or by Princess Margaret, who receives some obnoxious insults in the vile publication, and it is quite understandable that the Royal Family are hurt by it. I for one, absolutely refuse to read it. William Hamilton is so disgustingly low, it would be impossible for most normal people, even certain Labour members of Parliament, to stoop to his level.

Home at 6 o'clock to discover that I've mislaid £2 since last night. After a frantic search I fail to discover it, and sit about moping, pestering myself with worry, and tearing out large chunks of hair, screaming and biting my nails off. Quite upset really. Chris rings at 8.30 to say we may have got in somewhere for the holidays. The travel agent in question is ringing him back at 9.30. So I'll report on the details later. My fingers are crossed with expectancy.

Three hundred and twenty six years ago this day King Charles I was brutally murdered by his captors. A foul day ineed that was. What with William Hamilton's new book and this anniversary I cannot envisage much joy and happiness at Sandringham this week.Her Majesty may well be quaking in her boots.

Chris rings at 9.30 to say we have managed to get a place in Majorca for the weeks we wanted. Not too happy about Majorca, but Chris was assured it's a good place where we're going. More developments tomorrow.

-==-

Wednesday January 29, 1975



A busy half day.Kathleen gives me a half-day off because she feels I've worked too hard lately - and this is the reward. Meet Christine outside the CA and we make our way to the Ostlers where I consume several pints of lager and spend a small fortune on the juke box. We go looking for tartan material in order to make some 'Rod Stewart style' scarfes. Don't find any we like, and proceed to make our way to the bus station. Masses of photographs are taken in a booth whilst waiting for a bus, and then fight and squabble over who is having which ones. Home at 3.30 or something very close & then sit in a chair with Agatha Christie. I really am passionate over reading at the moment, and having to wait for volume 2 of 'Edward VII' is hideous. Collapse underneath my book and sleep for ten minutes, which is weird for me. I'm becoming an old man before my time.

To the Hare with John, Christine and Chris at 8.45 - have a few lagers and then back here for coffee. Christine and I sit listening to records whilst John and Chris talk holiday brochures. I haven't the stomach to do so. A few nights with all these glossy magazines and I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Margaret Thatcher, Hugh Fraser and Ted Heath have been nominated for the Tory leadership, and it'll be a close battle between Uncle Ted and Mrs T. I'll die if the old bag wins. The thought of a woman Tory leader is repugnant in the extreme.

-==-

Tuesday January 28, 1975


Ring Chris who informs me that the travel agent can't get us in at any of the places he suggested. He comes round at about 8.30 and we sit going wild through masses of repulsive books in order to select a new list of possible holidays. Mum makes some good suggestions and we end up with 11 different choices - ranging from Italy, Spain, Ibiza, Corfu to Cyprus. Don't fancy the idea of going to Famagusta. We'd end up being lynched in the streets by anti-British rioters.

See another old George Bernard Shaw film on BBC2. 'Major Barbara' or something, with Wendy Hiller and the two new child stars of the period, Rex Harrison and Robert Morley! That showws just how old it is. Sybil Thorndyke made a contribution too.

John and Chris go down to the Hare at 9.30 but I'm too involved with the film to bother about going. Off to bed at 11 with Agatha Christie. (Don't think for one minute that I'm having a liason with old Dame Agatha - when I say 'off to bed with Agatha' I mean with one of her books.)

-==-

Monday January 27, 1975


To Leeds with Jim Rawnsley and on my arrival at the office I immediately lay hands on yesterday's Sunday Times to look at the first installment of Richard Crossman's diaries. He describes the Queen as 'a small woman with a beautiful waist'. He says that the stools set out for Privy Council meetings are so arranged that the gentlemen backing out of the audience chamber fall backwards over them when leaving the room! Far too gossipy and not what I expected. It just goes to show that a 'Harold Nicolson' lurks somewhere in all Labour MPs.
Kathleen announced today that we staff need no longer work on Saturday mornings. Quite a good idea really because I sometimes miss having a full weekend off.

