Monday 31st December 1984

Some shopping in London before leaving for home and dropping in to see Mum in Papworth Hospital as 'tame' union leaders are given their peerages in the New Year's Honours list

Awoken sharply by the room service waiter bringing the morning drinks efficiently at 7.15am. He lingers wishing us a rather obvious and premature ‘Happy New Year’, but did not get a tip. All washed and dressed and then down to breakfast to enjoy a large meal. Daniel and I leave for Comet’s electrical discount house as the girls stay and swim in the hotel. We scan the shop, but they do not have the larger CASIO Electronic Keyboard that Daniel had set his heart on. Him back to join the swim and me onto the Swiss Cottage local history library to search for John Broad Jnr between 1870 and 1880, without success. All to rendezvous at the hotel and load up to check out. Over to Wembley and the girls shopping, whilst Daniel and I go to the Model Engineering Exhibition. A large and crowded event with so many beautiful models of scale, cars, boats and aeroplanes. After wearing ourselves out, we watch a film on the construction of the Severn railway tunnel.

Sunday 30th December 1984

Shopping and sight-seeing with the family in London as the Chancellor tries to justify his economics and Labour calls for more employment

Awake at 7.10am, just a few minutes before the morning drinks arrived by arrangement with room service. A comfortable night, if a bit cold, but the double glazing kept out the noise of the traffic. We notice that they had forgotten Di’s coffee, but a phone call corrects the mistake quickly. We take turns in the bathroom until all ready to go down to breakfast and leave the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door to prevent the maids from disturbing Daniella. A fine breakfast. Daniel chooses scrambled egg, Deborah toast and marmalade and us the choice from a full table of fried foods in a full English breakfast. Off to the underground station to exchange vouchers for Rover tickets and then a 13 bus to Oxford Circus and another to Covent Garden.

Saturday 29th December 1984

Starting our family Holiday weekend in London and relaxing in the hotel before some shopping  in Oxford Street

Awake about 7.00am and quickly to the bathroom to wash my hair, bathe and shave. I just manage to dress before breakfast and then take a single slice of toast, honey and apple juice, which is a bit more slimming than of late. I weigh 13st 9lbs this morning. A steady job for all the family preparing and packing to leave, but we eventually managed it by 9.30am and set off down the A1 towards London. We stopped near Burnt Oak for a coffee at Wimpy’s and also to visit the model shop, whilst Diana shopped in Boots. Then on to The Holiday Inn, Swiss Cottage, and lunch of McDonalds, whilst they prepared our room. We unpack and take a taxi to Oxford Street Mothercare and start our tour of the department stores at sale time:- Selfridges, Debenhams and a number of smaller ones. I buy a splendid handmade and stained leather, expandable briefcase, with brass trimmed corners for £169 at about 36½% discount from the £250 pre-sale price. We rendezvous back at the hotel and, after the children have bathed, we order a room service dinner to eat whilst watching ‘The Towering Inferno’ on TV. After, Daniel and I downstairs for a free drink in the hotel lobby and then a timely night’s sleep. The Swiss Cottage Holiday Inn is large and well equipped with a swimming pool and shop. We get a room at the end of the 3rd floor with windows on two sides, overlooking the traffic on the busy junction.


Friday 28th December 1984

Our 16th Wedding Anniversary shopping and visiting Mum at Papworth before a quiet evening for Diana and I discussing our difficult times and looking forward to learning from them as CND protests at Alconbury make the news

Up at the normal time and, with the morning tea, Di brings our anniversary presents for us to open. 9 socks and 12 handkerchiefs from her for me; some apple blossom perfume water and talc from me for her; and two silver plated photograph holders for both of us from my Mum and Dad. Mrs Jackson phones later this morning to also wish us a happy anniversary and apologise for not sending us a card. After the normal breakfast and getting ourselves ready, we set off in the car for Bedford. I take a southerly route via Barford, but we run into traffic and parking difficulty anyway on what is a busy shopping day. Our model shop near the cinema has little of what we require for our buggy, but we do get some paraffin and a can for Diana’s new lamp. At the other model shop in Station Road we manage to get the rechargeable NICADS and a holder, but nowhere could we find ACOM’s servos in a smaller size than we already have.