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20091210

Monday November 11, 1974

Nice day. Eileen promises me the use of her camera for Wednesdays conquering of Bradford by the Queen of England. Talking about conquering, I wonder whether Bradford was actually ever conquered by the Normans, or indeed by anyone else? London, York, Hastings and Wessex were over-run by different tribes of foreigners throughout the Medieval and Dark Ages, but what about grimy little Bradford? I feel very strongly about this. Certainly, William the Conqueror would have cared very little about whether the dwelling of Bradford was a safe catch or not. Had he ever heard of the place? One pictures the scene:-
(enter messenger, falling on his knees)
Messenger: "Sire, I have news from the North".
Conqueror: "Speak, dog."
Messenger: "Oh Sire! Tis news, My Lord, of Bradford!"
Conqueror: "Where?"
Messenger: "Bradford, Sire!"
Conqueror: "Piss off, mate. I've got more urgent things to worry about than news from such northerly parts. Anyway, I thought you'd had the 'flu of late?"
Messenger: Oh, it was nothing, Your Grace. Just a touch of cold it was. Nice of you to mention it though, Sire. It's always such a pleasure to be able to work for such a fab regime. Did you see that in the papers about the nasty King Harold? It was so awful....."
Conqueror: "Off with his head."

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Sunday November 10, 1974

22nd after Trinity. Remembrance Sunday again. Wonder whether this is going to go on indefinately until the end of time. In seventy years time no survivors of any of the world wars will be left and I suppose it will become a little less important. Not that we can ever forget those who died in order that we can all live freely, because if we do it will be the ultimate in selfishness. Yes, Remembrance Day is a good thing.

Up at 12. Papa wallpapers the kitchen &continues after lunch. We all sit in front of the TV until about 6, when the top 20 begins.

When the Queen comes to Bradford next Wednesday I intend having the day off to lend my support to the monarchical cause. It will be my first viewing of the Sovereign on Yorkshire soil. I must persuade Sue to accomapny me. It will be an experience for her.

See TV all evening and the Gadsby clan come at about 8. Mum, Dad, Auntie Hilda and Uncle Tony go to Esholt and John goes off with Chris and Carol. I sit with Diane and Jill. Little Di is an absolute dear and completely transformed from the obnoxious horror of a couple of years ago.

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Saturday November 9, 1974

Birth of Edward VII, 1841. Lynn wakes me at the usual time. Feel dreadful as I usually do on a Saturday morning. Have my usual orange juice and ticking off from Lynn about getting drunk the night before 'all these late nights can't be doing you any good', &c. Work until 4 o'clock. Carol didn't come until nearly 12 because she overslept & she stayed with me for a couple of hours. Haven't heard anything since Thursday about her and Michael having a ridiculous divorce, though once the seeds of destruction are sown I can see nothing but trouble and chaos ahead. Home at 4.

Hear from Mum that Dad's new job with the CID is no more. The Chief Superintendent came to see him this morning and more or less told him to get lost as far as his future in the force is concerned. He's positively choked about it. Refuse categorically to go out tonight and almost succeed in my aim.

Sit by the tv with Mum until 11 o'clock watching the Festival of Remembrance from the (Royal) Albert Hall. The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Mother, Duke of Gloucester, Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent in the royal box. The poor Duke of Edinburgh looked ill and positively ancient. At 53 he should have at least 20 years of life left in him, but by the way he was standing tonight I can't see him doing so.

At nearly 11 John, Peter and Keith call in and drag me off to the Cow & Calf where we live it up until 2. Keith drank himself idiotically under the table and he sat unconscious in the car for ten minutes before driving us home. 25MPH all the way!

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Friday November 8, 1974

Very busy day. See in the first editions of the EP that they believe me when I say 'Lady' can be used instead of the more formal 'Countess' when referring to the wife of an earl. Spent all morning convincing a silly man in editorial that Lady Lucan is in fact the Countess of Lucan. It seems that the Lucan nanny has been found murdered this morning and the countess herself is critically ill. The police are looking for the earl 'who cannot be contacted'. You can bet your bottom dollar that His Lordship has done away with the nanny and then attempted to kill her Ladyship. We'll have to wait and see.

