Thursday 30th November 1989

A splendid day for Derek Giles and the Liberal Democrats as we soundly beat the Tories in Eaton Socon and got Derek elected. Apart from visiting Mum in the afternoon, I was there all day and evening organising the election victory. It was sweet revenge for the acrimonious behaviour of Tory Bill Longford trying to suppress my issues at the Southern Area District Councillors today.

This was election day for Derek Giles in Eaton Socon. I rose early and was at their family house in Stratford Place by 7am, ready to deliver the ‘please vote today’ leaflets to known and probable supporters. I had probably been given one of the most difficult rounds to do and was therefore the last back. We had started ‘telling’ by this time and had to take names and addresses as they had issued no polling cards and so no electoral numbers were available. I organise the committee room, crossing off the electors as they voted, dispatching cars to give lifts and ‘knockers up’ to get our known supporters out to vote. Sandy and Derek Giles had laid on food and I had my lunch there.

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Wednesday 29th November 1989

After calling the Huntingdon registry office to unsuccessfully attempt the correction to Dad’s death registration, I drove Daniel to Warwick and we agreed the University course may be good but the place is something to be desired. Once home, slow meeting of St Neots Museum committee meeting before home late to bed.

The London Ambulance controllers walked out today in sympathy with the ambulancemen. They say that people are dying due to an inefficient 999 service and that they want no part of it. Sir Anthony Meyer has been formally nominated to oppose Thatcher for the Tory leadership and this is her first contest since taking over 14 years ago. A combined front of doctors, nurses and midwives have attacked the government in opposition to the proposed NHS reforms.

I was down to breakfast with the family and then quickly out with Daniel. Today, I was due to take him to Warwick University for his interview but first had to drop in at the Huntingdon Registry Office to get the correction done to Dad’s death registration. This they did and the first of the certificates was correctly made out but the next two were wrongly done again! I only noticed this afterwards and will have to get them changed.

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Tuesday 28th November 1989

Progressing my Dad’s funeral arrangements, meeting up with Di’s parents in Cambridge and buying a smart black outfit For mum to wear and then having lunch at The Copper Kettle.

After tea, a Governors Meeting of Buckden School and then the Annual Parent Governors Meeting where I supported their concern about the withdrawal of school meals and the plans for introducing the national curriculum.

The Czech Premier agrees to end the dominating role of the state Communist Party and West German Chancellor Kohl calls for a Federation and German unification

This was a duller day with the temperature improving to around the freezing point. I telephoned the Registrar this morning and rearranged my meeting from Friday with a view to rectifying the details of Dad’s Death Registration. Now, I will go along to the Huntingdon Registry office tomorrow first thing in the morning so that Di and I can attend the funeral of Doris on Friday as well. Then I decided to join Diana for a trip to Cambridge; the first time for a long while. We met Di’s parents, Charles and Norma, in Eden Lilley’s for coffee and had a long chat. Then Di and I selected a black jacket, jumper and skirt for Mum to wear for the funeral and were quite pleased with our purchase. Then I let Di get on with other Christmas shopping and met up for a lunch of roast beef at The Copper Kettle.

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Monday 27th November 1989

An uninviting day characterised by more frost and cold and a further visit from Mum who was rather difficult and challenging, carping on quite unnecessarily about my level of church-going! Thankfully, The Rev Peter Lewis arrived and we planned Dad’s service details.

Jane and John arrived and stayed for lunch before I visited the Registrar’s office to progress the arrangements and secure the green registration document to take to the undertakers and reserve plots in Little Paxton cemetery; laying out the Order of Service this evening. The news tonight is of Czechoslovakia, the ambulanceman dispute and the plight of the people of Afghanistan suffering a new famine and drought

A busy day that was greeted with the degree of reluctance of a day justified by the frost and cold but, after breakfast, we soon had mum arriving by taxi for a visit. I had a long chat with her – at times getting close to upset – over years past. She has a very selective and self-illusory memory and I rise to the bait so easily. For instance, she ventured, ‘perhaps this will make you turn to the church at last ‘. This, when I had to go to Sunday school on my own at 7 to 9 years old, had no family church outings and no confirmation. If she really wanted me to be a churchgoer, I deduced that she had started 40 years too late! Thankfully, Peter Lewis, the vicar, arrived for coffee and handled mum very well in terms of her grief and the service details.

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