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Sunday October 28, 1973

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

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

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Saturday October 27, 1973


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

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Friday October 26, 1973


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

Letter from Christine Braithwaite {postmark October 26, 1973)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bye for now

All my Love

Christine xx

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

-=-





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Thursday October 25, 1973

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

Get it?

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Wednesday October 24, 1973

United Nation's Day. Likewise...

Tuesday October 23, 1973

Sorry folks - no comment today.

Monday October 22, 1973

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

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

The other troops:

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday October 21, 1973

18th after Trinity. Awoke at 11 when my camp bed collapsed. My throat is too dry to describe. Take no breakfast.

Mr & Mrs Ratcliffe go to Leeds leaving Chris, his little brother, and myself with a full tea-pot and plenty of unwanted toast and the Jimmy Savile Show.

Darling Denny rings and asks us to pay her a visit this afternoon - we both agree. Ring Mum at 12 who is disappointed that I won't be home for lunch. I do suppose that John will be home for the communal meal.

Mr Ratcliffe takes Chris and I to Denny's at 1pm. We sit about listening to 'Pink Floyd' (Ugh) until nearly 5 o'clock. Get a lift home from one of Denny's gentleman friends at 5-ish. Mum is slightly disgruntled.

Auntie Hilda and family arrive for tea. Pleasant evening. Not particularly nervous about tomorrow's step forward in the history of British civilization - yes, me starting work with Yorkshire Post Newspapers Ltd.

P.S. A certain young lady was christened 23 years ago today. Yes, our very own Princess Anne.

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Saturday October 20, 1973

Awakened at 6am by Mrs Ratcliffe. A very cold morning - typical autumn. Waiting outside the Fleece at 6.45, after breakfast of bacon and mushrooms, and it's dark until 7.05. MM is given a lift to the Fleece at 7.10 by his father. The coach arrives not long after. As usual, the seats are far too close together and my knees and neck have to suffer a gruelling 4 hours agony.

Feel very nostalgic when the coach stops in Leicester - it was here where June and I stopped on our way to see the 'Trooping of the Colour' in June.

Arrived London at about 12.30. MM rushes off to Earls Court where he promised to meet Dave at 12. Of course, David didn't turn up, and MM wandered around the Motor Show until 4.30 when he bumped into Philip Cartwright loitering near the Range Rovers.

Andy, John, Chris, Bruno, and myself go to the Tiger Bar on Tower Hill for a so-called lunch which lasts until 2.0. Beer and ham butties - super. By 2.30 we are at the Motor Show after a tiring journey on the underground, where I was accosted by an undesirable gentleman. The puff got off at Kensington, which was of great relief to me.

Spend three hours viewing the new motors. The Rolls were adorable - especially the Rolls Royce Corniche convertable. At 5 we all rushed to Piccadilly - absolutely starved to death. Bruno is on the verge of collapse. By 6 we are settled in a good restaurant - but the service was terrible. The lights of Piccadilly are fantastic - I've never seen London on a night before. Well, I have, so to speak, but that was in 1968, and I don't remember much.

At 8 we are back in the Tiger Bar. To my knowledge I drank five Pernods, four Cinzanos, 1 whisky and a pint - you won't believe it, but I wasn't even drunk. Chris wasn't feeling too well and he was also quite sober. Everyone else was quite gone.

Saw a beautiful tart, almost naked, dancing to "Ooh That Lady" by the Isley Brothers. She was in a cage suspended in the air.

The singing on the coach was amusing but disgusting - all the other passengers were sober and our party was something of an embarrassment. Photographed at Leicester. Meanwhile, Philip C was sick on the coach - but it was the very pleasant smell of pure Pernod!

Back in Horsforth for 4am. Deep, deep sleep.

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Friday October 19, 1973

The girl of the week is undoubtedly the delightful Laura. My heart goes out to the darling creature tonight, wherever she may be. And if I know Laura, she could certainly be in some places!

But first, a note of tragedy. The two month liaison of Mr Christopher H. Ratcliffe and Miss Marita Fountain is over. The couple, who met at a party in August, separated after nasty scenes in a high-class bar last Sunday. It's the worst thing to happen since Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor separated last July.

My last day at BP. Totally unmoved.

John and I go to the Emmotts where we are joined by the gang. See Dear Denny, who enjoyed herself tremendously on a four-day official visit to Barcelona. She was with the German boyfriend. Sit with Ivy for half an hour, and then with darling Laura, who is hilariously drunk by 10. She joins Bruno, Chris, Andy and myself for a series of dirty jokes - she comes out with several pearls of her own.

The laugh of the month came when Laura tells us that she has a 19 year-old pet rabbit who lives in the garden and drinks warm whisky on his daily helping of porridge! I die with laughter. Within minutes Marita confirms this tale, adding that the pet is also in the 'Guinness Book of Records'.

Alas, poor Laura, in her drunken state, accepts a lift from two strange men, and we don't see her again.

Marita was unmoved at the fact that Chris had finished with her. Indeed, she gave Chris, myself and Chris Ashton at lift to Andy's house. We leave at 11.10 and I stay the night at Chris's. Listen to Tamla, in bed, on headphones.

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Thursday October 18, 1973

Nearly my last day at Benton Park. Feel very nervous because I have to tell old Ayling that I am leaving him. All the girls in the Economics class are gleeful about my discomfort! Poor Helen Taylor begins crying when she learns that I am leaving. It wouldn't be so bad but for the fact that I don't like her. I'd have her under my thumb if I fancied her in any way - BUT I DON'T! NO! SHE'S NOT MY BLOODY TYPE. JUST MY BLOODY LUCK!

All the girls I have ever fancied do not fancy me, and vice versa. Even dear June hated me. And what did I ever do to make her hate me? Bugger all! I was a bloody saint with that girl....

See 'Top of the Pops' on tv. That programme is sure going down hill! Poor Tony Blackburn is cracking up. I'll give him till Christmas before his mind finally goes - poor soul. He was so good when he was on Radio 1, way back in the days of the good old Detroit Spinning Emeralds. Poor bugger - he so much wanted his CBE.

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Wednesday October 17, 1973

It does seem odd knowing that ones future is secured at last. I am eighteen and a half and it's only now that I know what lies ahead of me. Blimey, John had his future career all tied up at 15. Anyway, it's been worthwhile. After all, just look what wonderful things I've achieved since going on to further education in September, 1971. I've added two 'O' levels to my already magnificent collection of certificates; I met June; I gathered a vast number of new friends too numerous to mention. Blimey, I've done everything! The experience must be worth a million. Yes Siree! I would never change anything for the world.

Today I told Groves of my intentions. He was of the opinion that I should leave school, just in case I make a complete mess of the 'A' level. He gives me his blessing, adding something to the effect that 'the old place won't be the same without you!' Silly bugger! Of course it won't! How can Benton Park be the same without Michael L. Rhodes?

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