Lord Lucan.
To the Hare & Hounds and then Wikis in the evening with Dave Lawson amongst the usual set. It's the first time Dave's been to our Friday night spot, and I can't say he didn't enjoy it because he did. I drank guinness for most the night and was sick twice. John went home alone quite early without giving any explanation for this anti-social action. Dave brought me home at 1.30 and we sat in the lounge discussing our childhood escapades together and laughing ourselves silly. Bed at 2.30.










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Thursday November 7, 1974

Day off. Up at about 10 and do nothing until about 11. Dad goes to Morrison's on a wild goose chase for something called sugar, a crystal-like substance believed to have been extinct for 200m years. Whether he'll get any or not is a debatable point, and I don't hang around to find out. Go into work arriving at 10 after 12. Kathy passes on a message from Sarah who is spending her lunch hour at Whitelocks. I join them at about 20 past. Carol sits brooding over a gin and tonic. She says Michael asked her for a divorce the other day because he wants to enjoy himself before he grows too old. I consider this to be a bloody liberty. Michael Johnson may well be only 22 but he's married now and it's his own silly fault if he's now gold cold feet. I despise weakness and half-heartedness where marriage is concerned. I don't give a damn about how people treat one another when they aren't united in Holy wedlock, but when the plunge is taken it really should be forever, commanding love and respect on both sides. The character of Michael Johsnon is not to be desired. Home at nearly 3 to see 'The Forsyte Saga' on TV. Have fish and chips followed by crumpets for lunch.

Hear on the 6 o'clock news that dear old Sir Alec Douglas-Home is now ennobled with a peerage once again. Will he be Lord Home or Lord Douglas-Home, I don't know. It's only a feeble life peerage of course, not the real thing.

Haven't heard from Lynne all week and am not going to bother ringing her either. She's going off on Friday_____. See Monty Python which gives us all cronic hysteria as usual, then see the corny Evening Standard Film Awards where Glenda Jackson is to be seen receiving lots of medals, trophies and acclaim, from an audience consisting of 300 drunken film extras in evening dress.

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Wednesday November 6, 1974

A horrible day. Carol doesn't come in at all, and Kathy is off all day. Sarah and I laugh and joke about last night. Find a letter on my desk from the mass murderess Judith Theresa Ward to her brother and sister-in-law. Tommy Ward must have sent it in to editorial for publication and it's somehow found it's way to my desk. I reproduce the contents here in my diary.

(Letter from Judith Ward transcribed in full).

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Tuesday November 5, 1974

Bonfire Night, &c, &c.

YP all day and then go to Birstall on the bus with Sarah, Michael Johnson and Carol. Michael and I make a 'Guy Fawkes' with old clothes whilst the girls mess about in the kitchen.

Start drinking at about 8 o'clock when the fire is lit, and in the space of two and a half hours Sarah and I polish off a bottle of Cinzano Bianco and a further half bottle of Dry Martini. As you may well imagine, Sarah had to sit down, being unable to stand any longer, and by midnight she could think of nothing else other escaping to a dark room and sleep. I joined her on Carol's bed where we lay shivering with cold 'neath Sarah's black fur coat. We debate for ages on how exactly Carol and Michael can possibly sleep under such conditions. We arrive at the conclusion that the Johnsons are a good deal larger, and undoubtedly more passionate than we are, and this can be the only reason. Sarah goes off into a southern drawl when she's intoxicated and it sounds acutely comical. We're in bed until 2am and Michael wakes us when our taxi arrives.

Home at a quarter to three with the picture of Sarah's lips firmly embedded upon my mind forever. The amiable lady in the taxi looked far less attractive when she asked for her £3.90 fare. To bed feeling horribly drunk and remember, but only vaguely, being sick. I blame the pate which I devoured - liver never agrees with me.

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Monday November 4, 1974

See in the morning editions that the new Royal baby is to be called Alexander Patrick Gregers Richard, and not William like that old hag in the Daily Express prophesised. I must admit that I was more than surprised at the choice of names. I can understand Richard and Patrick which complement the baby's father and the earldom of Uslter, but not Alexander which is rarely used as a first Christian name for royal babies.

