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20091215

Tuesday December 31, 1974

My half-day. Come home at 12.30 where everyone is rushing around preparing for the party tonight. Our famous parties grow more and more popular each year and we'll have to hold it in a marquee before very long. I clear all the rubbish out of the garage which has been piled there since Christmas. John helps me to burn it.

Mum is upset by Auntie Hilda, who informs her by way of the telephone, that the Gadsbys will not be patronising our Hogmany orgy this year. Mrs Gadsby really is the limit.
A sad day for this volume today. This is my final entry upon these pages, and in a few short minutes the book will be closed forever. What can I possibly say to put a fitting end to it? I know, I'll give a list of events which I think have been the most important of the year.

January: Vic Feather is raised to the peerage.

February: The Rt Hon Edward Heath resigns as Prime Minister; the Rt Hon Harold Wilson becomes PM (March 4)

March: Ian Ball attempts to kidnap Princess Anne, March 20; Lynn is 16 (March 6)

April: I am 19 April 5

May: Meet Judith Beevers (May 3)

June: Death of the Duke of Gloucester (June 10); John and I visit John and Sheila in Windsor

July: Finish with Judith Beevers (July 21)

August: Princess Anne, 24; Queen Mother, 74.

September: Lynn starts going out with Dave Baker; John is 18, Sept 25

October: General Election, Oct 10. Start going out with Lynne Mather

November: Finish with Lynne Mather

December: Santa Claus comes Dec 25.

Mary had a little pig,
She put it in a bucket,
But every time she took it out,
the Bulldog tried to put it back

Mary had a little lamb,
She also had a duck,
She put them on the matlepiece,
to see if they'd fall off

Mary had a little Pig,
She couldn't stop it grunting,
she stood it up against the sty,
and kicked its little head in

So, the year is nearly over. A new diary becomes operative from midnight. Hope you've enjoyed reading it. Obviously, I'm a boring writer and I cannot expect you to have devoured every sentence with rellish. I can understand you skipping a couple of months here and there. You're only human after all. Well, I'm going now. If you want to read about the party see the book headed '1975' in which a full and proper account of tonight's goings on will be preserved for posterity. God Bless you all, and a happy and prosperous New Year, which ever one it is next. After all, you could be a little chap from the 22nd century who has stumbled upon this diary. Wishing you a Happy New Year for 1975 would be a bit pointless, wouldn't it?

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Monday December 30, 1974

A remarkable story was splashed across the pages of yesterday's Sunday People about the marital goings on of the Duke of Argyll's brother, Lord Colin Campbell. Evidently, Lady Colin, the duke's sister-in-law, was a "young man" until her 19th year, when he/she underwent a sex-change operation. Whatever next?

Prepare myself for a quiet Monday evening, which is to be quite different tonight. Andy rings us at about 8. He collects John and I and we go to the Hare. Have several drinks at the local before moving on to the Station on Henshaw Lane. Linda and Carol are having a quiet drink inside, and are surprised to see us. I'm on lager again all night, and drink too much. Not too much as far as intoxication is concerned, but too much in a pig-like style, verging on gluttony. Have fish and chips and then come home to see 'The 39 Steps' - the ancient film. Ah well, 1974 is almost over and done with. I do so dislike having to move into a new year.

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Sunday December 29, 1974

1st after Christmas. Wake up in a lousy state at noon. Still fully clad in jeans and cardigan, but all in knots. Am still drunk at 12. After a bath with the window wide open and a large cooked breakfast I disappeared back to bed until 4.30. Came downstairs to be faced by a bowl of Mum's trifle which had gone off. Nearly decided to call it a day and return to bed, but chose to stay to entertain Dave and Lynn, who are discussing tonight's rave at the Gadsby mansion.

They all go at about 6 and I sit about listening to the radio. Once again the fateful December 29 is upon us. The fifth anniversary of the death of Uncle Albert. Not wishing to be too morbid I'd like to say a few words about him. At the age of 14 I had led a completely sheltered life of happiness and domestic bliss. For those 14 years death had been an unknown monster. Like other children, I never expected this ugly __to raise its sombre face in my direction. But, on December 29, 1969, my little world was shattered by the death Uncle Albert, my beloved relative and friend. This event marked a point of some significance. Nobody before or since has died leaving me so upset. In short, he's the only person I ever been close to and lost. That is why I keep this day in horror next to my heart. I realise that before my life is done, many such dates will be of horrid significance to me.

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Saturday December 28, 1974

Death of Mary II, 1694. Feeling quite well, which is unusual for Saturday mornings. Lynn and I sit listening to the radio until 8.0am. This John Stonehouse case is a right bloody fiasco. It makes one wonder just how many other vice-ridden, corrupt sods flock each day to the Palace of Westminster to help govern this nation of ours. It's a nasty embarrassment for 'Uncle' Harold and his so-called Labour party.

