Peter Steward's Web Site
Diary November 1978
Wednesday 1st November
So that's another month. Certainly this one isn't going to be anywhere near as enjoyable as the last although there should be plenty of enjoyable moments. Got up fairly early and had a bath and breakfast before setting off for Belper and arriving at just after 9 a.m. There was plenty of copy to deal with early on before going to the printers at 11 a.m. Before that Andy phoned up tp ask me if I would do the Chesterfield game on Saturday for Raymonds. For £10 it won't be a bad deal as I have nothing planned and I enjoy doing the football. Once at the printers it was a pretty hectic day. I quite enjoy it there because they are very friendly and helpful. There were plenty of problems for the paper. At first it seemed that we would be well over with copy but by the end we had run out and had to scratch around. It gives me a little idea how much copy has to go up. I am sure that next week I will be able to knock out some more. Eventually we made it although, unlike last week, it was past 5 p.m before it was all finished. I think the paper is slightly more interesting this week. At the end I drove the remainder of the way home, arriving in time for tea. After tea spent another quiet evening, going to bed after the European football on television. One problem today revolved around the children's page. I hoped to run the beer can story but the works seem to have lost the picture and so it has had to be held back for a week.
Thursday 2nd November
A nice day at work and a nice day out of work. Up at the usual time and started out on the long drive. Arrived just after 9 a.m to find the paper was out and it doesn't look too bad at all. At 10 a.m Adrian Heapy the photographer arrived and after a coffee we drove in my car to the High School to do a chaotic story about German children on an exchange. It didn't take too long and afterwards I drove to Ambergate behind Adrian so that he could take his car in following a recent accident. From there I drove him home to Allantree and went in for a cup of coffee before returning to the office at around dinnertime. Worked through until 2.30 p.m when I was due to see a student who is doing a higher education certificate course at some Derbyshire college and wants to study the Belper news. She stayed for about two hours although I don't know how much of what I said made sense. At the end I packed up but had a long wait before leaving the office. The reason was simply that I was going round John's for the evening and nobody would be home for earlier than 7 p.m. So I hung around doing very little until 6.30 p.m before driving to Duffield. Arrived there just as Anne and Andy were arriving separately. It was a pleasant evening. We had tea, a good laugh and then watched television before at 10 p.m driving down to the Bluebell for a drink. We stayed until well after closing time and then stopped back at the house for a coffee before driving home in our separate cars. Arrived around midnight and went straight to bed.
Friday 3rd November
Got a little interference today from C, although it was of the best kind by way of tip offs for stories. The only trouble is he tends to dictate that certain things go in i.e things he is involved in. Up at the usual time and into Belper and it was a steady day at work. The main thing I did was to re-vamp the What's On diary into something resembling the Beccles one. Worked through lunchtime and then came to the usual halt midway through the afternoon. Hung on until about 4.15 p.m when I decided to go home and arrived nice and early in time for tea and shortly afterwards had a bath and got ready with the intention of driving to Derby and the Greyhound pub to attend Terry Lloyd's farewell party. We were rather late getting there because Anne took well over an hour to get ready. It turned out to be quite a jovial affair, although there were too many journalists there of the FP, BD, KJ mould. In the end we stayed until closing time and then offered to take John and Andy home as they had come in by bus. We went in for a cup of coffee and then started out on the journey home to Long Eaton. Went straight to bed, although it was still about 1 a.m when we got to bed.