Sarah and I are on tip toes with excitement about tomorrow's party & are quite determined to become intoxicated. Eileen is back after almost two weeks absence. Home at 6 and spend half an hour on the phone with Marita. She isn't at all surprised at my break from Lynne and seems positively jubilant. She says she realised something was afoot when I asked my so-called girlfriend to sit on the floor in the Hare & Hounds on Friday. MM was positively horrified by this gesture and says something must have come over me to drag me from the usual high standard track of morals and etiquette, regarded for many years as a phenomenon in the area.

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Sunday November 3, 1974

21st after Trinity. Wake at 11.30 and lay in bed with the radio on until after 12. Nice lunch again, followed by a hideous Danny Kaye film on TV which put the dampeners on everything.John goes with Mum and Dad to Bradford to collect his car which somebody's been trying to fix since before Adam was a lad. Lynn sits in her room doing her college homework and Alison and I sit in the dining room catching quick bursts of recitals of Lynn's essays from upstairs. (Yes folks, I do have a sister who talks to herself). A good afternoon, but uneventful.

Decide to go out quite alone tonight and never intend going out with Lynne again. The infatuation is over at last after 27 days. Just before John and I go to the Hare, Lynne rings from Harrogate and says she may be going to the Hare with her friend (in her car) at about 9 o'clock. I say little and make it quite obvious that I don't care what she does with herself. Dave Baker brings Lynn and Carol, and Chris comes very late as usual. Ray brings a college friend called John and so too comes Laura with that big-headed swine, Martin. All back to Pine Tops for coffee.

Carol was behaving most oddly tonight and never made any attempt to communicate with poor John. Bed after reading 'Lord Emsworth & Others'. (PS - Lynne went at 10.30 and said goodbye as if she was a bishop leaving a village fete after performing the opening ceremony. What else can one possibly say?)

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Saturday November 2, 1974

Birth of Edward V, 1470.

Lovely morning at the YP. At 12 Sarah and I go for the bus and she more than hints that I should join her in the Queen's at Horsforth for the afternoon. I readily agree, but then to my dismay I discover that I've got a mere 29p on my person and 20 of those pence are required for my bus fare. I am compelled to decline this perfect invitation and stand back to see my Angel mount her bus and disappear into the drizzle of a wet afternoon.

Don't rellish the thought of escorting Lynne tonight. At 6.30 we decided that she couldn't come because Peter wasn't coming out, but dear Christopher persuaded him to do so and we arranged to meet in the Hare at 8.30 - Lynne included. Dave Lawson, full of pnuemonia, and clad in a tartan scarfe arrives for John and I at 8.15 and we are soon at the Hare. Marita and MM are already inside. All the mob come, including Lynn and Dave and Martyn and Alison. Drink Guinness and then Campari and tell Marita that I intend to finish with Lynne and she comments that Lynne is too serious to make any progress with a raving, idiotic comic like myself. All move on to the Red Lion in Burley-in-Wharfedale at 9.30 and then to the Cow & Calf at Ilkley, where I haven't been since before Christmas last year. Dave didn't come because of his cold, and MM and Marita went to see Denny, who has been absent from the crowd since I started this ridiculous relationship with Lynne. Lynn and Dave and the other 2 went home. Pleasant do at the Cow & Calf - most of us got drunk, or at least fairly fresh (except Peter , who has a position to keep, and ___, who thinks he has a position to keep). Home after 1am in time to see poor Dave B leave after sitting at home with Lynn since 11 o'clock.

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Friday November 1, 1974

Harriet Wilson born 1856. Busy day at the YP.

My affection for Sarah increases every day, & something will come of it sooner or later. Go to the Hare & Hounds in the evening and later to Wikis, where Lynne goes for the first time. Not too pleasant, and poor Keith (Brown) became involved in an argument with Finlay Smith over Helen. A few beers were lost and several punches exchanged but nothing more drastic occurred. John went home drunk at 1.30 & I think he's missing Carol, though he failed to do anything about it when he almost sat on the top of her in Wikis.

Saw Jackie whom I've not seen since June - I hardly recognised her with all the curls and long skirt. She said a few nasty things about Judith B then spent the remainder of the night persuading John to dance... unsuccessfully.

