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Tuesday March 26, 1974

A horrid day. The so-called Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced his first budget this afternoon and everyone is quite livid about it. Electricity is going up by 30 per cent and my train fares will cost me an extra £5.20 per annum. But, he didn't clobber the pensioners, which is a worthy thing I suppose.

At lunchtime I trapped my finger in one of the filing cabinets and my finger nail went black within seconds. This incident rendered me useless for the remainder of the day.


Monday March 25, 1974

The Minority Labour Government presents its first Budget tomorrow. No doubt it will be an absolute stinker. Healey may be a Yorkshireman but he won't be doing anything for his fellow county-dwellers. I'm dreading the possible tax increase. Mother thinks he's a delightful little man - all fat and jolly, etc. How can any sane woman fall for the charms of this latter day Stalin? poor Mummy, one fears for her sense of reason...

Sunday March 24, 1974

4th in Lent. Not today, thank you!

Saturday March 23, 1974

Up at 7.15. Not at all tired, though I would not have objected to staying in bed. Work at 9. Leave with Sarah at 12 and think to myself that I could quite grow attached to Sarah if she would only climb down from her very high horse.

Lynn and Sue went on a shopping spree to gather in the Mother's Day offerings and came home with a record, Bryan Ferry's LP. Quite fantastic.


Friday March 22, 1974

Quite a busy day but uneventful. To the Emmotts at 8. Chris, Andy, John, Keith, Paul, Laura with Martin (one of her latest conquests). At about 9 we all go to the Hare and Hounds at Menston and then Andy takes John, Chris and I in his VW to Wikis, where John becomes a fully paid up member. A good time is had by all and we go home at 2 or thereabouts.

Receive a letter from David in Worcester. I tell him, when I reply, that something will be going on at Pine Tops on April 5, my 19th birthday. And by odd coincidence I saw Sandra Lawson in Wikis, with someone other than her husband, and we exchange the usual niceities. John was unusually abrupt this evening and behaved quite hatefully towards the end. We had a good go at each other when we arrived home. Bed 3 -ish.


Thursday March 21, 1974

Papers are all full of Princess Anne and Capt Phillips. I think that the whole response is overdone. We all know, or at least should do, that the Royal Family are in constant danger from extremists, maniacs, etc. The BBC say that security will have to be revised but anyone who knows anything about the Royal Family knows that the Queen will never concede to armoured vehicles or masses of armed bodyguards - I am quite sure of this. A man, if that is what you can call the monster, appeared in court this morning charged with the attempted murder of Inspector Beaton, the princesses detective. Crowds of people flocked to Bow Street to catch a glimpse of the fiend. Poor, shaken Anne and Mark are now at Oak Grove near Sandhurst. It is reported that the Queen and the duke were "horrified", but Sir Martin Charteris says her Majesty took the news with great calm, "like a queen."


Wednesday March 20, 1974

As assassination attempt was made on the life of Princess Anne and Capt Phillips this evening. We are all horrified. The incident occurred in the Mall at about 8 o'clock, and four people are in hospital suffering from gunshot wounds. The princesses detective and chauffeur and two by-standers are the wounded. The lives of the royal couple have been remarkably saved. The weapon used destroyed all the windows in the Rolls and the poor princess is now at Buckingham Palace. I'll wager any amount of money that this foul deed is the work of the bloody IRA.

Later: Further developments show that the atrocity was in fact a kidnap attempt, and a letter stating this was received by Her Majesty, but I do suppose that the poor Queen receives thousands of these absurd notes every day.

My half-day. At 12.30 I went to the Commercial with Mum and Dad, where we have pie and peas and several pints of beer, which is quite overpowering at lunchtime. The weather is beautiful and Dad and I spend an hour in the garden. Harry Monkman is furious when Dad cuts the lawn. "Do you realise that you are the first person on the lane to cut your lawns this year?"


Tuesday March 19, 1974

Lovely Spring day - all sunshine and cool breezes. The EP certainly has a shock in store for us all this evening. The front page is splattered with silly rumours of a possible divorce between Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon. Utter poppycock! We are all aware that the princess and Tony lead separate existences, but divorce is out of the question. The sister of the Queen of England would be unable to divorce and remain in line to the Crown - and the annuity would be out straight away. Let's face it - Tony is a Casanova and always will be - his current mistress is the notorious Lady Harlech, and his infatuation with Lady Jackie Rufus-Isaacs is a known thing. Evidently, the princess is still in the far flung reaches of the West Indies where she winters on herv own little island with the middle-aged heir of Lord Glenconner.