Saturday 4th November
Up early for a Saturday. The one difference is that nowadays I have weekends off and it's nice to have two completely free days a week. Even so I did some work today and for Raymonds at that. But there was the obvious difference that this was out of choice and I should make some money out of it. And so it was up before 9 a.m and after breakfast went into Long Eaton to do the shopping for the party in the evening. That meant queuing for bread because there is a coming bread strike. Then had to hump large bags of potatoes to the car. Apart from that we had the usual wander around dress shops and it all got a bit boring. So back home at 11 a.m and we got the stuff together and drove over to John's at 11.30 a.m. There we met Andy and he was taking me to Chesterfield. Just one drawback in that I seem to be developing a cold. So while Anne spent the afternoon preparing food for the party, myself, Andy and Steve Gill from the Derby Telegraph drove to Chesterfield in Andy's car. We stopped at a pub just outside for dinner and then reached the ground at 2.15 p.m. I had a slightly easier time than in the past, just having one voice piece and one small copy piece to do. Nevertheless it kept me busy and it was 6 p.m before we got away to drive back to Johns. Then myself and Andy went to pick up the beer from the Bluebell which took an eternity in itself. So on coming back there was just time to get changed before people started arriving for the party, It started off slowly but gradually built up and a good party with plenty to eat and drink and fireworks and there were plenty of interesting people there including Malcolm Robertson. In the end we were one of the last to leave at 2 a.m. Came home and went straight to bed feeling very tired. All the late night living is certainly taking its toll.
Sunday 5th November
Not such a pleasant day really because my cold seems to have blossomed and indeed I felt very washed out. Unfortunate really because, apart from that, I felt perfectly fine and it was a good day. Slept in a little before getting up for breakfast and driving to Yorkshire. Had the intention of stopping at a pub on the way for lunch and decided on the Spread Eagle. Unfortunately they didn't do food so we decided to carry on to Knottingley and ate at home. After dinner spent the afternoon reading and falling asleep while Anne went to the discount warehouse near Leeds. When she returned we had tea and then she went to chapel and I fell asleep again before getting ready and, when Sandra and Jim, came round at 7.30, we drove to Darrington for a drink. Can't say I was really up to it as I was very feverish and cold. So we only stayed until 9.10 p.m before driving back to Long Eaton and, after unloading the car, went to bed. The earliest night for some time and I certainly need the rest.
Monday 6th November
Back to work and rather a pleasant day in fact/ I think this is technically a very important day because for the first time I really felt part of the town. Ironically I wasn't looking particularly forward to going in. The main reason was the long journey. I think we have definitely decided to move out that way after Christmas. I feel so detached in Long Eaton. My cold wasn't too bad today. Got up at 7.45 a.m and got into work at just after 9 a.m. Waiting for me were two nice letters. The first from the Belper Speakers Club inviting me to join them which was pleasant and something I might well do. The other from Belper Round Table welcoming me. I have an idea I might be joining them fairly soon. After that I got down to some work and there were plenty of things to sort through. So worked through until lunchtime and then into the afternoon. I really think we have got some good stories this week with plenty of human interest. It's a strange life really. You work with enthusiasm to get one week's paper together and then have to start from scratch on the following weeks. No chance to rest on your laurels or you completely wreck the next week. Also during the afternoon the Methodist minister came in. A very nice bloke. That's the nice thing - people keep coming into the office to meet me. I was a little late getting away at past 5 p.m. Drove home and really that was the end of the day. After tea just spent the evening watching television. Made a few necessary phone calls and had a bath before going to bed.
Tuesday 7th November
Quite an eventful day and it came as no surprise when H gave in his notice yet again. It doesn't half get boring after a time. This time it seems he allowed the work to pile up and then panicked, came out with a mouthful and then said he was going in one month's time. I tried to press for a meeting with C but he said I was the editor and he was giving me his notice. Perhaps this time he might even do it. Apart from that the day went smoothly and I didn't do a lot of work. Up and into work at the usual time and worked through a fair amount of stuff in the morning and then at 1 p.m walked down to the Duke of Devonshire to meet Andy for lunch. Naturally we stayed there until 2.30 p.m. having a nice leisurely meal and then on returning to the office found Adrian the photographer there. So very little work was done until Adrian and Andy left. Then had problems with JW who had sold an advert for space that didn't exist and then expected a story to be chopped about to accommodate it. That guy is certainly no journalist and although he flies around all week he doesn't produce a great volume of copy. In fact the paper would be pretty good without the other two members of the editorial staff. I can't really see the make up of staff being the same in a year or so. Gradually I think I will be able to mould it around myself. With all the problems sorted out I decided to leave at 4.30 p.m to pick Andy up from his home and go into Derby. Had to hang around for him and we were a little late picking Anne up at her office. That done we walked to Derby Playhouse and had a drink and a meal and then at 7.15 p.m moved into the auditorium to see Godspell. It was totally vibrant and full of life and very enjoyable and lasted until 10 p.m. Then we met John in the Blennington(?) and had a drink before driving home and going straight to bed.