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Thursday October 31, 1974

Unfortunately, the central heating exploded last night, and we are now plunged into the horrors of no hot water or heat, a necessity at this time of the year. I realised last night that the ___________.

A hateful day. Met Lynne in town at noon and went to the shops together. She looks round for a coat and then takes me to Schofield's in search of a Royal Albert tea-pot. Nothing came of it. I'm beginning to tire of Miss Mather's company and forsee and early collapse in our weak relationship. After my recent bout of mature women I feel that Lynne is too young for me. Many will say that our age gap is the ideal gap to achieve, but I rarther like the 21-22 year-old type like Judith. Besides, I've grown quite fond of Sarah Collis as of late, though I realise nothing will come if it. You'd hardly believe that it was only a mere three days since I was saying all those wonderful things about Lynne here in these pages.

The weather is beautiful. Brilliantly sunny with bright blue skies up above. The temperature (at 38f) isn't very good, but being warm blooded I fail to notice the cold. Lynne was frozen solid all afternoon. Home at 5 and sit in the lounge all night by the light of a candle. See Monty Python at 9 on BBC2 - hilariously funny. Lynn and Dave joined us at 10.30. Bed at about 11.

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Wednesday October 30, 1974

Birth of George II, 1683. Cold, autumn day again.

At lunchtime Sarah, Carol and I go into town where we queue to see Morecambe & Wise, who are at W.H. Smith's promoting a new book of theirs. We managed to get very close to them, and Eric said 'hello' to Sarah & I when we approached him to get his autograph. The character and personailty of these comedians is quite remarkable. The endearing quality of Eric Morecambe makes me a fan of his for life.

Kathleen said this morning that she thought the Queen looked 'ancient' at yesterdays State Opening of Parliament. I disagreed. Obviously, she looks every day of her forty-eight years, but I wouldn't say she was ancient.

Ring Lynne at 7 after seeing Morecambe & Wise on the BBC programme 'Nationwide'. We arrange to meet in Leeds at 12 tomorrow in order that we can go on a china tea-pot expedition to Schofields. She also wants a coat. We always end up talking for half an hour, but who cares anyway? By the way, somebody called Richard Nixon is seriously ill in America. I can't see why the papers are giving him so much publicity. Maybe he was something in the political world many yaesr ago. Is he important do you think?

John rings Chris and he picks us both up in the car at 8.30. We go to the Hare & Hounds where Carol and Christine are to to be found with Andy. To the Emmotts (except the ladies)for the last couple of drinks. The place looks hideous.

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Tuesday October 29, 1974

Good day at the YP. Carol invites Sarah and I to her 'Bonfire Party' next Tuesday, and I noticed that Sarah was more than insistant on my going along.

Kathleen was on half day and we took it easy this afternoon. A cold day - even worse than yesterday.

Home at 6 for hare and Yorkshire Pudding. Alison looked somewhat startled when she saw the size of my portion of that little, four-legged creature.

Saw the Queen's Speech on TV at about 7 o'clock and I don't think I've seen it televised for some years. Princess Anne looked superb, but suffered a slight mishap in the Mall when her coach and horses became entangled with one another. Subsequently the Princess and Capt Phillips arrived at Westminster before the Queen and the duke. It strikes me that Princess Anne is accident prone. Her Majesty looks perfection itself, though probably a little wrinkled ubder the eyes. The Duke of Edinburgh sat on the Queen's left looking slightly bemused. Other Royals in the Lords numbered about six in all, including the Dukes of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, Lord Snowdon, Princess Alexandra and Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who didn't look at all well. It's nice to see Parliament opened properly, because when it was done last time, in March, none of the regalia wasused, and the Queen wore the same clothes which she adorned herself with at her daughter's wedding.

See TV all evening, including 'Jennie, Lady Randolph Churchill'. Bed at about 11 o'clock and sit reading 'Lord Emsworth and Others'.

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Monday October 28, 1974

A beautiful day. Hawksworth Lane is knee deep in crisp, brown leaves, & I sense a nip in the air. Oh, the skies! The skies! How blue they are!

