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20090520

Tuesday January 22, 1974

Poor Queen Victoria suffered one of the inevitable incidents which eventually comes to each and every one of us, namely death seventy three years ago today. The saintly old lady was in my thoughts throughout the day. Of all the people in history who fascinate me, Queen Victoria probably leads them all. What an adorable character she must have been.

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Monday January 21, 1974

Miss Went is a very tiresome person. I'll be glad when she's gone. At lunchtime she bought the presents with the £50 we had raised. A silver tray and a watch.

My lunch is spent in the reference library. I am disillusioned to discover that the Right Hon William Lawies Jackson was later 1st Baron Allerton, of Chapel Allerton in the county of York. No one from the Wilson family could possibly have married a peer of the Realm. However, my genealogical studies into the roots of the Jackson family are far from over.

Come home at 6.30 expecting a peaceful evening, but these dreams are shattered when Andy phones. By 8.30 John, Andy and myself are in the Rose and Crown at Ilkley with Linda and a multitude of college bods. The place is a bit of a tip, with a large reproduction map of 17th century Middlesex in pride of place on the central wall. The wallpaper is made up of completely senseless colours simply hanging in place surrounded by the minimum of furnishings.

Philip C and Ray (Bond) come in at 9. At 10.30 a few of us walk to the college, breathing in the sweet moorland air. Ilkley is such a wonderful place. The college is what I expected it to be. Totally institutionalised - like a hospital - lacking in any signs of homely comfort. Thousands pile into Linda and Mary's room. We drink hot, insipid coffee until 12. Philip brings us home - and I'd rarther not comment on the journey. Bed 12.30.

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Sunday January 20, 1974

2nd after Epiphany. Death of George V in 1936. My theory about toilet paper rationing was used by Giles in his Daily Express cartoon this morning. He pictured thousands of football fans queuing for sheets of toilet paper to throw at the match. Whatever became of petrol rationing anyway? They soon quietened down about that didn't they? The poor, deranged MP was said we should all clean our teeth in the dark apologised - it seems he tried it on several occasions, and emerged with his hair spattered in Macleans, or something equally nausaeating. Old Lord Carrington suggests that if we're good we may be put on a four-day week very shortly! Isn't it nice of him? But in general, this week's been another step down the path to destruction. Pity really.

Wake up at 2.45 in the afternoon! Have a nice lunch and see a very funny film about marriage. Completely domestic evening. See Monty Python's Flying Circus. Died laughing.

The poor Duke of Windsor became King Edward VIII thirty eight years ago today. The massive burst of 'Windsor mania' which erupted at the time of his death in May '72 is now quite stagnant again. No one gives a damn about the duchess, who winters in Cap d'Antibes. The poor old thing will be 78 in the summer.

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Saturday January 19, 1974

Dad wakes me at 6.30. Feel absolutely gone to the world. Deaths door seems very near. Have a shower and listen to a dreadful BBC2 programme. Wake Sue at 7.45 and go for my train at 8.

Work is absolutely fabulous. Whilst discussing old people I recall something old Auntie Mary (born 1878) told me about being related to somebody called Jackson who was Lord Mayor of Leeds. On researching this I discover that a William Jackson was Lord Mayor in 1895-6. Knowing Auntie Mary is a reliable source I am enraptured. Jackson went on to become a Member of Parliament. I am the great-great-nephew of a Conservative MP! If I mention this publicly I'll probably be lynched, what with the Three Day Week and the toilet paper shortage.

Frank and Marlene and the kids come for tea.Mark brought his Formula One racing cars. Frank makes Dad mad by referring to him as 'Uncle Lawrie'. He's only a decade younger than Dad.

At 8 John and I go to the Hare and Hounds. Denny and I have a laugh about pretending to be engaged. All the mob gathers in honour of the 19th birthday of Linda which takes place on Monday. At 10.30 I go in Philip Cartwright's car to the Cow & Calf. Dance until 2am. The college girls are great fun and we joke about cottage cheese manufacturing! Everyone piles into different cars, and poor Christine W and myself are left in the back of Pete's van. Home at 2.30. Wait in the garage until John comes home with the door key at some later hour. Well, 20 minutes later actually.

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Friday January 18, 1974

Mixed feelings at the YP about my change in hair style. Kathleen likes it, and Miss W pretends not to notice.

All the crowd meets at the Emmotts at 8.30. Denny rings while I am at work to say she can't go because of babysitting duties. Emmotts quite fun. Ivy was acting bitchy at the end but I ignored her. Chris cannot believe his eyes when he sees my hair. He says I'm copying MM.

At 10.30 Andy invites us all back to his place for coffee. Mrs Graham is a nice old thing. She asks us whether Mum went on a camping expedition to the Dales in 1948. I say that I don't know -thinking it was a funny question to put to a tired 18 year-old youth. Mr Graham comes in at about 11 and we have a great time. Chris, Linda, Christine W, John and me. Mr Ratcliffe came to collect Chris, but settled for a double whisky instead. We all played a game whereby we pile match sticks on the top of a milk bottle. Andy's Dad won every time. He joked with us about being born in Pudsey, saying he once lived in Richardshaw Lane. But everyone knows Richardshaw Lane. He brings us home at about 1.0am. Sleep until 6.30.

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Thursday January 17, 1974

A very satisfactory day. Spend all morning busily filing and by 12.0 am completely finished. Sarah is also on half day. Raining again, but I won't bang on about the weather - thereby avoiding depression among my multitude of readers.

A poor demented MP is now saying that we are all using too much electricity for domestic purposes. We all ought to be cleaning our teeth without the bathroom light on, and sitting around in a darkened lounge staring at a blank tv screen, perhaps making models out of old, and rare, toilet rolls. Anyway, we are all frantic with the speculation that Mr Heath will have his election before February 7. The Tories are 2 points ahead of everyone in the last Gallup poll - and the Tory back-benchers are urging Uncle Ted to dissolve. Not personally of course, but Parliament that is. He'll have to go see the Queen of course.

At 12.0 I went to have my hair cut. Emerging 60 minutes later looking somewhat replenished - my hair shorter - surprise Mum and Dad with my new image. Mum and Dad go to Morrison's and I watched a good film on the BBC. Settled down in front of the tv - do not intend going out tonight. See 'Tomorrow's World' and 'Top of the Pops'.

Retired to bed early. Read a good book on the life of Sir Thomas More, a victim of King Henry VIII - not a biography though.

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Wednesday January 16, 1974

Election speculation continues. Poor Mr Heath must be quite distraught. I do expect that old Harold (Wilson) is lapping it up.

The Royal Family have cancelled all engagements until after the funeral of Lady Patricia Ramsay on Monday. It should be a nice break for them all, because they cannot have got on too well with old Pat, a bit of a recluse.

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