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20091211

Saturday November 30, 1974

St Andrew's Day. Dave and I go into breakfast with his room-mate John Lessor, and a few others. Have to pay 52p, and Dave complained about it being ridiculous.

A gorgeous little friend of David's by the name of Barbara makes herself known to me. A lovely Newcastle accent and a wavy mop of black hair give her the sexiest qualities. Extremely flat chested, but I think she's the nicest girl I've seen in months. After this breakfast, the two of us, that is Dave and I, go to Worcester, where I buy some patchouli oil, a delightful aromatic. We then drive round the little villages, stopping at a perfect pub for a few drinks, and then collect mistletoe, sprouting in profusion from all manner of woodland shrubbery. We end up in Gloucester where we potter around the shops until darkness draws us back to college for tea.
A party in Worcester at about 8. Dave and I go with Noelle, a colleage of his. Have a tremendous laugh and pinch a voluminous pair of knickers from the washing line at the pub. We later hang them in a prominent place in the Lawson boudoir. Back to college with Barbara and some others where we consume coffee until beddy byes time.

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Friday November 29, 1974

Mum wakes me at 9. I feel upset about the incident on the phone last night. Only one person's ever slammed the receiver down on me before and that was Judith B, not one of the nicest characters to have crossed my path in these nineteen and a half years on earth. Never would I have imagined Mum doing the same thing. She had a good cry too, which chokes me. It isn't many years since I would have been sobbing along with her. People who cry have that effect one me. She says little about my visit, and doesn't pursue the matter when I say that I am going. The bloody car refuses to move, and so Mum has to walk to work. Standing at the kitchen window watching the lovely little lady - the greatest woman on earth -disappear down the lane, in the cold frost, in order to earn a living so that I can live in the best of comfort. 'Greater Love Hath No Woman...'
Get the suitcase out of the loft and prepare for this trip - almost reluctantly after all this pressure. Get a bus to Leeds where I bump into Kathleen on Wellington Street. Get a ticket and leave for Birmingham. A really hilarious bird shares my compartment with her kids - common as Hell but so funny. The train breaks down near Sheffield and we seem to be hanging around for absolutely ages. Change trains at Brum and arrive at (Worcester) college just before 8. Dave is surprised to see me and didn't expect me for a hour and a half. Bump into a few good guys and settle down straight away. Go to a party on the campus where free drink is to be had. Back to a room at about 12 and sleep comfortably.

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Thursday November 28, 1974

A dreadful day. Don't work until 5, but am glad to go after listening to poor Mum's attempts to disuade me from going to Worcester. David sent his student pass in the morning post and family pressure made me realise it would be an evil, criminal act to impersonate a biology student for purposes of robbing British Railways of a couple of quid. Nevertheless, I see the reason behind my not using the pass. Possible jail sentences and large fines being the main factors.

At about 9 this evening at work I ring home and speak to Mum. She says she and Dad don't want me to go______. The money also came under fire. Who do they think I am? Aristotle Onassis? I think that £15 cash and a bottomless supply in the Barclaycard department is adequate for four days in the heart of the West Midlands suburbia. Home at 12.30 and go straight to bed.

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Wednesday November 27, 1974

Nice day at work. Mess around all afternoon with Sarah. I do a spot of research after being reminded that Sarah is descended from Oliver Cromwell. She says that her mother's family stems from the marriage of General Henry Ireton and Bridget Cromwell, who were married in the midst of the Civil War. Sarah is quite thrilled when I inform her that the Duchess of Kent is a great-great-great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of the same Mr Cromwell. You may well remember that not long ago I was forever tarnishing the Royal House of Kent in a derogatory and cruel way. The poor duchess of that noble line doesn't deserve any of the nasty insinuations I have levelled against her over these months. Never again will I be so childish to say such things.

See in the morning papers that the Earl of Lichfield is not to remain the gay bachelor we all imagined he would. It seems that Lady Leonora Grosvenor, daughter of the Duke of Westminster, is the lucky, and extremely wealthy bride-to-be. Sarah was most down-hearted that he was out of the running. She fancied herself as Lady Lichfield. Not that she's ever met his Lordship...

The buses home are hours late again. Don't get in until 6.30. Still no word from Worcester. I'd hate to have to pay the full train fare when it would only rush me £3 with Dave's pass. Well, that's life I suppose. On the whole it's been a terrible day. Hail, rain, bloody wind, and more bloody wind being the prominent factors involved.

