- Published: 30 September 2017 30 September 2017
One of the wettest months on record followed our arrival back and need to tackle a range of outside and riverside projects, uppermost of which was landscaping the new games lawn. Daniel finds a new girlfriend, Debbie makes a successful start at Kimbolton School and still keeps her local friends and pursuits going, we plan a new Anaheim Disneyland break for half term, I accept candidature in local elections. Elsewhere, details of The Hungerford massacre and Herald of Free Enterprise disasters are revealed. UK industrial unrest is rife, Israel break international law unimpeded and the Gulf tanker attacks continue unabated and more coups take place in Fiji but the US/USSR are on the eve of a historic arms settlement and Russian Yuri Romanenko has broken the space endurance record.
And so September has ended and with it the summer of 1987. The mornings are quite cold now and the days ever shorter. Though the weather has been fine, the high pressure has come too late to give us a taste of summer weather and this season past must go down as one of the wettest on record. But at least we enjoyed our boating holiday, and progressed the range of outside and riverside projects with the landscaping and river protection complete. I rotavated the games lawn area and was planning to turf it soon. The immediate family are well, though starting to snuffle with seasonal chills. Daniel has an eye test coming and is in full adolescent mode, but is fine really, compared with some. He has Paul and several of his friends visiting and they invite two local girls to join them which I includes one of them, a Louise, for him and he gets quite fond of her and wants to give er a ring later.
His former best friend, David Tomblin, came and stayed for the weekend. From school, Daniel brought home lots of new text books to cover for the new GCSE syllabus for which, nationally, head teachers have been warning that they have insufficient staff and resources for it. Debbie has fitted instantly into her Kimbolton Prep, Daniel taking her there on the first day, and none of Diana’s fears were justified. Debbie even received an accolade for her work. With a dozen other pupils for our village, she caught what is now a dedicated Little Paxton bus was put in Stafford House (red) and into Mrs Lee’s class. We could all thus enjoy the Kimbolton Statute Fair with Debbie winning the prizes and endurance tests! She resumed her horse-riding for the first time in five weeks and we let her have friends round to use the pool when she played her new recorder and I read her Country Companion chapters. She still enjoys The Brownies and ballet lessons to keep in touch with local friends. Della is now enjoying Tumbletots and is fine after weepy starts to playschool. Diana has cracked 10 stone and spending all my money on new clothes but we note the contrast as we attend the Samuel Jones car boot sale and find a friend of Di struggling to make ends meet after the redundancy of her husband. My parents are not too bad but the news of my father is that he is suffering from an enlarged prostate as well as his kidney stones and Di’s father has ‘turned the corner’ of recovery, in his own words, from his prostate operation. No further news of Freda and Alf, but the last was quite grim, but they have chosen to live so far from the rest of us and so help is difficult. We had a visit from my Mum and Dad on their way to see them in Cornwall and so they are trying to stay in touch. We are back to our routines of meeting up with Di’s parents in Cambridge on Tuesdays and we can collect Nigel and Lynn from Hail Weston House in my immaculate Daimler and an enjoyable night dining and dancing at the very formal Kimbolton Ball. We spot our old boat Utopia II, now on its way to be lived in in Cambridge. We plan an expensive a half term break to Disneyland in Anaheim which will be costly but nice and I was able to buy a new suitcase and video camera set for this forthcoming holiday. A great effort this month for me levelling the 100ft x 40ft games lawn area between light showers with gardener Pete as we rotavate it after I had the machine repaired and service. I then hired a digger to level the new games lawn and start forming ditches and laying drainage pipes along its length. After all this, I have my local history speech to do, which is always a chore, then I see the local party chairmen of the Liberals and SDP about becoming the prospective candidature for the local council, which is a new venture entirely. I am still managing a little fishing but have so many chores to do that I have trouble finding the time for them all but I manage more investment summary work on sombre and misty autumnal days and then a walk across to the other side of the river to see the newly-dredged spoil and to find large lumps of coal from my frontage that used to be a loading/unloading wharf in times past. I then went on a long walk around Little Paxton as research for my book before getting home to read to Debbie and then tackle the Norfolk video editing I had intended to do earlier. Elsewhere, there is a weird blend of opportunity for some and hardship for others, but Thatcherism still remains the popular vogue, though the other parties are now updating their policies. The new SDP leader Robert MacLennan has called for unity and an end to the ‘mid-summer madness’ and addresses the Liberal Conference which, addressed by the SDP President, Shirley Williams, looks set to support the merger proposal and, the local SDP/Liberal Alliance Chairmen visit