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Wednesday July 3, 1974

Wake up at 9 still not feeling really fit and Mother rings the doctor in order that something can be done to bring back my apetite. Anyway, Kathleen will need a doctors note dated today, because one is only allowed 2 days sick leave without official notification from the local witch doctor. By lunchtime we still have no word from the fool, and so we settle down to a meal and have no desire to eat it. The doctor came at about 2.15 - a nice chap, Dr Jacques, and he diagnoses food poisoning. We can't go back to work until Monday and we have to take it easy. Hell, the bedroom stinks like a mortuary or something equally obnoxious - all visitors turn up their noses on entering the room. Poor Mum keeps trying to kill the reek of vomit with a perfumed spray but this fails to achieve anything.

See more World Cup soccer on tv in the evening. Who cares whether Bulgaria or Bratislava manages to qualify for the fifth round of this stupid tournament?

Ring Chris. He didn't know Andy and Linda had been struck down. He's going out tonight. Also ring Andy, who is in the bath, but Keith speaks to me whilst Andy wallows.

See a good play starring Celia Johnson - a very good actress - and the play had a good story which ended where you expected it to end and not slap bang in the middle of one of the scenes, like so many modern plays tend to do.

Oh, aren't I a bloody awful diarist? Who the Hell wants to know the mundane circumstances of everyday life in the nasty, boring mid-1970s.


Tuesday July 2, 1974

Wake up at nearly 5am. The sun is rising over the Chevin, and the whole room is filled with a beautious glow. Don't feel well, and fall back into a deep, deep sleep. Lynn wakes John and I at 11 when Andy pays a call on us both. He looks really ill. Hear that poor Linda collapsed while speaking to her parents on the phone, and it seems she was the first to go down with it, Sunday night being the start of the plague. After the half hour visit Andy leaves with: "are you going out for a drink tonight?" I almost go hysterical. Lay drowsily listening to the radio until 5. Force down some steak, but do not enjoy it. My apetite is still unaccounted for.

Sit in the armchair till just before 10 then go to bed. Oh, I nearly forgot. Judy rang at 9 and before I could say anything she told me she'd been ill since yesterday with chronic sickness, wobbly knees, etc.'s spreading like the plague....


Monday July 1, 1974

Dominion Day, Canada. Wake at 6am with the feeling that I am about to vomit. Lay perfectly still, hand clasped over my mouth until 7. Up at 8.30 and discharge the whole of yesterdays consumption of food and drink. Sick again at 10. Try to sleep until lunch but cannot because of the acute pain. Dad rings the YP and tells them that I will not be in today. Spend a lousy afternoon laying in a semi-coma under my voluminous bedding. Get up at 6 and sit shivering in a chair until 9.30, drinking arrowroot. Andy rings and says that Linda collapsed on Sunday night and is now in the college sick-bay. Andy himself had the day off work today due to sickness, and four work-mates who were also at Saturdays party are also ill. I now realise we've all been poisoned. Either metal polish in the punch or powdered arsenic in the sandwiches, I don't know, but whatever it was, it's been bloody well effective.

List of victims:
Michael rhodes
John Rhodes
Andrew Graham
Linda Smith.


Sunday June 30, 1974

3rd after Trinity. Lovely day. Mr and Mrs Gadsby and family come at tea time - very surprising, and they seem quite normal and not at all bitchy, vile, disgusting and degrading. Arrange to go to the Emmotts at 8.30. See Lorraine, June's friend, on the bus, who says that she will be in the Emmotts with Sue Bottomley. June is there and is a picture of beauty. I sit with her until 9.30, when Judy comes - looking very attractive indeed, but she is totally eclipsed by the shining beauty of Miss June Bottomley. Never will I forget the bright yellow dress and brown necklace. Judy doesn't like my company and she brings me home at 10. Sit in the car outside Pine Tops until about 11. Chris brings John home and he tells me that when they went back to the Emmotts at 10.15, June, Lorraine and Susan promised to come to my party on July 12. No doubt June thinks she is saved from the hazzards of my passion because I am going out with someone else - Oh, how wrong she is! No one can take the place of Miss Bottomley in my heart - not even the wealthy landowning ladies of the Bradford suburbs. Supper with the Gadsbys. Bed at 12.