Driving lesson at 6.30 - quite good. Lynn and I go to the CW at 7.30 - I sit with Sue watching tv and chatting about old times until 10. The baby is fabulous - not at all like either parents. He was just how I imagined he would be. Tucked up in his own room surrounded by millions of cuddly elephantsand Teddy bears - completely spoilt. Home at 10.30.


Monday March 18, 1974

Nothing to report today.

Sunday March 17, 1974

3rd in Lent. St Patrick's Day. Out of bed at 12.30 - which is really 11.30 because we altered the clocks at 2am. Truly pathetic. Why should we always be messing about with the precious time I don't know. It seems so wasteful. I've been robbed of an hour.

Nothing much happens today - only the horrid political situation. Mr Heath and Uncle Jeremy all planning to destroy old Wilson tomorrow, and the tv people are getting excited about the possibilities of a constitutional 'nasty'. All the news bulletins are saying the same thing. What will the Queen do with Mr Wilson? Will she send for all the party leaders and let them fight it out at the palace? Quite tiresome really. Anyway, Her Majesty is far away from Buckingham Palace at this moment in time. Indonesia actually. No doubt she'll have to fly back from the clammy temperatures of wherever she is to pat little Harold on the head and say: 'Now then, what's all this then?'

Billy Don't be a Hero by Paper Lace.


Saturday March 16, 1974

Grandfather John Wilson born 1890. Very quiet Saturday really. Awake at 9.30 when I should have been at work at 9 o'clock. Give the YP a ring and Anne laughs at my plight. Arrive in Leeds at 10 o'clock and do all my work by 12. Home exhausted at nearly 1. Do absolutely nothing until evening.

Up to the Emmotts at 8. Peter Mather and Chris, not forgetting Andy - and not one female. Haven't seen Christine W for weeks. Peter is in high spirits and poor Chris is the the butt of his sharp, sarcastic humour. We all go on to the Malt Shovel at Menston where it is unbearably hot and smoky - we all leave after only a few beers and Andy makes up his mind he wants fish and chips from Harry Ramsden's - we all go. I loathe the ruddy place and prepare to make a quick exit, but John had to have his fun unscrewing the salt shaker - so that poor, innocdent Chris ended up with a ton of salt on his scrappy chips - terrible they were as well - 22p. We all deide to call it any early night and Pete drops me and J at home.


Friday March 15, 1974

My half-day again. At 12 I leave Leeds for Rawdon where I intend to entertain Christine, who celebrates her 18th birthday tomorrow. I sat on the upper deck of the 33 laughing to myself at the thought of Christine's face when she sees the hideous present I've got for her. But still, not many people receive whales for 18th birthday presents. Arrive at BP at 12.30. Give Christine her whale at 12.45 - she quite likes it - much to everyones amusement. How I managed to last out in that horrid place I will never know. Left at 1.30 just in time to get the 55 bus. Home in 30 minutes.


Thursday March 14, 1974


Wednesday March 13, 1974


Tuesday March 12, 1974

The Queen opened Parliament today in a most unusual way. No robes, crowns or regalia of any sort. Not even the coach and horses. It's the first time since the war that the opening has taken place without pomp. Her Majesty wore the same outfit which she bedecked herself in at the Royal Wedding in November. Crowds on the Mall. No doubt Mr Wilson wanted a very quiet affair - most odd to say the least. Anyway, the infernal government were unable to do everything they promised in the manifesto___.All that nationalistation is out as well - phew!

We almost have no private companies left, and we all know how state owned companies manage, don't we? Precisely, they don't manage at all.


Monday March 11, 1974

I apologise for the erratic flow and the gaps in my entries but I don't feel like writing anything.

Sunday March 10, 1974

2nd in Lent. Edward VII married Alexandra, 1863. Prince Edward born 1964. Wake up at 8.20 on the sofa in the dining quarters of a strange house. The mother of my host thrusts a weak, milky coffee onto my lap and laughs at my apparent lack of awareness of time, place, month or year. Vic piles me into a car and at 8.45 and I am standing in the bleak bus station at Ilkley. One of Andy's pals joins me on a 63 and I stagger home to be in time for breakfast. Mum thinks I am mad and Dad simply laughs at my obvious vitality.

