Week 12: 19th March – 25th March 1961

Here’s what was going on in the world in March 1961.

  • The Beatles; John, Paul, George and Stu (Stuart Sutcliffe), began the first of nearly 300 regular performances at The Cavern Club in Liverpool. Sutcliffe left the band after three months. Continuing with Ringo Starr on drums, the group’s final appearance at the Cavern Club was on August 3, 1963.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower was restored to the United States Army and to his rank as a five-star General of the Army, two months after completing his term as the 34th President of the United States. General Eisenhower had resigned his commission on July 18, 1952, after accepting the Republican Party nomination for the Presidency.
  • The Soviet Union lifted censorship restrictions, for foreign news correspondents, that had been in place since 1917. Except for two occasions in 1939 and 1946, non-Soviet reporters had been required to have their dispatches reviewed before transmission. Foreign office press director Mikhail Kharlamov cautioned that, although pre-approval of reports would no longer be required, foreigners were still required to keep copies of all dispatches for future review, and that persons who “circulated unfounded rumors about the Soviet Union” were still subject to expulsion.
  • A Mercury-Redstone BD rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on one final test flight to certify its safety for human transport. As with earlier Soviet tests, the American space capsule carried a test dummy. The spacecraft reached an altitude of 115 miles and was recovered in the Atlantic 8 minutes after launch. Stopped by Wernher von Braun from going, Alan Shepard had volunteered to take the flight, and would have become the first man to travel into space. Less than three weeks later, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin would, on April 12, would reach the milestone. Shepard would reach space, though not orbit, on May 5.
  • An American C-47 transport plane with eight men aboard disappeared over the war-torn nation of Laos after taking off from Vientiane toward Saigon. The U.S. Air Force did not announce the incident until two days later. The sole survivor, Major Lawrence R. Bailey, Jr., was captured and became the first American POW of the Vietnam Era. He would be released on August 15, 1962.

And here’s what was keeping Peggy busy:

Week 12

Sunday 19th March 1961
Its been quite cold today – have had a few hail stones! – so we kept the children in this afternoon & been lazy! Gillian slept for a couple of hours after dinner. I’ve done the writing so can start on my knitting straight away this evening.

Monday 20th March 1961
Quite a fan mail today with letters from Dad, Joan & Ma-in-law. Joan is doing well with her driving lessons – wish I was. I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever get to the wheel! Cyril gone to Welling this evening so will be late. Very cold day.

Tuesday 21st March 1961
Still cold but more sun today. Have been having a tidy up today. Cyril brought a bookcase back from his Mum last night so have put it into use & cleared out all of our old books. Have been to the village this afternoon.

Wednesday 22nd March 1961
Very cold and April showery. No letters & nothing has happened today, I mean nothing out of the ordinary. Rang Cyril this afternoon for a chat but Gillian howled so (temper) that I had to ring off! I think an early night is indicated for her!

Thursday 23rd March 1961
Bit better today – we’ve been out for a nice walk this afternoon & the children were both out in the garden this am. Letter from Mur this afternoon – she doesn’t think she will be going to Ghana for about 6 months.

Friday 24th March 1961
Finished Phil’s 3ply jumper in UNDER TWO WEEKS.
Fine & warm – did a big wash this am. – we had a family early lunch & then took a picnic into the woods – out at quarter to two – home quarter to five. Soon had the two in a much needed bath. Cyril’s bought them a tent & there was much excitement tonight when he erected it.

Saturday 25th March 1961
Olive (birthday)
up quite early & we all went to L’head – bought some wool to start Philip’s second jersey, the other one fits very well. I like the patterns. This afternoon I’ve done a few odd jobs indoors while Cyril has been gardening. The two were out there as well – and had to bath them again tonight!!



Weeks 11: 12th March – 18th March 1961

Here’s what was going on in the world in March 1961.