Wednesday 8th November
A quieter day than of late and the usual visit to the printers which I rather enjoy. Up and set out on the lo0ng drive after breakfast. Got there just after 9 a.m and there was a tremendous amount to clear up before the paper would be complete. Captioning pictures, finishing the lead story and typing up press handouts were just a few of the things. Then at 11 a.m it was time to dash off to the printers. Once there set about re-arranging different parts of the paper, fitting other stories in etc. It's a full time job. At least this week we didn't run out of copy and it all fitted nicely. The only problem was that the pictures on the front page were so small. There is so much crammed on the front and back. At least it's all solid story now and not filler bits and pieces like it used to be. It was 4 p.m before we got finished at the printers and I came home. Anne was in one of her nagging moods - cut the grass, do this, do that. So despite the fact it was getting dark I tried to cut the grass with next door's mower as ours is in for repair. Finally got rid of that and had tea and then spent a quiet evening watching television. The football match at 10 p.m was the League Cup tie between Norwich and Manchester City. It started out ok with Norwich leading 1-0 at half-time and then they got duffed 3-1. Oh misery.
Thursday 9th November
A good day at work with a lot of useful pointers. Thursday is really a day for administration and organising things. Friday is for standard weekly features such as the children's page and What's On and Monday and Tuesday for straight news reporting. Today I actually got rather a nice story that will make a lead for next week. It's nice to always have one stashed away. Into work at the usual time and didn't do a great amount before driving out to Openwoodgate(?) to see a chap who was complaining that his local shop was refusing to serve people going to a supermarket. So I interviewed him and then went to the shop for a long involved chat with the owner. By the time all that was over it was midday by the time I was back in the office. Had dinner and then a couple of coppers from the local station came in. Very useful to have a chat and a chance to get to know them. Slowly but surely I am building up the contacts. Only one problem during the day and that was the resignation of the guy who does the football reports. That might pose a problem. I really feel that I am slowly and surely re-shaping the paper, weeding out the dross and getting it on a more professional footing. Spent the afternoon working through various things and left just before 5 p.m. Drove home and had a very quick snack and then a bath and got ready to go over to Bingham for the Round Table meeting. I was picked up by Barry Austin and it was a fair evening with a meal and Call My Bluff. I don't find Long Eaton table particularly easy to get on with although perhaps it's me. By the end we left at 11 p.m and Barry drove me home and I went straight to bed at around midnight.
Friday 10th November
A slightly infuriating day and I rather think that if C carries on the way he is going we soon won't be speaking the same language. The silly bugger laid on a taxi for tomorrow nights little event because he was going to pick H up and then me. Now H isn't going and the taxi has been cancelled. He didn't even have the decency to tell me directly but got his wife to pass the message on through one of the office girls. It's about time that guy got one or two things straight. So in other words the taxi was just a sop for H and the message is sod you. Well I shall go in my own car and charge it up to expenses. Apart from that I got through a tremendous amount of work. Getting in at the same time I cleared up all the incoming mail, then did What's On, then the lead story from yesterday and finally a feature on America before leaving in disgust at the taxi incident at 4.20 p.m. It took a long while to get home because the volume of traffic was heavy. Finally arrived at 5.10 p.m and took the evening cooling down. In fact I didn't do a lot. Watched television and bottled my wine before going to bed.
Saturday 11th November
A be polite to everyone evening, all in the name of work. It was a Saturday but had to get up early to set off for Yorkshire. It was very foggy which didn't make the journey very pleasant and also longer than usual and it was 9.30 a.m when we got to Yorkshire. Anne went off shopping and I spent the morning reading. Had the usual early dinner and then an equally quiet afternoon watching the horse racing and Wales v New Zealand rugby international on tele. Had a very quick tea and then set out for Long Eaton at just after 5 p.m, arriving at 6.15 p.m. Then there was a hectic period of getting ready before setting off at 7 p.m for Belper Sports Centre for the Belper News sponsored table tennis evening. Quite a jovial affair with a good two hours entertainment of serious and loony play. Then at the end we went upstairs for quite a lavish buffet. It was difficult because, although I am the editor, I ended up very much in the background as C took all the credit. Nevertheless plenty to eat and drink and we stayed until midnight. Drove home and went straight to bed at around 1 a.m.
