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Diary August 1973

Wednesday August 1st

After last night's disturbance had a long lie in and got up just before dinner hour. After dinner I had slight tummy trouble and rather than go straight outside I decided to rest on my bed and indeed fell asleep. When I awoke I went with Mike along to the disco by the sea where we took a number of photographs. On the way back tot he hotel did a bit of shopping, getting some flash cubes for my camera and then came back and had a bath before tea. At tea took some photographs of us at dinner and then returned to the room for a while prior to going out. Only went downstairs for a drink although myself and Roy went down to the rifle range for a few shots before returning. When we returned to our room we made quite a lot of noise and one of the guards came into the room brandishing a stick and accusing us of having a radio. We told him we hadn't and he left and we got to bed at 2 a.m. While down at the disco some Scotsman had a Spanish style bottle of bacardi and coke which he kept pouring down our throats.

Thursday August 2nd

Woke up a lot earlier than usual but still stayed in bed until just before dinnertime when we went into dinner. Spent the afternoon sunbathing and reading "Airport" by Arthur Hailey - a superb book which I got three days ago. At tea time went shopping, bought dad some cigars and tobacco and bought a special Beatles record and John I'm Only Dancing by David Bowie. After going down to the games room, had tea and then returned to the room for a bath. Spent the evening in the downstairs disco and myself and Michael got horribly drunk before going to the room to give Roy a bad time. Although I don't remember what happened much but it seems we made a helluva row and Mike spewed up after just getting into bed. I did likewise over all the blankets and then the floor and poor old Roy had to clear it all up and didn't get much sleep. I myself crashed out at about 2 a.m.

Friday August 3rd

Oh what a day. I felt lousy all day but probably deserved it after the night before. During the day I was sick twice and spent all day laying on the bed. Ventured up near tea time and managed to eat a little tea so was feeling slightly better by now. After tea I felt fairly okay and so went with the others down to the Palm Beach disco. On the way back got some good old English benas, egg and chips from a nearby cafe which was very good. I am really getting sick of the Spanish food and really can't take much more. Came back to the hotel and went to bed at about 1.30 a.m only to be woken up later by the Welsh coming home and somebody banging about in the room above.

Saturday August 4th

Got up late and went into dinner but was unable to eat anything because I am completely repulsed by food. After dinner went out shopping, but came back because the shops were shut. After a quick rest we went out again and I had a good look around the record shops and bought a double Bee Gees album, a double Ritchie Havens and Barclay James Harvest and Edward Bear singles. I did so because I had about 3,000 pesatas left and didn't want to take that money back home. Came back and ate very little for tea. At 9.15 went to the football ground to see Lloret beaten 8-0 by RCD Espaniol in a very skilful match. Afterwards we came back to the disco for a drink and then went out into the town and had a good old fashioned English meal of beans and chips which tasted better than all the Spanish food put together. Then came back to the disco and had a couple more drinks before going to bed at about 1.30 a.m.

Sunday August 5th

The last day of the holiday and quite a confusing one really. Got up earlier at about 11.30 a.m so I could go and buy a bottle of whisky to take home with me. Then went back to the hotel and bought a paper before returning to the room before going down to the last dinner (thank God). At dinner we tipped the two waitresses (Paketa and Maria). Then had a game on the football machine before going back to the room and having a bath and packing ready to leave the room at 4 p.m. Left before 4 in fact and went down to the front lounge where we spent the time up to when the coach came at 10 p.m, talking, playing cards etc. At 6 p.m went out and had a good English meal to settle the stomach before the flight home. We were taken to Gerona Airport by coach and then had another long wait at the airport again sitting around with John and Mick (the two who had shared our dinner table). The flight was delayed for threequarters of an hour and eventually took off at 2.15  a.m.