    • Miami mobster John Roselli, who was assisting the CIA in its plans to assassinate Fidel Castro, met with a Cuban contact at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. Roselli would testify before the U.S. Senate, 14 years later, about the delivery of money and poisoned pills for the contact to place in Castro’s food. Columnist Jack Anderson would break the story in his column of January 18, 1971. The CIA would acknowledge its involvement 46 years after the fact, with the declassification of documents in 2007.
    • One-hundred forty-five people in Kiev were killed in the Kurenivka mudslide, after a dam burst on the Dnieper River at the capital of the Ukrainian SSR. The disaster was not reported in the Soviet press until March 31, when it was referred to in Pravda.
    • At a meeting in London of the prime ministers of the British Commonwealth, Hendrik Verwoerd announced that South Africa was withdrawing its membership, due to continued criticism of apartheid, “the racial policy of the Union Government”.
    • A B-52F-70-BW Stratofortress bomber, with two nuclear weapons, crashed 15 miles (24 km) west of Yuba City, California after its crew bailed out. The two nuclear bombs were torn from the aircraft on impact, but did not detonate.
    • Albert DeSalvo was arrested in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while trying to break into a house. Confessing to be a sexual predator who had been nicknamed “the Measuring Man”, DeSalvo spent a year in jail. For 18 months following his release, thirteen local women were sexually assaulted and murdered. DeSalvo, arrested later in 1964, confessed to being the “Boston Strangler”.
    • The 18th Golden Globe Awards were held. Winners included Burt Lancaster (Best Actor – Drama), Greer Garson (Best Actress – Drama) and Spartacus(Best Film – Drama).

And here’s what was keeping Peggy busy:

Week 11

Sunday 12th March 1961
Mothers Day & I had a nice card & bowl of hyacinth from the children. We’ve had a busy day – chores inside, gardening, car cleaning & out for a ride for an hour! Am plodding on with Phil’s jersey!

Monday 13th March 1961
Lucy (birthday). Cyril to Bedford.
Cyril was away soon after 7.30. Phil doesn’t seem too well today, hasn’t eaten much & his gums are worrying him: we didn’t go for a walk. Have been working in the garden instead.

Tuesday 14th March 1961
Carolyn (birthday).
What a mess Gillian got in this afternoon – she hugged a telephone pole absolutely oozing with tar!- all on her best clothes! Its been a beautiful day & Philip seems to have been a bit less troubled with his teeth. Cards from Daddy this am.

Wednesday 15th March 1961
John (birthday).
Poor Gillian had a nasty fall this afternoon & has a bad graze on her knee. Very pathetic with it. Tried to ring Doris this afternoon but she wasn’t at home. Letter from Cyril – have just written him a few lines.

Thursday 16th March 1961
Lovely day – have done a big wash. Including hall & landing curtains. Rang Doris & heard Mum wasn’t at all well. We may go over during weekend. Been out in the woods all afternoon & am only just going to put children to bed 6pm.

Friday 17th March 1961
Timothy (birthday). Bill (birthday).
Not quite so warm today. there is a cold wind blowing up. Shall be glad to see Cyril this evening – heard today not to expect him before six. We’ve been out in the woods all afternoon.

Saturday 18th March 1961
Dip Booster Dr. L. 2.15
Stormy today – in fact we had a hail storm this afternoon, much to Gillian’s delight! We all went into L’head – Cyril has done a bit of digging. I took the children for their Dip Boosters & poor Philip has reacted all ready – at 6.15 he was very feverish & miserable. Have given him a Disprin. I had a few minutes in the Jumble sale – with Gillian!!!






Weeks 9 to 10: 26th February – 11th March 1961

Here’s what was going on in the world in February and March 1961.