Work until 3.30 when I decide to pack up and go. I was only half an hour early - no catastrophe.
John, Sheila and cousin Valerie came after tea, and John and I only had a few minutes with them before departing for Horsforth. The Ratcliffe party commences in the evening and is a tremendous success. The clan meet in the Fleece, a nice little ale house which we rarely visit throughout the drinking year. See June. We don't speak. Miss Bottomley fails to excite my emotions like she did once upon a time.

The party is underway by 10.30 and goes on until 11 the following morning. I can't remember much about the occasion at all, though I do recall a certain enjoyable experience with Christine Braithwaite. I gradually drank myself into a state of semi-consciousness & Denny was the only one who came to my aid. We walked all over Horsforth together and I felt much better afterwards. Home with Lynn, David, Christine Dibb and Denny at 4am.

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Friday December 27, 1974

Unusual day. Wake up at 10.30 feeling void of all life and health, but do not lay around to dwell on my condition. Downstairs David is preparing breakfast and poor Sandy is in a pile on the lounge carpet with Tosca looking on.

I devour an unwanted breakfast and John attempts to remove the remnants of this early mornings fiasco with a tin of beans and toast from his person. Leave the Lawson residence at about 12 o'clock and David comes back for a drink. Sit in front of the TV all afternoon not taking much notice of the goings on and contemplating the Christine/Philip break-up. She rings later on and confirms it. He came to see her this morning and begged her to reconsider, but she refused. Naturally, the poor girl's upset, but the bulk of my sympathy goes to poor Philip. He's a different character to Christine. I think she can be hard, whilst he's almost child-like in his affection for her. He'll be shattered by this well and truly.

Arrange to go to the Hare at 8.15. Dave's collecting me, and Christine is making her own way down. It's a quiet night really. John, David, Sandy, Christine and myself go to the Hare, then to the Queen's at Apperley. See Judith B's car on the drive, but she's not in the pub in question. Find a fish and chip shop open in Horsforth and we sit about troughing like greedy pigs. Home and tucked up in bed for 12.

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Thursday December 26, 1974

Boxing Day. Holiday in England, Ireland & Wales. Christine finished with Philip at Dave's Christmas party. I am bereft of all comment on the situation. My capacity to deal with the English language is shown to be completely useless when I give it news of such a sizeable calamity as this to cope with. She handed the (engagement) ring back and he went off heart-broken into the wind and rain of the night.

The party itself was super. Dave playing the perfect host as usual, and all went well. Everyone came, and I received my first opportunity to form an opinion of Adrian, espoused of Miss Akroyd.

MM and Marita were sat heaped in a corner all evening - not at all the enthusiastic couple. I became more than just merry. Exactly, I was pissed up beyond the level of safety. Danced with Christine for much of the time. She kept saying how relieved she was to have ended it all with Philip. As though a great cloud had been raised from above her. Carol Smith's little scouse of a boyfriend kept threatening to kill the other male party goers when they attemmpted to dance with his darling. God! Just who does he think SHE is?

Sandy and I made beans on toast at about 4am. John managed to coat himself with more than a liberal layering of baked beans, which set concrete hard by 10am.

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Wednesday December 25, 1974

Christmas Day. Up at a decent time with no hangover, upset stomach or minor bruising in the area of the buttocks, like the situation I was in at last years festive peak. After the ritual handing over of millions of presents we all settle down in the lounge in preparation for lunch. It was better than the last one, and Mum really deserves a medal for all she's done today. Delicious.

David Baker, Esquire, calls after lunch to give Lynn her presents. We sit laughing for hours.
The Queen seemed rarther abrupt in her usual Commonwealth broadcast, and we saw none of the usual family tit-bits like Prince Edward pushing a corgi off the back of a Land Rover, or Princess Margaret in cabaret at Braemar Womens' Institute annual prize giving. Still, we are grateful for the few words we did receive.
To Auntie Eleanor's at 7 with the family plus Mr Nason and Mr Baker. A complete and utter flop it all was. Home at 2am to everyones relief. Dave looked like thunder from about 11.30 onwards. The poor boy doesn't understand the Wilson type humour at all.

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Tuesday December 24, 1974

Christmas Eve. YP till 12 before the festivities begin. At 12 I go outside to meet John who is coming into Leeds for the booze-up in the Central Station pub. He comes up to the library and waits while we open our presents and knock back a glass of cinzano bianco.

The Central is packed out - unbelieveable. Sarah, John and I spend most of the time at the bar. Peter Lazenby and few of his 'Roundhead' Sealed Knot friends go almost hysterical when I tell them that Sarah is descended from Bridget, daughter of Oliver Cromwell, and General Henry Ireton. Praise upon praise was lavished upon her. However, they didn't go so far as to buy her a drink. Sarah, John and I left Leeds by bus at about 3 o'clock. The massive crowd in the Central prevented us from being rendered incapable with ales and spirits, but we weren't all that sober. Devour a few layers of chocolates while travelling home.