Monday August 6th

The flight proved fairly smooth until it came to landing at Gatwick. High winds and what seemed too fast an approach ended with a bumpy landing. Arrived back at just after 4 a.m and, after going through a non existent customs, got a coach to the car and set off for home. Not surprisingly without any sleep I began to feel sleepy on the way home but managed to get to Freckenham Red Lodge before stopping at a cafe for a coffee and something to eat. After that continued home and dropped Mike then Roy off before coming home to unpack myself at just on 10 a.m. Spent the rest of the morning messing about and then, after dinner, had an hour's sleep before going down to the Boundary to have my hair cut. Returned home and had tea and then watched television before having a bath and listening to the radio and records before going to bed at 10.35 p.m.

Tuesday August 7th

First day working in Norwich and a very boring one. Woke up with a cold and began to motor at 8.30 a.m in order to arrive at the office in good time. When I got there I found out what a helluva big staff there is and found out that there wasn't a desk available for me. Did very little during the day except routine handouts and indeed got very bored. Had lunch in the canteen. Towards the end of the afternoon Andy Knowles came in for a chat with Nunn. He is being moved to Thetford. At 5 p.m I knocked off and went with Andy to Curls and had a coffee before going on to the sports club for a quick drink. Came home and, after tea, watched television including a very good documentary on skin grafting. Afterwards went to my room and went to bed at 11.30 p.m. From first impressions it would seem that working in Norwich is going to be as bad as I thought and I only hope I get moved to a district office as soon as possible.

Wednesday August 8th

A bit better day work-wise with a little more to do although still spent a long time doing nothing. Got up at 8.30 and went in later, arriving at work at 9.25 a.m. During the morning went out to Wroxham Market with Joe the photographer. Unfortunately we picked the wrong day. Came back tot he office and hung around until lunchtime when I went to the rotary club dinner at the Royal and met my old headmaster and indeed sat next to him for dinner and had a good chat. After dinner we had a talk on the Colman family from one of the managers of Reckitt and Colman. Came back to the office and, after writing the story up, spent the rest of the afternoon sitting about until Nunn told me I could go at 5 p.m. Drove home, had tea and then went round to see Nanny and Granddad. Afterwards I went round with the intention of seeing George but he wasn't at home. The initial idea about going round came during the afternoon when Peter Anthony phoned up to say he was having a party at King's Lynn at the weekend. I might well pop along. Came home and, after watching TV for a while, went to my room at 10.55 p.m.

Thursday August 9th

Again another improvement as I began to feel more a part of the Norwich set-up. There is still not enough work to do, however. Spent most of the morning doing a story on the census forms for West Suffolk. Had lunch in the canteen and did absolutely nothing during the afternoon although I did go and sit in on a very boring crown court all through a judge's summing up. Stayed in the office until 6.30 p.m when I went to my first shorthand lesson at Norwich. Not quite as bad a s at Lowestoft as there are more of us. Unfortunately Mrs Kidd is difficult to work out and takes me too seriously, especially my harmless remarks. Afterwards went into the Woolpack for a drink with John and Lindsay Hewison, one of the girl reporters. Phoned home to tell them not to get any tea ready. From the Woolpack went round to see George and arranged to have a game of tennis tomorrow night as well as going over to King's Lynn on Saturday night. Left and came home and watched TV for a while before having a bath and going to bed at midnight.

Friday August 10th

Continuing the recent trend and once more quite an improvement and I was kept pretty busy throughout the day. Went into work and got going on a story about the decreasing prices of tomatoes. Had to leave that, however, and go over to magistrates court where I sat for the entire morning waiting for a case that wasn't even dealt with. Had dinner and then returned upstairs. Just after lunch Steve Hardy came in and told me some of the group from Lowestoft were around. I then went on something of a tour with one of the photographers. First to the Hewett School for a special playgroup thingy that was ending. We then went over to Wroxham to have a look at the market. Afterwards returned to the office and wrote my story up before driving home. I was in a hurry to go out again for a game of tennis but was held up by Carrow Bridge being up. Got home and had a quick tea and then went out. Just caught George before he went out and we went over to Heigham Park. The game itself was poor with George unable to run because of a leg injury and I won 6-2, 6-1. Ran him home and had a drink at the Sportsman before going round Nanny and Granddads to tell them that I would go round to dinner on Sunday. Returned home and watched TV before having a bath. Then worked out my top 20 before going to bed at 11.30 p.m.