"She" by that French chappie.


Saturday June 29, 1974

Up at 9.30 when Dad makes me a coffee, but I don't drink it and fall back to sleep until 11.15.

Only Lynn and I are home for lunch with Mummy and Daddy - a 'bit of nice steak' which is cooked too perfectly for an iliterate editorial librarian to recount.

Go to a party in Baildon with good old Dave, who rang at 7.30, and of course Andy, Linda and Chris. Get rarther kettled with the strong punch, and Dave brings John and me home at 3am. Before the party we went to the Hare, then the Fox & Hounds. Very enjoyable evening, and it was nice seeing Dave again.


Friday June 28, 1974

Ruddy awful day. Up with the early birds and go to the YP in high spirits. Not at all nervous about the ensuing fatal driving test. Have fish and chips at the Albion Fisheries then come home to revise the 'Highway Code' in more detail. Harry picks me up at 2.30 and I have an hour-long lesson in the Horsforth area. Back to the test station which looks official and terrifying, silhouetted against the dark, thundery, stormy summer sky. The chief examiner, a Mr Halliday, gets in the car with me and the test begins at 3.30. Terrible. Half an hour of embarrassing mistakes and idiotic manoeuvering. Back to the test station at 4 in drizzle and rain. Failed. Ah well, better luck next time. Harry comes home with me for tea and everyone offers sympathy.

Ring Marita, who sent me and John 'Good Luck' cards this morning. She offers her commiserations and says that I probably failed because it is the last working day in June, and they have a certain number of people to fail, etc.

Go to the Hare and Hounds at 8. All the gang come. Meet Judy at 9.30. We stay at the Hare before moving on to Wikis, where the three of us, John, Judy and I, spend a pleasant evening. Home at 1.30 and Judy and I stand leaning against the car and discussing all manner of things. Bed at 2. Judy is certainly a lot nicer without Jackie, who can be very overpowering.


Thursday June 27, 1974

(No diary entry. But a family tree of the Royal House of Windsor in my own hand.)


Wednesday June 26, 1974

Death of George IV, 1830.

Tuesday June 25, 1974

YP all day. Nothing much happens, but I can say that Sarah is growing even more beautiful. I could quite fall for her.

Walk home with Judith Rushworth after reading in the EP that the disturbance on the train this morning was due to the fact that we killed two cows in the Green Bottom Tunnel. Not very pleasant I must say. What the Hell were cows doing roaming through tunnels in Guiseley at rush hour?

At lunchtime I went round Leeds trying to find a Royal Albert teapot to match Mum's tea service which we bought in Windsor. Schofield's had no Royal Albert of any description, and Lewis's had every kind of Royal Albert except for 'Country Roses'. That's life I do suppose.

Home at 6.15. Judy rang at 6.30, and in a roundabout sort of way she wanted to know why I hadn't phoned her last night. The darling said she'd been late due to the fact that she'd waited until 9 o'clock for me to ring her. I asked her out on Friday but she says she's staying in. My future with Miss Beevers look somewhat dim. Do nothing all night. Looking forward to having the day off tomorrow.


Monday June 24, 1974

At about 8 o'clock John and I decide to go out and we nip up to the Emmotts after having a conversation with both Chris (who isn't going out) and Jackie, who laughs the whole time that I am talking to her. Arrive at the Emmotts at 8.20. We sit with Ivy and her toothless companion until 9.20. She asks me about June again, and I say that I haven't seen her to speak to since April. John gets the drinks and we make the one pint each last the hour. We get the 33 into Guiseley and go to Orchard's chip shop, where Mrs Orchard says I am much more handsome since when we last met - quite a good complement to receive in a fish and chip shop crowded with sex-starved schoolgirls all pink and scrubbed fresh out of the swimming baths. Walk home with fish and chips. See 'Emmerdale Farm' and reads bits from lots of different books in the bookcase. Bed at 11.30.


