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20091113

Wednesday September 25, 1974

John's 18th birthday. Don't see him before leaving for the YP but at 12 (it's my half day) we all meet in the Generation Bar beneath the Jubilee. Christine Phyllis Whitethighs, Denny, Chris, and one of Phyllis's friends. Spend about an hour drinking here, before Denny, Chris, the birthday boy and myself move on to the Emmotts, which is in the midst of being decorated at the moment and looks better without that awful purple, flock wallpaper. After pie and peas and cinzanos in the E. we go back to Denny's where John feels rarther faint and finds it necessary to go lay down upstairs. The remaining three of us watch a repeat of Galsworthy's 'Forsyte Saga' part one, first shown in 1967. It was good but seemed very dated. Home for tea and see all the hillarious birthday cards lined up. One from Andy was intended for an 8-year-old girl, and Dave L sent a card 'Birthday Wishes Today You are 2'. I stayed in tonight, whilst John went to the Hare with Carol, Chris and a few others - even Laura turned up.

 At 9.30 MM came to see me. I was most surprised, though I expected to see him sometime this week before his departure to Sheffield on Monday. He gave me his address, &c. John and Chris came back for coffee and we all sat about until 11. Came to bed and looked at Dad's police magazines & see the article I had published in the issue of Sept 1972. Quite funny.

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Tuesday September 24, 1974

Typical Autumn day. Very bright, sunny, but cold and chilly.

Nothing in the newspapers worth mentioning, though the electioneering bumf is once more rolling off the Press. Anthony Crosland attacked dear old Margaret Thatcher, who, if I remember correctly, abolished school milk and performed a great, kind service to the millions of little milk-haters throughout the United Kingdom.

Mother says she's lost heart with creepy little Harold (Wilson), and intends placing her vote with Mr Thorpe on Oct 10th.

Marita rings me at the YP in the morning and says she'll be at the Generation Bar in order to celebrate John's birthday tomorrow, and Denny rings in the afternoon to say the same thing. Quite looking forward to Wednesday's birthday gathering in that small ale cellar beneath the Jubilee pub close to Leeds Town Hall. With some relief on my part, though not on John's, tomorrow will see the legalisation of his drinking habits, which have gradually increased over the past 2 years.

Sit watching TV all evening. Nothing other than election rubbish, which deals with speculation that another so-called Labour peer is planning to defect to the Liberals. Harold Wilson refuses even to accept that Lord Chalfont is a member of the Labour party. Cowards way out I say.

That aristocratic drunkard, Lady Jane Wellesley, is making a name for herself in electioneering circles. Her brother Lord Douro is a Tory candidate in the Islington constituency, and she's going round the streets singing slogans and handing out leaflets. The Prince of Wales can hardly marry a girl who has led an active political life, and I suppose this is the straw that'll break the camel's back. Her drinking was bad enough, but this?


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Monday September 23, 1974

Nothing to report other than the fact that I've taken over Mrs Beaumont's desk, which commands a better view of the YP newsroom.


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Sunday September 22, 1974

15th after Trinity. Up at nearly 12. Have little bacon for breakfast and discuss changing my driving test date with that of Mamas. Come upstairs and unpack and have a bath.

Today is the 26th birthday of Capt Mark Phillips. Let the Bells toll their Joyous News throughout the Kingdom! Some sort of public celebration really ought to be lavished upon the young captain who, after all, rescued Britain's favourite princess from spinsterhood.

The Gadsbys come after tea, and John and I go to the Hare in the 1100 after collecting Carol from her Yeadon residence.

Dave comes with Chris, and never do I fail to have hysterics when Mr Lawson is on the scene. Move on to that soddin' little pub in Askwith that doesn't sell crisps, peanuts 'or anything of that nature, sir'. Snobs! I wouldn't mind but it's only bloody Askwith, not Ascot.

Back to Westfield Fisheries where I dissolved into fits of laughter at Dave, who looking at the large, sprawling woman said: "She must eat two fish for every one she serves." Absolutely sick to death of laughing.

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Saturday September 21, 1974


Cold, rainy and miserable day. Up at 10 feeling better after last night's attack of stomach pains which both John and I credited to the Advocaat we consumed before dinner yesterday.

At 11 John and Hugo go to Ascot to see a man about a swimming pool, and we prepare to leave for home. At 11.30 Sheila accompanies Denny and I to the bus stop opposite the castle, and we bid our farewells before getting the London coach half an hour later. Denny had a little weep as we left, passing the castle with the Union Jack hanging limply in the drizzle. The both of us sat quietly on the coach, and I glanced at 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' by C.S. Lewis, which is a remarkable little book probably intended for 10-year-olds but who cares?

Don't leave London until 2.30. Bradford at 7pm after a half hour stop at Leicester. Denny and I part arranging to meet in the Hare and Hounds at about 8. Home by 7.30 and John helped me home with my case after spotting me alighting from the bus.

Dad looks much older after seeing Uncle John for a few days. They look so much alike but Papa does look more elderly.

To the Hare. Everyone arrives except Dave L who isn't coming out until tomorrow night. My stomach ache returns and I don't really feel like supping cold ale, and I switch to rum and orange, purely for medicinal purposes, and it certainly warms my interior. Move to the Malt Shovel in Menston where we stay until 10.30. Glad that John and Carol are going out together again. I say 'again' but the only time they've been out before was at Jackie's 18th. Come back to Pine Tops. Chris, Phyllis Whitethighs, John and Carol and watch a boring James Mason film until after 1. John's car breaks down on his return from taking the mob home and Papa isn't very pleased about getting up at 2am.

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Friday September 20, 1974

Our last day in Windsor. Denny and I go look at the castle again, and then go to the Three Tuns pub and sit drinking campari and cinzano until 3. Feeling very drowsy we stagger back to 13, Clewer Fields where we watch a Anna Neagle film on TV and mess about in general.

John and Sheila come in from work and we have too much advocaat to drink. This must be the most unpleasant liquid refreshment I have ever experienced. My nose is really terrible today with 'Hugo-itis' (dog allergy). Have a hot bath to steam my sinuses. Dress in my suit and at 8 we go to the 'Harte and Garter' for dinner. The main course is upset when John gets violent pains in his tummy. The same thing happens to me half an hour later. Nevertheless, we all enjoyed the evening out and John refuses to let Denny and I contribute to the bill, which upsets Denny.

D and I go on to the Bierkeller, only downstairs from the restaurant, but we leave 15 minutes later because of the heat and the crowds. Back to Clewer Fields where we listen to records and drink coffee. Listen to John go through his old address book.

Bed at 1. But Denny and I talk until 3.30. Had tummy attack at 2.30 and the call of nature dragged me to the loo several times in the early hours.

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Thursday September 19, 1974

Rise at 11.15 after a very comfortable night. Excuse the condition of my writing but I have no fountain pen with me and I'm having to make do with one of Sheila's biros.

Very warm and sunny day. One of the best since we arrived here. Forgot to mention in yesterday's entry that Denny and I went to Buckingham Palace (18th) to see George III's collection of pictues and other items of historical interest. Fancy, actually setting foot in Buck House!

Go into Windsor where I have my hair cut in a new place called Franco's. The chap spoke little English and cut my hair in a fashion he thought fit. It looks quite pleasant and Denny agrees it doesn't look bad at all. We go to the castle (again) and into the state apartments (again). It's amazing how much more you manage to see the second time around. Saw the bullet that killed Lord Nelson at Trafalgar displayed in a glass case in one of the castle chambers.

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