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Wednesday September 29, 1976

CB rings to say she is the proud owner of an automobile. A Triumph 1300 to be precise. Arrange to go out for a drink at 8pm.

[Hold on a bloody minute the lot of you. Mr Michael Rhodes took the day off to do a spot of decorating and of course to see Miss Lynne Mather off from Yeadon on her trip to good old Spain. She flew off at 9.30 in something of a misty spell. Won't be back until Saturday week.]

CB and I go for a drink to a dead Hare & Hounds and then onto to Emmott Arms where Keith Brown is behind the bar dishing up ale. Half an hour in that God forsaken hole was enough, but, to our horror, we find we are trapped in the carpark by another car. CB attempts to manoevre the machine through a gap in a stone wall whilst I go back into the bar to find the owner of the offending vehicle. On returning to the carpark I'm almost overcome by the fumes of burning rubber and masonry, and can see from CB's face that all is far from well. "I've scratched the bloody car", she yells, and with that we rocket off to the Fox & Hounds. As well as a scratch she's managed to unhinge the bloody car door. To the Hare for the last one and home at 1045. CB drives off with her car door flapping.

Molly and Jim are just leaving with John after visiting Maria in Hyde Terrace. At midnight Molly is on the phone saying Maria is in labour! At last! At 1am, or so, John, Mum, Molly and Jim go off to Leeds again. Poor John of course is car-less at the moment. Lynn and I sit waiting for news. By 5am I am too tired to keep awake and fall into a nervous unconsciousness on the settee.


Tuesday September 28, 1976

The news in brief: Maria was taken into Hyde Terrace Hospital at lunchtime and I fully expect to be an uncle before Friday or it, the baby, will have my wrath to contend with.

Miss Lynn Rhodes and Mr David Baker have been deeply in love now for exactly two years and a celebration to mark the event was held accordingly.

Lynne rang from Thornton-le-Dale at 8.30 and I say I'll meet her at the airport at 9am tomorrow. The line was bad, at her end anyway, and she doesn't hear a word I say.

Lucy Lindsay-Hogg was in some of the papers over the weekend. Will she be Countess of Snowdon one day? You never can tell.

Bed at 12.04am on Wednesday morning. Read Wodehouse's 'Do Butlers Burgle Banks?'


Monday September 27, 1976

A wet, awful day. Do you recall how I said on Saturday that people who mention the so-called drought to me will have their balls crushed in a vice and be made to sit through a complete performance of the Max Bygraves TV show? Well, I'm now increasing the sentence to the death penalty. Silly Denis Howell wants his head examining.

My photographs of Christine White's 21st and my weekend at Thornton-le-Dale came today. All good, but one of Lynne and I, and one of Lynne at Castle Howard have not developed.

From 9 until 11am I painted the gloss bits of the bathroom. Quite a pleasant job really. John rings later to say Maria is going into hospital at 2pm tomorrow for tests, but we assume immediately that the time has come at last.


Sunday September 26, 1976

15th after Trinity. Don't see the light of day until 12 o'clock. Have only a slight headache from Eileen's gin, but otherwise all is well.

Dad decorates his bedroom and I do absolutely nothing amidst the busy scurrying of Mum, Lynn and Susan, who are like ants. Lynne sits crocheting a pram cover or something for a couple of hours, until I persuade her to walk up to the village [Hawksworth] with me. Warm, brilliant sun. Energetic stroll and then home for orange juice and a session with the photo albums.

Lynne goes off at 6.30 - 7 o'clock. Will go to Yeadon Airport on Wednesday to see her off to Espana for a couple of weeks or so. A great and perfect woman she is.


Saturday September 25, 1976

John's 20th birthday. The first time that one of 'us four' have been away from home for a birthday. A wet, disgusting day. To make matter's worse Lynne's car on Edith's drive, doesn't start and it takes Dad and David 30 minutes, in pouring rain, to get the bloody thing going again. Lynn comes with Lynne and I to Leeds. The less said about shopping in monsoon-hit Leeds the better. Get John a bottle of 'Aramis' for his birthday and buy 'Givenchy Gentleman' after-shave for my own personal use. Lynne buys a white polo-necked sweater and Lynn got David a couple of presents because they've been going out for exactly 2 years next Tuesday.

Mention the drought to me mate and I'll crush your balls in a metal vice. Harsh I know but you can't expect to antagonise me and get away with it Scot free. [Or is it Scott free? And from where does this saying originate?]

[Large gap at foot of page where I was supposed to record my visit to Eileen Byram's party in Dewsbury. It is sadly lost to history.]


Friday September 24, 1976

Lynne comes over straight from Burley [in Wharfedale] to stay for the weekend. Not a drop of alcohol passes my lips all night -except for one glass of 'Clan Dew' supped at home on our return from the cinema. Yes, we actually went to the pictures for a change. Lynne, Peter, Susan and self, that is. 'Squirm' was the film. A so-called horror movie, but only Lynne found it so. The film on the TV on our return to Pine Tops was far worse. Bed at 1.30 - 2oclock.


Thursday September 23, 1976

A great drunken piss-up with Tony, Stuart and Andrew [Stuart's brother]. Neville's in Ilkley is a revolting, obnoxious hole. Snobbish is too mild a word to use in labelling it. Enjoy ourselves all the same. Up to Oakwood Hall where I consume vast quantities of alcoholic refreshment and become enamoured by a Bingley College of Education tart by the name of 'Skittles' or 'Peggy'. I'm getting just like King Edward VII. Lynne is my beautiful Alexandra though.

