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20091220

Wednesday February 26, 1975


A busy day really. Sarah, Carol and I go down to Whitelocks for a few jars and a bite to eat. Sarah is really funny. She could get pissed on a pint of water. Two ciders and she's anybodys.

Maybe I'm just a cynic but I had to laugh at a marriage announcement in the Times this morning. Lady Jane Fitzalan-Howard, daughter of the old Duke of Norfolk who was taken from us three and a half weeks ago, is to marry Lord Ancram, the elder son of the Marquis of Lothian. Now you may think nothing of this at all, but I can't help having my doubts. The old duke must have refused to allow any of his daughters to leave his side. Threats of cutting them off without a penny, &c. Was Uncle Bernard typranical? Let's see how quickly the three remaining daughters grab a few men and march them down the aisle.

Thank God it's pay day tomorrow. I'm really stony broke this week. What with saving up for Majorca and bloody Barclaycard I'll be bloody grey and toothless by my 20th birthday. It's a week since I've heard from Marian. So I may as well wave bye bye to her, and Gillian's stopped mauling me. So I once again revert to a celibate state. Anyone would think I'm standing for Pope at the next election. Pope Michael the First. Yes, that's got a nice ring to it.

John doesn't go out. Chris collects me at 8.30. To the Hare & Hounds with Laura and Carol. Have a few laughs, though nothing startling occurs.

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Tuesday February 25, 1975



Bit of a miserable day really. Do all my work before lunch and do sweet sod all in the afternoon. The whole day dragged by and I was positively thrilled to be able to get away at 4.30.

Nothing spectacular in the news other than the death of Marshal Bulganin, a trumped up Russian war hero.

Home at 5.30 and indulge in a meal of liver, chips and peas. Most enjoyable to say the least. Mum, having been to the bank for me, hands me back my book containing £16.33, and when the £10 in Chris's possession is added to this a sizeable sum is conjured up.
Chris Monckton is now writing in the 'People' section of the YP. Why am I telling you this? Well, I'm just proving what being heir to a title can do, and where it can get you. It's editor here we come for Chris one day. Just you see.

Look in Crockford's Clerical Directory for the Rev A.B. Downing, but he isn't in. Horrid thought immediately spring to mind. Is he a Methodist or Presbyterian minister? Aaarrgghh....John cannot be associated with a daughter of one of those.

Old Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone is 92 today. I've worked it out that on June 15, 1977 she will be the oldest ever living member of the British Royal Family. The one in the lead at the moment is Princess Augusta, a granddaughter of King George III, an aunt of Queen Mary. Come on, Alice! Don't give in! It would be great if she managed it. But at 92 people can be so unpredictable, or is it predictible?
See a good Jack Lemmon film on the BBC.

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Monday February 24, 1975


More bloody fog all day. Creep to the YP with Jim in the car, bumper to bumper all the way. See in the papers that Uncle Harold is to make a statement in the Commons today about the 'Royal shares' leakage. On the 6 o'clock news tonight Harold says the reports in the Morning Star are true, and Scotland Yard are looking into the whole affair. Some filthy swine has obviously waited until the Civil List is about to be debated before dropping this bombshell. Many MPs want to know how we can possibly justify giving £450,000 to the Civil List when private royal finance interests are unknown and shrouded in privacy. The poor Queen can't be enjoying her Mexican visit at all.

Home at 5.15. Lynn is in bed with funny pains in her stomach. Mum says she's had some idea that something's been wrong for about 10 days, and appendix cannot be ruled out. She doesn't look too good. I'll be glad when the doctor has seen her in the morning.

Old Mrs Thing across the road was found dead in bed last night. I hate people dying without letting people know - most inconsiderate, and it's always such a messy business what with the police and the Coroner, &c, &c. I delivered her morning paper many years ago, but otherwise I never came into contact with her.

John discovered this evening that Naomi's papa is a vicar! Yes, the Rev A.B. Downing is listed in the telephone directory as living at Naomi's address, so it must be the case. Please remind me to watch my language when I meet her again.