  • Professor Henry Kissinger of Harvard University was appointed by President Kennedy as a consultant to the National Security Agency. The 37-year-old Kissinger, who would later serve as U.S. Secretary of State for two Republican Presidents, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, had been the author of the 1958 book Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy.
  • Uganda became self-governing by holding its first general elections a year in advance of full independence. With 90% of the 1.3 million eligible voters participating, the Democratic Party, led by Benedicto Kiwanuka, won 43 of the 81 seats in the National Assembly. The Uganda People’s Congress received more votes overall, but won only 35 seats.
  • At the age of 79, artist Pablo Picasso married 35-year-old Jacqueline Roque. The two remained together until his death in 1973.
  • Elsie May Batten, a 59-year-old shop assistant and wife of famed sculptor Mark Batten, was found stabbed to death with an antique dagger at the London curiosity shop where she worked. Her killer, Edwin Bush, was the first British murderer to be caught by use of the Identikit facial composite system.
  • The first U.S. Polaris submarines arrived at the new submarine base at Scotland’s Holy Loch, as the nuclear missile bearing USS Patrick Henry sailed past protesters and in alongside its tending ship, USS Proteus, to begin a two-year mission.
  • Sir Thomas Beecham, the English conductor who founded the London Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic orchestras died aged 81.
  • Plans for an invasion of Cuba were presented by CIA official Richard M. Bissell, Jr. for the approval of President Kennedy. In a meeting attended by the President, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, CIA Director Allen Dulles, and General Lyman Lemnitzer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs, Bissell outlined the proposed “Operation Trinidad”, with an invasion force storming the beaches of Trinidad, Cuba by sea and by air. Kennedy rejected the plan as “too spectacular”, and directed Bissell to come up with a less obvious placement of troops. Only four days later, Bissell had drawn up a new plan, with the force to strike at the Bay of Pigs within a month. “The Kennedy team was impressed,” one historian would say later, “when they should have been incredulous.”


And here’s what was keeping Peggy busy:

Week 9 Week 10

Sunday 26th February 1961
A fine morning. I was up early enough but I didn’t seem to get on very well! Cyril had a couple of hours in the garden & after lunch we set out to take the children in the woods, but it rained very hard so we only had a short ride round.

Monday 27th February 1961
Dry morning so I put out the washing – unfortunately it started pouring with rain and has been  doing so all afternoon. We haven’t been out. Gillian has been complaining of tummy ache again this afternoon. No letters. Am just going to do a bit of ironing.

Tuesday 28th February 1961
Fine morning – and I was able to get cracking with the work. Mrs. C. took Gillian out for 1 1/2 hrs. This afternoon too she took over G. while I took Phil to Esher. Bought him a pair of shoes! I was worn out by the time we got back!

Wednesday 1st March 1961
Cyril to Helston.
All on my own tonight – its been fine & warm this afternoon. We went to the clinic & made arrangements to have the children innoculated (Booster Dips) on Saturday. Have put a fruit cake in the oven.

Thursday 2nd March 1961
Lovely spring like day today. Children out in the garden early then Phil slept for about 2 1/2 hrs! We’ve been up to the village this afternoon. Have been able to dry all the washing outside. Haven’t had any news from Mur yet.

Friday 3rd March 1961
Beautiful again – unfortunately the children have both woken up with colds. Have been for a nice walk in the woods. Had hoped Mur would pay us a visit but a letter from her today says she is going to Malvern next week.

Saturday 4th March 1961
Booster Dips 2.15 Dr Lyttle
Had to cancel the innoculations owing to heavy head colds. We’ve all been into L’head & Cyril insisted I bought a dress – did very well – dress & jacket in sage green with white ?dogs! Very nice too. We have have crowded a lot into today. Gardening, shopping, walk in the woods & baking. I was at it until 9.20 – getting ready for tomorrow. Beautiful weather.

Sunday 5th March 1961
Family gathering. Grace.
Another glorious day – we were up early – not from choice!!! I took the children part way down to the village to meet the visitors. Have had a very pleasant afternoon – Lottie’s Dodger & Greenie & Mr & Mrs Devonal & Susan. They all left soon after eight.

Monday 6th March 1961
Beautiful day – and the spinner is repaired! Had a small parcel of old clothes from Mur for Gillian also letter from Dad. Cyril will be late tonight as her going to Welling to lay some lino for his Mum. Have had a nice walk in the woods.

