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Monday January 8, 1973

My head is heavy with cold. A horrid fog has shrouded the nation since before Xmas. My throat, eyes and ears are all made up with water. Have done bugger all at school. Exams begin on Jan 22. It's about time I began revising seriously. Old Mr Appleyard died at the weekend - a nice old chap really - but he seemed much older than 64. Mum's been in the travel agents again. John definately wants to do Italy in July. Dave L and myself will do Italy, Austria or Switzerland. Mum, Lynn and Sue fancy Austria. Denise was on the telly tonight - throwing a boomerang on Calendar. She looked very nice. We all sat in silence for about 2 minutes. Had a bath at 10.45.


Sunday January 7, 1973

1st Sunday after Epiphany. Woke up at 1.20pm. I absolutely hate sleeping-in until this uncivilised hour. After lunch I rang Shelley (Masterson) at Menston - - haven't seen her since May. Watched the telly all afternoon and listened to the top 20 on Radio 1. Sunday is the most boring day of the week. One day I'll go to church on a Sunday morning. Chris phoned and said that Louise and MM went down to Denise's babysitters last night to see if Chris and D. were doing anything they shouldn't be doing - Geddit! It'll certainly be a laugh at school tomorrow. John and I are going down to Dave's on Tuesday to look at brochures for the '73 holiday. I have to save £70 for July. Not a very pleasant thought. John, being a working man is able to save a small fortune by July - he fancies going to Norway, but I'd prefer Austria or Switzerland.


Saturday January 6, 1973

Epiphany. Mum woke me at 9am with the long awaited letter from Darlington College of Education. They want me to attend an interview on Jan 11th at 9.20. Check the train times and I can't be there until 9.31. I write a letter explaining this trouble.

Denise was in the Airedale and Wharfedale Observer this morning with picture - learning the art of boomerang throwing. I enclose the picture here for posterity. After lunch I went to Bradford Library and the history section and arrived home at 5.15.

Went down to work at 7 and was busy for a solid 2 and a half hours. The evening didn't half drag though. Sue and Toffer were in usual cheery mood as was Pauline, the "sexy" waitress. Incidentally, she's bringing a pack of cards next Saturday so that she, Toffer and I will be able to play a few hands of strip pontoon. Sue says she won't bother because of the difficulties involved in cooking in the nude. I well understand her predicament. Saw little Worthington once again - he tried to tackle a T-bone - he certainly has the right idea. Didn't finish work until 1am. Toffer took Pauline and me home.


Friday January 5, 1973

Went to school as usual. Ayling, the economics tutor, was absent again leaving me with a free double lesson. Denise and I went to the chippie at 12.20 and spent £1.06. If that aint inflation I don't know what is. We also went to a shoe shop and I helped Denise choose a pair which she is collecting on Monday. Before his 'absentness' occurred Mr Ayling booked Friday afternoon for the upper and lower sixth to pay a visit to Barclays Bank in Leeds - only the economics group that is. After a fairly interesting afternoon we arrived back at school, Dave and myself that is, where Garth was playing snooker and chatting with Mrs Capstan-Fullstrength. After missing several buses I arrived home at 6.45pm. Went to the Chuck Wagon (restaurant at White Cross) at 7.45. Toffer was knocking back the Bacardis. Only four people were in. Sue (the owner) came down from the flat very excited and told me they had got little Worthington at last. Went upstairs to see him. He's just like Webster. Beagles are the cutest dogs. It wasn't a good night for business - but 4 had to come in at 11.25. That delayed my departure until 12.15. Sue retired at 11.25 and Toffer and I looked after things until closing time. Lynn and Susan were watching a horrible film and I sat with a whisky and soda until it ended. Came to bed at 1am.
Read in the paper that a brawling rabble of anti-marketeers jeered the poor Queen as she arrived at Covent Garden yesterday. Why blame her? It's the MPs who want jeering, not her.


Thursday January 4, 1973

A look at yesterdays events in the cold light of day certainly changes the situation. I have come to the conclusion that last night's party was all part of a plot by Chris R to push Denise and I together. After me knocking back almost the whole of a bottle of whisky it is hardly surprising that he imagined it to have worked. I feel stupid now. All it has done is make poor Denise confused. I fell into a ditch last night and this morning am covered in scratches. The alcohol in my blood deadened the pain. For the greater part of the day I felt as if I'd drunk a bottle of disinfectant. School was uneventful and I returned home at 4.45. Uncle Harry had just arrived, boasting he'd been drunk since New Year's Eve. He brought a massive quantity of drink with him and he left for a nightclub in York at 6.15. He must be dreadfully lonely. By 9pm I couldn't keep my eyes open. The Christmas tree and decs came down today.