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Sunday February 23, 1975


2nd in Lent. Up at 11.00am. See in the Sunday papers that the revolting Communist rag The Morning Star is in possession of certain papers, government papers too, relating to the personal share holdings of the Queen and other members of the Royal Family. The poor Queen will be distraught with grief. This country makes me sick. The shear lack of decency and manners shown by the Press emphasises too much the need for censorship, and interrogation and torture of all newspaper editors, and the need for certain people, who shall be nameless, to go down to the headquarters of certain annonymous socialist newspapers and reduce them to nothing more than rubble and ashes. May the Morning Star and all who serve in her be eternally damned. Amen.

Chicken for lunch, and then in keeping with the traditional Sunday afternoon we all go and sit listening to the Jimmy Savile programme on the radio. Don't really know what's going on tonight. John of course is going off to the Hare with Naomi, and Chris has mentioned the pictures, but I'm on the verge of bankruptcy at this moment in time, but I'd rarther not discuss anything involving financial topics.

Before tea I cut John's hair. Yes, he finally decided to hand it all over to the National Trust, and I am sure that the national will be eternally grateful. John and Naomi go out, but I stay in with Mum. Sue is at Peter's and Lynn and Dave are at the pictures. Come to bed at about 12.30 after seeing a Bridget Bardot film. John created a sensation with his hair in the pub, and says the general opinion of the gang was a favourable one.

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Saturday February 22, 1975


Don't climb from 'neath the sheets until 12.05. Take a liberal breakast (not Jeremy Thorpe on toast) then John suggests a trip in the ailing car. We go up to Yeadon, but don't stop, and rocket in the direction of Otley. On our arrival at the place of Thomas Chippendale's birth we seek solace in the Black Bull, a homely ale house of little ostentation, with friendly, genial locals. Only consume one pint each before venturing home.

We spend the remainder of the afternoon with Sue & Pete in the lounge playing a selection of records old and new. Mum in the meantime attempts to bake cakes in the kitchen, and we only realise at tea time to what extent she went to make such a vile creation. If you'd seen the cake you'd certainly realise I'm not exaggerating.

At about 7 I departed to the bathroom with a pair of nail scissors and a mirror. Half an hour later I emerged with a new hair-style - semi-short and shaggy, but quite good really considering.

To the Hare & Hounds again. Dave is home again and once more in our midst. So we were garaunteed an eventful evening. John, Naomi, Andy, Linda, Peter Mather, Carol and her latest friend went to Rockerfellas leaving the remaining people in the Hare until nearly 11. Dave goes off to Mick Orchard's at 11, saying he'll sdee us in two weeks, and the remaining chosen few come back to Pine Tops to see a pathetic film, 'The Reptile'. Bed at 1.30am.

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Friday February 21, 1975

Cold day at work. The conversion men having moved in have stopped all the heating in the place, and the sound of many knees knocking together simultaneously with the unnerving chatter of teeth and dentures has created a worrying atmosphere. However, the cold has given one and all the impetus to run round the office, and we completed all the filing in record time.

To the Hare & Hounds with Naomi, Christine and Chris, not forgetting John, that is after a chase round Horsforth and a quick one in the Fleece. Went to Christine's to pick her up and sat with her Mum & Dad for 10 minutes. A nice couple, with the Braithwaite humour stamped all over them.

The gang move on to Wikis as usual, and I pass a pleasant but uneventful evening. Marian is nowehere to be seen, and Gillian is flaunting one of her spare gentleman friends. Home at 2.30 in the usual style and after taking the two C's back to Horsforth. Sleep soundly.

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Thursday February 20, 1975


Eileen and I go to the Central for lunch again. I say 'again' because we did the same thing last Thursday, but that seems to have been missed from these historic pages. Swill down a few pints of lager before moving reluctantly back to the YP.

Chaos reigned this morning. Evidently, the Dowager Lady Mowbray, Segrave & Stourton saw fit to do herself in last night, and alas, no photos of the obscure, highly neglected lady are to be found in our files. The newsdesk and Donald Futrell went berserk, but calmness was dispersed by our beloved leader, Miss Rainford.

Us librarians are getting sick of the quiet and the cold, which we are forced to endure while workmen install new air conditioning in the press hall. Will we survive until May. Wait and see.