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Tuesday November 26, 1974

Still bloody windy everywhere. Arrive a few minutes late at the YP but no one dare say anything. After all, look at all the times I've arrived half an hour early? See in the morning papers that the Duke of Edinburgh visited the victims of the Birmingham pub bombs yesterday afternoon.

A lot of angry relatives were outside the court in Birmingham when the pigs who killed all those people were remanded for the murder of one of the girls. Justice must be done, and in a big way, because these people will not be fobbed off seeing sentences of just a handful of years passed. Why should they?

See 'Jennie Churchill' again. Tuesdays certainly seem to come round quickly. I think I'll do some research into the Churchills tomorrow. Lady Randolph fascinates me.

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Monday November 25, 1974


Tiring day. Awful weather & a cloud of utter misery hangs over everything. Kathleen celebrates her birthday, which was yesterday, with doughnuts and cream buns with nuts on top, &c. Nothing else of interest at work and arrive home at 6.30 in a raging mood about being held up in the Leeds traffic. All the buses were full, and chaos reigned everywhere.

Laze around in front of the TV all evening. See 'The Family Way' Starring Hayley Mills and John Mills, and it proves to be a 'fabulous' film. Fabulous appears in inverted commas because it's such a Judith-Rushworth-type word that no one could possibly say in a serious vein. 'Fab' went out with flower power, cow bells and the Beatles. But seriously, the film was a gem.

Mum and Dad go to the pub and don't come back until 11.30. Nothing fantastic in the news. Mr Jenkins has banned the Irish Republican Army & all other organisations of the same type, but didn't do anything really powerful to deal with the terrorists. Banning the IRA won't matter one bit - are the IRA going to mind being illegal? I think not. Nothing has changed. Also U Thant, the United Nations' boss from 1961 to 1971 has died in New York. I can't say I ever knew who he actually was, but the name sticks out as being a leading one in the 1960s. Bedat nearly 12.

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Sunday November 24, 1974

Last after Trinity. Albert Wilson born 1895. Sleep until nearly 1 o'clock. A rotten day. Mum and Dad aren't on the best of terms and they're arguing all the time over dinner. The bloody wind doesn't help with tempers either - nothing worse than wind for fraying the patience of decent human beings.

See the beginning of the Royal Variety Performance. The arrival of the Queen Mother was one of the most heart-rending spectacles I've seen in a long time. The regal bearing that HM commands should go down as one of the wonders of the world. Even Chris remarked how fantastic she was.

Chris and Carol collect John and I at 8.30 and we go to the Dyneley Arms collecting Denny on the way. It's the first time I've visited the place since its £30,000 facelift, and although the structural alterations are perfect, the atmosphere within is still non-existent. Denny looks nice - sexy. Move on to the Lawnswood Arms where Louise Harris works. Don't like the place at all, and don't see Louise either. Back to Arthington in pouring rain where we devour fish and chips in Denny's lounge. We're going to the Benton Xmas dance together on Dec 19.

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Saturday November 23, 1974

Working till 12. Home quite ravenous for food of any description. Haw stew, but without the dumplings though, which is a let-down. Dave Lawson rings at about 6 and says he'll go to the Hare at the usual time so that we can make preparations for next weeks booze-up in Worcester. He comes down with his National Union of Students cheap railway pass, and we discuss tactics about how we can fiddle it, enabling me to travel cheaply. Satisfactory result to plan is achieved. Some blithering idiot suggests we should go to the dance at Yeadon Town Hall. Like fools we all go! After paying 50p each we all decide that the oldest person on the dance floor is a backward 11-year-old, and a certain party, namely Keith, storms out after the man on the door refuses to give him his money back. David and I keep telling everyone 'we told you so' with ridiculous grins spread over our faces, and eventually we all leave. Lynn, Dave, David L and I and Chris and Carol go to the Albert in the High Street where we attempt to drown our sorrows. Running out of the pub we bump into dear Christine & Philip, who is limping with a broken foot. She yells something about the Christmas dance, and David and I disappear into the fog.

In the chaos we lose the others, and in our search for them we go back to the Hare & Hounds for the last drink - where David gets a nice ash tray. Then on to Harry Ramsden's and then home where the four of us sit pulling a film to pieces.

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Friday November 22, 1974

At lunchtime I go into town and purchase a Metro Card for £5. This gives me access to the buses until December 21, and I should save a pound or two in the process.