Wednesday January 3, 1973

Several of the morning newspapers contain stories of a romance between Princess Anne and Mark Phillips. The Sun says they're engaged. Mum says he's a good looking chap and hopes they're in love. I'd prefer HRH to marry some titled chap. We can't have the daughter of the Queen going round calling herself Mrs Phillips. Princess Margaret married a Mr Jones - but HM soon put a stop to that (i.e. Lord Snowdon).
1st day back at school since Dec 19, 1972. Dave, Denise and Chris and I are all going to somebodys party at Dunkeswick. I don't know the girl throwing the party and have never heard of Dunkeswick - supposedly a village near Bramhope or Otley.
We arrived at about 9.30. The venue was a tiny cottage. Excuse me if the writing is horrible but it's now 12.30 and I'm awfully drunk. Several wealthy girls were there, including someone called Debbie, daughter of a millionaire. I drank almost a full bottle of whisky - which accounts for the deterioration of the handwriting. I am in love with Denise.


Tuesday January 2, 1973

I awoke at 12 lunchtime. It's Mum and Dad's birthday today. They're 38 and 39 respectively. We haven't bought them a present yet. Lynn is hiding the money somewhere - and besides - it's half day closing down in Guiseley. In the afternoon I went to Bradford Library and took out a book on the Spanish Civil War 1936-39. Arrived home on the 6 o'clock bus. Rushed up the lane to find the family sitting around in their splendour waiting to go for tea to Harry Ramsden's. I've lived on Harry's doorstep for 5 years and this is my first visit. Dad says people come from Australia simply to eat "one of each" and a carton of mushy peas. It's hardly worth the journey I can assure you. In the evening (7.45-10.45) I did my history essay entitled: "Why did Germany and Italy involve themselves in the Spanish Civil War and what were the consequences of this war". Mum and Dad went up to the Albert at Yeadon for a drink - coming home at 10.45. I had supper and retired to bed at midnight. Back to school tomorrow - History, economics and current affairs all in quick succession - yuk. Mum and Dad are playing romantic love songs downstairs. They've had a happy birthday.

Monday January 1, 1973

The bells of St Oswald's Church, Guiseley announced the New Year. I was standing outside Pine Tops - alone on the drive - as 1973 came in. John, Denise, Dave and Chris were inside. I could hear the Smiths next door singing "auld langs ayne". Mum and Dad returned at 12.45 with a party of friends. Sue and Alison came along afterwards. The party went on until 6.30am. John was sick and retired to bed at 3.30, and Denise and I ruined the party for Chris R by telling him that he resembled somebody off an Oxfam poster - he failed to see the funny side and took off home at 2.30. Lynn and Jackie came much later. Dave B fancies Lynn. Dad left for work at 6.30am when Sgt. Bill Stott collected Dave and him in the cop car. Denise and I slept downstairs and saw John off to work at 7.30. Mum followed to work at 9, cursing the fact that people have to work on New Year's Day. I slept from 12.30 to 1.40. I had been drinking whisky.
Auntie Eleanor and Uncle Jack and Stephen (who was as black as the ace of spades) arrived at 7.30pm and stayed until 11.40.
My first day as a European citizen. Britain has signed away a thousand years of splendid isolation to join the 250,000,000 Frogs, libidious Italians, etc. I suppose they'll sell the Queen to the French one day. I doubt whether Her Majesty is in favour of the Common Market. After all, it'll mean the end of the Commonwealth. I'm going to bed. It's 12.02.


Birth of Mig's Journal

On January 1 1973 I was a 17 year-old living at Pine Tops, 58 Hawksworth Lane, Guiseley. I was a pupil in the 6th form at Benton Park Grammar School, Rawdon. At home I lived with my parents, Lawrence (born in 1934) a police constable based at Guiseley police station; mother Nora (born 1935) who worked as a secretary at Barnes & Winder (trailers?) at White Cross, Guiseley. My siblings are John (born 1956), an apprentice joiner from 1971 with Slater & Padgett, of Yeadon; and 2 sisters, Lynn (born 1958), a schoolgirl; and Susan (born 1959) a schoolgirl.
In 1973 I was , apparently, obsessed with June Bottomley and the 23 year-old Princess Anne and was somewhat over zealous with my usage of the exclamation mark.

Some of the characters appearing in my 1973 journal:
Uncle Harry (1922-94) my father's eccentric brother. Policeman and heavy drinker.

Toffer Riley, aka Christopher Riley, owner of the Chuck Wagon, Guiseley restaurant. Bearded, long hair.

Sue Riley (born 1950) Toffer's wife

Dave Lawson (born 1955) schoolfriend since 1967 who moved to Benton Park with me from Guiseley Secondary School in 1971. Later teacher and market garden proprietor.

Some schoolfriends: Christopher Ratcliffe (born 1955); Christine Braithwaite (born 1956); Louise Harris; Denise Akroyd (born 1956); June Margaret Bottlomley (born 1956); Graham Cowburn (known as Cowie); etc.

This journal begins on January 1, 1973. It was born during a country in crisis. The Heath government was on its last legs. The "Three Day Week" reigned. TV closed down in the evening. The nation was on strike. Power cuts, &c. The idea of writing a diary in a Pepys-like setting next to a burning candle inspired me to take up my pen. I compiled my diary in a page-a-day WH Smith diary. It runs from Jan 1 1973 to somewhere in 1991 and consists of millions of words. Would it be a good idea to publish, in an abridged form to protect the dead, my banal outpourings? Yes. So here goes