The EP announces that the darling Duchess of Gloucester and child are now satisfactory, and the tiny earl's resparitory difficulties are subsiding. At about 8 John and I accompany Mum and Dad to the Commercial where we stay until closing time. It isn't often that we go out at night with them, but a good time was certainly had by us all. Ron, the landlord, was behind the bar for the first time since his heart attack. He looks ill, but nothing more can really be expected. The doctors have told Annie that he could go at any moment. Back home for salad sandwiches and coffee. Sit talking with Dad as usual until an unearthly hour and eventually come to bed after 12.30. Glance at 'Lord Emsworth and Others' by PG Wodehouse.

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Sunday October 27, 1974

Have a rotten nights sleep and keep waking up with an unquenchable thirst to tend to. Wake up for the last time at 9.20. Go to make a cup of tea and see that the kitchen clock says 10.20.

On taking Mum her tea she reveals to me that the clocks were put back one hour last night. I hate them messing about with the time. Why can't they leave it alone? Sit in bed supping tea and thinking about my different relationships with girls down the years. Lynne is the first serious one since June, though I did think a lot about Judith B in a certain way. Most men wouldn't find Lynne attractive. She's certainly no Diana Dors - the big breasted type are all very nice but I'm not the type to go out of my way to lay my hands on a pair. Lynne is sophistication itself and all that it entails. She dresses with a style verging on the perfect and it would be fantastic if we only had transport of our own to do our own things. The major pitfall of the ultimate result of our passion is the prospect of ________.Have a bath after a tremendous lunch and then listen to the top 20. Peter and Sue argue about what film to go see at Yeadon - they eventually pick 'The Dove'.

Dave arrives for Lynn and Martyn for Alison. Quite crowded we are by 7.30. At 8 John takes me to Bramhope in order to collect Lynne. (By the way, Marita rang this afternoon and we talked for half an hour about the Whitethighs engagement and ___new hairstyle. We dissolve into fits of hysterical laughter). The shock of the whole weekend came when, half way through a pint, John announced that he and Carol had finished! We were all dumbfounded. Never did I expect such a shock. Marita and Denny were with us, and Chris also came after 9. The girls were in fighting form, and Lynne got on quite well with Marita., though_______.

Chris and Lynne came back for coffee and all the others followed on including Dave, Martyn and Peter, &c. Still shocked by John's announcement I retire to bed after 12.

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Saturday October 26, 1974

Lynn has the usual horrid task of getting me up at 7 o'clock. I go through the usual rigmarole of refusing all food, and laying helplessly on the dining room floor. Get the bus after 8 and arrive at the YP before 9.

See in the paper that Lord Ulster continues to be a cause for concern. He'd have died by now if anything terrible was going to happen at all. Sarah and Carol say he isn't going to survive, but I completely disagree.

Intend leaving at 12, but Nigel, who used to work in the Library, comes in and keeps us talking until after 12.30. Don't get in for lunch until nearly 2.

Pork and apple sauce is awaiting my inspection. John begins decorating the kitchen ceiling & the record player sings merrily to us all from the dining room. Can't think of anything worth doing this afternoon so I suppose I'll have to read quietly in a corner. However, at 3 I decide to go for a lay down in order to make me fit for the oncoming onslaught of tonight.

Sleep for 3 and half hours and John wakes me at 6.30. In my half dazed mind I thought I had slept through until 6.30am - relieved to discover otherwise. John goes off with Carol, Linda and Andy, probably to the Hare & Hounds.

Chris picks me up at 9 and we both go the Hare, where Lynne and Peter M have been waiting for half an hour. Lynne and I drift into a corner near the juke box. John and Andy sing along to the records in a drunken fashion.
Talking with Linda I hear that Phyllis Whitethighs and her boyfriend from York are too serious to describe. She even hinted that it may even mean a Christmas engagement. Chris was stunned when I disclosed this secret to him. Peter, Chris, dearest Lynne, and me move on to the Commercial where I see the chap who went out with Diane Rushworth whilst I had my affair with Helen Taylor. We were ages in remembering where we'd seen each other before. Peter takes Lynne home at 10.30. Chris comes home for coffee.

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