Home in time to see th Right Honourable William Hamilton answering irrate viewers on 'Nationwide'. The filthy little swine really doesn't deserve to live, and he didn't have a leg to stand on when one Tory MP read the Parliamentary Oath to him. How can Mr Hamilton be so hypocritical as to swear before God to protect Queen Elizabeth? Uncle Harold really ought to get rid of him. They might as well expel him from Parliament whilst they're doing John Stonehouse and kill two birds with one stone.

Ring Chris to see if any developments have arisen about the holiday. None so far. Also ring Marita to let her know I haven't forgotten her. She'll be 20 on Friday. Poor Devil.

-==-

Sunday January 26, 1975


Septuagesima. Feel really rotten all day. The top of my head feels like it's about to explode, spraying my brains from here to Mars. I really wish I hadn't devoured all that drink in such speedy circumstances. Dave Slater is to blame - he must have money to burn.

John and I walk into Guiseley to look at a clapped out, old VW which he thought he'd buy. The look of it makes him decide not to bother. Quite a little wreck it was. Home for lunch feeling a bit better, but my head is still fuzzy.

See in the Sunday Express that Mark Phillips won't accept a title. How do they know? I'm sure that Buckingham Palace haven't informed Mr Burnett that Capt Phillips will not receive a title, and realise that the article is purely the brain-child of a clapped out old dear with fond memories of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon. Times have changed since 1961.

Chris comes at 3.30 to look through some holiday brochures, but to my horror Lynn informs me that Dave took them with him when he went home last night. Chris isn't bothered and we sit watching an episode of 'The World At War' which seems to have been going on since Douglas-Home was in no.10. The programme that is, not the war. That ended in 1918.

John, Chris, Christine, Carol Smith, Lynn and Dave and self go to the cinema this evening. A clapped out old horror film - so boring. Back home to go through more brochures and Chris leaves with a list with which to do battle with tomorrow. Determined to go abroad no matter what the cost this year.

-==-

Saturday January 25, 1975

A filthy day. Hail, rain, blizzards, and nasty snow storms. Lynn and I walk down the lane under the same little umberella - perishing.

Kathleen on morning off. Just Sarah, Eileen and myself in. Me all day unfortunately. Compile a letter to Christine in the afternoon, that is in between doing the EP and YP filing. Mum rings to say that Dad & John are coming to Leeds, and so I get a lift home with them at 4 o'clock.

Have nice lamb for tea. Sit upstairs with 'Edward VII' fascinating it is too. Feel quite lost and frustrated when I finish it. Have to wait until the Spring for book 2, which deals with Edward's life as King-Emperor.

To Wikis with John, Christine B and Chris, Miss Dibb and Andy, not forgetting Carol. I danced with Miss Dibb for most of the night, who moves quite nicely on the dance floor. Bump into Dave Slater in the gents and he buys me a rum and orange, a Bacardi and coke and a Southern Comfort. Naturally, I feel very drunk by 2am. Arriving home I smash a bottle of milk whilst passing through the kitchen. Sat in the toilet reading - attempting to sober myself up and eventually get into bed at some unearthly hour.

-==-

Friday January 24, 1975

All day at the YP. Not really eventful.

Minus Christine Mary Braithwaite and Christopher Holland Ratcliffe, who are either going to a party or something at Wakefield Theatre Club, or something equally nauseating. Spend most of the night with Christine Dibb, who is on her usual witty form. Misses White and Smith are also with us - the younger Miss Smith seems to be minus her lover and no doubt it's on the rocks - or at least we hope so.

John buggers off with Andy at 10.15 and leaves me alone with Laura, the two Christines and Carol. Leave the Hare with Laura at about 11 and she kicks Dibb and me out of the car at the bottom of the lane. I don't have a coat and nearly perish with the cold. Christine came in for coffee and we joined Lynn and Dave in front of the television. A bloody awful film dominates the screen so I retreat into my book 'Edward VII'.

Mummy and Daddy are home from a party at the Saxtons with tales of drunkenness and debauchery. The host, Geoff Saxton, diid his usual 'dead man lying on the floor' routine, and threw up later all over the kitchen, which can't have been a particularly pleasant sight.