Sunday 12th November
A very quiet day and I must admit I felt very lethargic. As there was no hurry to get up I didn't bother to check my watch and by the time I did look it was 10.30 a.m and 11 a.m before I got up. Went to fetch the Sunday paper and then spent the rest of the morning bottling the latest batch of wine. Then just before dinner went to the off licence for a bottle of cider for Anne to cook with. Then did a little work on the car, had dinner and spent the afternoon lounging around and watching television. Finally had a wash and got ready for the arrival of Andy and John. They arrived at 7.15 p.m and we spent an enjoyable evening eating and drinking, watching television and listening to records. By the time they left it was past 11 p.m and after clearing up we went straight to bed.
Monday 13th November
A rather satisfying day at work again and I am finding the job more and more satisfying as the time goes by. Up at the usual time but somehow I was a little bit later than usual setting off and by the time I had got some petrol it was 9.15 a.m before I got to work. There was a steady stream of stuff to deal with in the morning, people coming into the office and correspondents copy to deal with. So dinner time came rather quickly. The afternoon went vene faster. Had a number of things to do before going to see a chap at 3 p.m. who had just retired from working at the Crick Transport Museum. It was qui9te an interesting walk through the backways to find his home. A very talkative old chappy and a pleasant, easy job. That's something I never had with Raymonds. It was always rush here rush there. Now that I am moving in a normal world with normal people I can take my time and if I feel like sitting around and having a chat I can do so. By the time I returned to the office and cleared up a few things it was time to go home at 5 p.m. There was a lot of traffic and I took a wrong turning trying to find a short cut. So by the time I got home it was 6 p.m. Had tea and then spent the evening fixing up my new wine rack which I bought at the dinnertime break. Apart from that spent the rest of the evening watching television.
Tuesday 14th November
Paid one of our rare visits to the cinema in the evening to see Grease in an attempt to find out what all the fuss is about. Must admit I rather enjoyed it because of the 1950s American theme. Very similar in many ways to Happy Days. Got up at the usual time and set off a bit earlier. There was considerably less traffic on the road today and I was in work just before 9 a.m. Went to the supermarket to get a loaf of bread and then got down to work. It was a long morning and with four extra pages on the paper this week it's going to take some filling. By the time I had everything done it was well past 1 p.m. I was rather glad that Andy was unable to make our usual dinner date because I would have been pushed to have made it. After that I slowed down a little and just cleared a few things up before setting off at 3 p.m to take stuff to the printers. It's a good excuse to leave early really because it's on the way home. In fact I was home by 4 p.m. Watched television until Anne came home and we had tea and then at 7 p.m set off for Long Eaton cinema to see Grease. There was a massive queue and we were in two minds as to whether to join it or return home. We decided to have a go and it was an hour before we got in. Even then we got one of the last seats and had to be separated. Nevertheless I enjoyed the film. Obviously the storyline was trashy but it was lively and I like the music. It finished at 10.15 pm and at the end we came home, watched television for a while and then went to bed.
Wednesday 15th November
A very satisfying day. This week's paper is 24 pages, the biggest I have been involved in so far. Nevertheless after hours at the printers in the afternoon we got it away nicely and still had a couple of features left over. Up at the usual time and into work and there was the usual fairly hectic period of action finishing the copy off and taking last minute phone calls. It's that late copy that is very often so important in filling the paper. Then at 11 a.m I set off for the printers and it was a lengthy effort to get it together and we didn't seem to be making too much progress at all. I still remember the first week when it was all away by 3 p.m. Today it was nearer 6 p.m but at least it should be quite an interesting paper. So at 6 p.m I drove the rest of the way home. Anne seemed to be out but she was actually in a neighbours, having locked herself out. We then had tea and a quiet evening watching television. Had a bath before going to bed fairly early.
