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Monday December 10, 1973

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

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

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


Sunday December 9, 1973

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

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


Saturday December 8, 1973

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

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


Friday December 7, 1973

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

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


Thursday December 6, 1973

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

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

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


Wednesday December 5, 1973

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

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

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

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

Tv boring all evening. Bed 11.0pm.


Tuesday December 4, 1973

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

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

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


Monday December 3, 1973

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

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


Sunday December 2, 1973

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

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


Saturday December 1, 1973

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

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

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

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

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


to be continued

Friday November 30, 1973

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday November 29, 1973

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


Wednesday November 28, 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday November 27, 1973

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

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

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

See tv. Bed at 12.0 o'clock.


Monday November 26, 1973

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

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

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


Sunday November 25, 1973

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


Saturday November 24, 1973

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

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

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

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


Friday November 23, 1973

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

A very cold day. Bed at 1am.


Thursday November 22, 1973

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

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


Wednesday November 21, 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday November 20, 1973

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


Monday November 19, 1973

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

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

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


Letter from Christine Braithwaite

Benton Park Grammar School,
Harrogate Road,

19th November, 1973

Rawdon 2330

Dear Michael

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

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

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

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

Hoping you will accept this invitation,

Yours sincerely,

Christine Braithwaite

Chairman, Sixth Form Committee


Sunday November 18, 1973

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

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

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


Saturday November 17, 1973

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

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


Friday November 16, 1973

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



Thursday November 15, 1973

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


Wednesday November 14, 1973

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

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

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

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

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



Tuesday November 13, 1973

Monday November 12, 1973