See from further reports that 19 people died in Birmingham yesterday. Several anti-Irish attacks have been launched throughout the country, but nothing too serious. Our beloved Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins, promises new legislation to deal with these terrorists and many MPs want to see the re-introduction of the death penalty. I don't think for one moment that the feeble Labour government will do anything to appease society in any way, and poor Lord Hailsham can talk himself blue in the face about all this being 'treason', but Uncle 'Woy' won't be led from his weak, spineless, narrow little path.

Go to the Hare & Hounds and then the Commercial. Everyone agrees that Christine White is a changed person since she started this liaison with that bloke from York, and I for one quite fancy her these days. All back here to see Peter Cushing in a Frankenstein movie. Laura sat in her coat all night, which amused Mum, and Carol tried to make life difficult for Lynn & Dave.

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Thursday November 21, 1974

Go into work at about 10 o'clock. I absolutely refuse to go in at 9 when I've worked until midnight. Kathleen's half day. Home at the usual hour and see the TV all evening. Monty Python was especially hilarious, but I am sobered by the 10 o'clock news bulletin which reveals dastardly news from Birmingham. The IRA have killed nearly 20 people and have wounded 200 by blowing up two pubs in the centre of Birmingham. The bloody swines who have done such a thing do not deserve to live. I realise that the death penalty is a rarther pagan institution for the 1970s but what else will pacify the many people who will not rest until they have seen justice done?

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Wednesday November 20, 1974

Death of Queen Alexandra, 1925. Weather improved on yesterday, but the snow is still with us. Harry collects me at 8am and it's not unlike the feeling murderers must once have endured when being collected by the padre en route to the gallows. Shocking driving lesson until 9 and feel utterly doomed at the prospects in store for me. The actual test lasted for about half an hour and I didn't seem to do too badly at all - nevertheless, I failed. The two faults were failing to adhere to the correct regulation of speed when approaching a crossroad; and failing to satisfy him that I have any knowledge of the Highway Code. The latter so called weak point is quite unfair - he asked me all sorts of rubbish about motorway signs, lights, and all the other ridiculous signs which the ordinary person doesn't use from one decade to the next. Home at nearly 10.

Harry arranges some more dates for me and I go inside and devour beans on toast. Ring Mum, Auntie Hilda and the girls at the YP with the bad news, and then open my mail in order to seek some kind of cheery escape. A letter from MM in Sheffield; one from Denny, and one from Benton Park inviting me to their Xmas Disco on December 19. Very thoughtful of them to remember me after all these months. Poor MM was quite a nervous wreck about the test, and wished me all the luck in the world - which doesn't seem to have been enough. Lynn rings me and I inform her of the result. Alison was also horror-struck. Work 5 till 12. Quite a good evening and go with Tony (Kelly) to the Central Station for an hour. Nothing of importance happens. Please forgive the change of ink, but I hate using biro to record these historic events here within.

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Tuesday November 19, 1974

Birth of Charles I, 1600. Snows like Hell this lunchtime. My half day. Get a bus at 12.30 from the bus station and whilst rocketing through Horsforth the first snow of this winter begins to fall. Walk home up the lane looking like a snowman. Mum makes omlette and chips for lunch and I sit deliberating about my driving test tomorrow. Will it be cancelled because of the weather? No doubt Harry will resolve these fears when I see him at 7pm.

Not working until 5pm tomorrow. See 'Jennie Lady Randolph Churchill' at 9 after having a good lesson in the car - no drastic mishaps and he says it's a good improvement. Nothing much else on the TV and I certainly think that Lee Remick's portrayal of Lady Randolph, improves with watching. The first few programmes seemed cheap and untrue but now I can hardly wait for Tuesday evenings to come around. Look at the Highway Code when I come to bed, but am too tired to study it for long.

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Monday November 18, 1974

Uneventful day really. At the YP nothing of tremendous import happens other than the reconcilliation in the marriage of Michael and Carol Johnson. However, if you want my opinion, the rot has already set in and the cancerous growth will eat away at the relationship. Once the seeds of destruction are sown very little can be done to prevent germination. Sarah, Carol and I bet on the mysterious Earl of Lucan. Sarah and I say he is now dead, but Carol says he's alive. On Christmas Eve, going by information received from now until then, 10p each is at stake between the three of us. The police aren't mad. If His Lordship is alive and on the run in Britain he deserves to get away with it, after all this time.