Saturday August 11th

Another hectic day both in work and play. Had to go into work to make up for last Monday. Spent most of the morning at the Shirehall for a sitting of Taverham Juvenile court. Just after dinner I phoned up the police for the usual checks and heard of a fire in Denmark Road. I went out but it was only very small. At dinnertime George came into the office for a quick look round. After the fire I went out to Taverham Pits where a deaf water ski club were holding a weekend. On the way back to the office I stopped off at home to have a drink. After writing the story up I went home and watched the test match. After tea I had a wash and then went to pick George up to go over to King's Lynn. Picked John and Lindsay up. When we arrived at King's Lynn we found Pete Anthony's party had flopped and us and Mick Dennis were the only ones to turn up. After a number of drinks in the Woolpack we went back to Peters. Lindsay had far too much to drink and crashed out upstairs while George did likewise downstairs. Eventually we got them all in the car and set off for home. On the way back George was sick on the outside of the car. After dropping everybody off arrived home at 3.15 a.m and went to bed at 3.30.

Sunday August 12th

Slept through until nearly dinnertime. Went round the road for dinner and then returned home and watched the cricket for a while before going round to see if George had recovered from last night. He had so we went down to Norwich Union sports ground for a run round their field. Then went with George round to his parents home so he could make some phone calls. Then went back to his and had some tea before returning home for a wash. At just after 8 p.m I returned to Georges and we went out to the Cottage where we saw Mike and Jeannette. Returned to Georges for a coffee, then came home and went to bed at 11.15 p.m. During the afternoon took my guitar round to granddad. He seems to think he can learn to play.

Monday August 13th

Went in at what has now become the usual time and again had one job to do during the morning and that was a story about the Colney by-pass during which I talked to a very cantankerous old Norfolk boy. On the way out I picked up what looked like a medical register which was laying in the middle of the road at St Giles. When I got back to the office I phoned up the council and told them about it. Had an early lunch at 12 p.m and then drove over to Lowestoft for the afternoon. As I had a lot of trouble parking today I parked in a warehouse but was met when I tried to move my car by a chap who told me I had no right to park there. I pleaded ignorance. When I got to Lowestoft I went to the office to see Andy and Steve but they weren't there so I went down to the secondhand record shop and bought some records and then spent the afternoon in the Journal office, saw Glynne and George and Peter Layton. When I left the office I visited Christine before returning to Norwich for evening calls. Did nothing all evening except go across the club for a drink and have a talk with Keith Skipper about city's chances. After a round of calls at 10 p.m I came home, had some tea and went to bed at 11.10 p.m.

Tuesday August 14th

One of those really bad days when sod all went right. It was also the most boring work day I have yet had the misfortune to face, Went in at the normal time and during the morning phoned up a Norfolk woman about the painting of a Norfolk Wherry. All I did apart from that was go to Cricket Ground Road to see a chap who had made a rescue at Lowestoft. He wasn't in, however. After dinner I spent the whole of the afternoon reading the paper. Maurice Beales had a go at me because he had a letter from some sod at the Norfolk Yacht Station at Wroxham about the inaccuracy of my report. These yachting types are all the same and as for his Lordship Maurice Beales I look forward to the day when I can tell him where to go. Came home and after tea cleared my room up, had a bath and wrote a number of letters. Calmed down somewhat with the bath but still felt pissed off when I went to bed at 11.05 p.m.

