Sunday 31st January 1988

A Little Paxton walk on a dry and sunny but cold morning before taking the family for a St James’s Church Family Service for a short Sunday School play on the theme, ‘Education Sunday’ and then a slightly disorganised choral session but a better congregation under the Rev Peter Lewis. A meal at the Croxton Little Chef and the drive on to Stanton to visit my Mum and Dad and a massive family row on the journey but fun and games on arrival and much talk of Reliant Vans. Home with gales and a storm expected overnight as we hear that the SDP vote by 80% for merger with the Liberals

Not too late last night, but an early call this morning, as Diana ‘wanted to do a day’s work by 10.30am’. Had staggered into the bathroom, but put my dressing gown back on when I was called down for an early fried breakfast. Nice, but a bit fattening. Earlier I had played host to an upset Debbie, who had come in crying after Di had played a rotten trick on her. Debs had played asleep when called with her morning tea and Di had just left the drink on the side and walked out. Out after to feed the doves on a bright and sunny morning – if cold. I decided to walk and get my Sunday Times from the paper shop for a change. It is a short distance in actual fact and an interesting little walk, as I spotted the old landmarks of Paxton Park inner garden and saw the former mansion site from a different angle.

Saturday 30th January 1988

The rising floodwater floating the edging planks for my Games lawn today being not as high as in 1974 but more persistent. The family to The Happy Eater whereby chance we met both Amy and Catherine with their grandparents and Helen and her family. Now Thatcherism is challenged by further strikes on the ferries, in the coal industry and still within nursing. More Israeli atrocities towards Palestinians in the Occupied territories and the Prince of Wales is heckled by Aboriginals in Australia

A good night and then awake to my morning tea. The curtains revealed even higher floodwater than yesterday and over the games lawn at that. I noticed that the edging planks had started floating, which was a bit of a blow. Took my time getting up and ate alone again before going out to feed the doves. The floodwater is not as high as 1974, but it has stayed up much longer and yesterday’s rain will ensure that it goes on still. It was a bright and sunny morning and I decided to wash the Range Rover. The full routine, including a polish and vacuum and the rain just about held up long enough for me to finish. Changed and then Daniel arriving from his morning’s school, I took the whole family to the Happy Eater. Quite a reunion took place there. We found Amy, Catherine and her grandparents there when we arrived and then Diana’s friend Helen and family turned up!

Friday 29th January 1988

A welcoming change of heart from Godmanchester Council, my emotional  purchase of my 1939 Reliant 8cwt van, and then more work on my history project as the rain fell and the river remained in flood making this the wettest January for very many years and doing for one of my doves. The SDP merger proposal is the cause of a battle between Shirley Williams and Dr David Owen today, an 11th hour meeting is convened to try and stop the Fords strike and now Scottish health workers are on strike too. Thatcher meets Chirac today and they make no progress on the EEC Budget Crisis and my Namesake Chris Broad scores 120 not out against the Aussies at Lords!

Had some trouble getting to sleep last night and then woke Di up in the middle, which was a bit rotten of me. Slow this morning, but good at breakfast, where I only ate a dish of melon to aid my diet. Read my morning newspaper and then this morning’s mail, which was inconsequential. At least it contained a letter from the Mayor of Godmanchester, responding to my playground offer, and they wish to meet me there on Saturday week. They now welcome boating visitors, which is a nice attitude change. Had analysed my Census results yesterday and so I was in the right position to write up the results, but, whilst cleaning up, I found the Exchange and Mart and had a better look under Collector’s Cars. This time I found a 1939 Reliant 8 cwt van, a predecessor of the ones I used to own as my first car and got so much fun out of. I phoned up and bought it for £2500, which was a bit of an emotional decision, but I shall enjoy showing Daniel.

Thursday 28th January 1988

The Great Ouse had subsided but is rising again with further heavy rain forecast and so the flooding may worsen. A day of telephone calls and arrangements for visiting the Huntingdon Record Office, which I did later today,  and to Norfolk on Monday for the court case and to see the boatyard. Uproar over the appeal dismissal for the obviously innocent Birmingham Pub Accused whilst no action is taken on the Irish ‘shoot-to-kill suspects. Thatcher rules out NHS hospital charges this parliament and the Ford talks have broken down

Was late to bed and reluctant to wake this morning. The curtains were opened to reveal that the river had subsided a little. Actually completed my bathroom routine and got down to breakfast for once, but the children were just leaving the table. Stayed in the kitchen after eating only one croissant and nothing else, and read the paper until the children had gone. Finished off the rest of the FT in my office quickly afterwards and then made a series of telephone calls from my office to organise my day. First, phoned Buckden Marina to progress my boat repairs and they promise to do The Lady by the end of February, even though they do not seem to have any engineers! I got my witness summons and must go to Norfolk on Monday and so I tried telephoning a Norfolk boatyard to arrange a meeting in Brundall on the same day. Then, having decided to spend some time in Huntingdon today, I telephoned both the District Council and the Record Office to check their opening times and plan my day.