The 100th birthday of Thomas Sopwith today, whose firm built the Sopwith Pup

The drive to a Rolls Royce dealer to see a Cornish Convertible but the condition was not of the best and so I made a low offer for them to consider, yet the good Silver Cloud II convertibles were worth far too much money too. This evening working on my Little Paxton History draft, hearing of much better news of the Liberal/SDP policy negotiations as Thatcher receives protests over the state of the NHS and Thomas Sopwith, creator of The Sopwith Pup is 100 today!

Awoke very tired this morning and most reluctant to get up. To breakfast dressed in my dressing gown once more and ate alone. Slowly showered and then to my office to read the morning mail and newspaper. Not much of interest, apart from a £79K cheque from the recent share sales. By 9.30 I had finished this process and Di was pressing to find out about the planned visit to view a Corniche convertible and so I made some telephone calls. One likely candidate in the weekend’s papers had been sold, but the Irthlingborough dealer had now got the walnut 1979 car in and we drove off to see that, whilst Daniella was kept happy at playschool. We found the place OK and put into action a plan to get good value for money. Though the car and colour were acceptable, Di avoided being too keen on the brown colour and I found fault with the body work and car service record.

In fact, all these points were justified, but we would have been less fussy if the car was white or blue. In the end I offered £37K if they reworked the body blemishes and gave it a major service, including hydraulics, and also got all systems working properly. We left it with them to contact us. If they agree, I will get an independent engineer to survey the car and use his list of deficiencies as a work schedule. Home in time to collect Della from playschool, then to the Little Chef for lunch as an unexpected treat. Back home, where I made some more calls about cars and found out that the Silver Cloud III convertibles in showroom condition are worth £70K+ (!) due to their scarceness and so it is no solution to go back in years. The RRCC seems the best car for us. Later this afternoon I took my cheque and paid it into the Abbey National, changing interest payments to yearly again, so as to avoid getting more taxable interest this financial year. Then I drove on to Gt Paxton, Ibbetts, to see their lawnmowers and get some good advice. After a late tea, I worked a while on my history tonight. I have some comprehensive information, but it still needs longer to write up sensibly before I can undertake a re-write of the chapters. The news today is of the latest Liberal/SDP policy document being endorsed by David Steel and Bob Maclennan, and then by the Joint Negotiating Committee. But still Dr David Owen and certain of the Liberal activists decide to stay outside the merger ship. The news is also still full of stories about the NHS. Angry parents try to see Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street and, in a new campaign, Labour’s leader Neil Kinnock receives others and publicises these meetings as part of his new ‘Labour Listens’ theme. Mounting worry for the parents of a 14 year old school boy, Stuart Gough, who has gone missing when out on his paper wound since last Saturday. It is the 100th birthday of Sopwith today, whose aeroplane designs revolutionised the two world war aircraft forces. He is now blind, but was treated to a flypast by a Sopwith Pup, which his ears would recognise.