See a film on the TV tonight 'Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice' which doesn't attempt to be realistic at all. Quite frightening though. Bed at 11.30 after hearing strange noises coming from the direction of the garden. I think it was Mrs Smith looking for poor Ricki, who is stone deaf. (Ricki is a 11 year-old Spaniel dog).
Have I told you already what Carol Smith has been saying to Dave Baker when she rings him every night?

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Sunday November 17, 1974

23rd after Trinity. Death of Mary I in 1558, and accession of Queen Elizabeth I. Beautiful day again. Up at 11.30 with no ill-effects from yesterday's Cow & Calf excursion. Go driving with Harry at 12 for an hour and do better than yesterday's horrific drama, which did little or no good to the car, pupil or instructor. Back home for lunch of bacon and eggs, an unusual mid-day meal for Sunday, but Mum's excuse is that Papa is decorating. After lunch I persuade John to let me loose in the 1100 and we spend a pleasant couple of hours on the road. Go to Horsforth, and tour the actual test route for an hour, then decide to visit Chris, who is staying with Denise at The Grange. I drive to Arthington where we find Denny with her boyfriend, Adrian. He's a tall (not quite my size) fair chap, of few words. Not a very pleasant afternoon, and we only stayed for one cup of coffee, and believe you me, one cup of Lorraine Akroyd's coffee is enough for any normal person to tolerate.

Home before darkness sets in too much, and we're surprised to see the little car of Uncle Harry parked on the drive. Harry stays to tea which consists of salmon sandwiches, then goes off with Mum and Dad to Addingham for the usual booze-up. John, Chris, Carol and myself go to the Hare and then the Commercial. We have a serious evening discussing everything from pre-marital sex to marriage and abortion. Back home for coffee, and so too is David, Lynn, Sue and Peter. Harry and the dear parents join us and we freak out with parnsip wine in the dining room. Dancing goes on for hours. Have beans at about 2.30 and then come to bed after seeing off Uncle Harry who, according to Dad, was the greatest policeman in West Yorkshire before turning to alcohol.

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Saturday November 16, 1974

Henry III died 1272. Nice to have Saturday morning off. Wake at 10 with the sun blazing through the bedroom window - a brilliant morning. Dad is playing about in the kitchen erecting a new cupboard. John and I decide to go to Yeadon for a spot of shopping and we prowl around the record shop and try to find a bag of sugar in Morrison's which is like trying to fins a haydle in a neestack. Discover that 'due to panic buying' no sugar is obtainable.

Back home I discover lashings of hot broth & dumplings - having had no breakfast I was famished. Mum and Sue go to Bradford after lunch and I sit in front of the TV awaiting my faithful driving instructors arrival. See the beginning and the end of 'Pride and Prejudice'. The noble Lord Olivier appears in the film at the ridiculously early age of 20 or 21.

The ladies come back from Bradford at the disgustingly late hour of 7pm. John and I hurry through piles of tomato sandwiches, laced with the occasional lump of cheese. Dear Denny rings and says she's honouring us with her presence at this evening's orgy at the Cow & Calf. We all meet in the Hare & Hounds and Denny looks gorgeous after all these weeks of seclusion. She tells me that her new boyfriend is called Adrian. He's 19 and he's got blond hair. I have her on about him. The ______are the biggest pair of bitches to inhabit the hills and valleys of the County of York since the likes of Barbara Castle and Coun Joan de Carteret, sometime Lord Mayor of Leeds, dwelled in the area. Denny and I are alone all evening and it makes a pleasant deviation from the usual male companionship which is a bore. Drink lager all night and John brings Christine Dibb and myself home at 2.30.

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Friday November 15, 1974

Quite busy at the YP. Mrs Collis rings in the morning to say Sarah is ill in bed. My delightful Sarah unwell!
Later: Have a fantastic time in the Commercial after starting off at the Hare & Hounds of course. Lynn and Dave, Carol, Phyllis Whitethighs, Keith, John and myself all stood in a bundle near the bar, laughing and joking. Phyllis kept saying it was her 19th birthday. I kissed her that number of times on the lips, and so did Keith, but he really did believe it was her birthday, so he's got some excuse at least. I drink campari and lager until we get to Wikis when I switch to bitter, which is quite putrifying. Very boring at Wikis, and I'm sick of seeing ______trying to grab all she can get in the idiotic stupor she's regularly in these days. To avoid the hideousness of drunken females I switched tables and sat until 2am with little Helen Willis, and three other unknown couples. Gillian Barker was of course near at hand. At 2 I escorted Helen to the door, but conveniently having no coat I am unable to walk her home. It's a cold night and I obtain a lift with John - Christine Dibb occupying the back seat. John and I argue about drinks on our arrival home and we wake Mama from her slumbers. She's not at all pleased by our disturbing conversation. Bed at 2.30.