Wednesday August 15th

A bit better day for work but I still felt pissed off. Spent all day doing small stuff with the largest story being the modernisation of Norwich School. At lunchtime I sparked off a row between Tony Howlett and Charles Roberts about car parking facilities. At about 5 p.m I left the offic eand ran John home and had a coke at his before coming home for tea. During the day I phoned George up and arranged a run for the evening. When I went down to see him, however, we decided to go for a drink instead. We started off at the Sportsman in Northumberland Street before going on to the social club and then back to Georges. At 10.30 p.m I left his and came back home and watched the Watney Cup matches on TV before going to bed at 11.20 p.m.

Thursday August 16th

As I was on night calls today I didn't have to go in until 4 p.m so I had  a lay in and then played some records before dinner. After dinner Harry and Gladys came round. Left home at just after three and went to the bank and Smiths before going to the office. It was quite a busy evening with the general manager of the Theatre Royal phoning up, not to mention Patrick Hornby, the chap who is paddling to Lowestoft. At 7.30 p.m I went to the dwile flonking contest at the King's Head, Yarmouth Road. They call it a sport, I call it a good excuse to get drunk. Went back to the office and spent the rest of the evening doing calls apart from at 9.30 when I went over to the social club with Dave the copy runner who went to my school. Came home, getting some food from the fish and chip shop on the way and got to bed at 12.15 a.m.

Friday August 17th

Went in at the usual time, although I found out afterwards that I needn't have gone in until after 10 a.m as I was on night calls the night before. Anyway had two stories to do in the morning, one on the movement of the social security office and the other about a helicopter search form RAF Coltishall. At dinner hour went across to the club for a quick half before going to the canteen for dinner. Spent almost the entire afternoon doing nothing although I did go out with a photographer for an accident at Green Lane and we then toured the area. At 5 p.m left the office, came home and had tea and a bath before going round for John and going over to the Globe at Blofield for a drink. Then made our way back to Norwich and went to Scamps disco which really wasn't up to a lot. Before getting there we had an argument with an irate householder about parking our car outside their house. We quietened them down by moving and then went on to the disco. Left at about 12.30 a.m. Drove John home and then returned myself, finally going to bed very tired at 1.15 a.m.

Saturday August 18th

A good day and one of the best of the month. Got up at 11 a.m and spent the morning listening to records. Phoned Mike up. During the morning dad gave me his cassette recorder as an early 21st birthday present. It will certainly come in handy in the car. After dinner I went down to Carrow Road to report on the City v Shelbourne match for the News of the World. The match itself was rubbish but it was quite interesting to sit in the press box. Afterwards I went back to the office and telephoned copy over to London, then returned home for tea. Went straight out again and called round to see George before going on to pick John up. We decided not to go to Tiffanys but instead went over to Gorleston to see Andy Knowles. The three of us went over to the Links for drinks and played most of the evening on their pin table machines. We then went back to the Cliff and afterwards went back to Andy's for coffee. John proved his smoothness once again by chatting up a complete stranger, phew ... what a smoothy. Came home after driving him home and went straight to bed at 2.15 a.m.

Sunday August 19th

Got up rather late and spent the morning lazing about and listening to records. After dinner went round for George and after waiting for him to tidy up his house a bit went to Pinebanks for a game of tennis which I won 6-4, 6-1. Then went with him to first Blofield and then Acle where he was  tracing his girlfriend. After going back to his and listening to a cassette, had tea and then a bath and went out again. Had intended to go over and see John working behind the bar at the Globe at Blofield. First, however, I went to the Cottage to see Mike and Jeannette and after I got talking to them decided not to go  on. After 10 p.m I ran them back to Jeannette's and then came home myself and waytched TV before going to bed at 11.40 p.m.

Monday August 20th

Spent the morning recording some album tracks for my cassette as I wa son night calls. After dinner I mucked around and listened to the radio until it was time to go to work. Was fairly busy for most of the evening until about 9.30. Interviewed a couple of traders from Oak Street who were complaining about the change in name of their road to Coslany Street. The rest of the time I dealt with calls and a good deal of small stuff. It seems I owe John 50p as he has got off with one of the barmaids at the Globe who I said he wouldn't. Left the office at 11.20, came home and went straight to bed at midnight. Tomorrow I have to start the day at 10 a.m with Blofield Magistrates. During the evening got an insurance quote form Colin Hedge of 59.90 which is well under what I expected.

