December 1990

Being colder than of late, with fog and frost, the weather continued cold and when rain eventually came, it took the form of blizzards that stopped the motorway and railway networks in the Midlands and North, until milder weather thankfully came later.

This was a month that began with a welter of political newsletter activity and ended with a rather nasty illness that somewhat overshadowed the Christmas season. My wider family seemed well, and Mum had started staying with the Butterfields in Redgrave where they were enjoying the shop and hosting visitors but did not seem to be disposing of excess stock after Christmas nor undertaking stock checks.

My time on local affairs was dominated by the production and delivery of our December FOCUS and finding our local parliamentary candidate for interview now that local MP John Major had been appointed as Prime Minister. I was witnessing the continued decline of ONSITE Training, working on the renovation and underpinning of the Heronshaw thatched garage and learning of the horrific £250,000 estimate to rebuild Heronshaw.

Nationally, there was great news later about the Channel Tunnel breakthrough, the government under Major was continuing the Tories’ privatisations of state assets, as unemployment was rising and the pound Sterling at the bottom of its ERM range. I had the horrible feeling that John Major has neither the experience nor the wit to know what damage he is inflicting on the British economy.

Elsewhere, there was the more threatening problem of a potential Gulf War with preparations very visible so that it was just a matter of time. The US and EEC are each blaming one another for GATT talks stalling. Former West German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, swept to victory in the first all-German election since 1932 and Lech Walensa, the former Solidarity leader, won the Polish presidential election. Gorbachev's domestic problems continue as Soviet Foreign Minister, Edvard Shevardnadze, resigns.

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