Sunday June 23, 1974

2nd after Trinity. Cousin Jackie comes for the day, arriving for lunch at about 12.30. The driving lessons at 2 are quite satisfactory, though I cannot imagine myself as a driver next week. Poor Jackie is separated from her sailor boyfriend, Neil, who is on naval duties in Malta until mid-July. She invites us all to her 18th birthday party on August 3 and she orders us all to bring an escort of the opposite sex. No doubt Denise will accompany me. On the subject of Denise, when I rang her tonight I found very great difficulty in understanding her because of a terrible cold which distorts her voice completely. I do hope she will have recovered by Friday when she leaves for Spain. This Spain business is ridiculous. It's nauseating to think that________.

Mum and Dad take Jackie home at 10pm, and John, Lynn and I see Lord Peter Wimsey on tv. The final part of 'The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club', and it was very good. Also see 'MASH', then go to bed and read until 12.30.


Saturday June 22, 1974

Mum wakes me at 7.30. Get the train and arrive at the usual time. Work quite nice and home for luncheon at 1 o'clock. Sit with Lynn, Sue and Peter in the afternoon whilst Mama and Papa go shopping to Morrisons.

Read through all my old correspondence and find all manner of gems, including written sexual advances from Christine Braithwaite, and horrid letters from the foul Pamela Barlow, who thinks she's a reincarnation of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Invite Dave Lawson to a party we're going to have on the night the clan leave for Spain. I do suppose he'll come. Go to the Hare at 8. Denise is babysitting tonight and her absence will no doubt result in a boring night for me; but I am wrong, and thoroughly enjoy it. See George and Jane who are quite anti-social and almost ignore us. Chris comes late accompanied by Christine W, whose hair is almost solid with all the lacquer. Andy and Linda are good fun. Move on to Otley, with Chris driving, and then back to Pine Tops where Lynn is entertaining her boyfriend, Ronnie, Nigel Lister and Chris Dibb. Mum and Dad have a laugh with Andy and we play records till about 12.30. Chris gets funny about his car, and expects it to run like a Rolls-Royce, which is impossible. They are all gone by 1. We retire to bed leaving the house like a bomb has hit it.


Friday June 21, 1974

My half day. Work 9-12. Busy but not unusually hard. See in the papers that the poor desolate Lady Jane Wellesley was taken to a police station in London after failing the breathylyser test in her Lancia car. No doubt that full of remorse over losing the Prince of Wales, she went out and got herself pissed. Good bloody luck to her Ladyship, that's what I say.

Go to Bradford at 12 where I meet Denise for lunch. Go to The Queen's, a new pub near the new hotel (Norfolk Gardens?) and we have a couple of drinks. A very warm day, and it feels wonderful to get into the shade of the little, cool tavern. At about 2 I go and have my hair cut, and it certainly needed doing - Denise thinks it looks wonderful. We have a coffee together.

Later: Jackie rings for John, but nothing comes of it and I decide not to contact Judy. She isn't a very nice girl_____. Very good looking of course, but that is all.

John and I go to the Hare (and Hounds) where we are soon joined by Bruno, Andy, Christine W and Linda. Where is Carol? No mention of her is made and I suspect Bruno and she are no longer intimate. Denny comes very late, and Chris even later. To Wikis at 10.30. Home 2.30. Helen Willis ignored us all night.


Thursday June 20, 1974

Ring Denny in the evening as she wants to go out somewhere. I say the Emmotts because we don't often go these days and besides, it's very handy for Denise to travel to and fro. John comes back from tech at 8 and we leave on the 8.30 55. With Denny we sit on the wall outside, where we are joined by Marita, MM and Keith. A very enjoyable evening really, though Chris looked slightly miserable when he came at 9.30 in HIS CAR. Marita looks quite nice with her hair flashed - not flashed in a tarty way, but in a very nice sort of way. They go at 10. We go inside where, to our amazement, Judith and Jackie are inside. They behave very bitchy towards Denise, and I tell them I don't like it. They go at 10.20 and so does Denny, whose Papa comes to take her home. Have a laugh with Keith, Chris, John and Martin V-B, who is on the bar. Go across the road for fish and chips and find Judy and Jackie inside. Keith pinches the TR6 which doesn't amuse them very much, and at about 11.15 they bring John and me home. I was in the back and John and Jackie crushed together in the front. They come in and see the last half of 'Cinema' with us, and Judy spills a cup of hot, boiling coffee down the front of my shirt - not a very pleasant exsperience.


