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Thursday April 1, 1976

April Fool's Day but hardly a foolish one. Indeed, it was a sombre and worrying day. Carole rings me this evening to say she's had a bust-up with her parents over the cost of my birthday presents. She tells me that Peter P hit her across the face as they quarrelled. I meet her off the 8.20 bus and she staggers up to our place and has a good weep in the dining room. I'm stunned by the bruises and blemishes on her face. Her right eye is completely black and her right ear bruised. She can, of course, take out a summons against the offender, but that would almost certainly mean her vacating her room at 14, Oakridge Avenue, and her financial situation prevents her from achieving this at the moment. She is greatly upset and stunned. I ask her to stay the night here. We sit up chatting until 1 o'clock.


Wednesday March 31, 1976

I feel a bit grotty today. Blocked head and a ticklish feeling in the depths of my throat. Can it be the dreaded influenza? If you discover the remaining pages of this diary are blank you can take it from me that the ailment was more than 'flu. Last day of March. Come home from the office and find Dad in bed with a streaming cold. He isn't often ill and only takes to his bed as a last resort. Carole rings at 8.30 and Christine W rings to say she's coming to Oakwood Hall on Saturday for definate. -==-

Tuesday March 30, 1976

Home at 4.30 and call in next door to see Douglas about the trip on Saturday. He says that he and Susan will definately come, and so that should put Jackie in with a chance. She's quite taken a fancy to Douglas, and he doesn't seem to have a girlfriend, so who knows what might occur? Ring Marita. She doesn't know whether she can make it or not, and the same applies to Christine White. Jackie rings me at 10.30 and I tell her about Douglas. She's quite excited really.

Carole came up at 8.45 and stayed for about an hour. I am concerned about her eyes. She can barely see to the end of her nose, and although I joke about it, I do think she should consult an optician. David took her home in the spitfire at about 10 and the car refused to start for about ten minutes and Pete, Dave and I had to push it up and down the drive with Carole at the wheel. A cold night.

Callaghan won the second ballot for the premiership when the result was announced at 5.30pm. Foot was in second place and Healey was eliminated. The result of the final vote will be announced on my birthday and it will also be the 21st anniversary of the resignation of Churchill and the succession to the premiership of Eden, who is still battling away on a remote Sussex cattle farm, I think. Callaghan is the obvious choice really but he's a spineless middle-of-the-road type, and with a wife who answers to Audrey how can you blame him?

Monday March 29, 1976

Nothing in the news other than the boring details of the sleeping habits of James Callaghan. I'm sure the British public takes great delight in reading about what Mr Callaghan eats for breakfast, how much sugar he puts in his tea, and how long Audrey (his wife) has been on the pill. But seriously, the PM electioneering business is getting on my nerves.

Isn't the 'Race for Downing Street' drama getting exciting? Michael Foot, Denis Healey, Norman St John Stevas, Lord Lucan, Enoch Powell and the Everley Brothers are all 'tipped for the top' and by next Monday it will be all be over and done with. The bloody sooner the better, that's what I say.

A piece in the Daily Mail is fun. Roddy Llewellyn attended a party the other night clad in a t-shirt with the slogan 'Roddy for PM' - and it isn't refering to the Prime Minister either!

Dash home to see the first in a smashing new TV series called 'Coronation Street'. I'm sure it will be a great success and run for years. Some of the characters are thrilling. Alfred Hitchcock thoroughly deserves a pat on the back this time.

See on the 9 o'clock news that the government is having talks with France about scrapping Concorde. This white elephant has been on the go for too long now - about a month I think.


Sunday March 28, 1976

4th in Lent. Mothering Sunday. Mrs Hilda Gadsby's 40th birthday.

I didn't climb out of bed until 12 o'clock. Mum and Dad went out for a tete a tete in some distant bar.

A beautiful tea attended by John, Maria, Marlene, Frank, Auntie Mabel, Mark, Debbie, Lynn, Dave, Sue, Peter, Carole, Mum, Dad and me. Auntie Mabel's clan arrived at 2.30-3 o'clock and Lynn and I entertained them over our photograph albums until Mum & Dad returned home. Tea was then prepared by Lynn - a buffet-type tea which was fantastic. John looked well - fatter. Is Maria having twins?

Jack Simon came up with the proofs of the wedding photos. They really are brilliant. I order seven for my album. Auntie Mabel is reduced to tears at the sight of a picture of her and Uncle Jack arriving at the church. She had a good weep.


