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My first ever diary entry came on Saturday, December 23rd, 1972. It did not contain any comment about starting a journal but launched into the day itself. So here is my diary from day one. Some of the grammar is decidedly rough, but I have left it in its original state, although spellings have been checked and notes added by way of an explanation.

Saturday December 23rd

Having no work today1 I had my usual lay-in and got up at 10.30 a.m. Arose to the sound of the phone ringing.It was Mike3. We arranged to go to the match against Wolves4 in the afternoon.

Spent the morning doing up Christmas parcels and going to the shops to get wrapping paper and various other things.

In the afternoon went to Carrow Road and saw City draw 1-1 with Wolves. It wasn't a very good match although City did well in the first half. Jim Bone scored our goal.

Returned home after the match for tea, then took parcels round to Vera and Jack5. Left there for Ken Mason's6 party at Bacton.

It started off very slowly with only eight people there. By the end of the evening there were about 17 and it turned into quite a good party, playing musical chairs and other games. Got home at about 12 a.m and read my football programme and then went to bed.

Sunday December 24th

Christmas Eve and I still have very little of the Christmas spirit. Got up in the morning, again at 10.30 and lazed around in the morning before going round nanny's7 for dinner.

In the afternoon I saw the city match on Match of the Week. Had tea and then went on a final round of handing out my parcels. Went round to see Harry and Gladys8 and then Paul9. Was asked to tea next week by Mrs Smith. Went on to George's10 house and we went down to the Norfolk County Council social club where we played on the football machine and also darts, snooker and table tennis.

We then went back to Georges and played Monopoly, chess and comb cricket (our own invention). I arrived home at 1.15 a.m and, after getting my Norwich City wall chart up to date went to bed.

Monday December 25th

Christmas Day. I woke up at 9.15 when mum came into the room to tell me that Ken Milburn11 had called on Christmas Eve. Opened my presents to find a box of Quality Street, box of Liquorice Allsorts and a Papermate pen and some money. At 12 went for a drink with Mike to the Cottage11 and returned home at 1 p.m for Christmas dinner.

Spent the afternoon watching TV (Black and White Minstrels, Billy Smart's Circus, Top of the Pops, Dick Whittington and the Generation Game). Nanny Steward, Grandad and Ethel12 came round to tea. That made four visitors for the day, Jean13 from next door came round in the morning.

George came round at 7.45 and we went out. The county council club was closed, as was City supporters and we ended up at the Cottage. Soon left and went back to Georges and played monopoly, chess and ruler cricket. Got home at 11.30 p.m, wrote the diary and then went to bed at 11.50 p.m.

Tuesday December 26th

Boxing Day. My last day away from work. Got up at 10.30 and went to pick Mike up at 11. He came round for a drink and we watched wrestling on TV, then listened to a few David Bowie tracks.

After dinner I continued my hectic day with a bath and put my suit on ready to go round Mike's for tea. Peter Anthony14 phoned and asked if I wanted to go out for a drink. We decided he should come up to Norwich at 8 p.m when I would return from Mike's.

Went to tea at about 4.15. Also at Mikes were Jeannette15 and Mr and Mrs Saunders16 and Mike's grandmother. After tea we played Chase the Ace.

At 7.40 p.m I ran Mike and Jeannette to the fair and returned home. Peter had phoned to say he couldn't come to Norwich because he had tyre trouble, so I phoned him and said I would go to North Walsham.

Got to his house at 8.45 and went down to the Bluebell Pub where I met some of his friends - Rob Evans17, a girl called Liz and a boy called Gerry. We then went back to Peter's for coffee where Neil Anthony18 also had some friends.

Arrived home at 11.50 and went to bed at 12.45 a.m. The end of the Christmas holiday and it's back to work tomorrow, a great pity. Much to my amazement I have really enjoyed Christmas. It's a pity it's all over. Still I was very active all the time and spent very few hours at home.

Wednesday December 27th

Back to work and all the horrible things that go with it.19 Got up at 7.45 a.m and drove back to Lowestoft. Got to the office to spend a very quiet day.

