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Tuesday June 27, 1978

Moon's last quarter 12:44

I have been looking at my ancient diaries to see what I have done on June 27 in previous years and it has left me quite sad and reflective. One thing's for sure ~ June 27, 1978 isn't going to say anything outstanding.

This day in 1830 was a different matter altogether. On June 27, 1830 King William IV was proclaimed throughout the land and the bells pealed, as did the potatoes, carrots, and mangold wurzels. Poor William IV was probably an idiot. He was unpopular, and his only claim to fame is that he sired scores of children to an actress, Dorothea Jordan ~ and they all took the surname FitzClarence (William had been Duke of Clarence). His wife, Queen Adelaide, produced 2 sickly daughters who died in infancy. William's demise in 1837 after a thoroughly unstable and feeble reign saw the accession of Victoria the Great ~ his niece.

Ode to William the Fourth

Poor William,
You were stupid,
I've often been told so at least,
I think you were best in the navy,
You're the King I remember the least.



Monday June 26, 1978

Christine phoned and we arranged to go out on Thursday evening. She has definitely set her heart on clearing off to Jersey next year to work in a bar. God knows how life will be without her bringing devastation and chaos to it. I must write to her soon because our correspondence is of vital historical importance. Since 1973 she's sent me over 70 witty, wonderful letters all of which I have stored away. One day we'll be bandied about in English Literature classes and on 'O' Level syllabuses with the likes of John Donne and E.M. Forster.

An Ode to Christine

You have for five years been a source of great joy,
You bring warmth to my heart which none can destroy.

Your virtues are many,
Your faults are quite rare,
But I'd never tell you,
I don't think I'd dare.

It's a pleasure to see you,
Of this I am sure,
My heart beats like fury,
I know of no Cure.

So, off to Jersey and see if I care,
I'd like to come with you,
But I don't have the fare.


Sunday June 25, 1978

5th Sunday after Trinity

Excessively cold day. Had a very comfortable night's sleep. Woke at about 11. Grandad Glynn (minus dentures) made our breakfast of eggs and bacon.

The usual Stockport luncheon followed which consisted of about five pints between 12 and 2 with Garry, Dave and Billy. Billy goes on about his niece's wedding. Garry joked about my hilarious trousers. I'm definitely taking them on holiday after this reception.

Afterwards David, Mr Glynn and I watched a dreadful Tony Curtis film after which I was the only conscious survivor.

Before long it was the World Cup Final between Argentina and Holland. Bill and Garry came to watch. At half time with the score at 1-0 to Argentina the lads took me to Manchester where I boarded a coach full of rebellious children ~ nothing short of yobbos ~and off it was to Leeds.

Home by 10:30. Glenda Jackson's 'Touch of Class' was on tv. Poor Mum hasn't been too well. I am worried about her really.

David, Lynn and Dad have decorated the bedroom at Lawn Road.


Saturday June 24, 1978

Sun rises 04:44 Sun sets 21:22 St John, Baptist

Mum woke me at 6:30 and I got a train from Guiseley to town. My coach left for Manchester at 7:20am and I was with David in time for breakfast at about 10.

Mrs Glynn, or Auntie Lily, made me eggs and bacon and at opening time we had a few beers in the pool room. Grey skies above. I'm clad only in a thin shirt and my leather jacket.

At 12:30 to the Woodford Air Display.
Drizzle, frost, smog, &c. The Red Arrows were impressive and the Harrier Vertical take-off plane sent vibrations over our crate of Wembley Ale. Little else to take my mind from the perishing draught. Steve, Garry, & Dave loved the event though, as did about half a million other people for some obscure reason. However, five bottles of beer and a pile of corned beef and onion sandwiches helped to alleviate some of the misery.

Back to the Hollywood by 6. Slept in Dave's double bed until 9:30. At 11 we went to Rotter's disco for the night ~ me wearing the grey, narrow-legged trousers. I received some favourable attention. A couple of women followed me round all night. Back to the Hollywood at 1:30.