Tuesday 7th March 1961
Good news today in Joan’s letter Rob & Margaret have a daughter born yesterday. No detail yet but we’ll probably hear in a day or two from Mag. Not such a nice day. No sun but quite mild. Have been to the village –

Wednesday 8th March 1961
Went to the clinic this morning & Miss P advised me to take Philip to the Doctor because he has an abcess on his gum. Lovely day, we’ve been out in the woods all afternoon. Cyril came home early & we’ve been to see the Doctor: he has prescribed penicillin. Am going to write to Dad. Joan now.

Thursday 9th March 1961
Cyril (birthday)
Lots of birthday cards for Cyril this morning, much to the nippers delight! We had a nice surprise too this afternoon – off out for a walk & met Cyril coming home – so we all went into Esher & bought him a tie & suspenders for his birthday!!

Friday 10th March 1961
Andrew (birthday)
Not a very good day to begin with but it has cleared up this afternoon. We’ve been out for a short walk. Nothing much happened. Just had a letter from Mur – Dave goes on Tuesday & think Mur is staying in Ripon.

Saturday 11th March 1961
Marion (birthday)
We’ve had an exciting morning – going into Esher & looking at plans of new houses going up for sale on this estate. We’ve put our mark on one – & now we’re hoping we shall be able to economize a bit & have some money saved by the time they are ready – 1962! It will be something to save for & I feel very enthusiastic about it. From there we went on to Hasham & bought a Nigelia for Cyril’s birthday. Am going to start a jersey in 3 ply for Philip!!!




Weeks 7 to 8: 12th February – 25th February 1961

Here’s what was going on in the world in February 1961.

  • Eight days after launching the seven ton Sputnik 5, the U.S.S.R. used the orbiting satellite as a launch platform from which to fire a rocket carrying the interplanetary space probe, Venera 1, towards the planet Venus. Contact with the satellite was lost after it traveled 4,650,000 miles, but the probe came within 62,000 miles of the second planet, and is believed to still be in orbit around the Sun.
  • Sabena Flight 548 crashed as it was approaching Brussels on a flight from New York City, killing all 72 people on board, including all of the United States figure skating team and its coaches. It was the first fatal crash of a Boeing 707 passenger jet.
  • Led by British author and activist Bertrand Russell, the Committee of 100 and a crowd of 5,000 people staged a sit-down protest at the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall, London, demanding that the U.K. call off its agreement to bring nuclear missiles to the British Isles.
  • Duncan Carse was dropped off alone at the British Antarctic island of South Georgia, for an eighteen-month attempt to become a latter-day Robinson Crusoe. HMS Owen brought him to the uninhabited south side of the island with 12 tons of supplies and a prefabricated hut, at Ducloz Head. The hut and much of the supplies would be swept away by a wave on May 20, forcing Carse to survive on what he had been able to save. He would finally be able to signal a ship, the Petrel, on September 13.
  • The last public trams in Sydney, Australia, ceased operation, bringing to an end the Southern Hemisphere’s largest tramway network.
  • A total solar eclipse was visible in parts of the Northern Hemisphere from France to the Soviet Union, with the Black Sea port of Rostov-on-Donbeing the midpoint of greatest eclipse.

And here’s what was keeping Peggy busy:

Sunday 12th February 1961
Gave the car a good clean & polish this morning. Then went for a ride to Bushey Park this afternoon. Gillian played up though as she didn’t want to leave the amusements.

Monday 13th February 1961
Renee (birthday).
Cyril at Farnborough this week. Travelling daily. Quite a nice day – we were out from 2 – 3.45 – had a walk in the woods & saw several squirrels. Then to Jill’s delight we had 1/4hr in the recreation ground, on the swings! Cyril home early, about quarter to six. Another very good night.

Tuesday 14th February 1961
A lovely day – no wind & quite warm in the sun. Temperature has reached 65 in London. We’ve been out for a couple of hours – Philip enjoys a walk now. Letter from Joan.