Wednesday June 19, 1974

Today marks twenty years of happy marriage for Mum and Dad. She receives a large bouquet of flowers from Dad, and I think they are both happier now than they have been in years.

Go to the Emmotts at about 8. Joined by Chris, Andy and Laura, who is much improved since she's been having regular sex again with Martin. Ring Judy and she says she'll come up. I wait until 10 and stand at the bar drinking on my own, because John and the gang had moved on. The girls, Judy and Jackie, come at 10.15 - and I feel as though I shouldn't have bothered asking them to come. Feel quite fresh, and they think that my drinking so much is shocking. Home in a TR6 after fish and chips - and bed immediately. Not with the girls, but quite alone.


Tuesday June 18, 1974

Our last day in Windsor. Get up with John and Sheila at 9, and we say goodbye. Sheila asks us to go again, and we thanked them both for the very nice time we'd had. Go to London at about 12.30 after buying a couple of records in WH Smiths in Windsor - 'Tom the Peeper' by an American group, which will always remind us of our adventures at the Safari Bar, and 'Kissin' in the Back Row of the Movies' by the Drifters. Sit in the shoddy cafe at Victoria Coach Station until the coach leaves for London at 3. I hate coach journeys, especially when they are on the long, boring motorways, which are becoming an increasing part of our lives. In Leeds for 7.15. Home at 8. Marvellous to see everyone again and Mum is overjoyed by the Royal Albert Old Country Roses tea-set which we bought at the Token House, Windsor, on Friday.

Tom the Peeper link:-


Monday June 17, 1974

Beautifully warm day. John and I take Hugo on the 'Long Walk', in order to avoid all the crowds who have flocked to Windsor to get a glimpse of the Garter ceremony. See Princess Anne in her speedy, little car and she smiled at John and I as she passed us on the Long Walk. Whilst recovering from seeing HRH, Lord Snowdon races past with a young lady in the passenger seat - not Princess Margaret either.

One year ago today I split my trousers in the gents of the Fleece in Horsforth, and I vowed to send June a safety pin on the anniversary of the occasion until either one of us ceased to be. I don't think she's dead so I'll have to send her one.


Sunday June 16, 1974

Another hot day. My nose is terrible today and I can hardly breathe at all. John and I go into Windsor after a late breakfast at 11.30 and we go inside the castle to see the Royal Collection of drawings from the Queen's private collection. Beautiful works by Holbein, Leonardo da Vinci, etc. John failed to be impressed. Afterwards, walk down the 'Long Walk' and see the Duke of Edinburgh in a Range Rover, in sunglasses and shirt-sleeves. We are too taken aback to wave, though he did look at us as he drove into Windsor High Street.

'The Streak' by Ray Stevens.


Saturday June 15, 1974

Another scorching day. Sheila promised to wake us at 7, but I was awake totally unaided, and go downstairs thinking the dear thing is sleeping peacefully, but no she is in the kitchen doing wonderful things with a frying pan and several sausages. What a saint she is!

We leave at about 8 and are in London for 9. Believe it or not I cannot find the palace, and have to ask a native the directions. John is greatly amused by my lack of patience. The sun is very brilliant and when the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Duke of Kent leave for Horse Guards it is quite stifling. (Excuse the scrawl, but I cannot write with biro. I've mislaid my fountain pen.) The Queen looks very miserable and pale and not at all pleasant, though the Queen Mother is the perfect example of radiance and beauty. Outside the palace until 1. Due to the heat we go to a pub in Piccadilly - a typical London tavern. Nip down to Knightsbridge and spend a few hours in Harrods before returning to Windsor by coach.

Go to the Safari Park till 11.15. Bed on return after playing with Hugo.


Friday June 14, 1974

Scorching hot day. Up at 8.30 after a terrible night. Far too warm for comfort. John and Sheila go off to work and I persuade John to leave the house at 10.15. See in the morning papers that the Prince of Wales is dating a 20-year-old American, Laura Jo Watkins, and she was in the House of Lords yesterday to see him make his maiden speech to the peers.

