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Monday August 20, 1973

God what a day. Go into school at 2 o'clock. See from a list on Groves desk that I have failed my History 'A' level. The horrid little sheet of paper said: 'History: four entries, three passes.' It just had to be me. They gave me an 'O' level pass. Dave got two Cs. I already have history 'O' level so it's useless really.

Dave and I take Chid to Horsforth College of Further Education - June goes there on September 14. Chid must fancy his chances.

Later. Dave and I go to see MM. Sit with him sipping very miky coffee. MM is very sorry about my failing. Go home at 6.0. Mum very sad.

John and I meet June and Susan in the Emmotts at 8 o'clock. I take my crank letter with me (received another one today). Chris enjoys reading them and looks very pale. Susan Bottomley is a very strange child indeed. I do hope that John doesn't take her out.

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Sunday August 19, 1973

9th after Trinity. Can't be bothered to write anything constructive. Who cares anyway? I certainly do not.

Saturday August 18, 1973

Receive a letter from a crank concerning my views on the Royal Family. It consists of the following: 'I have just read your letter (Anne's Navy) in todays Mail. And would like to state the following. The British monarchy is now a luxury which we, the British public, cannot afford unless more barmy bastards like yourself wish to support like there shit the whole business of Anne and Mark Phillips stinks....' The old illiterate went on for hours in similar mode. Poor soul. It was posted in Lancashire.

Later: feeling very lazy and do not intend straining my already weakening brain with trivia. Sorry for disappointing you. Bye bye.

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Friday August 17, 1973

Unknown to me, the 'A' Level results were released today. Dave didn't find out about them until Chris rang him at 6. Oh Lord! Poor Chris failed both Biology and Geography. What a weekend of torture I am in for.

Spend the morning at St Andrew's Close with Andy, who takes the afternoon off from 12.30. I carry alone through the afternoon until 5.

June and I decided yesterday to go out on Saturday and so John and I went to the Emmotts at 8.30. Little Helen Willis and Denise came in with poor Chris, and Sue Crosby who got her two 'A' levels. What a very enjoyable night it is. Helen wants John, MM, Chris and I to go back to Liz Peddie's but due to transport difficulties we decide not to. MM brings John and I home.

Come home to see a Vincent Price film - 'House of Usher' - quite a load of old rubbish really.

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Thursday August 16, 1973

Pay day again. £16.99. Give Mama £10 out of the goodness of my little heart. Anyway, I owe her £35 for the Italian holiday.

Awakened at 8.15 by Mum informing me that I have over-slept. Dad rushes me to St Andrew's Close in the car. Andy wonders 'where the hell' I've been. Fortunately, Bill is nowhere to be seen.

Another hot, humid day. Arrive home at 5.30 to find my letter published in the Daily Mail. They, in thinking they have corrected a mistake in my letter, make the mistake of referring to the royal yacht as 'HMS' instead of the correct 'HMY'. But what a thrill it is!

Dave rings me about the letter. Evidently, Mr Lawson saw it whilst devouring breakfast.

At 8 John and I meet June in the Emmotts. Another night of useless arguing. But by 11 we reach an understanding. We are going to refrain from talking about subjects of a controversial nature. In fact, she says she will never mention the Royal Family to me again. I love her still anyway.

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Wednesday August 15, 1973

A very pleasant day, and in the afternoon, tremendously hot. Princess Anne is 23 today. Her last birthday of spinsterhood. Next year she will be Mrs Phillips.

Come home from work to find Uncle Harry having tea. He took Dad, Mum, Lynn and Susan to the Commercial at Esholt at 1.0 this afternoon. What a beautiful life these idle rich lead!

Uncle H is the bearer of sad tidings. Grandfather, it seems, will not be with us when the leaves on the trees turn to gold and fall off. Yes, Santa Claus will have one customer less this Christmas.

When Uncle H goes home at 6 Mum and Dad decide to pay a call on grandfather and they come back with a sad story indeed. The old boy looks to have lost 6 stones. But, he hasn't lost his apetite... I never imagined for one moment that he would.

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Tuesday August 14, 1973

Hear from the Daily Mail. They tell me they intend to publish my 'interesting' letter shortly. Knew they would do all along.

A really beautiful day. One of the hottest days in 20 years. Andy and I still at Larkfield.

Home at 5.30 - have a meal, wash and change, and catch the 55 bus to Yeadon. June already waiting outside the picture house. Go in at 6.20. She likes 'Owl and the Pussycat' a lot more than 'Bonnie and Clyde'. Quite natural for a girl I suppose. B and C was probably too bloody for her.