Wednesday 15th February 1961
We saw an excellent picture of the eclipse of the sun on T.V. this morning – the best picture came from France. Its been a very damp dull day – such a come down after yesterday. Have to make arrangements for Gillian’s Diptheria Booster.

Thursday 16th February 1961
Hilary Lemon.
Letter from Olive today asking us over tomorrow so have given her a ring confirming it – we shall be early arrivals as Cyril leaves at 8am. Wonder what he will say about it. Damp & dull today. Letters also from Mur & Geoff.

Friday 17th February 1961
Eileens 11 + ??am
Have had a very nice day out at Frimley. We went with Cyril & arrived at Olive’s at 9am. I’ve really enjoyed myself & the childern were very good. Home at 5.10pm – I’ve baked & ironed since then & knitted.

Saturday 18th February 1961
Had a good night’s sleep last night. Cyril has been to L’head & Esher this morning while I’ve been attending to the chores. This afternoon we set off for Welling – & have had a very pleasant afternoon. Found them all well & Mum determined to go home in a few weeks time. I can’t think how she will manage. I had an hour in Welling – round the shops. Home at 8pm.

Sunday 19th February 1961
Lotts to tea
Bruce Andrews B’day
A lovely spring like day – Cyril has been gardening this morning while I’ve been preparing for our visitors. The Lotts arrived about 3.30pm & have just left – 8.40pm. We’ve all had a very pleasant day – G & P been good too.

Monday 20th February 1961
Another beautiful day. The washing isn’t all dry yet though – I’m still without a spinner! We’ve been wandering in the woods this afternoon. I should think Gillian & Philip are very tired – they were both in the garden this morning. The ?rose prints have come from Dad. Very nice.

Tuesday 21st February 1961
Very dull & cold today – we’ve been up to the village but I was glad to get in – its so cold. Philip has been very miserable today. Nothing much happened – letter from Dad. All well at home.

Wednesday 22nd February 1961
to Lotts for the day. Car for C. Service today.
Left with Cyril at quarter to eight this morning so arrived at Lotts for 8.05!! Have had a very nice day. We went into Hounslow & had a good shop fuddle! Have at last bought a dress to send to Edna for Valerie! Children have been so good. Geoff brought us home – arrived here 4.40pm.

Thursday 23rd February 1961
Almost looks like snow today – we’ve had very little sunshine. Went for a long walk in the woods this afternoon. Phil is a monkey when he has to go back in the pram.
Very Bad Night With Both.

Friday 24th February 1961
Wet today – the first rainy day for some time. I’ve done some washing & dried it between showers – we haven’t been out this afternoon so I did some ironing Have had a shocking headache all day.

Saturday 25th February 1961
Pouring with rain when we got up Cyril took Philip down with him to light the fire – & I had a lay in until quarter to eight!!! Lovely it was. This afternoon went out for an hour to the jumble sale – lot of junk there!
It cleared up about 3.30 so the children had 1/2hr in the garden and Cyril moved the raspberries.




Week 5 to 6: 29th January – 11th February 1961

A new year begins. Here’s what was going on in the world at the beginning of 1961.

