March 25th 1961
Honestly, what a night I’ve had tonight – or perhaps this evening would sound more respectable. I’ll tell you the whole story from the beginning.
Jean came round yesterday morning just as I was leaving for work. She had been out with Stan the evening before and he gave her a message from Graham (the one who was supposed to be ‘struck’, from the wedding.) for me. He, Graham, said that if I wanted to go out Saturday night he would like to take me out with ‘no strings’ attached. If I agreed, Jean was to phone Stan and make the arrangements for the four of us. I thought, well, nothing could be fairer or plainer than that, so…….we met Stan and Graham outside the Ilford Palais at 8.15. Well actually we arranged to meet at 8.15 but at Jean’s suggestion we didn’t leave here until about ten past. That girl certainly believes in ‘keep ‘em waiting’. The funny thing about it was that we didn’t dance once. We just sat and talked til 9.30 then went upstairs for a drink. By about 10 they’d got served and soon after we had to leave to catch the 10.20 bus, cos, as I told you at the time, if we didn’t get that one we’d never get on the next. Graham and Stan had to catch the 11.48 diesel from Barking so, as we had quite a bit of time to fill we came back here and played records.
Now, I don’t know if you noticed the poor excuse for a clock we’ve got in the front room. It never has kept good time and at the moment it is 20 mins slow. Course, if they had cared to ask me I would have told them, but they didn’t. Stan took Jean home about twenty past and was going to collect Graham on his way back to the station. We waited and we waited and we waited. In the end I set off with Graham to Jean’s house, which is just around the corner, to find him. He came belting along, and the poor boy was worried stiff. His watch had stopped. The last I saw of them tonight was at ten to twelve when they went tearing down the road in the hope of catching a district line train up to town. They are probably still walking.
I remembered your instructions not to talk about A.D.Blake too much and I didn’t say anything the whole evening. But when Jean and Stan had gone, Graham asked ‘How’s Alan?’ and I couldn’t miss an opportunity like that, could I darling? So out came my collection of photos. And I must say he was pretty impressed especially when I told him you were 6’3”. He’s a jolly nice boy, very good company and very fair. It was quite true, there were no strings attached at all.
What did you fancy for the National? I drew Vivant for the office sweep but the so-and-so went and fell at the 15th fence. Still, I’m glad Nichalos Silver won, I like greys. The Lady drew one of the Russian horses. She was choked. Very patriotic is the old girl. My friend had half day on Friday so she wasn’t there when Merryman was drawn for her. I wouldn’t mind going in on a Monday morning to be given a couple of quid.
Mum keeps calling me from upstairs cos she says it is 2 o’clock. It’s not really it’s still 1 o’clock cos you’re not supposed to put the clocks on til 2. Very confusing all this lark, isn’t it? I’ll have to sleep until 2 tomorrow afternoon to get my full quota. That’s just right. I’ll still be up in time to see Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in ‘Follow the Fleet’ on BBC tomorrow afternoon. Sounds good though I’ve got a feeling I’ve seen it on there before. Next to erks I like sailors. Did I ever tell you………never mind. Suppose I had better pack up til tomorrow night. I think they are all going out again. I hope so. I never get any peace otherwise.
It’s Sunday evening now and believe it or not I am the first one in bed. Never been known before. It’s absolutely stifling downstairs. I’m sure dad just makes the fire up out of sheer habit. We certainly didn’t need it so big today, it has been quite warm.
Mum saw Jean and Stan when she went out this evening and Stan said they got home at 2.30. They did manage to catch a train to Charing Cross and I suppose walked from there.
Takes some getting used to this clock moving lark. It was still light at 8. What time does that make 5.30. I mean, what time will 5.30 here be there. You don’t have to fiddle around with your timepieces do you?
I must tell you the latest bit of scandal – or did I tell you? Nevermind, I know you don’t know the end because I only found out Friday. One of the girls from Romford (County High School) ran away from home with another girl. They are both 14. She told the Bubbers – headmistress – that she had a dental appointment at 12 and just walked out of school and disappeared. They were found in Chelsea sometime last week working as shop girls. According to the papers they were fed-up with school, it was too boring for them. Not surprised, the Bubbers is enough to make anyone want to run away. Nothing exciting happened when I was there.
The only startling thing to happen was when one of the girls in a year below me took to wearing a gold chain around her ankle. That really turned the place upside down. But the way everything was hushed up, I never did get a very clear picture of the end of that episode.
Next week should go pretty quickly at work cos I’m only working three and a half days. I’ve got Wednesday afternoon off as well as Good Friday. I feel fed up at the moment. Wish something exciting would happen. The house catch fire or something.
I thought I had better tell you, just to keep everything above board like. Graham said he’d like to take me out again. I said that was alright as long as it wasn’t too often. He said he understood that and when I got bored to tell Jean, to tell Stan and he’d make arrangements. Not a bad person to know really.
I suppose I had better finish now. Everyone came to bed ages ago so I am not going to get the early night I thought. These light evenings and nice weather make it seem like summer and almost August. I wish it was. There are – consult diary – 152 days left until that fatal day in August when all your memories are shattered and you see me without your rose-coloured glasses and without the feelings of despair, desire and urgency that knowing we’ve only got a few days or hours brings.
Seriously though Alan dear. Have you thought of that at all? It’s a big thing we’ve been talking about, marriage and all that and it could easily have been the occasion that made everything seem so enlarged. I did start on this subject as a mild sort of joke but it’s no joke really. Don’t you think in August we had better start all over again as if we had just met and forget everything that went before. You know what I mean? Perhaps this isn’t the right letter to mention all this in. I mean after me going out with Graham and that. But please, Alan dear, don’t get the wrong idea. It has honestly nothing to do with him at all. It’s just that I am feeling pretty serious at the moment and I don’t want either of us to make a mistake, when the time comes, over something that was decided after a few days. My feelings haven’t changed at all darling and I definitely wouldn’t want to take back anything I have ever said, written or done if it comes to that.
Wow. I had better stick this down straight away. I probably won’t send it if I read it in the morning. Well, here’s to us and the 152 days left. That’s where I came in! I am still looking forward to August darling.
Love to you