Friday June 23, 1978

A damp, miserable day. Passed a happy, solitary afternoon with the photo files of the Duke of Windsor. Some are amazing and revealing. We have one which appeared in the YP in August, 1936 of the King (as he then was) on holiday abroad with 'a party of friends', and the picture editor has simply and ruthlessly cut off Wallis Simpson when he marked up the image for publication.

Met Jacq at 5:30on Wellington Street and we got a train to Pudsey arriving at 6:20. To Auntie Mabel's. Cousin Jackie is also there for tea ~ it was marvellous to see her. She was thinner. The conversation was tense because we didn't mention Uncle Jack, who is dying in agony from cancer.

Jacq seemed to hit it off with Auntie Mabel. We all demolished a massive salad together. The traditional hysteria over old photographs followed and by 9:30 we had gone through Auntie Mabel's entire life (pictorially). All very nostalgic.

At 9:30 Jacq, Jackie and I set off for home and had a couple of drinks at The Sun in Stanningley before I deposited Jacq onto a Leeds bus.

At 11 Jackie with her boyfriend, Peter, came back to Pine Tops for a few drinks and a chat with 'Auntie Nora'. On the journey home she said "you know Dad is very ill, don't you?" and I said how sorry I was, but isn't it futile trying to find the right words?


Thursday June 22, 1978

A cultural evening again. I phoned Jacq at 9 this morning to ask if she fancied the theatre this evening and she said yes but I would have to subsidise her, of course. I agreed to go with Sarah and John Mac to see 'A Family' or 'The Family' starring Eleanor Bron and Paul Scofield at the Grand (Theatre) Leeds (tickets £2). I have no money, but who cares?

Sarah bought one of my 'House of Holroyd' shirts for £5 which, unethical it may have been, but it was the only way I could remain solvent this week.

Sarah took me to Ivory Towers at 4 and I had a massive tea of salad, strawberries and cream, chocolate sundae, &c. The poor shih tzu was violently sick on the lounge carpet, and then did something else, but I averted my eyes and my tea was unspoiled. Sarah laughed at my recumbent figure reclining in the arm chair.

John Mac came at 7 and we went to the Grand where I met Jacq. She says she loathed the play but I thought it was brilliant. _________.


Wednesday June 21, 1978

Dad and I went to Lynn and Dave's at Burley this evening to help finish splashing undercoat on the bedroom. Audrey and Henry Baker came in. ___________. Mrs B makes it obvious she dislikes Lynn's choice of 'Tomato Surprise' emulsion on the bedroom ceiling. However, tittle tattle on the subject of my sister's décor isn't getting us anywhere, is it?

What became of the excitement and pulsating thrills that once filled these pages? The sex, the violence, the passion, the tears, and the laughter?

What possible entertainment can you derive from knowing that tonight, for instance, I came back from Burley and sat with a glass of lager discussing the shabby picture on the wall above the fireplace with Mummy? You must be mad to find that remotely interesting.

David G phoned. I couldn't say whether I'd be putting in an appearance on Saturday. This so-called air display (at Woodford) begins in the morning, and so it's going to have to be a crack of dawn trip, isn't it?

Leapt into the bath and de-painted myself before retiring to bed.


Tuesday June 20, 1978

Full Moon 21:30

Mr Lazenby and others appeared in the office today and I told them the tale of Sunday night/Monday morning. By lunchtime I was a celebrity and could do no work for giving interviews to the more successful Blackpool travellers. Dave Bruce, for one, seems to hold me in higher esteem. Why making an utter and complete fool of myself in several counties in the space of five or six hours impressed my colleagues I fail to see. Perhaps it was a yearning for mystery and adventure they longed for. I was surrounded by forty or fifty lads who have always longed to be stranded in a northern seaside resort, but have never dared do it. Unlike me, the first EP Father's Day tripper to pass a night on the open road ~ on Her Majesty's highway. Surely, I now merit a front page splash in Postscript (our internal rag)? Indeed, I have achieved something this weekend that even Chris Bonington or Sherpa Tenzing could never even imagine doing.

