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Monday August 29, 1977

Went to Leeds at 8 with Dave G, who departs down Wellington Street for his bus. A great lad.

Trojans: not really office workers.
I'm at the YP all day with just Carol J to amuse me. (By the way, I've re-discovered my fountain pen). We worked like Trojans, that is if Trojans ever really worked like we do at the Yorkshire Post, which I doubt very much. They wouldn't know the first thing about filing news cuttings or dealing with the news desk.

Home at about 5 feeling warm and weary. CB, yes, good old CB phoned and demanded my company for the evening. I'm washed, groomed and ready for 8 o'clock and she came and collected me in her new car. We went to the Hare for the first one, then because it was so dead, we moved on to the Shoulder of Mutton, the Commercial and then the Regent and finally the Yorkshire Rose. We had the usual laugh and customary breakages and other mishaps but all great fun. She is in possession of a new boyfriend and by all accounts he's not the usual rogue-like vagabond with whom she so often becomes enamoured. She says they are going to take me out to the Amsterdam Bar at Huddersfield. A new innovation. I'm usually kept well away from Christine's beaus.

Home by 10.30 even though the pubs are open until 11.30. It was so bloody quiet everywhere so much so that we forgot it was a bank holiday.


Sunday August 28, 1977

12th after Trinity.  An article of the Sunday Trash says our dear Princess Margaret is suffering from porphyria, the 'Royal Malady', and it says this accounts for her irrational behaviour and the break down of her marriage. Utter and complete rubbish I'm glad to say.

Dave G, Dave B, Lynn, Sue, Peter N, and I went to the Commercial from 12 until 2. Joined later by Mum and Dad who bump into cousin Brian (Myers) and Valerie in a dark corner and chat with them for over an hour. Valerie is very attractive, but childless. They have no news of Jennifer (Myers) and her imminent delivery. No doubt Auntie Mabel will be informed of the news when it occurs.

Redgrave & Jackson.
A hot, sunny afternoon. We sat outside discussing friendship, and particularly, Glenn. Back at Pine Tops, very hot weather, we sprawl on the lawns and muck about in deckchairs. Hilarious afternoon.

After 'Sunday dinner' we collapsed in the lounge. Joined by Martyn. We just watched TV. 'Mary Queen of Scots' starring Vanessa Redgrave and Glenda Jackson.

Everyone laughs at Dave G. He's so funny. The ladies especially rock with laughter. Lynn made a pile of sandwiches and then we watched another film, a romance set in the 16th century. Quite good, but too sloppy.


Saturday August 27, 1977

Stuart (Newton) and Christine (White) were married at St John's (church), Yeadon, at 2pm. We only just made it to the ceremony after a somewhat farcical chase across Aireborough, and our arrival at the church coincided with that of the bridesmaids and other important personages.

Stuart & Christine
Sue, Pete N and I sat with Messers Ratcliffe and Mather, and Lynn and Dave B sat warbling behind. Christine looked very nice, Stuart looked petrified. A horrible sight to see a man so frightened. We needed a 'Scarlet Pimpernel' figure to perhaps come and rescue him.

The reception at the Colours Restaurant at Horsforth went off brilliantly. Home at about 7pm nicely stewed. David G arrived at Pine Tops just as we got in. His Ibiza pictures are incredible. Martyn joined us at 9 and we went back to Horsforth to continue the festivities, the happy couple having left for Scarborough some hours previously. More drink in larger quantities. Mrs White is a darling and I gave her a large kiss on leaving. Chatted with Linda and Andy. Very congenial.

Took Martyn to Ilkley and then entertained Dave G to 'home brew' until some ridiculous hour of the morning. Why do we do such things? Agreed, it's my Plantagenet nature peeping through from the depths of the Middle Ages. Edward III liked the occasional beer, you know.


Friday August 26, 1977

Martyn and I paid a visit to Tony at Bradford Royal Infirmary this evening. The place stank of disease and rotting flesh and made me feel positively flat, but otherwise it was a joyful 45 minutes. We were joined at the hospital by Barry, Wendy, Anne, Georgina and other Smith vassals. We polished off Tony's grapes, Kit Kats and Bourbon biscuits.

