Robert woke me up at about nine for today we were going to Dearnelow. When we set off it was pouring down with rain, and it stayed like that all day.
We firstly had to turn back at Moxthorpe because Robert had forgotten his Barclay-card, but we eventually got off in fairly good time. We were going to go to Gawbrook first, because Robert wanted to renew his order for the “Dearnelow Chronicle” to be sent to London, but before we got out of Easterby, Robert took me to see Albion’s ground. It was dismal in the torrential rain, and even though sixteen years have passed since Albion finished, there are still the old signs up outside. “Easterby Albion A. F. C. Social Club” the sign proclaimed, although all the windows were boarded up. There are no longer any floodlights up and trees grow out of the terraces. It made me feel quite sad to see it all.
In Gawbrook, we got soaked just walking from the van to the newsagents, and Robert renewed his order. I felt uncomfortable in the newsagents because while Rob was talking to the bloke about the order, the two girl shop assistants kept laughing. I was sure they were laughing at me because they kept glancing in my direction, and when I looked up at them one of the girls (they were about 18, I would say) smiled at me. Whether she fancied me I don’t know (its doubtful).
Anyway, we then set off for Dearnelow. The rain became really torrential, and just about a mile beyond Gawbrook we nearly got struck by lightning. We were blasting along and suddenly there was a blue flash in front of us. I turned to Robert and asked him if he had seen it. He said he had and then there was a loud, explosion-type noise. I guessed the strike was about a quarter of a mile away at most.
We parked in Dearnelow and walked down into the town centre. It wasn’t very busy, and since I have never been to Dearnelow before in my life I was quite impressed with their town hall. As a place, it seems just like any other town – nothing distinctive at all, but then Easterby’s like that.
Since we were both wet and hungry, we went into a cafe and had a cup of tea and some sandwiches. We then went into ‘Charter Arcade’ to buy Dad a Fathers Day present. In ‘Smiths,’ there was a book sale on and some very good books were available. Robert bought Dad a book about “Clive of India” costing only £1.50, whereas I bought him a book called “the Sporting Life,” an anthology of short stories about sport from authors such as Wodehouse, Dickens, Sassoon, Wells and others. I hope he will like it. I also bought myself a good book about “The Chinese Red Army” which I shall enjoy reading.
After this we left Dearnelow and travelled through Rowber and on to a small town called Hemingfield, where Robert had arranged to visit a bloke who had offered his house to rent while him and Carol looked for a house of their own.
When we got to Hemingfield, we had a bit of trouble finding the house, which was at 21, Church Street. The bloke who lived there, Norman Le Hayes or Lahay or something, was a cockney who moved to Yorkshire four years ago. He was a good bloke, a typical Uncle Jim type, and he seemed really keen on Robert and Carol staying there. The house was nothing spectacular, just a two-up, two-down terraced house, with two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and living room.
We spent about an hour there, and when we left we decided to come straight home. We were going to see Fairburn Ings bird sanctuary, but because of the rain and fog we vetoed the idea.
After getting home at about three thirty, we watched the European Soccer Championships on the box. The games were Holland v West Germany (Group One), on BBC at 4.35, and Greece v Czechoslovakia (Group One), on ITV at 7.15. In between we watched the film “Planet of the Apes.”
The first game was easily the best, W. Germany winning 3-2. They scored the first three, and Holland pulled back two in the last 10 minutes.
The other game Czechoslovakia won 3-1. It now looks like Germany are through to the final easily.
After that I went to bed, (Dad came home at ten), leaving Mum and Dad submerged in a Pearl Harbour/love story, called “From Here to Eternity.”
I’ve waffled on at some length today, so I’ll close down now. I’ll read another chapter of “Reminisces . . . .” tonight. It’s all the more appropriate because today is Che Guevara’s birthday (1928). My memory was jogged by, paradoxically enough, the “Express”’s “Today’s the Day” feature!