Tuesday, August 19, 1980

Tuesday August 19th

A lot happened today. In the morning, Mr Moore came to do the loft insulation, and Dad and I sorted through all the junk that he brought down from there. There were several interesting things – an old TV, a thirties style vacuum cleaner, an old convection heater and several pictures, wrapped up in newspaper dated Monday 19th April 1937. I found an old R.A.F. notebook from April 1940, filled with hastily scribbled notes about various engine components or starting procedures. The name on the front was badly faded but was, I think, A. King.

At about twelve o’clock Robert rolled up. He had been to Rotherham (he arrived there about eight) and got the keys for his flat. He was full of bad news about his Renault-5 van. He had taken it in for a servicing at a London garage a few days ago and apparently the brakes were found to be really bad. The exhaust is tied on with asbestos string. He was joking a lot about it, although Mum, as usual, was worried.

After dinner, and after running most of the junk from the loft onto Shawridge Lane tip, Robert, Mum, Dad and I set off in the car for Lockley and Woodhead Park, to see the new Botanical gardens and Hainsworth Hall. Although I last went to the park with Grant Riley in July, his company is such that I didn’t get a chance to look round properly. I wanted to see the Victorian painting (“Feast for Anubis”) which was found recently in the vaults of Hainsworth Hall, and looked pretty good on television.

Although Woodhead Park is in a seedy area, it is kept tidy and quite neat, and there seemed to be loads of gardening staff around weeding, pruning etc. In the Hall itself, we saw Nanna B., her next door neighbour and my cousin Jenny.

There was a good exhibition on about Yorkshire mill architecture entitled “Satanic Mills,” and also one about stained glass window art. Upstairs we went round the art gallerys, which (or so Robert says) are well known and quite famous in Europe as good. They had some pretty famous art pieces there – an original Lowry, a Peter Blake, Andy Warhol (“Marilyn”) and several Henry Moores, plus a few other eminent Victorian or before artists.

We got home mid-afternoon and Robert and I played records (Robert played, I listened) until teatime and the Echo which was read eagerly for any Athletic news (McArdle is back after his suspension). At about six-thirty, after Andrew had come home, he and Robert went out to Whincliffe Road to see Purswell draw with North Park United 2-2. This is their first season in the Alliance Premier for seven years.

Just after they had gone, David Kilpatrick rang about tickets for Athletic versus Sheffield (I promised to get him some on Monday) – he wanted six which would mean I will have to ask for ten – a thing I’m not too happy about. I’d get plenty of sarky comments I bet. I arranged to meet him at Moxthorpe roundabout tomorrow at about 12.15, to sort out cash etc.

At seven, Dad and I set off for Dengates, to try get some newts. This is the first time we’ve been in August for years (we usually go February-March for frog spawn). Dad has been going there for years and I have fond memories of our trips to restock the vivarium. At first we didn’t find anything under any stones (except a vole or shrew under a log) but as were going, I found a smallish Common Newt under a large stone. Almost immediately, Dad found a big toad. A further search revealed four more newts (all of which we kept) and two more toads (two of which we released).

When we got home I prepared a temporary tank for them until I get rid of my tadpoles (that tank is bigger).

The only unsatisfactory thing about today was the ticket carry on, which I shan’t look forward to.

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