  • Five days after arriving in New York after hitchhiking from Madison, Wisconsin, 21-year-old musician Bob Dylan met his idol Woody Guthrie. After hearing Dylan sing, Guthrie is said to have remarked “He’s a talented boy. Gonna go far.” Dylan settled in Greenwich Village and found fame in the protest folk music scene.
  • Disenchanted with life in the Soviet Union, American defector Lee Harvey Oswald wrote to President Kennedy’s newly appointed U.S. Secretary of the Navy, John Connally, to ask for a reversal of his dishonourable discharge from the United States Marines. The letter was never acted upon, and on November 22, 1963, Oswald would shoot both Kennedy and Connally.
  • Hermann Höfle, an Austrian born member of the Nazi Party who had overseen the deportation of Poland’s Jews to extermination camps, was arrested in Salzburg shortly after being identified as a war criminal by Adolf Eichmann during Eichmann’s war crimes trial. For nine years, Höfle had been working at his pre-war trade as an auto mechanic and was working at the Salzburg water department at the time of his arrest. His crime confirmed in the 1943 “Höfle Telegram”, in which he bragged of exterminating a total of 1,274,166 Jews in four camps during Operation Reinhard, Höfle would hang himself in a Vienna prison on August 21, 1962 before he could be put on trial.
  • The push-button telephone was put into public service for the first time, as Bell Telephone test marketed its “Touch-Tone” service for its customers in the cities of Carnegie, Pennsylvania and Findlay, Ohio.
  • At Wailuku, Hawaii, Stanley Ann Dunham, an 18-year-old student at the University of Hawaii, married Barack Obama, Sr., a 25-year-old graduate student from Kenya. Six months later, their son, Barack Obama, who would become the 44th President of the United States, was born in Honolulu.
  • Movie actress Marilyn Monroe voluntarily checked herself into the Cornell University Medical Center (under the pseudonym “Faye Miller”) after being driven there by her psychiatrist, Dr. Marianne Kris. Admitted on the premise that she would be treated for exhaustion, Monroe was instead taken to the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic and found “the worst fear of her life come true”, being locked inside a padded cell. After three days, she was permitted to make a phone call and reached her ex-husband, baseball star Joe DiMaggio, who flew to New York City and effected her release.
  • George Low, NASA’s Chief of Manned Space Flight, and his task group submitted their report, A Plan for a Manned Lunar Landing for consideration by U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
  • The Beatles at The Cavern Club: At lunchtime, The Beatles perform under this name at The Cavern Club for the first time following their return to Liverpool from Hamburg. 

And here’s what was keeping Peggy busy:

Sunday 29th January 1961
A filthy day. It hasn’t stopped raining & blowing gale force winds! Needless to say we haven’t been out – had a dirty (didn’t change!) lazy afternoon. I did ?turn the cuffs on one of Cyril’s shirts! Children have been very good.

Monday 30th January 1961
A better day today – at least it hasn’t rained & I’ve been able to put the washing out. don’t know if I’m sickening for flu – but I ache all over – sore throat too & I’m feeling so tired. Letters from Molly & Dad.

Tuesday 31st January 1961
Hairdresser for Pam 9.30
I went to bed at 6.30 last night with a temp of 101 (38.3°C)! Never thought I would get to the hairdresser today – but I did! Cyril had the lunch ready – took & fetched me (with both nippers!) We’ve also been into Esher & Kingston – bought shoes & boots for Jill – shirts etc for Cyril.

Wednesday 1st February 1961
Still feeling rotten & full of cold – early bed again last night but up several times to the children. Cold but dry today – I’ve done the wash & iron – in case I go up early again! Letter from Joan & one from Lotts saying they are coming on Sunday. Only been as far as Weedon’s today.

Thursday 2nd February 1961
Filthy morning but I carried on with the washing & praise be I’ve dried most of it outdoors. Poor little Phil has been sick this evening and is very flushed. I’m beginning to think he has flu – I do hope he’s not going to be very ill with.

Friday 3rd February 1961
Philip had a very high temperature 103 (39.4°C) last night – then this morning Gillian succumbed to the bug & they are both ill. Dr. Glover has been in & prescribed penicillin for Phil & linctus for Jill – she is being sick quite a lot. I have Gillian on the sofa & Phil up in his cot – Jill should be in bed but she was so miserable up there. Poor kids – they both look so poorly.

Saturday 4th February 1961
Welling? Cancelled.
Wretched night again last night – but at least the children have stopped being sick. They are keeping down drinks & Gillian has had a finger of toast this morning. Cyril has been taken with the bug now & is looking very poorly.
8.20pm – Philip came down for a couple of hours this afternoon – he is much better – Gillian has improved too. Cyril has been in bed since 1.30 – his temperature is 102 & he’s feeling very rough. I’ve just had a bath – almost my first sit down today. Have washed & ironed! Very blowy day.