-==-

Thursday January 23, 1975

Nothing much to report today. See 'Top of the Pops' on TV this evening, and it's quite amazing how sober it's all becoming. Pop is on the decline.

Still deep into 'Edward VII'. I realise now that poor King Edward was only lecherous because Queen Victoria refused him any position or decent job. Sixty years is a long time to wait for a responsible position in 'the family business.'

This referendum nonsense is getting completely out of hand. The Labour government is making a serious mistake if it thinks that the British people want to make a choice for themselves. Why bother having a Houses of Parliament if the MPs are going to give all decisions over to us. The ordinary man in the street knows sod all about the Common Market, but one thing is certain, it takes no Sir Christopher Soames to realise the ridiculousness in withdrawing our membership when it took all those years and all that money to get us in. I for one do not intend exercising my so-called right to vote when the time comes.

-==-

Wednesday January 22, 1975




Dad wakes me at about 10am with a cup of tea - no sugar of course. I don't think I've mentioned the fact that on Monday afternoon I stopped taking sugar in tea, coffee or whatever other drinks I will be partaking of in the future. Sugar can't really be beneficial, and besides, with the price of it rocketing up and up it's bound to make it last longer at home. It all tasted weird at first, but now I'm quite used to it. Sit in bed gulping tea and reading of the death of the Prince Consort in my new book. How anyone can be devoted to someone else, like Victoria was to Albert, I shall never know. I do tend to be a loner. The thought of a permanent partnership with a young lady brings on suffocating nausea. Marriage for me is out of the question for five or six years at least. Two years ago I felt quite different. June would have been down the aisle and then swept off to a little hotel in Majorca if she'd have let me. Thank God she didn't.

Saw something in the paper the other day suggesting that Hugh Fraser, the feeble husband of the sexy writer Lady Antonia Fraser, is to stand in the election for the Tory leadership. I quite fancy the idea myself. Margaret Thatcher just wouldn't do. And with Mr Heath going about killing dolphins just for the sake of it, I see no point in him remaining leader any longer - the poor sod is obviously off his rocker, i.e. mad.
Meanwhile later that evening: whilst on the phone to Chris, Dave walks in and drops a snowball down my shirt front! The winter is come at last! About bloody time too.

-==-

Tuesday January 21, 1975


Make a file this morning for Miss Davina Mary Sheffield, daughter of Captain and the late Hon Mrs Sheffield. None other than Prince Charles's little lady friend. Whether she'll one day be Princess of Wales is another matter altogether, but she isn't worth ignoring. Whilst researching Miss Sheffield I'm amused to see that she is descended from the Duke of Buckingham, who built Buckingham House, now Buckingham Palace. Is it her intention to get the place back in the family?

At lunchtime I go with Sarah into town. See a novel entitled 'Edward VII'. An irresistible urge comes over me to purchase it, along with a couple of Agatha Christie gems. Back to the YP for an entertaining afternoon. One of Eileen's men friends is now incarcerated in Armley Prison after hitting his wife over the head with a bottle. She seems to mix with a genteel, pleasant mob.

Sit reading 'Edward VII'. It is better than I imagined it would be. Written by an actor from one of the trashy TV hospital series in the 1960s.

See 'Pygmalion' the ancient film. Really good, and liked Wendy Hiller. Leslie Howard was perfect.Bed at 11.30 where I carry on fascinated with King Edward until the early hours.

-==-

Monday January 20, 1975


Back to work.

Sarah, my former heartthrob, is in a miserable state. Her latest boyfriend has been done by the Lancashire Police for driving without due care and attention. The poor chap was breathylised.

That repulsive man William Hamilton, MP was on the BBC this evening saying all sorts of obnoxious things about the Royal Family. He hates Princess Margaret so much to the extent that he sounds unstable.He made several comments about the Queen Mother being a scheming, shrewd business woman, and not the friendly, charming creature she appears to be. The Queen, according to the learned gentleman, is out of touch, and he had the cheek to stand before TV cameras and say that monarchy and pageantry and completely detached from one another. Insane, horribly insane.

