August 1988

A generally warm and sunny month for us to enjoy our swimming pool, games lawn and outings which was accompanied by good news as Daniel did well at his GCSE exams, Debbie at her horse-riding and both girls at their swimming as all the children hosted friends for day visits and overnight stays and had reciprocal invitations for parties. Our regular trips to Diana’s and my own parents continued to find my mother in pain from shingles and Di was also in pain from time to time. My Rolls-Royce proved troublesome but presented a nice backdrop for Linda Nagle’s wedding. We took the Range Rover to Blackpool for a stay and visit to their Pleasure Beach amusement park. A lot of time spent on The Lady, renovating the sliding roof and fitting new glass windows, a new Raleigh bicycle and fitted accessories for me. Back to local government and politics, helping recruit more candidates for the SLD, holding a village meeting with Redland over their future plans, leading a campaign for dog-fouling by-laws for the playing field whilst trying to progress my village history project. The Tory Government is presiding over an over-heating economy causing a record trade deficit and falls on share and property prices. Their battle with the IRA escalates to a new level,  with an effective bombing campaign at home and abroad killing a dozen British soldiers and injuring many others, the black-and-white German/Belgian number plates being a crazy dead giveaway before they were abandoned. The SAS reprisals under a scarcely-veiled shoot-to-kill policy and their illegal supply of firearms to others plus extradition proceedings inflamed tensions with hundreds of attacks on security forces, buses and cars. Thatcher’s planned Australian walkabout was cancelled over protests about her support for repression in Ulster and South Africa, she came back to nurses, postal worker and prison officers’ striking at home. Severe world tragedies kill 250 in Chinese floods and nearly 1000 in a Nepalise earthquake and the Sudan faces destitution after droughts give way to torrential rain with the Nile flooding huge areas. 300 pilgrims die as a boat capsizes on The Ganges and now Burma has become a flash point with more than 1,000 protesters shot dead by security forces until President Sein Lwin is forced to resign. It was a month for airplane crashes; one killing Pakistan President, Rajiv Zia, together with 5 Brigadiers and 5 Generals, The Ramstein Air Crash Show disaster killed 70 spectators and injuring 500 when three Italian Air force display planes collided. Negotiations for peace between Iraq and Iran and the release of western hostages are slow and tortuous. Nelson Mandela’s illness and other protests in South Africa may yet lead to his release.

This was generally a warm and sunny month with some windy and fresher days and the odd downpour but it was quite a contrast after the rain and coolness of July. We managed a few days’ holiday at the seaside in Blackpool, although we found Norfolk a damn sight warmer! We had a Rolls Royce Enthusiast Club day trip to Mill Farm, Happisburgh, for a barbeque and beach party but it was in the heat without air-conditioning... Our home was a great joy for the family and the house and swimming pool have been host to a good many visitors and friends of the children. Daniel and friends often entertained girls at home and on his boat and the whole family enjoying the swimming pool with 9-year-old Debbie and her friend Amy running around naked on one swelteringly-hot day! Debbie and Della were always hosting friends Amy and Katherine when they swam all day and sometimes stayed the night sleeping in a tent and Debbie’s friend Phillipa and Daniel’s friend Gary Skinner each stayed with us overnight. The children have done well in their summer achievements; Daniel with his 6 ‘O ‘ level equivalent GCSEs as he did well in his Maths exam, passes English and is all set for taking science subjects at A-level and I bought him a new stereo hi-fi and upgraded his bicycle as a reward. The girls had success with their swimming and riding with the girls being awarded swimming certificates. Debbie had some new riding boots from Alconbury Weston and subsequently enjoyed her day at the riding stables summer school, riding twice, grooming and cleaning stables and tack and then won a rosette for successfully captaining a team. Di took Debbie to enjoy a friend’s party and ride her pony, astonishing other guests.