'Jealous Mind' Alvin Stardust.


Saturday March 9, 1974

A wild party this evening in Burley-in-Wharfedale. One of Andy's acquaintances, Vic, celebrated a birthday or something, and I stayed all night. John, Chris, Andy and Pete went to the Cow and Calf and then went home. I was intolerably drunk, the first time since Christmas, and made many friends, all trying to find a cure for my hiccoughs which ruined the evening (if that is what you can call 3am). The last thing I can remember was collapsing onto a sofa at about 3.30. Vic's mother is a nurse, with a great sense of humour, and when I regained consciousness at 8.20am on March 10 I imagined for a fleeting moment that I was in hospital due to the fact that the dear was still in her uniform, with black tights as well!


Friday March 8, 1974

Death of William III, 1702. Birth of Mabel Wilson, 1919.

Go sod orf, matey!


Thursday March 7, 1974


1. The Right Honourable James Harold Wilson, MP.

2. Max Bygraves.

3. Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Kent.

4. All Labour MPs.


Wednesday March 6, 1974

Lynn's birthday. John gave her £2, and so did I. Susan made a contribution, but obviously she couldn't give as much as we did. No large family celebration will take place, and instead she's taking a party out to dinner this evening. Martyn, Alison, Christine Dibb, Peter and Susan all to the CW. No doubt they'll all get merry - if Toffer has anything to do with it.

I go to bed unusually early, and when Lynn comes in after 12 she reeks of pernod - but is not intoxicated. Grief, I cannot understand why she enjoys birthdays so much - personally I cannot pretend to become over enthusiastic with my annual anniversary, but I suppose the female angle on birthdays makes them more enjoyable.


Tuesday March 5, 1974

Diaries are such silly things really. A diary is the place where a diarist can release all his inhibitions, torrents of criticisms and fears. Strangely enough, my diary is neither interesting or amusing. I don't pull people to pieces or secretly idolise some poor acquaintance...


Monday March 4, 1974

A very historic day today. Take breakfast at 7.30, and the radio is disapointing again, giving nothing away on the present Constitutional crisis. All they can say is that Jeremy Thorpe holds the balance of power and the result of the Liberal/Tory negotiations will be announced today. Nothing is announced in any editions of the EP, but at 6.30 the result is announced on 'Nationwide'. Poor Mr Heath, having failed to unite with the Liberals, handed his resignation to the Queen. The scene outside No, 10 was stunning. Thousands of people shouting. Women weeping. Photographers waiting for the kill like half-starved vultures. Poor Mr Heath had to face them all at 6.30. At about 8 it was announced that Her Majesty had asked Mr Wilson to form a Labour government, which he accepted. So, within the space of 90 minutes Mr Heath was gone, and Harold and Mary were braving the Press and photographers on the steps of No 10. However, I must stress the point that the Labour Government is not like the one which took office in '64 - with the slightest opposition they can be defeated in the Commons and yet another General Election will be thrust upon our poor countrymen.

Dad sits smugly in his chair saying he knew all along that Harold would get back into office. Poor Ted is no doubt quite doomed to extinction now. I cannot really see him being returned to No, 10 ever again - poor old slob - he must feel a bit. I stagger to bed sobbing my heart out (not) - a Labour Government - ugh!


Sunday March 3, 1974

1st in Lent. Out of bed at 10.30. Lynn says Denny rang last night - completely forgot about her - no doubt she'll kill me when we next come into contact.

Still deadlock at No 10, Downing Street. Jeremy Thorpe won't say what he's agreed to do with the Prime Minister, though the BBC say the Liberals won't ally themselves with the Tory party. Well, all we can do is wait and see. I know that I am a Tory, but I don't think Mr Heath should carry on any longer as PM. The Conservative party as a whole should realise that they have been defeated and do what any honourable government should do under the circumstances.

Alvin Stardust 'Jealous Mind'.


Saturday March 2, 1974

John wakes me at 7.45 - I nearly overslept. Run like hell into Guiseley for my train. Walk from the station to the YP, arriving at 8.55. Busy morning. I type both YP and EP sheets - not bad going really. The papers are full of Edward Heath. The poor man is determined not to resign, and he visited the Queen at Buckingham Palace tonight, presumably to inform her of his intentions. The Prime Minister is of course well within his rights to remain in office, because he can do so until he is defeated in the Commons. This will undoubtedly come next week.. Uncle Ted is hanging on by the skin of his teeth as it were.