Jobs for the morning were Cine Club, Theatre Centre Panto, ourt from 10 to 11. At dinner time went to the Wimpey with Steve and Andy24. Afternoon was taken up by the Shipping, Trawl Diary25. At 6 p.m went down to shorthand26 where my tooth got progressively worse. Returned home, took some aspirins to try and quell the pain, cooked myself tea and then went to bed at 9.15 p.m not holding out much hope of sleep unless the pain goes.

Friday December 29th

A day of ups and downs. Woke up at about 8.45 and the pain seemed better but got worse during the morning only to more or less disappear at dinnertime. Left digs to find my car wouldn't start, so I walked to work.

Nothing to do at work, so went on a job with Andy. We went to see some people whose kid had almost drowned in the bath. It was while in their house that I felt quite ill with the tooth. Returned home to fetch car.

By lunchtime the tooth was better so I went down to the record shop with Andy. Bought Mexico - Long John Baldry, Little Man - Sonny and Cher, Blue Eyes - Don Partridge and Oh Happy Day - Edwin Hawkins Singers. Also bought the Don McLean songbook from Morlings.

Did notCrossing Patrol Reception and filing. Played football with Steve20 at lunchtime. Then went down to the second-hand record shop21 and bought Teaser and the Firecat by Cat Stevens for 1.45, Nicely out of Tune by Lindisfarne for 1.45, A Song For You by the Carpenters for 2 and Rubber Soul by the Beatles for 85p22.

There was hardly anything to do in the afternoon. Went back to the digs23, cooked tea and at 8 p.m went round Steve's digs. Met his landlord (cocky little bugger) and landlady. Watched the Blue Max, then played some Beatles LPs. Returned home after a toasted hamburger sandwich at 11.45 p.m. Sorted out my records and went to bed after midnight.

Thursday December 28th

A really lousy day. It didn't start so bad but during the day that toothache came on again, making me cold and depressed.

I woke up at 8.45 and reluctantly got out of bed. Did court from 10 to 11. At dinner time went to the Wimpey with Steve and Andy24. Afternoon was taken up by the Shipping, Trawl Diary25. At 6 p.m went down to shorthand26 where my tooth got progressively worse. Returned home, toohing at all in the afternoon. Roy27 phoned and had a long chat with him. Went home, had tea and a bath and watched Sale of the Century and Upstairs, Downstairs. Went to bed at 10.45 after listening to Teaser and the Firecat.

Saturday December 30th

Working today so I will miss City v Manchester City. Had a bit of a lay-in, getting up at 9.20 a.m. Went to work and spent all morning reading the paper and clearing up. Came home and had dinner and sorted my room out.

In the afternoon I had to report on Lowestoft Reserves v Dereham. Dereham won a fairly good match 3-1. Returned to the office to find City drew 1-1 and heard the extra-time commentary of the Wolves v Spurs League Cup match.

Went out to Oulton Broad to get fish and chips and then went to the Sparrows Nest28 pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk which was surprisingly good. It went on from 7.30 to 10.45. Afterwards I drove home to Norwich and watched Parkinson meets the Goons and went to bed at 12.50.

Sunday December 31st

got up at 10 a.m when mum told me Roy was on the phone. He was going to Clacton during the day and wanted to know whether George's party was on. I couldn't tell him as I didn't know myself.

Phoned Mike and then went round to see George. Mike was already there and George told us his party was on. Returned home and played the piano for a while, then went to nannys where I learnt some distressing news - Aunty Poor29 had died. It seems some neighbours had found her.

Returned home and cleaned the car out because Nanny had asked me to take Ethel home tomorrow. I then watched Match of the Week and phoned Paul and arranged to go to his for tea tomorrow.

At dinner hour I wrote my pantomime story for the EDP30 and phoned this over at 6 p.m. Mum and Dad and Nanny31 went out for the afternoon and when they returned I had to break the bad news.

Anyway had a bath, watched the Fenn Street Gang32 and then went round to pick Mike and Jeannette up. Returned to mine to get my records.