At 10.20 we set off on a walk round Yeadon. She gets the bus at 11 o'clock to Horsforth. I got a 55 at the bottom of Henshaw Lane. Home by 11.45.

Auntie Hilda, Uncle Tony and the girls are paying us a visit. They all sit about devouring fish and chips. Mine are in the cooker. Bid farewell to relations and bed at 12.45.

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Monday August 13, 1973

Up with the larks at 6.40. Make my way to Greenacre Hall for 7.30. Andy and I move from the Henshaw bungalows to Ivy Fitton's estate up Larkfield Mount.

The sun is really hot. Clean and paint gutters until 4.30 when Bill arrives. Sit behind the matron's house until nearly 5 o'clock.

June rings me at 7.0 o'clock and she says she wants to see 'Owl and the Pussycat' tomorrow. I certainly don't mind seeing it again. It will make it the third time in 2 years. Dave and I first saw it in 1972.

See 'Coronation Street' again. Glad June and I are going out tomorrow. Bed 11.30.

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Sunday August 12, 1973

8th after Trinity. June and I make no arrangements to go out tonight. Lynn aks John and I to escort her, Susan and Al to the cinema. I immediately agree.

'Bonnie and Clyde' and 'Owl and the Pussycat'. Both very good films. Commences at 6.20. Barbra Streisand in 'Owl and the Pussycat' is fantastic. I will love her forever.

We all pile out of the cinema at 10.20 after watching Bonnie and Clyde shot for the second time this evening! Having arrived at 6.15 we watched the last five minutes of B and C before the second house began. It ruined the entire evening for Lynn.

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Saturday August 11, 1973

Awake at 10.0am. John awakes and realises he should gave gone to work at 7.30. June rings at 10.30. She has a guilty conscience and wants to go to Leeds with me this afternoon. We meet at 2 at the bus station. John comes along too.

June is very apologetic about last night - wearing a pretty blue coat with a belt (1940s style).

I buy 'Raphsody on a theme by Paganini' by Serge Rachmaninov - very moving; and 'Roll over Beethoven' by the Electric Light Orchestra. Coming home we decide to meet outside JCT600 and walk to the Queen's on Apperley Lane. Arrive 8 o'clock. Very warm, typical August evening.

Arrive at the pub at 8.30. Christine and Philip are inside with Philip's brother, Mick. The Knowles family are disgustingly generous - Mick even paid my bus fare back to Rawdon.

June and I spend an hour in Rawdon Park - very romantic. Evidently, June's mother's first husband died on a British ship in World War II - and yet she cannot understand why Christine (Hobson) is bitter about Germans!

Home by 11.30.

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Friday August 10, 1973

Get up at 6.45. Make black coffee for my flask because the dear old milkman has not delivered yet. Arrive at the huts, just off Queensway, at 7.15. Geoff and Andy arrive first, then Eric, whom I find detestable. Bill goes mad at 8 when Stuart is still not here. Brian and Woody have a days holiday. Spend the time up to 9 emptying the huts. Move the huts by 11.45 to the Henshaw bungalows. Bill, Geoff and Eric go home for lunch. Andy goes up Yeadon for our fish and chips and doesn't get back until 12.50. Bill arrives back before I start eating!

A very hot and humorous afternoon. We sit in the huts listening to the cricket and eating ice cream (with gracious permission of Bill). Geoff and I screw up the sides of the huts in order to render them habitable.

Meet June at the Emmotts at 8.30. John chats to Sue Crosby inside. June and I sit in the bus shelter until nearly 9 o'clock. Oh! She looked beautiful. Our first meeting since July 12! A whole month. But she was in a dreadful, bitchy and awful mood. I walked out once and left her! I ask her to go to Leeds with me tomorrow afternoon, but she refuses. And, won't give me an excuse.
The end of the evening is ruined. Home by 11.45.

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Thursday August 9, 1973

Get up at 6.50. Dreadfully cold, almost wintry day again. Spend the whole day finishing the spouts at Henshaw.

Very upset about not hearing from June since Monday. She rings at 7. I tell her about the trouble with the phone number, which I had explained in yesterday's letter. She quite understands. Decide to go out on Friday instead of tonight. Relieved that she's contacted me. Blimey! I thought THE end had come!

After watching the 9 o'clock news I write to the 'Daily Mail' opposing the views expressed yesterday by a correspondent re Princess Anne and Mark Phillips. Hope they publish it.

Go to bed at 11.30.

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Wednesday August 8, 1973

A perishingly cold, bleak day! My cold, however, is greatly improved.

Andy and I paint the inside of the garage doors again - an emergency operation only ever carried out in the rain. No word from Bill about quitting the force. Andy and I disgracefully laugh at this.