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Thursday November 14, 1974

William III born 1650. The Prince of Wales born 1948. I hate British weather. Yesterday would have been a lot nicer if todays little sunny periods had given an orange glow above the sogginess of Bradford. Never again will I believe this talk about 'Queen's weather'. The sun simply ignored Her Majesty yesterday.

Busy at the YP. Anne, who departed our comapny in June, paid us a visit after lunch, and was her usual boisterous self. I got on perfectly well with Anne, though I did disagree with the way she wielded her authority as deputy librarian, over the library staff. After all, Sarah has worked in the department for 5 years and at 21 was quite capable of making Kathleen an admirable deputy.

Lynn goes mad after tea when she sees in the EP that Alison's Dad is now regional manager of the Southampton area. How could Al possibly have such information without conveying it to Lynn? But seriously, Lynn is rarther upset at the thought of seeing Alison depart to the south of England without so much as a by your leave. Alison Dixon is a gorgeous creature and only the person of Martyn Cole Eesquire keeps me from her side. My passions are at a high level indeed when I see the diminutive, blond creature, in her black necklace, reclining on our settee.

Collapse with the hysteria put about by the 'Monty Python' crowd on the BBC. Sue and I have exactly the same sense of humour. We dissolved in the kitchen for about half an hour after the programme had finished.

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Wednesday November 13, 1974

Edward III, born 1312. Glorious day, excluding the weather. Up with the larks at 7.30 and everyone thinks I'm mad when I insist on going into Bradford to see the Queen's progress through the city. Her Majesty last came here in 1954 so it's not every day that one receives the opportunity to stand about for four and a half hours in pouring rain making a fool of oneself. The Queen arrived at 10.15 and she came into my view fifteen minutes after her arrival. Dressed in peach coloured orange with a matching hat she looked beautiful. And beautiful isn't the wrong word here. On TV or in photographs one wouldn't say this 48 year-old woman looked 'beautiful' but when ones receives the opportunity to see her in the flesh, her radiance and fantastic complexion knocks all sense of reason out of one. Got a thorough soaking, and in order to dry out I went to Denny's and the warmth of WH Smith's. We decide to go for lunch together, and at 12 we meet her friend, Lucy, who shares a flat with Judith B, my passion in June/July. We are caught up in a crowd near the Town Hall and before we know what is happening we are in the midst of one of the Queen's 'walkabouts'. A massive crowd shrouds her from our view, but by leaping about at regular intervals I get a view of the Queen and can hear her voice as she speaks to people in the crowd. You can imagine how emotional Denny was. And even Lucy, who didn't look interested at first, went away with a brand new lease of life. The girls go back to work at 1pm and I wait outside the Town Hall (flying the Royal Standard) whilst the Queen lunches. At 2 a massive crowd is gathered to see the Queen's departure for Halifax. An unforgetable, fantastic day.

Home at 3 to devour six pancakes and see 'The Forsyte Saga' on TV... followed by an hour long soak in the bath. See a film which shows a woman giving birth in the opening scenes 'Silly Cow' or something, they called it. An appropriately crude title.

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Tuesday November 12, 1974

Rhoda Wilson born 1850. Eileen and I go into town at lunchtime where I buy a film for her camera. I expect to capture several shots of Her Majesty during tomorrow's royal progress through the streets of Bradford. Can't wait.

Pleasant afternoon. Take two pictures of the girls. Sarah is a darling. She tells me her Dad is the head postmaster at York. No doubt that morsel of information was an invitation to seduce her passionately behind a filing cabinet, whilst the glories of having a head postmaster for a father-in-law was supposed to play on my sense for self-advancement & ambition.

After tea I have a driving lesson with Harry until 8. Don't do too bad, though the weather is deplorable and we see a nasty road accident down Apperley (ever after) Lane, close to the home of the late Judith Beevers - and several fire engines and the police were in attendance, no doubt pinching the sacks of sugar which had made up the load of the lorry involved in the unseemly affair.

See 'Jennie Lady Randolph Churchill' and the death of Lord Randolph on the ITV programme. The so-called young Sir Winston looked hideous.

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