--==-

Sunday January 19, 1975


Sleep till 1pm. Marita woke me at the Lord knows what time with the radio. She's the only person I know who listens to 'The Archers'. Somebody must listen in somewhere otherwise the series would have been given the push decades ago.

Christine and I read eighty pages of 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' by C.S. Lewis. I persuaded Denny to read it in September and I managed to get Christine to buy a copy whilst shopping yesterday. I must ring Denny and get my copy back - she took it to glance at and that was the last I saw of it.

Steak for lunch. Cooked by me of course. Lazy afternoon reading through a book on astrology - it's quite canny how people take after their star signs. Mine was especially flattering. Leave at 7. Hysterical journey into Sheffield, but I feel sick on the coach coming back to Leeds. MM and Marita were discussing going to Worcester in a couple of weeks, but I am dubious. David cannot manage to house four of us surely? But still, MM will do the arranging I expect.

Christine and I go straight to the Hare & Hounds, leaving Marita in Rawdon. She refuses to inhabit places of fun and enjoyment when MM is away. Astounded in the Hare to hear that Chris is going to work in Windsor - at Barclays Bank therein. Not a permanent move however, only from June to Christmas. We'll all be at a loose end without him.

-==-

Saturday January 18, 1975

Wake up just after 10am. Christine says that Marita and I were talking in our sleep. People always say I yell and carry on like a madman in my sleep. Some Psycological reason I suppose.

Spend five and a half ruddy hours in a Sheffield Shopping Centre! Nearly went round the bend watching MM and Marita trying on shoes and buying the nicest lettuces in the market, and spending hour after hour in dark, body odour-smelling, music filled boutiques trying on velvet jackets you'll know they'll never buy. Oh, and Marita wants only lightweight shoes because she's going to Yugoslavia in September and it's always hot there isn't it? Christine and I nearly passed out.

We arrived home after 6. Christine and I are knackered to the core, but MM & Marita look quite normal. Salad for tea. Wear MM's duffle coat when we go to the pub - don't drink much and get back for about 11. Christine and I die laughing over a Monty Python book - a bottle of Martini helped too. The night was probably a bit more romantic as far as Christine and I are concerned. MM got up at 2am wearing Marita's nightie! God! How we laughed.

-==-

20091216

Friday January 17, 1975


Meet Marita in Park Row at 5.15. We go to Smiths in the Railway Station where we route around in the glossy magazines and rude paperbacks until Christine arrives. I buy 'Confessions of a Private Soldier', a nasty, dirty little thing by Timothy Lea. Quite cheeky though. Leave Leeds by train and we laugh all the way to Sheffield. MM meets us on the platform, and when he and Marita are together they certainly are very close. Wedding bells will be ringing in a few years time, that's for certain.

The flat is just one room with all the necessities therein. Smells very musty and the atmosphere is positively damp. The four of us are far too shagged out to consider going to the boozer for a few pints - so we sit gathered around the electric fire eating cheese and biscuits and listening to Elton John's Greatest Hits on the record player. Bed time is a farce. MM and Marita have the single bed - all this sex before marriage 'I don't know what the world's coming to' &c. Christine and I share a camp bed...Comfortable it all is too. Not actually having bodily contact you understand - but reaping the benefits from the closeness which warmed us both in the cold flat.

-==-

Thursday January 16, 1975

YP all day. Prepare for tomorrow's venture into the depths of Sheffield where no man has dared set foot before. Ring Marita and ensure I have all the correct times, &c.

Wednesday January 15, 1975


The new Whitaker's Almanack for 1975 fails to give an accurate account of the order of succession to the throne. No mention is made of the little Lascelles baby who, according to the Sunday People, was born in September 1973. This babe of the Hon James and Mrs Lascelles is 21st in line of succession. I'm surprised that the YP haven't done anything on it. But I do suppose that Lord Harewood consulted Mr 'Call me God' Linacre and told him that no report at all would be welcomed by himself and Mrs Jeremy Thorpe and others.