Write to June, who still does not contact me. Also write to the 'Daily Express' in answer to a silly old bag who suggested in a letter that Princess Anne and Mark Phillips should take 'needy' honeymoon couples on the Royal Yacht Britannia when they marry in November. What rot!
How many people in this world would take a pack of complete strangers away on honeymoon with them? Princess Anne may be the daughter of the reigning sovereign of Gt Britain but she's no saint...

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Tuesday August 7, 1973

Rains all day. Had rum in my flask again. By evening my cold is greatly improved.

Watch tv. See 'The Winslow Boy' at 6.30. A very good film indeed. Makes English justice seem perfect. Bed 10.30.

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Monday August 6, 1973

Feeling terrible. Rains solidly all day. Cold worsening. I put a large shot of rum in my flask and battle through nine hours of painting garage doors, three handkerchiefs and two phensic tablets.
So glad to be home at 5.30.

June rings at 7. So wonderful to hear her voice again. Fortunately she doesn't want to go out tonight - I am in no fit state. We decide to leave it until Friday evening.

See 'Coronation Street'. Bed 10.30. This cold ought to have cleared by tomorrow.

--==--

Sunday August 5, 1973

7th after Trinity. Awake feeling rather ill. Last nights chase around Horsforth in torrential rain cannot have helped the situation. By lunchtime I realise I am not going to get through next week without bearing the burden of a terrible illness. By 6.0 I cannot stop sneezing.

Sit through a Peter Sellers film which is very funny, but by 10.30 I am in a shocking state. Go to bed with a rum coffee, hot water bottle and two phensic tablets. Sleep soundly.

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Saturday August 4, 1973

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother is 73. It is such a shame that she outlived her husband for such a long time. Not that I would have wanted her to pre-decease him. But, it must be much more enjoyable for couples to die together. Poor Bertie, forever fixed at 57, waiting up in Heaven for Queen Elizabeth to join him. But without her, Gt Britain would be an unhappier place.

John and I go to the Emmotts at 7.30 but only dear Sue Crosby is to be seen. At 9 we decide to go to Horsforth to see Sue Bottomley and enquire whether June will ever be coming back to Britain.

Poor Sue answers the door standing in the dark, wearing only her night clothes. She says June will be back late on Sunday, or early on Monday.

Oh to think that next week we will be back to sanity at last! Make full speed for Sue Crosby's. A terrible evening and John and I get soaked - we decide to abandon Sue and come home. Arrive home very wet at 11.30.

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Wednesday August 1, 1973

Get up at 6.55. Chid stands smiling whilst I grope across the room towards the door. Waking John up, I grab my bag, bid farewell to the assembled guests and chase to the Old Ball where a 55 bus arrives seconds later. Arrive at the paint store at 7.25. Andy arrives at 7.50 - very late.

We do nothing until Bill Dixon arrives at 9. Spend the remainder of the day doing spouts at the store. The weather is very fine, but far too hot for working in. Roll on rain.

Hear on the 3.30 news that Princess Anne is to have only the one bridesmaid, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones. Prince Edward will be the only other attendant. The Royal couple leave for Barbados on Nov 15 and return to Britain on Dec 16, after doing the Caribbean on Britannia.

See 'Coronation Street' and retire to bed after viewing tv all evening.

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Tuesday July 31, 1973

Arrive at work at 7.20. Don't get into the store until 7.40. Andy arrives late. Spend the day 'spouting' again.

Go to Sue Crosby's party in the evening after meeting all the 6th form in the Emmotts. Dave arrives. Denise is drunk and infatuated with poor John - they go out for a walk. Sue C, the sweet darling, retires to bed at 1 whilst a merry throng, including MM and I, sit with wine and cigs until 3. I slept in a rocking chair from 3 till 6.55. Chid is such a funny guy. Cheryl (one of Christine's contemporaries) made a terrible racket. Generally a very enjoyable, amusing party with the usual clique of guests who turn any mundane party into a swinging orgy of fun, frolics and eroticisms. I do wish June was home in Great Britain. What a good time we would have had.

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Monday July 30, 1973

Start working for Aireborough Council again. My life as a council painter begins once more.

Get up at 6.30 and arrive at the paint store at 7.0. Oh Heavens, yes. I have got the times wrong again, and I arrive half an hour too early. The storekeeper is not amused. Andy Dale, an old pal from last year, arrives at 7.40. Begin inspecting the roof of the stores in preparation for painting. Generally, not a hectic day. I leave at 4. Everyone else does overtime and go home at 5.