Saturday March 27, 1976

Dave L is back in our midst. He took Carole, myself, Sue & Peter up to the Cow & Calf pub this evening after a dead hour in the Hare with only Andy and Linda in attendance. Peter M came in and he accompanied us to the Cow in his own vehicle. The astounding thing about the whole evening was the free juke box!

People were marvelling at Dave's beard. He certainly has given himself a Biblical touch. To a fish & chip shop in Burley-in-Wharfedale where we gorge and feast ourselves in Dave's car. Back to our place for coffee and Mr Lawson took Carole home.

Meanwhile: Earlier that day. Carole and I went to Bradford where she collected my bomber jacket and whilst I was rooting for Mother's Day cards she went and bought me a gold crucifix on a gold chain. I know she likes buying me things, but somehow it gives me a feeling of uneasiness. We didn't argue once - unusual for us when shopping, because Carole is never the same as when she's dragging me round those sweaty, hot department stores.


Friday March 26, 1976

Just Sarah and I at work until Kathleen's arrival at 2.45. Where the hell Carol J was remains a mystery to us because Sarah knows very well that C was out on the town indulging in a spot of mild adultery in the early hours of this very morning. Naturally, we were bloody busy and the day flew by.

To the Hare & Hounds with Carole tonight. Peter M gave the two of us a lift to our place at 11 o'clock. I'm feeling argumentative - not with Carole though - and I squabble with Dad about politics and taxation until a God forsaken hour. Peter N joins in too. He's stunned at the way his tax has increased this week. Carole says she's never seen me arguing with Papa before. Politics is the only thing we really argue about.

Carole and I sit like love birds until after 2am.


Thursday March 25, 1976

Carole, Lynn, Dave, Mum, Dad and I go over to see Auntie Mabel for the evening. She's taking Uncle Jack's passing like a brave warrior really and I think she is marvellous.

We all laugh at her old photographs and drink apricot wine, and her home-made peach wine and sherry. David teased her in his usual way. Everyone definately takes to him - I've realised this after knowing him quite well now for two years or so. A pleasant, cheerful character who can get away with 'blue murder' - that's our Dave.

(Michael) Foot won the first Labour leadership ballot. He could well be the first British Prime Minister to be called Michael. However, James Callaghan must not be underestimated. He will not go without a struggle and his wife, Audrey, is at this very moment measuring the bedrooms and No. 10 for new damask curtains because it's common knowledge that the present chintzy drapes have been hanging since Bonar Law's time.


Wednesday March 24, 1976

Sit in bed reading 'Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin' by P.G. Wodehouse and cannot be bothered compiling my diary today, if that's OK with you, mate. However, if you really want filling in on todays events just ring Leeds 32701 and ask for the library and they'll nip up to the archives and take down the old, musty, yellowed file for Jan-Mar 1976 and thumb through the brittle pages until they find March 24. If this doesn't satisfy you can always just pick your nose or read the unexpurgated edition of Princess Margaret's autobiography.

On this latest royal topic (Princess Margaret) I was stunned and surprised yesterday to see a copy of a biography of Princess Margaret on Guiseley Library shelves. 'Noddy' was withdrawn some years ago for being a racist &c, and so I assumed that books about the disgraced princess would have been taken out and burned in the streets. Fortunately, the princess has survived, but my smile fades and I'm saddened to see, on peeping in the volume, that the book hasn't been borrowed since June, 1954.


Tuesday March 23, 1976

Go to Guiseley Library and enroll once more. I don't think I've been near a library in two years. How I have let my education slip. Why, at one time I could reel off the main achievements of Gladstone's first, second and third ministries, but now I cannot even tell you his christian name. Oh, go on then, it's William Ewart. His foreign policy was always weak, if my memory serves me correctly, and Ireland tended to get him down, but what his achievement were remain blanked from my mind.

Blimey, the sight of all those familiar, ancient library book shelves brought a lump to my throat. Memories of adolescence come flooding back. The days of Anne Greep and Lynn in hysterics; me with grazed knees and only a shadow of the handsome bastard I am in this year of Grace; and many more reflections upon which further deliberation would render this publication unsatisfactory for family reading. I take out a couple of P.G. Wodehouse novels and also collected some for Mum. She likes a good book at bedtime too.