On the subject of minor, forgotten royalty, I'd better mention something about Princess Anne and the new royal personage that never was - Capt. Phillips. The royal pair have recently visited Rowley Hall, ten miles from Hull, in good hunting country - with the intention of purchasing the place. Buckingham Palace officials who lie until they lie about the lies they're said already, say that the princess is looking for a place of her own before they're turned out of Oak Grove in 2 years time. Hull does seem a bit out of the way and off the royal beaten track, but I suppose Mark would like the peace and quiet.

A busy day. Sarah is in better spirits. Kathleen too cheerful - on the verge of hysteria. Argue, in a friendly vein, with Sarah this morning on the subject of that repulsive creature John Stonehouse. She said he's committed no crime in using the name of a dead man to creep off to Australia. Only the other day a bloke was sent to one of Her Majesty's Holiday Camps for doing the very same thing with someone elses passport.

-==-

Tuesday January 14, 1975


As you can see, I have purchased a bottle of ink and can now scribe here in the correct form. I consider it a disgrace to write my journal in rubbishy biro. Future generations don't want to see before them a page written with an instrument of the 20th century far more horrific than the atom bomb and John Stonehouse, MP.

Slade, the pop group came in state to the YP today. A scruffy bunch they are too. Dave Hill is minute, just about reached up to my knees. Sarah and I bumped into them at the top of the staircase on the 2nd floor. They went down by the stairs and we went in the lift. Don Powell, the drummer, was giving everyone filthy looks and to sum up I'd say they fancied themselves.

Home for tea at 6 o'clock. Mum and Dad are out and Lynn makes tea. Quite pleasant it is too. A letter awaits me from David, Thane of Worcester. He's not going to MMs at the weekend which is a big let down. He also had news of MM thinking about leaving poly! Strange tale indeed from my far-off friend.

Christine rang me at the YP. She's arranged everything with Marita and they're meeting in Leeds at 6pm on Friday. We're all getting the train at 6.45 or something like that.

I'm getting excited now. It's only 346 days to Christmas. Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All the Way! Despatch a reply to David. He had me in stitches about blackmailing me with certain pictures he's got of ____, drawn by me, and passed on to him without thinking of the consequences. Mum and Dad are in Askern I think.

-==-

Monday January 13, 1975


At the YP all day. Sarah is strangely subdued and almost sharp with us. Probably because Kathleen is off, and the heavy mantle of responsibility weighs too heavily on her slender shoulders. Sarcastic sod, aren't I?

Whilst waiting for the bus this evening I did comprehend an amusing sight. Christopher Monckton, the heir to that glorious viscountcy, marching down the central reservation of the dual carriageway on Wellington Street, rotating his umberella at a fantastic speed, as though something sinister and unnatural possessed his very soul. I smiled all the way home.

Heard on the news briefly this morning that the IRA planned to kidnap the Prince of Wales several months ago but then changed plans without any explanation. It's an impossibility. The security surrounding the prince is so tight that even his own grandmother would be unable to nab him.

A man rang me today and asked me if the ventriloquist Arthur Worsley is the father of the Duchess of Kent. Can you imagine it? Arthur Worsley and his dummy - parents of the Duchess of Kent? I pretended to be unsure on this one, and went away sniggering to look in Burke's Peerage. He, the befuddled member of the public, seemed quite surprised when I informed him that HRH's father was Sir William Worsley, 4th Baronet. What a laugh.

What can have happened to Marita? Hang on folks whilst I go ring her. All will be revealed herein. Now then, where shall I begin? MM moved into his own residence before the weekend, and so the letter I posted today will have gone to the wrong house. Marita is going down by train next Friday evening and wants to know if Christine and I are going down with her. Super idea it seems to me.

Mum and Dad go to Esholt and the girls go to bed. Strange having no visitors for a change. Dave and Peter are almost permanent fixtures these days.

See TV all evening. Retire at 11.50 after writing to MM again, for the second time today. My first letter went to Horndean Rd which he vacated last week. My chat with Marita was the first one since the New Year.

-==-

Sunday January 12, 1975


1st after Epiphany. In bed until lunch. No after effects from the night before and quite look forward to tonight's escapade with rellish. See Ingrid Bergman in 'Joan of Arc', a corny film. The very mention of the Maid of Lorraine puts the fear of God in me. Reminds me of having to read 'St Joan' by Bernard Shaw at school. No pleasant task by any means.