Friday March 1, 1974

St David's Day. Climb into bed after 4am cursing the fact that Wilson will probably be Prime Minister before night is with us once again. Awake at 7am feeling quite awake and unaffected by the late night. The BBC announce that deadlock exists with the result of the election. It seems as though neither party is capable of achieving the necessary 318 seats in order to obtain a working majority in the Commons. Jeremy Thorpe suddenly becomes important because he holds the balance of power between the two major parties. The poor Queen rushed home from Australasia with Princess Anne and Capt Phillips in order to let the nasty Mr Wilson kiss her hands. However, it isn't as simple as that, and by midnight no call from the palace has been made to either of the party leaders. Nothing like this has occurred since 1929 or something. I should know when, but the actual date slips my mind for the moment.


Thursday February 28, 1974

Polling day throughout Britain today. I cast my vote at about 8.15 tonight, and believe it or not, I didn't really know who to plum for. However, the Conservatives receive my cross, and I left Hawksworth School to find the snow pounding down. A kindly gentleman gave me a lift home, and I sat back to watch the election results on tv. Mum and Dad went round to the Smiths and I joined them at 12 when everyone else had gone to bed. John fell to sleep laughing at the thought of bloody Harold Wilson moving into No. 10. At 4am I retire, completely unaware of who had achieved victory in this election. All the tv announcers were saying that stalemate had been achieved, and that no one party is capable of forming an administration. Anyway, at this time in the morning I don't care who gets into office - no doubt it will all turn out right in the end.


Wednesday February 27, 1974

Ash Wednesday. My half-day. Saw June on the bus going to Guiseley. She was paying a lightning visit to her sister, Mrs Hobson, on Netherfield Road. We exchanged the usual niceities, and she tells me she is going to an interview at Margaret Macmillan this afternoon - we then parted and she skipped over the zebra crossing and into oblivion. I stood and watched her as she disappeared into the midday bustle of the thriving city of Guiseley. The girl who had once governed my very thoughts had nothing better to discuss than the weather conditions and just how mild it is for February. Life is an odd thing. walk home thinking to myself just how miserable I could be if I tried. After six months I still wish we were together. But I'm saying no more on the subject of females.


Tuesday February 26, 1974

(Table of my Wilson family pedigree filling two pages).

Monday February 25, 1974

(Table of my Wilson family pedigree filling two pages).

Sunday February 24, 1974

Quinquagesima. Old Chinese proverb says: remember three words which will always ensure you are never without money - 'Stick 'em up!'


Saturday February 23, 1974

Up at the unearthly hour of 7. John is also venturing out into the great occupational work force this morning - his first Saturday morning for many months.

Sarah, Janice and me, not forgetting Anne, are in the Library this morning. Nothing much of any importance occurred.

Meet Denny at 12.15 near Lewis's. Have a very nice afternoon. Go to the Wayfinder in the Merrion Centre for a few drinks - and what a revolting pub it is too. But it proves to be a good laugh. Denny buys a pair of shoes, and all I do is advise - spending absolutely nothing whatsoever. Get a 35 to Guiseley, walking over the Fieldhead playing fields and thus home. Truly a brilliant day - sunny and warm. Totally 'unwintery'. Denny stays to tea, and goes with John and self to Ilkley at 8. Meet the delectible Linda in the Rose and Crown. All the gang slowly gathers. At closing time we all sneak back to the College of Education, ravaging Linda's new flat. Denny says that it's the worst party she's ever experienced, but when Denny gets into one of her miserable moods nothing can remedy it at all. Peter brings us home after 2.


Friday February 22, 1974

Our usual Friday excursion to the Emmotts. Accompanied by Denny, who looks a little thinner since we last met. Her recent holiday to Spain leaves her looking fit and well. Andy, Christine W, Keith and Laura all join us - very late as usual, and at 9.30 they get the idea of going on to a different pub. Even Chris says he wants to move to to a nicer place. John, Denny and me refuse to go with them, and Chris departs leaving me with the news that Linda S is having a social gathering at Ilkley tomorrow - stating quite clearly that it is not a 'party'. However, we see Andy and Christine later, and they say no such event is taking place! They are the ones upon which I rely on for news about Linda. Anyway, John, Denny and I sit in the company of Martin V-B until 10.45 - consuming a concoction of vodka and dry Martini - at a tremendous risk to the stability of my financial holdings. Denny and I who had previously decided to meet in Leeds tomorrow bid our sweet farewells, then proceed to consume a quantity of fish and chips before leaving on the 11.10 55 bus. (Sorry about the poor sentence construction.)