At home Mum is prepared for Christmas. Have tea - the first meal of the day for me, before going out on the town to the Hare at 8.30. We stay until 11.30 and nobody seems really enchanted with festive cheer. Come home with Lynn and Dave Baker and sit about merry-making until the early hours.

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Monday December 23, 1974

YP all day. Nearly Christmas once more. Doesn't seem ten minutes since the last one really.

Go with John, Mum and Dad to see cousin Dorothy at the White Horse in Burley-in-Wharfedale. She is not really like any of the Wilsons I know. My calculations show she's the daughter of my grandfather's elder brother, Edward Wilson. Mum says he was a typical local character whose vocabulary consisted of little other than swear words and uncouth language. 'The salt of the earth' as Dad would say. We have a few drinks at Burley before coming home for supper. On arriving home I call in on the Blackwells with a bottle of rum which Mum bought for them. They keep me for ages talking about the weather of yesteryear. Evidently, 1933 and 1947 were the worst Christmases they have known.

Pork sandwiches for upper with Lynn, Sue, Peter and Dave. See a cronic ghost story before coming to bed after 12.

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Sunday December 22, 1974


4th in Advent. Repulsive weather for the time of year. Brilliant sun shines down upon us, and if somebody was to tell me we are in the middle of August I would take the information without a query. Mr Baker collects Lynn at the early hour of 1pm and rushes her off her feet to the wilds of Otley Chevin. Peter pays court to Susan and then drags her back to his place for tea.

Mummy and Daddy are also restless this afternoon and they disappear too. This mass migration to other spheres leaves John and myself quite alone. See the TV. 'Captain Horatio Hornblower' a Gregory Peck film, then we listen to my Monty Python LP.

After a long bath with the backing of the Sold Gold 60 programme on the radio I ring Marita for a report on the weekend activities of the 'Jet Set'. They too have indulged in quiet activities this weekend, and she's near to hysterics when I tell her of yesterdays antics with the two Davids in Bradford. She loved the bit about the old lady in British Home Stores complaining to the staff about us handling the frilly knickers.

John and I see the play 'Crown Matrimonial', starring Greer Garson as Queen Mary, matriarch of the Royal House of Windsor, a bold and dedicated woman whom the present Queen closely resembles. The play was brilliant and the portrayal of all the characters was perfect.

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Saturday December 21, 1974

The events of last night were hilarious & fantastic. So fantastic that conveying what passed down here on this historic paper can never do them justice. All I need do is inscribe herein that I went to Wikis with Christine on Dec 20, 1974, and I will re-live those hours over and over again in minute detail. Received a Christmas card from Christine this morning and I think it's just my luck to be over fond of an engaged young lady. Will I ever be successful in love?

Dave slept on our floor all night, and managed to be up at 7 to drive Lynn to Bradford. He stays for breakfast, then lunch, and then takes me shopping in Guiseley for a few odds and sods for Mother. After lunch David arrives. He has a few laughs with John in the sick room before taking Mr Baker and myself off on a final present buying spree to Bradford. We're in town all afternoon and manage to get most things we wanted. I buy Mother a bowl from Brown Muffs which is a bizarre looking thing - something resembling an overstarched upturned handkerchief. Nobody really knows whether they like it or not. Go see Lynn in British Home Stores, and she is still rarther pale and washed-out after last night. Dave's bought her a silver locket for £6, a bottle of pernod for £4, and a pair of black, sexy briefs for 50p. That lot adds up to over £10! It must be love or something. Don't go out this evening. Chris is astounded when I tell him. All he can say, over and over again is: "don't you realise it's the Saturday before Christmas?"

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Friday December 20, 1974

Very mild day and none of that ruddy, interfering wind. YP all day - rarther busy and under-staffed. Kathleen was off all day and Sarah & Eileen were on half-day. Darling Sarah sat with me for 30-odd minutes at lunchtime and we just laughed. She knows I am infatuated with her. She is more than fond of me.

Lynn amused me yesterday when she said ____was positively choked with envy on Tuesday. I can understand him fancying Sarah. His influence over Denny is also a very powerful force at the moment.

David collects me at about 8.30 and we go straight to the Hare & Hounds where we meet Christine and Philip. Quite a pleasant surprise too! Keith, Peter Mather, Carol and Chris Denby are also in, but we don't sit with them. At 9.30, after waiting for Chris for long enough, the four of us go on to the Dyneley Arms - a lousy place. To beat everything, Christine & I finised up in Wikis together. She didn't live it down when Philip's brother saw us together. Back to Pine Tops until 4am when Dave Baker takes her home. Poor Lynn is being sick upstairs after Dave's office party.

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