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20090602

Wednesday February 6, 1974

Queen Anne born, 1665. Death of Charles II, 1685. Death of George VI, 1952.

Although no snow fell overnight, last night's quota is still very evident. The whole lane looks like a picture from a traditional Christmas card. Leave for work at 8. Slide down the lane, up to my ankles in crisp snow.

Speculation about a possible General Election is the main topic of both YP and EP today. I don't know what to think. One thing's for sure, the so-called national strike will be halted if the marxist TUC leaders think that 'Darling Harold' (Wilson) will win the election. All my sympathy goes to Mr Heath. After all, he did his best. It would certainly be a joyous day to have the old boy once again at the helm, as it were, but the possibilities do seem remote. After all, no matter how good a government has been they are seldom returned for a second time. We'll have to wait and see what happens.

Lynn is currently shut away in her room with a chill or something. She looks terribly pale. However, in general, the health of the family is quite remarkable. I am the only one who has ever really missed a lot of time from school - but that was many years ago. John is certainly the healthy one of the clan. To be honest, I cannot remember a day when he's missed time from school, and in 2 years the boy's never missed one day of work.

Sit in bed browsing through old Agatha Christie novels which are still good the second time around.

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Tuesday February 5, 1974

Winter is here at last. Exceedingly cold day and very few dare venture out of the YP into the Leeds streets this lunchtime. From about 7 this evening it proceeded to snow until after 9. All the lane was covered in at least 3 inches.

Mum and Dad bought a new washing machine today - fully automatic. She keeps repeating that it's the first new washer she's had since married. Unbelieveable really.

After tea I write to CB using an official YP envelope - it's not really stealing - just one of the perks of the job. It's been a very quiet period for letters recently and I will have to remedy the lack of mail by creating my own stimuluses. If I write to everyone I know, someone, somewhere MUST answer.

I inform Dad the flag outside his office must be hoist for all to see tomorrow. The 6th being the 22nd anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne - a 'Union Jack' day not widely observed. It must be a dreadful day for the poor Queen, who cannot have wanted the burden of the crown so unexpectedly, or early. The Royal Family generally do nothing on February 6, and by all accounts the Queen Mother locks herself away in a room at Royal Lodge, Windsor.

The coal miners have cut off all negotiations with Mr Heath, and the whole nation seems to be in a state of collapse. MPs are now staying that Parliament will be dissolved within a few days, and that a general election will be held on February 28 or March 7. Poor Mr Heath is hanging on by his teeth to his dwindling sanity and support.

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Monday February 4, 1974

Climb out of bed at 7.30. Hear on the news that 11 people were killed by a bomb in Leeds early this morning. The dead were travelling on a coach from Manchester to Catterick. The victims are obviously army personnel and families.

Spend the afternoon tracing the address of a Leeds woman who collects everything she can lay her hands on about the Queen - eventually make a discovery. Quite an interesting read in the meantime reading through old royal headlines. The announcement of Her Majesty's birth took approximately eight lines of an inside page of the YP when she came into the world in 1926 - they cannot have known then that the baby would one day be the mother of Princess Anne!

The Court Circular in The Times refers to to the Queen's daughter as "The Princess Anne, Mrs Mark Phillips" - a romantic, but hideous notion.

On my arrival home I see that I have had no luck with my exams again - failure. Don't particularly worry about not attaining immortal fame as a historian. If being good at history turns you into an AJP Taylor I'd rather not bother! MM rings at 6.30. Chris passed! (According to Christine B anyway). He ring me (Chris) from London and I tell him that he's passed. He is very sceptical about it all. He cannot really trust messages from MM and Christine.

See 'Colditz' in the evening. Bed at 11. Having having a shower first. PS - the miners voted 81 per cent in favour of a strike. The TUC leaders met Mr Heath and Mr Whitelaw at 10, Downing Street this evening. The Government can't make the miners change their minds, and poor little Willie Whitelaw couldn't even appease his grandmother.

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