Thursday 16th November
Didn't feel at all like work today so I didn't do much. That's the pleasure of working at Belper. In fact I decided to go in later than usual to make my journey easier and so, after having a little lay in, I got going at 9 a.m and arrived just after 9.30 a.m. Spent the morning getting the children's column done and a couple of other regular features and then at lunchtime had sandwiches in the office. During the afternoon I went to see a local photographer who puts a Father Christmas post box outside his shop. Then John Andrews popped in on his way through to a job. By the time he left it was 4.30 and I decided to go myself as I was picking Anne up at her office before going to the Assembly Rooms in the evening. I arrived well on time and sat around drinking coffee before parking the car and going to the playhouse for dinner. It was a salad and there we met up with John again. Then at 7.10 p.m walked to the Assembly Rooms and met Andy. We were there to see Mike Harding. He turned out to be very amusing but perhaps the show went on a little too long. In fact the support act - Hedgehog Pie were very tedious. In the end the show went on until after 11 p.m and at the end we hurried home and went to bed very tired indeed.
Friday 17th November
An extremely satisfying day at work. C rang up to put on record his appreciation of the paper, which I must admit is better this week. Went into work at the usual time and got down to doing the stuff that came in and the diary. Was interrupted by a call from the MP and he gave me a rather good story that should make a lead for the week. About a group of people from Belper who are raising money for under-developed parts of India. Then as if by coincidence I got a nice tie up at lunchtime. During the morning I received an invitation from the convent to have lunch there as they were having a visit from Kieron Moore, a former well known actor now doing charity work. So at midday I drove to the convent and they made me more than welcome at the school. In fact I had dinner there which made a break from sandwiches. Leaving at 2 p.m, I reflected on what a good day it was and intended coasting down for another hour before leaving to pick Anne up and go down to Kathryn and Terry's in the evening. For that reason I had taken Anne to work in the morning. Before I could leave the office, however, I had to put up with a political nutter who somehow got into the office. It took me a long while to get rid of him. Eventually did and just before I could go one of the correspondents from Duffield telephoned to say there was a house for sale near hers and wanting to know whether I would be interested. I might well have a look at it. So finally I got away and arrived at Annes at 3.30 p.m. We set off immediately on the M1 towards London. Very straightforward to the end of the motorway but of course then we had the hour's drive through London. Nevertheless we arrived at 7.20 p.m, earlier than expected. So after unpacking myself and Terry went to a local pub and had a couple of pints while the women cooked a meal which we ate on returning. Then sat around talking for a while before going to bed at after 11 p.m.
Saturday 18th November
Decided to go into London today to have a look round the shops and in many ways wished I hadn't because there were just so many people around it was unbearable. Had a little bit of a lay in and after breakfast drove down to the Surbiton Station to catch the train to Waterloo with Anne and Kathryn. It's only a 15 minute journey and by the time we had taken the tube to Knightsbridge it was 11.15 a.m when we arrived at Harrods. There we split up for an hour and I concentrated on the toy and stereo departments. Met up again at 12.30 p.m and walked to Hyde Park Corner to the pizza place where we ate on our last visit to London. The meal was quite good and afterwards we took the Underground to Oxford Street and split up for another hour. This time I went to the HMV record store but didn't buy anything because there were just too many people there and it was too hot. At that point I decided it was time to go home and so, after meeting the girls, we returned to Waterloo and so back to Surbiton. There we called at some local shops and then back to Elgar Avenue for a much needed rest. Had a bath and eventually got ready to go out again at 8.15 p.m. This time to Kingston Polytechnic for an international students' disco. It started slowly and looked as if it would be a complete bore but gradually got better and we stayed until after 11 p.m. Then returned home, had a drink and went to bed. During the evening managed to get some rather colourful beer cans to add to my collection.