Outside Windsor Castle by 10.20. A crowd gathers to see the goings on. See Edward Heath come, then Jeremy Thorpe and finally Harold Wilson. The Royal procession leaves Victoria Barracks, and 5 princes follow the cortege: the Prince of Wales, Duke of Edinburgh, the new Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent. We have a perfect view of the mourners, and they process through Windsor to the castle passing John and I not 3 yards away. Didn't see the Queen because she was already at the castle before the funeral.

Because of the heat John and I return to the house, where we see the funeral on tv.

Later: we take John and Sheila to the Hart and Garter in Windsor for a meal. Very enjoyable, and the bill, excluding wine etc, is only £7.50. Home and bed at 12.


Thursday June 13, 1974

Once again at Pinner. This change of air is certainly doing me a world of good, and I am finding no difficulty with the labouring, which I imagined I would. Our last working day.


Wednesday June 12, 1974

Working at Pinner in Buckinghamshire. Very hot and enjoyable day.

The new Duchess of Gloucester is pregnant and the baby is due in late September or thereabouts. A male child will hold the unfortunate title 'Earl of Ulster', and obvious target for the insane Irish extremists and maniacs. A girl will be Lady (Christian name) Windsor.

Me and John are having Friday free from work in order to catch a passing glimpse of the Royal Funeral.


Tuesday June 11, 1974

Up at 8.15 again. Hugo is chasing round the bedroom and he certainly inspires one to leap out and face the day in the face. Go with one of the men, Bill, to a beautiful place in St Leonard's Hill, Windsor, where the old dear, Mrs England, lives in splendour. She has a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce, etc. Work from 9 till 1, then from 2 to nearly 5.30. A glorious day without a cloud in the sky. Bill brings me back and Sheila arrives simultaneously. I am infuriated by a call received on the tape/telephone receiver thingy from Mrs England saying Bill and I are: 'Two youths, who are so slow it just isn't true.' The silly old cow will not have the pleasure of my services again! Uncle J rings her back but agrees with Sheila and me that she has a complex about young people.


Monday June 10, 1974

Wake at 8.15 with Hugo licking my face. Such a sweet dog he is. Have eggs and bacon for breakfast, and set out for north London in pouring rain to do a days work. Spend an hour up to our ankles in deep mud before John calls off the work and we leave for Windsor.

Hear on the 12.30 news that the Duke of Gloucester is to be buried in St George's Chapel later this week - which means that he's either dead or they've decided to dispose of him without waiting for him to go. Every time I come to Windsor a member of the Royal Family dies.

Me and the "Two Johns" go to Beaconsfield, where we tidy a garden up for a couple of hours, having a laugh with a horrible machine which is supposed to collect the mown grass - it nearly kills Uncle John. Back to Windsor at 6 for an evening meal of chicken with Sheila. Chicken. Mum rings at 6.30 and I speak to her for 4 or 5 minutes - they had a good time in Norfolk and I promise to ring them tomorrow. See the 9 o'clock news. The Duke of Gloucester is to be buried in Windsor on Friday - which should, in Uncle John's words - be 'something to write home about'. Also hear that the new duchess is pregnant - though it is as yet unofficial. Go to the Vansittart Arms with Uncle J and J, where the elder J tells us his life story. Back at 10.30. Bed at 11.30.


Sunday June 9, 1974

Trinity Sunday. Up at about 11. Have a nice breakfast and go with John to the castle, leaving Uncle John and Auntie Sheila to do the laundry work, etc. We walk around the castle, peering through the fence into the private apartments - our curiosity enhanced by the fact that the Queen is in residence - and stand for ages watching a squirrel busily feeding at the foot of one of the battlements. At 3 we take a boat trip to Bovney (?) Lock, down the Thames, which is very boring, and I have a wild sneezing attack, almost like hay fever, which ruins the remainder of the day. We proceed, after our next excursion, to devour half a pound of cherries, then walk part of the Long Walk - with the castle at one end and the statue of George III (the 'Copper Horse') at the other.

John and I go to the Donkey House pub at 8.30 and I persuade J to leave before closing time because of my allergy. See Lord Peter Wimsey on tv.