Out with Chris, Christine and Maura to the Hare & Hounds. John comes along too and does seem to be getting Christine down. He insists on plagueing her to despair, but Maura says she loves it and being pulled to pieces gives her a special pleasure. Kinky, that's what I say.

Move on to the Dyneley. Getting there is like scaling the north face of Everest (if it's got one), and if Edmund Hillary can pick up a knighthood for his endeavours I see no reason why Chris and I can't have the same. The girls don't like the place at all. Sit near the juke box listening to such hits as 'Discotheque and the Sexolets', a revolting thing really, but it keeps us smiling. Back to Westfield for fish and chips in the back of the Ratcliffemobile. After ten minutes the windows were all steamed up, and mushy peas lay thickly over the entire interior, like sediment at the bottom of a forgotten fish tank. Back home for coffee and off to bed with Baroness Orczy and 'I Will Repay'.

-=-

Saturday January 11, 1975


Lynn wakes me at my usual Saturday hour. Have a coffee and glance at the Daily Mail which never contains anything worth reading. Fail to see why they bother to publish the soddin' thing. They'd do everybody a favour if they packed up and cleared off to Uganda.

Nothing tremendous happens at the office and come home on the 33 bus. John is just climbing out of bed, the lucky devil, but the extra half day in bed doesn't seen to have done him any good at all. I really do think that one can have too much sleep.
The reception room, or foyer, at the YP harbours a pleasant sight at the moment. A collection of Sir Cecil Beaton's works displayed for all to see. I especially like the pictures of Lady Diana Cooper (dressed a s nun of all things) and of Harold Pinter. The Royal photos are all very nice, but we've seen them all before. His work of genius is one (photo) of the Queen Mother taken at Buckingham Palace in 1938 - the light and shading as it falls on her dress is a sight to behold.

Lunch with John, Mama and Papa. Dash upstairs when Mum says she wants some help with the housework, and Perry Como moaning away in the background isn't very encourging. After a few minutes John and I disappear on a walk around Tranmere and surrounding areas. After giving our approval to the new houses we come back refreshed. I re-read 'I Will Repay' by Baroness Orczy, the third time round and still enthralling.

Go out with Chris, Christine B, and Dave Knowles's old fiance, Maura, a pretty little thing with curly dark hair and oval face - truely gorgeous. Chris and Christine are more than pals now, and I'm left to entertain Maura. The four of us go to Wikis until 2, where we dance and jive about to our hearts content. A quiet night really, but we didn't notice. Laughed ourselves stupid. Back to Pine Tops for coffee where Lynn, Dave, Sue and Peter are recovering after a large meal in Leeds where they were refused entry into Cinderellas and the Pentagon, &c. John and Peter Mather had been to 'Wheels' at Seacroft and by all accounts it's a smart joint.

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Friday January 10, 1975

My first drinking session in what seems like several decades. Go to the Hare as usual with Lynn, John and Mr Baker. Joined by Keith, Helen, Andy and Linda, and the semi-human slag heap herself _____. Had a few minutes hysteria with Miss Christine Dibb concerning my patchouli oil. She says I've gone freaky and have 'crept out of my shell before the world is quite ready for me'. Such a perfect scattering of wit I have yet encountered.

Came home from the YP tonight on the same bus as Phyllis Whitethighs. She kept having to nudge me to stop deathly unconsciousness creeping upon me.

Unfortunately, everyone has undergone a severe set back, mentally, since last week, when they all rushed to Wikis, regardless of a lack of monetary reserves, and categorically refuse to entertain ideas about inhabiting the highly favoured nightclub this night. Miserable buggers they are. I think ____ overheard me refer to her as a 'cow and a half', which didn't do much for our declining diplomatic relations. Her little boyfriend gets me down with his obnoxious large grin and crawling expressions. Something really should be done to curtail his activities as a living human being.

Home at 11pm to see the 1935 version of 'The Scarlet Pimpernel'. Very good considering.