Sunday 19th November
Unfortunately had to return home again today and I would very much have liked another couple of days in Surrey. There was no hurry to get up so it was about 10 a.m when I rose and had breakfast and got ready and threequarters of an hour later we were on our way to church. A deadly dull service, I was very glad when it was over. At the end Anne and Kathryn returned home and I waited for Terry and then we returned to the pub of Friday night for a pint before returning home for a very leisurely and very nice meal. By the end I was feeling very full up and sleepy. After washing up spent the afternoon playing scrabble with Terry and all too soon 5.30 p.m came and it was time to go home. Another weekend has gone very fast. I suppose it's because we pack so much into them. The journey home was very tedious although thankfully only took three hours and we were back by 8.30 p.m. Had a snack, watched television for a while and then went to bed fairly early.
Monday 20th November
Union trouble again. It's the annual does. This time the NUJ are asking for a £20 a week rise, six weeks holiday a year and overtime for evening work. Ridiculous requests, no chance of getting them and what's the point of me asking for ridiculous things like that on a paper the size of the Belper News? If it comes to an all out strike I shall resign from the Union. All I want to do is do a decent job for a decent wage. Other than that got up at the usual time and into work and it was a little bit disorientated throughout the day. It was useful in one or two ways, however, as a guy from the football club phoned up and I made contact with him. Other than that I had a chat in the morning with C, mainly about H without getting anywhere. At midday I drove to Derby for the women Conservatives luncheon with the guest speaker Willie Whitelaw. I had difficulty getting there. It was in Friargate and I have a mental block about that place. I can never find it. Consequently I drove round Derby a couple of times trying to find it. The meal was a rather frightfully frightfully affair. I sat at the end of the top table with the other reporters. The meal was okay but I was quite glad to get away. Drove back to Belper and spent the afternoon clearing up as much copy as I could before leaving at 5.30 p.m. Drove home. The drive is getting something of a bore. Anne had a late conference at work so I fixed myself some beans on toast and then spent the evening clearing up one or two things before having a bath and going to bed.
Tuesday 21st November
A tedious, dull and rather annoying day which made me quite angry. It all stems from H and, although I shouldn't speak ill of people, he is quite the most awkward foul mouthed sod I have ever dealt with. The man is quite evil and there is just no way I can get on with him. The problem is when I broached the question of his leaving in an attempt to get the record straight he turned it into a personal attack on me complaining that we didn't see eye to eye. Well the point is I have got his back up by trying to be nice. So now I may as well be nasty. My one aim is to get rid of the bugger because he is a trouble maker. At the moment he is shipping things into the paper without me seeing them. The day started okay when I got into work as there was a pile of stuff to plough through. That took me well into the morning. At 1 p.m after the H episode I met Andy down at the Duke of Devonshire and we had our usual long session, going back to the office at 3 p.m. Couldn't get down to my work and in the end gave it up as a bad job. I will now have quite a lot to do tomorrow before going to the printers. In fact I called at the printers on the way home to take some copy and have a chat. Then arrived home and had a quick snack and got ready to go to the past Tablers night at Castle Donnington. Very boring it was as hardly anybody seems to want to speak or have any contact. It's bloody childish at times as well. In the end I was glad to come away, drive home and get to bed. Perhaps tomorrow will be better.
Wednesday 22nd November
A fairly average day although I don't hold out much hope for the paper this week. The problem is it's only a 20 pager, but when we got to the printers we found we had enouth adverts for a 24 pager. Consequently the adverts had to go in at the expense of the editorial. Thus it should vaguely resemble an advertising freesheet. Got up at the usual time and into work for 9 a.m. Got a loaf of bread from FineFare before settling down to two hours of work to claear everything up. H was his usual obnoxious self with little gems like "I don't think the lead story is very good, we had better ones than that". What he was referring too of course was some crappy court cases which I later shuffled to the back pages out of the way. That should upset him nicely and force his hand. I left for the printers at 11 a.m and was there on my own without John and H until well after lunch. They were stuck in the office on a post office raid and it took a long while to get it all sorted out and it was 6 p.m before I left. I had intended going to the Belper Players Operatic group in the evening but I was so tired that I couldn't be bothered to go all the way back. So I came home and had some tea and a quiet evening watching television and doing very little. Tomorrow starts yet another paper and yet another round in the battle to get rid of H. I just wish he would walk out on me again.