Tuesday August 21st

A day when British justice proved just how blind it can be. Went straight from home to Blofield Magistrates where they took all day on one case about some kids who had gone on the rampage in Acle in March. They were all a load of yobs and as guilty as hell, but they all got off. At dinner hour when they adjourned I sped back tot he office, had a quick dinner and then drove back to Blofield. After the case I went back tot he office and wrote it up and then came home and had tea. Listened to recrods for a while before going round to see N and G and arranging to take them over to Lowestoft on Saturday. Then went round and saw Mike to get my records back that I lent him. We had a talk and then I came back home again and watched a documentary on air travel before going to bed at 11.40 p.m.

Wednesday August 22nd

Started the day in Magistrates Court and reported on a litter deposit and a section one committal and by the time I had got back and written it up and done a story about a missing girl it was time to go to the rotary club lunch. The speaker was Norman Burtenshaw who proved very interesting and amusing. Returned to the office and wrote the copy up and then did a story about St Benet's Abbey before going out to an accident on the A146, Came back to the office and then sat around until about 5 p.m when I ran Lindsay back to the YWCA, then returned home myself and had tea. After tea I watched TV, listened to the radio and had a bath before going to bed at 11 p.m.

Thursday August 23rd

Was on calls today so went in earlier than usual at 8.45 a.m. Was quite busy all day with various stories and checking up on certain things and didn't have much time to do anything except go to the bank. After dinner John phoned up the Globe at Blofield and arranged for me to have a job as a barman on Friday and Saturday, Sunday and Mondays. Just afterwards I found it might be a bit awkward this week as I am working on Saturday and Sunday. Left work at 4 p.m and came home to watch the test match and have tea. Unfortunately against my knowledge we had shorthand today, so after picking John up we attended a very dull session. Afterwards went into the Woolpack for a half before going across to the social club where, after a game of darts, we met up with Tony and Christine Lewis. We spent a long time talking to them and arguing about the union before leaving the club at 11 p.m. I ran John home and then returned home myself and went to bed at 11.55 p.m.

Friday August 24th

Quite a nice day watching the test match on television and seeing the West Indies hammer their way to well over the 600 mark. As I was off work I got up late and then literally watched cricket until 5 p.m when I drove out to pick John up. We drove over tot he Globe, thinking we were starting at 6 p.m, whereas we were not needed until 7.30 p.m. The night went very smoothly apart from a few small things like miss measures. It wasn't too busy and I soon got the hang of things. Unfortunately the place had an extension until 11.30 and after washing up glasses and tidying up it was well near midnight before we got away. I drove John home, then came home myself, finally getting to bed at 12.30 a.m.

Saturday August 25th

A working Saturday in all respects. Found it very difficult to get up but eventually got to work at about 9.15 a.m. Did nothing in the morning except calls, but then, after dinner, went to the Keswick Horse Show which was full of posh horsey types. Came back and phoned up Wolverhampton Police to see if there had been any crowd trouble at Molyneau. Unfortunately I could make no real contact with anybody. City started off their programme with an unhappy 3-1 defeat at Wolves. The only bright spark was Colin Suggett who scored our goal. Came home, had tea and watched TV for a while before going to my second job at the Globe. It was a better night as I didn't make so many mistakes and now feel I am getting very used to it. Finally arrived home absolutely knackered at approaching 1 a.m. Got my first pay packet which, after a ridiculous amount of income tax, amounted to 3.15 for the two nights. Finally got to bed at 1 a.m with the horrible prospect of having to work tomorrow on duty, but I don't intend going in before 10 a.m.