Mum: Plantagenet blood.
At 8.30 Martyn, the ladies and I went on to the Hare & Hounds at Heaton. It was the usual tight squeeze but we had a laughable time. However, at 10.55 when Martyn and I went out for a bus our laughter turned to grimaces of devastation and horror. It was like the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia and the defeat of Leeds United by Sunderland at Wembley in 1973 all rolled into one. Precisely, no bus was to be had whatsoever. We legged it to Shipley and then paid £1 to a sombre taxi driver to bring us to Guiseley. Had an exchange of 'words' with Mum in her boudoir. She objects to Martyn using our home like a hotel. Mummy takes on an extremely fiery  and war-like countenance at times which I can only put down to the hot, Plantagenet blood in her veins. Blimey, when your great-uncle started the Wars of the Roses, a bit of aggression is bound to rub off isn't it?

Thursday August 25, 1977

Garter's letter ...
A letter in The Times from the Garter Principal King of Arms (Sir Anthony Wagner) on Dr Reid's recent letter, and a preposterous letter too, about everyone sharing descent from King Edward III. (I've stuck it here between these pages just in case you're interested at all.)

(Forgive me for not using real ink but I've mislaid my fountain pen again).

King Edward III indeed. Oh yes, I can remember my grandfather telling me tales of going round to see his grandad when he was a lad and sitting on his regal knee at Windsor or Sheen, or wherever his Majesty resided. Oh yes, you didn't realise, did you, that 'Ted', as he was affectionately known in the family, lived in Armley for many years?

           "Mr Edward Plantagenet III
            6, Corporation Street

On Sundays we always had to put on our best boots and flat caps and address him by his 'Sunday best' title of 'Edwardus, Dei Gratia Rex Anglae et Franciae et Dominus Hiberniae'. Oh he was such a down to earth little man,  who only pleasure in life was his three ounces of ready rubbed St Bruno tobacco and Auntie Elsie's jam roll. (Auntie Elsie is known to historians as 'The Fair Maid of Kent'. God only knows why.)

Wednesday August 24, 1977

A wet, November-type of day. The YP was uneventful and sombre. However, tonight is the thing to discuss. Martyn and I went to the Bod by good old bus, and a wet one at that and met Wendy (age aprrox. 27 years) and Anne (age unknown, but slightly younger than Wendy). After just one paltry drink we went by taxi to Annabella's, which I immediately recognised from the the only other occasion I had been there some 2 years ago (it was Christmas 1975, with Carole, on a coach party organised by David from Hawksworth Lane.)

We all ate, drank and danced marvellously. I gave a demonstration of my party piece, and a skilled one, of letting down inflated, knotted balloons. No one, it appears, has seen this done before. I managed to save at least 2 dozen of these gaily coloured objects which had throughout the evening given the effect of the January Sales in a nudist camp.

I must stress that neither Martyn or I  consumed excessive amounts of alcohol. You can believe what you wish on this subject. Anne and I made hogs of ourselves attacking the buffet for 'seconds'. The 2 anonymous Smiths shop assistants joined us and the Egyptian sand-dancing was started up again. We were in hysterics. Martyn and I home in a taxi at 1.30 which only cost us £1 each. Not bad.


Tuesday August 23, 1977

Tony came at 7.30pm and after a coffee we went on to Ilkley so that I could gather together my personal effects before he is taken away to the sanatorium. It was good to lay hands ion my Donna Summer LP again and the three quarter of a million singles I'd left there after the last party.

Tony lends me a volume of the works of Evelyn Waugh, which he sells through Octopus Books. When I said that Evelyn Waugh was a very humorous author he replied: "Was she?" Poor, demented lad.

Martyn joined us after 8 and we went to the Rose & Crown and then the Crescent. Only a few drinks. The main topic of conversation was Tony's forthcoming operation. God knows what he's having done. Veins and legs spring to mind.

Back to the flat for coffee and a few farewell photographs. We'll visit him on Friday before nipping over to the Bod for our traditional skin-full. Perhaps Mary will be in?


Monday August 22, 1977

Phoned Anne at Smith's to enquire about a couple of free tickets for Tony and myself for the 'do' at Annabella's on Wednesday. She managed to get me some.

Tony came over after tea with a letter from the Health Authority informing him of his interment at Bradford Royal Infirmary on the morning of August 24. This means no 'do' on Wednesday for him and no bank holiday trip for him and Martyn at the weekend. He suggested Martyn and I go to Annabella's instead. He left at about 7 o'clock.

We (the family that is) watched a Frankie Howerd film 'Up the front' which is ghastly. He is a brilliant comedian but the scripts they give him to perform with are rubbish. Bed at approx. 11pm.

PS. While reading 'The Times' today I saw a letter on ancestry which claimed that going back to 1066 each person can claim to have 700 million ancestors. I just cannot believe it. The writer (a Mr D. Reid) also claims that every Briton is descended from King Edward III. This is rubbish.