Thursday 23rd November
A disastrously dull day at work. Owing to the amount of stuff left over I just didn't have to bother so to start with I went in later and in fact had a headache all day. Stayed in bed until 9 a.m and then got up and had a bath before setting off for work and arriving at 10 a.m. I suppose the paper was passable even if it was full of adverts. The day was brightened by the fact that H wasn't around. Perhaps this time I have upset him enough that he won't come back. I expect he'll be there in the morning, however. He'll just keep turning up like the proverbial bad penny. Spent the morning on the children's column and then had sandwiches in the office at dinnertime. In the afternoon I studied the type book and type sizes and I reckon at a push I could get a paper out next week on my own, perhaps with a little help from Andy. At least I should be ready for when H goes. Eventually left the office at 5.15 p.m and drove to pick Anne up at the Careers Office. She was on late shift so we had to wait until 6.15 p.m before leaving and having a quick tea in a nearby snack bar. Then went to the Assembly Rooms to meet John and Andy for the Lindisfarne Concert. It turned out to be a very good evening. The support act Chris Rea was quite good and Lindisfarne were tremendous. Made up for the dullness of the day. At the end drove home in our separate cars and went straight to bed.
Friday 24th November
Reached Yorkshire by nightfall and I am really glad to be there. Have just about had enough this week. The paper was an abortion and H was at it again today sticking his bloody oar in again. I spent the morning doing What's On and one or two other things and at lunchtime had sandwiches in the office. By 3 p.m I had had enough and so decided to leave to pick Anne up. That just about sums up my attitude to work at the moment. I certainly wouldn't have left Beccles at such an early hour by choice. At Belper I was glad to get out. Of course it was a great help in missing the rush hour traffic and we were well on our way by 4 p.m and, after a straightforward drive, we were in Knottingley in time for tea and then afterwards Anne and her mother left to help prepare the local bazaar and I stayed in watching television and playing scrabble. They brought a fish and chip supper back with them and after that spent the rest of the evening watching television before going to bed.
Saturday 25th November
Quite a nice day with a pleasant evening. Most days in Yorkshire are nice and restful and this was no exception. Had a lay in before getting up at 10 a.m and spent the morning reading and doing very little and then there was the usual early dinner. Afterwards Anne went off to the church bazaar while I stayed at home and watched the sport on television. Had tea and then a bath and got ready for Anne's return. Then it was off to the chapel for the evening concert by the Middle School Brass Band. Quite interesting really but it went on a bit long. At the end we ran Mum home and then set out for Chris and Ians, arriving at 9 p.m. We then went to Kings Croft for a drink and to book for their Christmas dinner-dance. In fact we stayed there until closing time before returning to theirs for supper and it was well past midnight when we left. By the time we got home and to bed it was fast approaching 1 a.m.
Sunday 26th November
A slightly unfortunate day because I was sick all morning. It must have been the beer last night but I can't understand why because I only had two and a half pints and a brandy, which is nothing excessive. Woke up with a headache and had to get up at 9 a.m to be sick. Then lay on the settee in between going to the toilet and finally came round and began to feel better at lunchtime and was able to eat a good dinner. From there on the day improved. Spent the afternoon playing scrabble and had the usual early tea and, when Anne returned from chapel, we got ready and set off to return to Long Eaton. I must admit that I didn't feel like driving back. A week in Yorkshire with no worries would just go down nicely now. Nevertheless when you've got to go you've got to go. On the way home we stopped at Johns for an hour and then eventually got home at just after 10 p.m. It was very very cold and we were glad to be in the warmth of bed.