Sunday August 26th

Woke up on this working Sunday to the dulcet tones of the phone and found it was Tony Howlett ready to pass on a few ditties for the day. After that I went into work and spent an hour there during which time I had an irate woman from Yarmouth phoning up about her baot being searched by the police for arms. I passed that on to Joe Harrison at Yarmouth. Came home and after dinner watched TV until 3.30 p.m when I went back to work and met Mr Howlett who gave me the result of yesterday's horse show. Started the evening by writing up the show. During the morning I also phoned Wolverhampton about the crowd control yesterday. Spent most of the evening chasing a story about a seven year old who drowned at Potter Heigham. At 10 p.m left the office and came home and, after watching TV, went to bed and listened to Radio Seagull (a new pirate radio) before kipping down at 11.15 p.m.

Monday August 27th

Bank Holiday Monday and no work - not journalistic at least. So I decided to have a nice easy day making sure I just got up in time for the start of the cricket. Watched the box all day and, apart from England's humiliating defeat by an innings and 200 odd runs, watched Grandstand. After tea I had a bath and then went down to the Globe. It was the first time that I had served behind the busy bar but I quite enjoyed it. After clearing up, ran John home and then came home and went to bed at 12.25 a.m.

Tuesday August 28th

Went into work before going to Long Stratton magistrates and it was a good job that I did because I found they do not sit at Long Stratton but Wymondham. Spent all morning in court on a fiddling dangerous dog charge that went on and on. Afterwards went back to the office and wrote it up before going down to dinner. After dinner only had a couple of simple phone jobs and then sat around until coming home at 5 p.m. After tea watched television for a while and then began to mammoth task of tidying up my bedroom which is going to take a helluva time. Broke off to watch a bit of television, then had a bath before recording some stuff on my cassette and going to bed at 11 p.m.

Wednesday August 29th

A very quiet morning with only a couple of handouts to do. At dinner hour I went to the Rotary Club luncheon to hear a talk by Michael Collins on traffic in towns. Once again I sat next to Stuart Andrews. Afterwards Mr Collins gave me his speech which made my story very much easier. Spent the rest of the afternoon writing the rotary story up and doing a story about a Sprowston petition following an accident. At 5.45 p.m went to the social club for a quick snack and stayed there talking until 6.15 p.m when I went down to Carrow Road. Met the whole gang and spent the evening watching City play out a boring 0-0 draw with QPR. Although they livened up in the second half it was a pretty abysmal first half. Afterwards I ran Mike and Jeannette up to Jeannette's and then came home myself, getting some fish and chips on the way. After eating them I watched a BBC programme on drug abuse before going to my room having a quick read of the football programme and going to bed at 11.30 p.m.

Thursday August 30th

A very routine day as far as work is concerned as I was on calls. Went in early and picked nothing up all day from the calls. During the morning a chappy came in and told me a story about a bogus trade directory that was fleecing business people. After dinner I wrote a story about a parson changing diocese. Broke off from work at 4 p.m and went to the post office to get a form for a renewal of my motor licence. Then came home and had tea before going back to the office for shorthand. Kept completely quiet during shorthand, following a quiet warning from John Downing after the first lesson when Mrs Kidd took a couple of remarks the wrong way. After shorthand I went for a drink in the Woolpack with Lynn, Lyndsey and Christine. John had gone over to a beauty contest at the Samson. Had an enjoyable evening talking and then ran Lyndsey out to the YWCA before returning home, having a cup of coffee and then returning to my room to listen to some music and write a poem before going to bed at 11.30 p.m.

Friday August 31st

No work today, so enjoyed a nice lay in before getting up and spending all morning on a new record chart. After dinner I drove into the city and went to the bank to draw out two cheques - one for my car insurance and one for tax. After that I went into ECN and paid my insurance to Barry Leach and then went up to County Hall and got my tax for the year. By the time I got home the afternoon had been wasted. Before tea I had a bath and, after tea, I went round for John and we went down to the Globe. It proved to be a very quiet night and we were able to get away comparatively early. On the way home I got some fish and chips which I ate before going to bed on a full stomach at 12.30 a.m.