Saturday June 8, 1974

Up only hours after leaving Wikis. Rain is the first thing we encounter on drawing back the curtains. Bid farewell to the family and off to London go John and I. Arrive after 1 and John and Sheila are waiting for us in Victoria Coach Station. John and I go on to Windsor in the back of a rickety old car with a huge, loveable Labrador, Hugo, to keep us amused. Thus begins our holiday with dear John and Sheila in beautiful Windsor, the seat of Kings.

(As you are aware I do not write masses whilst holidaying).


Friday June 7, 1974

To Wikis in the evening. Do not enjoy it at all. See Lynda Thompson whom I have not seen in at least 3 years. Lynn Dawson is also with her boyfriend, though she doesn't really speak to Christine W, her cousin.

Poor Denny was too scared to come because her horrible boyfriend, or perhaps I should say ex-boyfriend, was in residence. He was indeed inside, but didn't seem bothered by Denny's absence,


Thursday June 6, 1974

Wednesday June 5, 1974

I forsse a scandal which will shortly come into being when Prince Michael of Kent informs his cousin, the Queen, that he intends to marry Patricia Wolfson, a 35-year-old divorcee_____.


Tuesday June 4, 1974

Chris's birthday. John goes to celebrate at the Hare and Hounds with the mob (inc Peter Mather), but I decide that you don't celebrate a birthday twice in the same week and refuse to be involved in any of the celebratory events of the day. I am sat in the bath when they roll home with plenty of ale and money 'under the bridge'.


Monday June 3, 1974

George V born 1865. Edward VIII married Mrs Simpson, 1937. Laura's birthday but we don't celebrate it. It is now June 20, and I can't remember what actually happened today.


Sunday June 2, 1974

Whit Sunday. Wake up at 9 o'clock and only seconds before Christine W rings me to check about church. John thinks I'm completely mad getting up at 9 to go to church on a windy, rarther unsettled Sunday morning, but it makes a change I do suppose. Wearing my new suit I walk to Christine's where Mrs White stands goggle-eyed at me. What is so weird about me attending church? The two of us then called on Linda and we, the three of us, crossed the road to St John's Parish Church. We sat for about one hour and the hymns were shocking - Whit Sunday is supposed to be a joyous occasion but I'm afraid the vicar of St John's didn't do anything to make it so. We had Holy Communion and laughed at one of the parishioners who went back for a second helping of bread and shot of wine! Christine suggests we all go to St Oswald's next week, but I remind her my holiday begins on Saturday.

Driving 2-4 this afternoon and I do quite well. Mother and Dad journey to Nottingham to see poor Uncle Bert, who must be feeling quite sick.

"Sugar Baby Love".


Saturday June 1, 1974

Today is the First of Flaming June. Go sod off.

Friday May 31, 1974

Very hot day. Go to the YP and discover that I am working tomorrow morning and therefore decide to take a half-day today. Quite pleased at being able to escape from the dismal office, and I drift into Leeds where I purchase a new pair of shoes from Ravel, with my new Barclaycard of course. They cost me £9.99. I piled onto a 55 bus, reading the latest edition of 'Private Eye' which features the recently ennobled Mrs Marcia Williams, or Lady Falkender, or whatever she calls herself. Home after 2. Sit with Mama and Papa on the rear lawn with a cup of tea. Take a bath at 4 and get ready for the Chris and Laura celebrations. John and I get the 6.30 bus to the Emmotts and I begin with a double whisky, one pernod and orange, and a Drambuie. George and Jane and many more come at 7.30 and we leave at 8 coming back in the coach ten minutes later to pick up 5 silly females whom we had left behind in the toilets. Darling Denise is completely enraptured by my braces and we feel slightly fresh when Keith passes a bottle of sweet Martini around the coach. Arrive at Kiko's just after 9. Wonderful place, but the enjoyment is marred by my inability to get drunk, but I certainly tried my best to do so. The place is very Polynesian with plastic palms adorning the walls and floors. See Joe and Anne Grunwell, who cannot believe that I am 19. Get back to the coach at 2. Home at 3. Chris was sick on the floor, and I laughed because he threatened us all before-hand about being ill on his precious and expensive bus.


Thursday May 30, 1974

Birth of Henry IV, 1366.