Jacq phoned today and I apologised about crashing out on her arrival last night. Evidently John came up bearing belated Father's Day gifts. She and Mum entertained him in my absence.


Monday June 19, 1978

I went straight to the office arriving at 8:45 blistered and still covered in a fine layer of sand. The day proved too much for me and at 12 I had to leave the YP and make my way home.

Jacq came to see me at 8, bringing flowers for Mama whose wedding anniversary it is today. Minutes later I was out cold. Oh God! My first night in a bed since Thursday!


Sunday June 18, 1978

4th Sunday after Trinity

Father's Day

We walked (continued from the previous page - editor) to Guiseley in high spirits and of course in clothing and footwear. I deposited Jacq at a bus stop and went home to wash my face, change my shirt and collect a bottle of coffee wine. I then tanked back down the lane and found Jacq still waiting for a bus and so I took her to Mr Lazenby's residence, where I was set upon by Pete's common-law wife's bronchil son. In fact I was almost wiped out by the little brat.

At 7:30am Pete's girlfriend drove us all to the Central, where I parted with Jacq until tomorrow. And so it came to pass that on the morning of Father's Day we began our intake of alcoholic beverage. I am ashamed to say that I could only manage lager whilst Pete was drinking whisky. By the time the coach arrived at 9:30am we were all pissed up. I sat with Darryl Wills and Pete, who drank most of my coffee wine ~ at his own peril.

In typical fashion we hit Blackpool at noon and within minutes we were gathered in a lousy, tart-filled cavern drinking ale. Let me say that at this stage I was feeling quite fit, healthy and wide awake, but even as I pen this I must add that the memory of this pub is the last thing I do recall before waking up on the beach, covered in sand, with a Yorkshire terrier straddling my form, at 7pm in the evening.

Yes, the coach had left Blackpool at 6:30 without me, but to be fair they had waited in the station for half an hour. I was sunburned too. I didn't panic, weep or wail or throw my hands in the air with frustration. I got on the first coach I could find ~ to Preston ~ and hit the place at some time after 8. I managed to phone Pete at the Albion in Skipton with news of my safety, and then hitch hiked towards the motorway.

Pete told me that the coffee wine had had a drastic effect. I may have been stranded in the wilds of Lancashire but at least I was physically intact.

From here I was picked up by a geezer who drove like a maniac, and blasted off down a motorway which had a sign 'Leeds 45 miles'. He turned to me after heading a few miles down the road and said: "I'm going to have to drop you here because I'm forking off to Eccles now." I didn't want to go to Eccles. It was now about 11pm. It was a warm evening, which was a god thing, because my thin, gaily coloured deckchair-like shirt was my only protection from the elements.

So, I was stranded on the hard shoulder of the M-Way, and within minutes a police car pulled up and I was hauled inside and cautioned. It's an offence for pedestrians to perambulate on a motorway. "Anything you say will be taken down..." &c. I was booked, charged and tainted. My future political career was in tatters. The young PC drove me to a junction and ordered me off the motorway. I was dropped on a busy road and within minutes I was on a late night bus heading towards Manchester. It crossed my mind to go see Dave in Stockport, but decided not to. I didn't want to worry him, and he wouldn't want a fugitive on his hands. I was the only passenger on the bus and the driver looked back at me and enquired: "how do you fancy a Chinese meal?" I said "no thanks" but it didn't prevent him parking up the bus and nipping off into a restaurant for quite some time to dine. I waited for quite a bit and then went into a fish and chip shop next door and bought a few cans of pop to wash the sand out of my mouth. A woman in the shop asked to buy my shirt. I declined. We hit Manchester a little after 12 and once again I set off towards a motorway.

I met a friendly, but highly suspect taxi driver, who let me travel free of charge in his cab. He took me to the M62 (again), but after a couple of hours walking I hadn't secured a lift, and crossing fields I found myself in Rochdale (?). At 6am I got a bus back to Manchester where I waited for the first coach to Leeds at 7:30am.