It was a funny party consisting of me, George, Rob Boden and Sue33, Roy and Joanne34 and Mike and Jeannette. We merrily mixed Mike's drinks until he was drunk.

He had his usual arguments with Jeannette and ended up wishing he hadn't said many things. At 12 a.m we all drank a toast to the New Year. I ran Jeannette and Mike home at 1.30 a.m and arrived home myself at just after 2, going to bed at 2.15.

Well that's 1972. I'm going to do my damndest to make 1973 a bloody good year.

I made two New Year's resolutions

1/ to go somewhere every night of the year and

2/ to get myself a girlfriend

NOTES

The following notes were added September 2004

  1. At this time I was employed by Eastern Counties Newspapers and worked at their Lowestoft, Suffolk, office on the Lowestoft Journal weekly newspaper.

  2. On this day I would have been staying at my parents home at 31, Middleton's Lane over the Christmas holiday period.

  3. Mike Smith, a close friend from my days at the Norwich School. Mike went on to be the best man at my wedding. I was also the best man at his. We have subsequently lost touch, although he still lives in Norwich.

  4. This would have been the game between Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

  5. Vera and Jack are my uncle and aunt Vera and Jack Nobbs who still live in Links Close, Hellesdon. Vera is my father's sister.

  6. Ken Mason was a fellow journalist with Eastern Counties Newspapers. I now believe that the party was held at Sea Palling and not Bacton.

  7. Nanny was Florence Steward, my grandmother and mother of my father

  8. Harry and Gladys were Harry and Gladys Sandall. Harry was my grandmother's (my mother's mother) brother and therefore my great uncle.

  9. Paul was another close schoolboy friend Paul Smith who lived in Recreation Road in Norwich. Today Paul drives buses and I often have a chat with him in Norwich. Paul was responsible for introducing me to some of the more tuneful of my current musical taste.

  10. George was George Perrin, another friend from school. I lost touch with him for some time, but have re-established contact. He lives in Wilmslow with his wife and three boys. I am godfather to his eldest son.

  11. Ken Milbutn (better known as Geordie) was my grandmother Dew's lodger in Rupert Street. He also worked with my father and I enjoyed his company greatly. Came across him a few year's later when he shared a flat with fellow hournalists in Gorleston.

  12. Ethel - this was my grandmother Steward's sister.

  13. Jean - Jean Alexander who lived next door to us for  some years in Middleton's Lane, Hellesdon.

  14. Peter Anthony - Another schoolboy friend who subsequently went on the dame journalism training course in Harlow, Essex, as myself. Peter subsequently gave up journalism to study law and today is a high court judge in the Midlands.

  15. Jeannette - Jeannette Lyon was the girlfriend of Mike Smith at this time. They subsequently got married and I was their best man. Sadly I understand their marriage later ended in divorce.

  16. Mr and Mrs Saunders - I have absolutely no recollection of who these good people were.

  17. Rob Evans was obviously a friend of Peter Anthony. A few years later I got to know a Rob Evans who lived in Hethersett and worked at the University of East Anglia. I think this may very well be the same person.

  18. Neil Anthony was the brother of Peter Anthony

  19. The horrible things probably refer to getting up and all the stress and hassle connected with work, although at that age I was much more able to cope with them than I am today.

  20. Steve was Steve Hardy who I worked with and shared lofgings with for a while.

  21. The second hand record shop was in  London Road North, Lowestoft.

  22. Compared with the other prices, obtaining a Beatles LP for just 85p seems something of a spectacular bargain.

  23. My lodgings were at 211 St Margaret's Road, Lowestoft.

  24. Andy was Andrew Lemon, a fellow journalist on the Lowestoft Journal and a man of considerable charisma.

  25. Shipping, Trawl, Diary was a piece of work picked up each week from the public library in Lowestoft and chronicled local events and ship and fishing movements. Reminds me greatly of that excellent film and book "The Shipping News."