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Saturday July 28, 1973

Arrive back in England. Home. Bed at 1am. Back in England's green and pleasant land.

It was a very rough, unpleasant crossing from Belgium. Everyone sick - except me. I quite enjoyed it.

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Saturday July 14, 1973

Awake at about 5.30. A fantastically comfortable night. By 6.30 we are in the centre of London. Denny wanted to see Buckingham Palace but the coach avoided the Mall by about 100 yards. Pull into Victoria Coach Station shortly afterwards.

We go into a terrible cafe called The Chuck Wagon. Denny felt sick with the smell of it. John, who felt sick before going in, came out greatly improved. We carried the luggage up the road to Victoria Railway Station. Denny has never been on a train before in her whole life!

On board the train we meet the Cosmos crowd for the first time. We board the 'Princess Elizabeth' just after 9 o'clock. Sail for France at 9.45. A beautiful, calm crossing. See Ostende on the horizon at about 1 o'clock. Unbearably hot weather already. We are all very excited. Sit with Denny as we dock. By 3 we have been introduced to the Cosmos courier, Mary Ann, and we board the sleek coach and we are on our way across Europe...Belgium, Germany, Austria....


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Friday July 13, 1973

Probably my very last day at Benton Park. Quite a crowd turns up. Dave and I promise to meet Christine, Philip and MM in the Fleece at 7.30 on August 31.

The weather is really terrible, and after bidding farewell to the old school I walk to the bus stop in horrid rain. Home by 5.

On arriving home I find everyone in an excited panic. Mum and Dad have packed all up. Lynn and Sue can hardly breathe with the excitement of it all. By 8 we are waiting to go. Denny arrives at 8.30 with her parents, who go at 9.45. Denny settles down immediately with the girls. Dave arrives by 10 with his Papa. Major Smith and Mrs Smith come round shortly afterwards and pile all our luggage in the cars. Michael Smith takes Mum and Dad in his car. Leave for Leeds at 10.30. A really torrential rainstorm follows. Mrs Smith, who takes John, Dave and I, cannot see the road in front of us. Arrive Leeds at 10.50. Maj. Smith and the girls in the Rover get lost, but they find us after 5 minutes. The coach leaves at 11 and after a terrible incident in Barnsley with hooligans around the bus, I settle down to sleep.

--==--

Thursday July 12, 1973

June comes to school at 3.30. At 4 we walk down to the bus stop at Greenacre Hall. She goes at 4.20. Feeling very strange I walk back to the 6th form where Christine and Michael Stott are larking around. Go home on the 5 o'clock bus.

Christine and I are the last people out of the block, leaving Mary to her devices.

Sad, quiet evening.

--==--

Wednesday July 11, 1973

Write June a farewell letter and take it up to the Emmotts with me. Our last meeting until the second week in August. John sits with Susan Bottomley inside the pub until 10.30, whilst at 10 June and I go for a short walk. We make our sad farewells - only temporary ones of course.

After all the sad speeches we decide to meet at 3.30 tomorrow afternoon. Rather relieved that we have another day of sanity.

--==--

Tuesday July 10, 1973

Denny is 17 years old today. I must ring her before Friday. Go to school in the afternoon - no one is around - nip down to Rawdon Library then go home. Don't see June today - too dreadful.

Watch television all evening. Collect a few economics books together and go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Oh what a completely uneventful and miserable day it was.

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Monday July 9, 1973

My last full week at Benton Park Grammar School. After two long years of laughs, tears, bliss, poignant momemts, hillarious moments, happy moments, boring moments, grande moments, memorable moments, odious moments, opaque moments, obscene moments, frightening moments, terrifying moments, and non-existant moments. Oh, it is all to end this week.

If I had gone to Prince Henry's Grammar School instead of BP, look what would have happened:

a) I would have had a decent education

b) My fluency in the English language would have come about (see what I mean)

c) June (Blissful) Bottomley would have never entered my life

d) ....er I can't think of a d



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Sunday July 8, 1973

My Dearest Heart is 17 years old today. Feeling really terrible that I haven't yet given her a birthday present.

A pleasant, brilliantly sunny day. Walk down the lane at 7.15 with John to collect June from her sister's. June in red trousers and red blouse. Sue B is attired equally attractively. June decides we are going to the Emmotts.

A pleasant evening until nearly midnight. Eat fish and chips twice. June actually eats something too. Keith 'Chinny' Harrison comes into the chip shop and has the cheek to call john a 'ugly bugger' - he's obviously too jealous to hold a sane conversation with us. June and I are not going out again until next Wednesday and after that it will be a four week gap until August. Arrgghh, etc etc.

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