Monday 27th November
Things at work are deteriorating at a very fast rate. I've got a feeling it's all going to come to a rather nasty head soon. I was up at the usual time and it was a very frosty night and took quite some time to get the car going. Arrived at about 9 a.m to find a cheerful H. Cheerful because he has found a way to stick the knife in and is beginning to turn it. So it was all smiles as he told me that people were moaning about the paper. If they aren't moaning he will certainly make it up that they are. And of course he told me the management would like to talk to me about certain things. Of course the management want to talk to me about things planted in their head by him. So I left it at that. Later in the day, however, I had occasion to phone C up and I got the expected "I will be coming to see you." I can tell exactly what he is coming to say. So I sat down to compose a letter outlining all my complaints. When C come creaming in I shall sit back and listen to it all and then produce the letter. All I want to do is get on with my job without any interference. That doesn't seem possible at the Belper News. Apart from that there wasn't much else in the day to remember. I spent the morning clearing up quite a few stories on the telephone. At dinnertime I had sandwiches in the office and then did very little in the afternoon. Left at 4.30 p.m to go to the printers on my way home. Arrived back at 5.30 p.m, and had tea before spending a quiet evening watching television, sorting out a number of minor jobs before going to bed still feeling very ruffled indeed.
Tuesday 28th November
Back on more of an even keel today and indeed it was a pleasant day. Got up slightly earlier than usual and had a bath before setting out for Belper. On reaching the office I opened the mail and sorted out one or two things before at 10 a.m going to the Belper House improvement Centre on Holbrook Road. It was for a simple advertising feature although the bloke continually broke off the interview to serve customers, which was most annoying. From there I went on to Ambergate to see the couple at the post office who had been involved in the raid. They weren't too happy to talk and so I came away quite quickly and returned to the office and worked through until 1 p.m when I met Andy in the Duke of Devonshire and we had our usual lengthy lunch break. Then returned and worked through the afternoon before leaving at just on 5 p.m. I was due to go to a meeting of the Belper Speakers Club in the evening so there wasn't time for me to go home and so instead I went to Johns and had some tea there and it was 7.20 p.m when I got to the Railway Hotel in Belper. I started by having a quick drink in the bar and then braved the speakers club. It turned out to be a very enjoyable evening. They were a friendly lit and made me feel very welcome. I even got roped into giving a two minute speech which went down well. I stayed until after the end and by the time I had driven home it was fast approaching 11 p.m. I was still well ahead of Anne who was out with Ladies Circle. So I went to bed to read until she arrived home.
Wednesday 29th November
Not such a bad day at all. Plenty of things to do at work and play. Got up at the usual time and, after breakfast, set off for work. There was plenty to do before I could go to the printers, although it was still of a leisurely nature. Mainly clearing up stuff, adding to the front page lead, writing the back page lead and getting another advertising feature done. By the time I set off for the printers it was midday and with a 20 page paper to get out it promised to be a long session. At least the end product today was satisfactory and there shouldn't be any similarity with an advertsiing sheet. Indeed it was 5.30 p.m before we got everything placed and it's taken up just about everything we had. At the end I hurried home, arriving at just after 6 p.m and had tea. Then got ready very quickly to go to the latest Round Table epic. A roulette evening against Swaddlingcoat for a cup - in other words a load of fully grown men playing kiddies games. I was picked up at 7.30 p.m by Brian Westaman (?). We were the first to arrive at the pub and it turned into quite an enjoyable evening although I still find it very difficult to get to know the members. It's nothing like Beccles. The evening centred round the roulette and after that it was pub games and I got stuck into the darts. By the time we left it was 10.45 p.m. Brian drove me home and I went straight to bed.
Thursday 30th November
A quiet day and because of very bad weather I had to put a couple of evening things off. As it was Thursday and I had no particular work pending I didn't hurry to set off. It was rather foggy and I had to take Anne to her school at Spondon. After that I tried taking the back roads to Belper and at one point got stuck in a traffic jam and had to turn round. I eventually arrived at 9.45 a.m. and it was a very leisurely day although I did get three features done that take up an awful lot of space, namely the children's corner, my second American feature and the Know Your Rights thing. Apart from that I didn't do a lot and left the office at 4.30 p.m. The plan was to pick Anne up, return to Belper to inspect a bungalow we are interested in and then to go on to an amateur drama production at Wirkworth. Driving into Derby, however, produced foggy conditions so we decided to shelve the plans. So came home which took ages because of the conditions. So spent a quiet evening in watching television.