  26. Each week we trainee journalists had to attend shorthand k some aspirins to try and quell the pain, cooked myself tea and then went to bed at 9.15 p.m not holding out much hope of sleep unless the pain goes.

    Friday December 29th

    A day of ups and downs. Woke up at about 8.45 and the pain seemed better but got worse during the morning only to more or less disappear at dinnertime. Left digs to find my car wouldn't start, so I walked to work.

    Nothing to do at work, so went on a job with Andy. We went to see some people whose kid had almost drowned in the bath. It was while in their house that I felt quite ill with the tooth. Returned home to fetch car.

    By lunchtime the tooth was better so I went down to the record shop with Andy. Bought Mexico - Long John Baldry, Little Man - Sonny and Cher, Blue Eyes - Don Partridge and Oh Happy Day - Edwin Hawkins Singers. Also bought the Don McLean songbook from Morlings.

    Did nothing at all in the afternoon. Roy27 phoned and had a long chat with him. Went home, had tea and a bath and watched Sale of the Century and Upstairs, Downstairs. Went to bed at 10.45 after listening to Teaser and the Firecat.

    Saturday December 30th

    Working today so I will miss City v Manchester City. Had a bit of a lay-in, getting up at 9.20 a.m. Went to work and spent all morning reading the paper and clearing up. Came home and had dinner and sorted my room out.

    In the afternoon I had to report on Lowestoft Reserves v Dereham. Dereham won a fairly good match 3-1. Returned to the office to find City drew 1-1 and heard the extra-time commentary of the Wolves v Spurs League Cup match.

    Went out to Oulton Broad to get fish and chips and then went to the Sparrows Nest28 pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk which was surprisingly good. It went on from 7.30 to 10.45. Afterwards I drove home to Norwich and watched Parkinson meets the Goons and went to bed at 12.50.

    Sunday December 31st

    got up at 10 a.m when mum told me Roy was on the phone. He was going to Clacton during the day and wanted to know whether George's party was on. I couldn't tell him as I didn't know myself.

    Phoned Mike and then went round to see George. Mike was already there and George told us his party was on. Returned home and played the piano for a while, then went to nannys where I learnt some distressing news - Aunty Poor29 had died. It seems some neighbours had found her.

    Returned home and cleaned the car out because Nanny had asked me to take Ethel home tomorrow. I then watched Match of the Week and phoned Paul and arranged to go to his for tea tomorrow.

    At dinner hour I wrote my pantomime story for the EDP30 and phoned this over at 6 p.m. Mum and Dad and Nanny31 went out for the afternoon and when they returned I had to break the bad news.

    Anyway had a bath, watched the Fenn Street Gang32 and then went round to pick Mike and Jeannette up. Returned to mine to get my records.

    It was a funny party consisting of me, George, Rob Boden and Sue33, Roy and Joanne34 and Mike and Jeannette. We merrily mixed Mike's drinks until he was drunk.

    He had his usual arguments with Jeannette and ended up wishing he hadn't said many things. At 12 a.m we all drank a toast to the New Year. I ran Jeannette and Mike home at 1.30 a.m and arrived home myself at just after 2, going to bed at 2.15.

    Well that's 1972. I'm going to do my damndest to make 1973 a bloody good year.

    I made two New Year's resolutions

    1/ to go somewhere every night of the year and

    2/ to get myself a girlfriend

    NOTES

    The following notes were added September 2004

    1. At this time I was employed by Eastern Counties Newspapers and worked at their Lowestoft, Suffolk, office on the Lowestoft Journal weekly newspaper.

    2. On this day I would have been staying at my parents home at 31, Middleton's Lane over the Christmas holiday period.

    3. Mike Smith, a close friend from my days at the Norwich School. Mike went on to be the best man at my wedding. I was also the best man at his. We have subsequently lost touch, although he still lives in Norwich.

    4. This would have been the game between Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

    5. Vera and Jack are my uncle and aunt Vera and Jack Nobbs who still live in Links Close, Hellesdon. Vera is my father's sister.