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Thursday January 9, 1975

Go to work despite the fact that I'm not too brilliant yet. They are all surprised to see me. Kathleen had given up hope of seeing me before Monday. Derek Naylor, one of our beloved feature writers comes into the office and asks "who would be on the throne now if the Duke of Windsor hadn't abdicated?" I am astounded beyond all description. How can anybody not know the answer to that? Look at it logically, it cannot be that hard. King Edward VIII doesn't abdicate in December, 1936 and goes on to reign until death catches up with him May 28, 1972. Having no legitimate issue, the throne would then pass to his next brother, the Duke of York, who had unfortunately died in 1952, leaving two daughters, Elizabeth & Margaret. So the Crown would have devolved upon the elder daughter, the 46-year-old Elizabeth. Answer: Yes, the present Queen would have succeeded in 1972 instead of 1952.

A busy afternoon in the office. A chap from Leicester CID rings me with a weird request. He tells me that a man died in Leicester yesterday from injuries sustained in an accident he had in May, 1937, whilst installing decorations in a Wakefield street for the festivities celebrating the coronation of King George VI. After half an hour rumaging through the YPs for May 1937 I failed to find anything relevant. The dejected CID man went away and wept bitterly.

Christine rang again today. This sudden rush of attention from Miss Braithwaite is certainly of a heart-rending quality. Her sudden freedom is a novelty I suspect, and now that she can ring as many males as she likes in the shortest possible time I suppose it gives her a boost. Understandable really.

Home on the 55 with Sarah. Lynn is unusually nice at tea time and she can be beautifully pleasant when she tries, but as the poem goes 'when she's good, she's very very good, but when she's bad she's horrid'.

Go with Denny to the Hare & Hounds at 9 - walking from Pine Tops. Have a few drinks. To her horror I tell her that Lorraine's wedding day, June 14, is the Queen's official birthday and the Trooping of the Colour. Devastated we scrap our plans and begin over again.

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Wednesday January 8, 1975

Wake up at 11.00am to find the house void of human life, other than me that is. Make myself a coffee and take the necessary medication which is supposed to do something for my cold. Give Kathleen a ring and tell her of the recent developments. She isn't particularly bothered about me being absent, and wishes me a speedy recovery.

Sit in bed reading the morning paper. I can hardly believe that the Stansted Airport trick pulled off without any hitches. The demented Arab will be feeling such a fool this morning. Climb out of bed and devour a bowl of soup. Deposit myself in front of the television until tea time, and repeat the pattern after devouring the meal. Bed at about 11 o'clock.

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Tuesday January 7, 1975


Wake at about 8.30 feeling slightly better, but do not intend going back to the office until it has cleared up entirely. Mum, in her infinite wisdom, says that the doctor really ought to visit me instead of vice versa, but on ringing she discovers that he's far too bogged down with other cases to find the time for me.

I lay in bed with the radio banging away in my left ear 'ole until lunch. In the midst of Johnny Walker's show one of the news features holds a story on the horror of horrors, Anthony Wedgwood Benn. I was relieved to hear a top authority on politics say that Mr Benn is far too rebellious ever to become Prime Minister. A sad day it would be indeed if it dawned with Lord Stansgate behind the door in no. 10 Downing Street. Even fat, little Harold Wilson is better than him one hundred fold.

See in the morning paper that little Lady Jane Wellesley is now escorting James Balfour, the estranged husband of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia. Over in France the Paris newspapers still carry futile, impossible stories about her and the Prince of Wales. There is no doubt in my mind that His Royal Highness gave her the push months ago - and rightly so. Never did like the idea of her being Queen Jane. (Correction: I have just called the husband of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia James Balfour. In fact he's Neil Balfour, and I apologise deeply to all the relatives of the 20th century Prime Minister).

Later: a plane hijacked at Heathrow by a mad Arab is, at this moment, preparing to fly to Stansted Airport which has been disguised to look like a 'typical French airport'. The demented Arab wants to go to Paris, but Mr Giscard d'Estaing won't let the plane enter France. How they are going to make Stansted look like France I do not know.No doubt they'll get a crowd of men in berets, bicylces, and festoon them with strings of onions, playing old Maurice Chevalier records over the loud speakers. We shall see.

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