At 8.30 John and I go to Gillian's for a beer and record session (nothing else either). Have one glass of Dad's home brew concoction, then decide not to bother with any more. Listen to the Monty Python LP (mine) and a bit of Bowie's 'Diamond Dogs'. Gillian gets even worse, and I'm going to have to make it clear that a) I'm not going to sleep with her, and b) marry her, or c) buy her the Smirnoff Vodka Company. Home at 12 feeling horribly tired, or incredibly bored. I expect it was the latter disease.

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Wednesday February 19, 1975


Beautiful day. A crisp morning with the sun as big as a football following us all the way to Leeds. One would hardly believe it's 93,000,000 miles away, or something equally fantastic.
Margaret Thatcher picked her shadow Cabinet yesterday. Willie Whitelaw is the deputy leader, and the repulsive Sir Geoffrey Howe is 'Chancellor'. Peter Walker and Geoffrey Rippon have received the boot, as it were, and the prodigal Reggie Maudling's been forgiven all his sin sand receives the Foreign and Commonwealth job. Definately a right wing leap for the Tories but I can't say that I disagree. The country needs a good old Churchillian party.

Go to town with Eileen at lunchtime and spend £1 on absolutely nothing. Must be a sign of the times. I can recall the days when I got one shilling and six pence a week, and on Friday I still had change in my pocket.

Prince Andrew is having another quiet birthday today. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are of course out in the Bahamas; the Prince of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and Earl Mountbatten are in Nepal for the coronation of the King; Princess Margaret is on holiday in the sun, and Lord Snowdon is working in Australia. No one to help him celebrate. I bet they've had a job finding counsellors of state. The Hon Gerald Lascelles and the late Lady Patricia Ramsay will be acting in this capacity no doubt.

To the Hare with John, Naomi and Gillian. The latter young lady certainly knows how to keep hold of someone. Just because I got carried away with her in Peter's van last Friday she thinks I ought to be infatuated for life. Not on her Nellie. Chris, Laura and (Jane's) Helen joined us. Boring really.

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Tuesday February 18, 1975


Busy day really. Kathleen and I mess around for hours with the files - shifting massive, filthy cabinets from one end of the office to the other. Quite strenuous really.

Home at 6 and debate the idea of going out or not. Decide not to bother.

Marian rings at 6.30 and says she'll pop up tonight to collect Alan's (her brother) coat, which I loaned on Sunday. She arrives on her moped at 7.15 and I make her a cup of tea and let her thaw out in front of the dining room gas fire. We chat for about half an hour and then she moves off in the direction of Yeadon. She certainly is a weird kettle of fish, but I am quite at ease with her. Not good looking at all either, except for her hair and eyes, as I've already said, but I've known some gorgeous looking birds who've been so foul characters it can't really be described. She told me that Maura and Dave (Knowles) are probably back together again.

At 10.30 John comes back in with Naomi and Gillian - talk for an hour.
Uncle Harry rang from his convalescent home tonight and Mum & Dad went out with him. Uncles are certainly a laughable bunch.

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Monday February 17, 1975


Quiet day at the YP. Do all my routine before lunch and sit with a beef and onion sandwich and 'The News of the World' after. George Best is publishing his memoirs in full sordid detail, so what with Richard Crossman it seems like an embarrassing time for certain people at the moment. Lord George-Brown and Sir Matt Busby will be particularly ruffled by these publications.

Crossman makes the Queen out to be a feeble, pathetic figure. She's always 'The poor Queen'.

A bright, sunny day. Home in the light for the first time this year. Salad for tea. Just watch TV later.

Bob Cryer, the silly MP for Keighley, is now joining Mr Hamilton in the ritual humilation of the Royal Family. He is criticising the Queen and Prince Philip's current state visit to Bermuda. 'Most people don't have the chance to get away like this', he said. I quite agree. Most people don't 'get the chance' to go on a gruelling tour, shaking 7,000,000 hands, dishing out medals, and throwing large, sweaty banquets for old diplomats, and not many people want to do this either. Mr Cryer must think the Queen is going on holiday. Another example of 'Westminster ignorance' which is reaching epidemic proportions.

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