    6. Ken Mason was a fellow journalist with Eastern Counties Newspapers. I now believe that the party was held at Sea Palling and not Bacton.

    7. Nanny was Florence Steward, my grandmother and mother of my father

    8. Harry and Gladys were Harry and Gladys Sandall. Harry was my grandmother's (my mother's mother) brother and therefore my great uncle.

    9. Paul was another close schoolboy friend Paul Smith who lived in Recreation Road in Norwich. Today Paul drives buses and I often have a chat with him in Norwich. Paul was responsible for introducing me to some of the more tuneful of my current musical taste.

    10. George was George Perrin, another friend from school. I lost touch with him for some time, but have re-established contact. He lives in Wilmslow with his wife and three boys. I am godfather to his eldest son.

    11. Ken Milbutn (better known as Geordie) was my grandmother Dew's lodger in Rupert Street. He also worked with my father and I enjoyed his company greatly. Came across him a few year's later when he shared a flat with fellow hournalists in Gorleston.

    12. Ethel - this was my grandmother Steward's sister.

    13. Jean - Jean Alexander who lived next door to us for  some years in Middleton's Lane, Hellesdon.

    14. Peter Anthony - Another schoolboy friend who subsequently went on the dame journalism training course in Harlow, Essex, as myself. Peter subsequently gave up journalism to study law and today is a high court judge in the Midlands.

    15. Jeannette - Jeannette Lyon was the girlfriend of Mike Smith at this time. They subsequently got married and I was their best man. Sadly I understand their marriage later ended in divorce.

    16. Mr and Mrs Saunders - I have absolutely no recollection of who these good people were.

    17. Rob Evans was obviously a friend of Peter Anthony. A few years later I got to know a Rob Evans who lived in Hethersett and worked at the University of East Anglia. I think this may very well be the same person.

    18. Neil Anthony was the brother of Peter Anthony

    19. The horrible things probably refer to getting up and all the stress and hassle connected with work, although at that age I was much more able to cope with them than I am today.

    20. Steve was Steve Hardy who I worked with and shared lofgings with for a while.

    21. The second hand record shop was in  London Road North, Lowestoft.

    22. Compared with the other prices, obtaining a Beatles LP for just 85p seems something of a spectacular bargain.

    23. My lodgings were at 211 St Margaret's Road, Lowestoft.

    24. Andy was Andrew Lemon, a fellow journalist on the Lowestoft Journal and a man of considerable charisma.

    25. Shipping, Trawl, Diary was a piece of work picked up each week from the public library in Lowestoft and chronicled local events and ship and fishing movements. Reminds me greatly of that excellent film and book "The Shipping News."

    26. Each week we trainee journalists had to attend shorthand classes with the aim of gaining a speed of 120 words per minute. I surprised everyone by failing 100 words per minute twice but getting 120 at the first attempt. I did a similar trick by failing History O' level and passing History A' level.

      classes with the aim of gaining a speed of 120 words per minute. I surprised everyone by failing 100 words per minute twice but getting 120 at the first attempt. I did a similar trick by failing History O' level and passing History A' level.
    27. Roy was Roy Jarrold, another school friend. Roy still lives in nearby Mulbarton and I see him quite often.

    28. The Sparrow's Nest is a theatre and gardens in North Lowestoft and this pantomime would probably have been performed by the Lowestoft Players drama group.

    29. Aunty Por or Poor was actually no relations to me, but a friend of my grandmothers. I don't know where the name came from but her real name was Grace Spalding.

    30. EDP is the Eastern Daily Press newspaper which is still very much in existence. It's parent company is Eastern Counties Newspapers which is now Archant.

    31. Mum, Dad and Nanny - this would refer to my mother and father, Arthur and Phyllis Steward and my mother's mother Selina Dew who was living with them.

    32. Fenn Street Gang - A television comedy series.

    33. Rob Boden and Sue. Rob was another fellow Norwich School pupil and Sue was his girlfriend and later to be his wife.

    34. Joanne was Roy Jarrold's girlfriend and later to become his wife.