Thursday February 21, 1974

A very enjoyable afternoon. At 12 o'clock get the 32 bus to Guiseley, arriving home for lunch at about 1. Please that the weather is mild because Mum, Dad and I intend spending the afternoon ay Yeadon Airport. Leeds receives a double Royal Visit today, Princess Margaret and Princess Richard of Gloucester are carrying out colonial activities at hospitals and theatres throughout the northern capitol. Mum says she's never seen Princess Margaret, and I say that today is a good a chance as any. We go to Otley, the three of us, and then to Yeadon. My heart fell in love with the beautiful, young Danish princess. Young Richard of Gloucester may not look much, but he certainly knew what he was doing when he married that little angel. I was surprised to see her looking so trendy - pleated skirts and large, clompy shoes etc. The driving winds at Yeadon swept across the tarmac, and Princess Richard lost her hat - sweeping it into the arms of a detective. Princess Margaret, being gthe most experienced of the two, held onto her hat while bidding farewell to the assembled dignitaries. Mum was thrilled by the whole thing. Quite a large crowd gathered to see the departure, which ended at approximately 4.35.


Wednesday February 20, 1974

The General Election..........Harold Wilson..........Edward Heath..........Jeremy Thorpe..........General Election..........Roy Jenkins..........Rising Prices..........Nationalisation..........Wilson..........Inflation..........Anthony Wedgwood Poulson..........WG Pottinger..........Edward Heath..........Rising Prices..........Cyril Smith..........Liberals..........Opinion Polls..........Even More Liberals..........the Miners..........Fuel Crisis..........Watergate..........Henry Kissinger..........John Poulson..........Edward Heath..........Ludovic Kennedy.................................................................Marilym Monro........................................................................................................................................Maudling..................................................................

Tuesday February 19, 1974

Kathleen is worrying about the holidays this year. Everyone appears to be arranging weeks off except me. When I arrive home I discuss the details with John. We decide it would be nice to go to Windsor in June, when the Trooping of the Colour takes place of course. However, I am ignorant of the actual date upon which the Queen celebrates her official birthday this year. Anyway, I soon remedy the fact by ringing the YP library where Ray tells me that the event occurs on Saturday June 15. We make up our minds to stay with Uncle John and Auntie Sheila - all being well anyway - from June 8 to June 16. I could not miss my annual London excursion for anything in the world.

At 6.30 I had my third driving lesson.Feel much more confident than I did on last Tuesday's race around Horsforth. The bloke is a great guy. I am booked through until the end of March on the same day at the same time. If I don't pass first time round I will be resigned to the fact that I am an absolute failure.

A pleasant unusually mild day. Prince Andrew is 14 today, and I am disgusted with Yorkshire Post Newspapers for not flying the Union Jack above the building, which was so at 8.45 this morning, but at 1 o'clock when I went out for lunch, I was pleased to see the flag hoist above the bright, carefree skies of Leeds. It all goes to show that nationalism and patriotism is not yet dead in this decaying country of ours. Even the girls knew what flag flying day it was without being informed - the YP girls I mean - not my own dearest sisters.

See tv in the evening, and have a bath. The General Election is still the main topic. I am sick of hearing Harold Wilson insulting Lord Hailsham, and vice versa. Utterly sick of politics.


Monday February 18, 1974

This is going to be a blank page, so I see not much point in you hanging on at your end any longer. However, I realise that many of you depend on my daily entries, so I won't let you down entirely, being a soft hearted old thing that I am. Anyway, you've had your fun for one day and I'll try to be more productive tomorrow but until then, it's goodbye from me...


Sunday February 17, 1974

Sexagesima. Wake up at 11.30. See a good play -"The Importance of Being Earnest" on the BBC which was, strangely enough, just as good as the 1940s film version. Never did I imagine that Lady Bracknell could be portrayed by anyone other than Edith Evans - but she was.