Thursday 19th October 1989

Debbie remarkably survived a cold that potentially kept her away from school so that she could still go horse-riding and then worked late on her homework! I collected Freda from Cambridge Station and took her to see Dad in hospital and then  drove her on to West Suffolk hospital to see Mum and it was all bad news there, I dropped her off at Stanton for the night where our parents may never see again and, brave until then, I cried uncontrollably on the drive home alone before discussing nursing home options with Di.

News today of the quashing of the Guildford bombings suspect sentences after they had spent 15 years in jail.

I was awake early today, washed and showered in good time for breakfast. Poor Debbie was ill with a cold and did not want to go to school but, when I said she could not go horse-riding later, she insisted on going in and survived the day quite well. Indeed, she was up until 10:15pm this evening, doing her homework! This morning, I started some deskwork but first Nigel Smith came around and then the river engineer Mr Larkin. He had missed me before and had good to try me again. I explained my idea about a cradle for The Lady and he suggested a pair of rails on the slipway it seemed that my idea is feasible and he will draft a design and quote, doing my manhole cover at the same time.

Wednesday 18th October 1989

On a fine and warm day here, I had the double shock of hearing about the earthquake in California killing 200 when the double-decker Bay Bridge we knew collapsed and then later the personal news when visiting Dad who learnt that they are not willing to operate on him.

I hosted a good meeting of the St Neots Democrats tonight, preparing for the Eatons by-election. East German Premier Eric Honecker resigned following mass street protests for reform and Thatcher is left in glorious isolation at the Commonwealth conference resisting action against South Africa

I was rather tired again this morning as the night just did not seem long enough. I was shocked to hear on the radio that there had been a serious earthquake overnight in California with damage, fires, deaths and injuries. At 6.9 on the Richter scale, it was not as large as the 1908 quake but the ‘double-decker’ road systems in Oakland and on the Bay Bridge collapsed, one on top of the other, compressing cars and lorries to a few inches in height and instantly killing over 200 occupants.

** PRESS "Read More" BELOW for the complete story **

Tuesday 17th October 1989

Diana’s Birthday - A busy day, having a birthday lunch with Diana, I history interview with a local schoolgirl and then the journey to visit my Dad where there was no progress or decisions but he did tell me more about his early life, musical ability of his sister  and parents and about Charlie Phillips, his best friend.

Home for tea and then off to a Buckden School governors meeting, then on to Chair a Little Paxton Village Hall meeting. The Guildford four have been released after 15 to 18 years of wrong imprisonment, and shares have been sliding in London and New York again

I was quite tired when woken this morning and I dozed afterwards for a while to recover. I still got to the breakfast table with time to spare for croissants with the others. Daniel had a chemistry exam today and, later on, thought that he had passed it. Diana and I went to St Neots together shopping and we stayed there for a birthday lunch for Diana at the Bridge Hotel restaurant. Whilst in town, I had an hour out and bought two pairs of much-needed shoes. It was a fine and warm sunny day and I wish that we were on the boat.

** PRESS "Read More" BELOW for the complete story **

Monday 16th October 1989

Drama on the London and New York stock exchanges, as the FT100 fell more than 200 points before climbing back to lose only 70. A morning tending my birds and fish and then publishing two press releases on the HDC using ‘ratepayer money for political purposes’ and announcing the candidature of Derek Giles.

No news yet for poor Dad whose morphine pain-killing dose seems to be making him feel very vague and forgetful. A dry and pedestrian meeting of the KSS at the castle on their fireworks display between calls organising the St Neots Museum

A day of trouble as the stock exchange fell further but it avoided the worst forecasts of an out-and-out crash. Still the London FT100 fell more than 200 points before climbing back to lose only 70. For my part I spent time with the koi this morning and then occupied the rest of my time drafting and printing two press releases. I have launched into a condemnation of the HDC publicity brochure as being ‘ratepayer money used for political purposes’. The other release was about Derek Giles standing for the St Neots Town Council election for the Social and Liberal Democrats.

** PRESS "Read More" BELOW for the complete story **