Back to Stuart and Andrew's at 2am where we discuss plans for the Queen's Silver Jubilee party. Andrew goes on and on about masturbation. "Am I back at school?" I ask myself. Oh dear. Tony & Stuart are having a party on October 16 to commemorate Tony's defection to W.H.Smith's retail section. Eat cornflakes and Rice Krispies before leaving for home - singing hymns all the way like religious fanatics. It's better than church anyway. What's the name of the Archbishop of Canterbury these days? The current one has a nice wife called Jean.


Wednesday September 22, 1976

News: Unfortunate naval fellows drowned in HMS Littleton yesterday. Rabbit for tea. Superb too. John rings at 6.30 and we all panic, saying unto one another: "Is this it?". But he just says the car has broken down near the Co-op. Papa goes off to see what assistance he can give. _____.

Move back into my bedroom. It now resembles the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. [You know, that was the place where Catherine the Great said: 'Let them eat cake.'] It is splendid though. I had difficulty sleeping though because of those horrid French tourists, herded together like sheep, filing through the place as though it's open to the public. What a liberty! What would Marie Antoinette have said if she'd still been living here? [Didn't she coin the phrase about not being able to have your cake and eat it?] All answers please on a stamped addressed envelope to the King George Fund for Sailors.


Tuesday September 21, 1976

Sorry if I'm neglecting daily bulletins on Maria's condition but things really have ceased to happen. She shows as many signs of giving birth as I do. Oops, I've just had quins. No, but rely on me, as soon as I hear anything you'll be the first to know.

Oh no!! You are not going to like this at all. Do you recall what I said on the previous page about 'the YP plodding along quite nicely...' &c? Well I'm very sorry to say that the paragraph at the bottom of the page is one catastrophic error and should have appeared on this page. It was tonight that the Duke of Edinburgh didn't get lost at sea, and it was on this eventful night that Leonard James Callaghan continued to breathe and his heart continued to pump regardless of the Rhodesian question, and the somewhat 'murky' past of Davina Sheffield.

Monday night was in fact a quiet one spent in front of another Dirk Bogarde film on the BBC. Is it true that he is homosexual, or is it a figment of my imagination? [Come on you lot! Take down a copy of 'Who was Who in the Acting World of the Twentieth Century' and look up Mr Bogarde for me].

Still sleeping on a camp bed.


Monday September 20, 1976

Another day decorating my bedroom, and Lynn & Susan's. Sue joined Dad and I today and proved a great help. A great kid is our Sukey. By 5 o'clock I've put the finishing touches to to the window in my room and the final completed effect is impressive.

Dad seems determined to go ahead with his meeting with the chief constable on Wednesday and his resignation is imminent. Mum is getting upset about it too because Dad doesn't seem to know what to do if, or when, he does eventually resign. Discuss the pub business at tea time again. Oh God - talk about history repeating itself.

The YP was plodding along quite nicely and it always gives me the feeling that it wouldn't really miss me if I didn't turn up for work. Must have something to do with the enormity of the place. Nothing in the news. The Prime Minister is still alive and the Duke of Edinburgh hasn't been lost at sea or anything, and so I take my leave at 11pm.

Have fried liver & onions and then collapse on my camp bed with revolting indigestion. Liver just doesn't go down well with me at all. Just two words before I go - Neville Chamberlain.


Sunday September 19, 1976

14th after Trinity. No news from Maria. The poor little baby must be tired of waiting. It is nine or ten days late now. Will he/she come on John's 20th birthday next Saturday? Wouldn't it be great? [All say 'yes, Michael'].

All day painting my bedroom. That is 12 noon until 8.30. Dark green walls, pale green door, window, and radiator, &c. It looks smashing.

Watch John Cleese in 'Fawlty Towers' and then Richard Attenborough in '10 Rillington Place' - a film about John Christie and Timothy Evans. Good film but a ghastly story really. Lynn was frightened to death.

Sleep on a camp bed in the lounge for the fifth night in succession. Reading 'The Beatles' until after 1.30.

The Sunday papers are full of Davina Sheffield again. The future Queen returned to London from the outer Hebrides this afternoon and was met by a mob of 200 press photographers. Her future Majesty then bolted into a public convenience and remained concealed for 30 minutes until a young policeman managed to procure her escape. Everyone seems hell bent on marrying the prince & Miss Sheffield.


Saturday September 18, 1976

Spend all day with Dad in my bedroom hanging [wall]paper. Peter N joins us after lunch and we manage to get most of it done by the evening. Poor Dad is in one hell of a state. The threatened closure of Guiseley Police Station is driving him to the brink of insanity. On Wednesday he is to have a personal inteview with the Furher [Ronald Gregory, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire] and the outcome of the meeting could decide Dad's future in the police force.

Out with Susan & Peter to the Hare & Hounds. Christine Dibb comes in with her ear-ringed boyfriend but leave after an hour or so. Carole is entertaining the boy [Peter] Fogarty at the opposite end of the bar and no convsersation takes place at all. They go too. CB arrives and we have a few laughs. Sue & Pete go off to the Menston Arms and come back and collect me at 11 after leaving me alone with CB for an hour. We chatted about times gone by, as we always do, and when Peter came in she went off to the tap room to get a lift to Oakwood Hall with one of the bar staff. A right girl is our CB!