jointly to ask me to accept the candidacy for the Little Paxton Councillor seat in the District Council. Liverpool ‘fans’ are extradited to Holland to stand trial for football hooliganism but the Belgian trial of English football fans after the Heysel Stadium Riot causes concern as the 25 UK fans from the Heysel riot are charged with manslaughter. England’s first international football match after Heysel takes place against Germany without further problems. First eight and then four more are killed in the latest two tragic M6 tragic pile-ups as Autumn fog returns. The UK government lose the latest ‘Spy-catcher’ case in Australia and with it the argument for supressing a book already being widely read even though ‘Spycatcher’ is banned in Hong Kong. The British train manufacturer, BRE, already decimated is to lose 3,000 more, a record British Trade deficit and rumours of a higher interest rate sends the stock exchange plummeting and The Tory government are planning to reduce Social Security benefits, which is criticised as a disgrace. The French National Front leader has cancelled her visit to the Tory Conference and Tory MP Keith Best gets four months prison sentence for multiple share applications and Thatcher suffers barracking in the North East over industrial dereliction with 19% unemployment on Teeside. The National Coal Board and its miners’ union are on collision course over new working conditions and the unpopular Electrician’s Union’s non-strike agreement during Murdoch’s Wapping dispute provokes criticism of the Electricians Union and the TUC. Neil Kinnock gets the support he needs from the Labour Party Conference for his reform plans as The Labour Conference change candidate selection methods and appoint Ken Livingstone to the Executive. Three men are charged with the attempted murder of The Northern Ireland Secretary so called ‘Loyalists’ shoot a Belfast man in front of his family and another soldier is shot by sniper in Belfast. Hungerford Mass Murderer, Michael Ryan, is cremated and the public use of semi-automatic weapons dies with him due to a new restrictions and the Hungerford Inquest hears how Michael Ryan acted like a robot in killing people. The Inquest on the deaths resulting from the Herald of Free Enterprise sinking hear some harrowing evidence of suffering. Oftel is unhappy with BT over lack of phone box repairs and 720 farms in Britain are still affected by the Chernobyl fallout 18 months after. The 26 white Dewsbury rebel children, whose parents refuse them attending a mainly Asian school, are now being taught in a pub, as talks are deadlocked, a Leicester rapist is arrested after over 4,000 men were genetically-tested and a huge drugs raid arrests 11 men and seizes £4million-worth of cannabis across Europe. An incompetent Liverpool consultant incorrectly cleared many hundreds of cervical smear tests leading to several women needing serious surgery later, The Iranian Mining Ship crew is handed back after detention and Europe go 8 ½ to 3 ½ against the USA in The Ryder Cup The UK and European golfers held on after yesterday’s efforts to beat the USA and won the Ryder’s Cup for the first time at a US course. Better news as East and West Germany’s leaders start their reconciliation talks and ten Nuclear arms control is in sight for medium range weapons in Geneva, with talks between Shultz and Shevardnadze were ‘off to a good start’ today as the US makes its latest ‘Double Zero Option’ arms proposal to the Arms and it now seems that the way will be paved for a successful Reagan/Gorbachev meeting where a historic day follows, marking excellent progress in the Nuclear arms talks with the goal of massive reductions on both sides now within reach and a test ban treaty to follow. A Spanish super-tanker was struck in the Gulf and, by this time, seventeen oil tankers have been hit in the Gulf in attacks from both sides. Lloyds have paid out over £1Bn already and this carnage has necessitated the UN Secretary General to intervene to seek peace as Japan withdraws its tankers. and the Arab League grapples with the problem of ending the Iran/Iraq war UK and Iran and the US clash in the UN debate over the Gulf attacks The Iranian Mining Ship crew is handed back after detention . At least Chad and Libya have agreed a ceasefire at the OAU’s behest. As the oil leaks from this conflict pollute the Gulg, climatic catastrophes abound in the world of both man-made and natural origin. Up to 2,000 people die in a South American mudslide and Reagan faces opposition in providing more aid to The Contras; as the Pope starts his US tour in Miami and was greeted in New Orleans to the sound of a band play ‘When the Saints go marching in’! Israel resume strikes on Palestinian Refugee Camps, killing 25 and the death toll from the 20 Israeli air strikes into The Lebanon this year kill civilians as well as fighters and Israel also prosecute nuclear whistle blower Vanunu over revealing their bomb plans after he was illegally abducted by Mossad. A huge and complex prisoner exchange takes place in Southern Africa, the Midland Bank merchant bank subsidiary has been revealed as laundering the wealth of ex Philippine President Marcos Barcelona air traffic controllers strike again and Russian Yuri Romanenko has broken the space endurance record. Fiji suffers a bomb attack after its second military coup and a constitutional crises unfolds with the Governor General refusing to recognise it and Colonel Rabuka stops short of declaring a Republic in Fiji after consultations with former prime Ministers and the Queen.