Sunday 5th February 1961
Lotts to tea? Cancelled
A funny sort of Sunday – Cyril got up at lunchtime but went back to bed. Gillian keeps wanting to go with him. We had a boiling ?fowl for lunch but no one wanted much. We were all bed before 9pm!!

Monday 6th February 1961
Dr. Glover came in today and has given Cyril a certificate – the first one he’s had for years and years! Philip’s ear has cleared up so he’s to come off penicillin: he has a rash on his face today – just wonderful if that is a penicillin allergy! Letter from Joan.

Tuesday 7th February 1961
Doris (Birthday)
Cyril has been on his feet a bit longer today but he isn’t fit yet. The children aren’t well either. They both have very nasty coughs. I went up to the Village this morning. Have written to Dodo tonight & Rie Hoevemann.

Wednesday 8th February 1961
Poor Gillian was coughing half the night last night & is very listless today. She has lain on the sofa hardly bothering to speak. Cyril is up and about and is going into the office tomorrow – against my advice. I’ve written to Alice Goff & am pretty well up to date on my writing.

Thursday 9th February 1961
Gillian had a more restful night last night & seems a little better today. At least she is drinking & taking more notice. I’ve had a busy day – washed the kitchen curtains – also bathroom & toilet. Just written ?to Mur

Friday 10th February 1961
Not a very nice day. Neither with weather all children. Gillian is very niggley & has been crying on & off most of the day. Philip isn’t much better. Have done a big wash but it hasn’t dried very well. Shall be glad when these two are asleep in bed.

Saturday 11th February 1961
Mick (Birthday)
We had a good night last night – Phil woke up about 5.30 – so I had an early bath. We all went into L’head as it was a nice morning. Gillian & I did the shopping. Cyril has been gardening – I’ve baked & been out with Phil this afternoon. The nippers had their first bath for a fortnight & were down early tonight so I’m going to write a couple of letters and then knit.




Week 1 to 4: 1st January – 28th January 1961

A new year begins. Here’s what was going on in the world at the beginning of 1961.

  • Australia became the second nation to permit the sale of the birth control pill, and the first to allow the Scherer oral contraceptive, with brand name of Anovlar. The G.D. Searle pill Enovid had been permitted in the United States in May 1960.
  • East Germany’s Chancellor and Communist party chief, Walter Ulbricht, held a secret emergency meeting of the Politburo of his Socialist Unity Party of Germany, the SED, and told his fellow party leaders that East Germany’s own economic failures accounted for 60% of the departure of East Germans to West Germany. He warned the SED that the nation needed to take action to fix housing shortages, low wages, inadequate pensions, and the six-day workweek before the end of the year. Ulbricht also criticized East German schools, pointing out that 75% of the people who left were younger than 25. Most importantly, he created a task force to stop the loss of refugees; the solution would come in the form of the Berlin Wall and the heavily-guarded border in August.
  • John F. Kennedy was formally elected as the 35th President of the United States, as a joint session of the U.S. Congress witnessed the counting of the electoral vote. U.S. Vice-President Richard Nixon, who had opposed Kennedy in the 1960 election, formally announced the result, saying, “I now declare John F. Kennedy elected president.” The results were 303 votes for Kennedy, 219 for Nixon, and 15 for U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr..
  • The Professional Footballers’ Association, of England and Wales, called off plans for a strike in the middle of the 1960–61 Football League season. PFA director Jimmy Hill had threatened the strike after The Football League refused to lift a salary cap that limited even the best players to no more than £20 per game (equivalent to over £450 now). The Football League relented, as “the threat of a strike effectively finished the era of the maximum wage”.
  • Berry Gordy’s  Motown Records signed The Supremes to their first recording contract.
  • John F. Kennedy took the oath of office as the 35th President of the United States. For the first time, the event was shown on color television, pioneered by the NBC network.
  • In Sheldon, Iowa, bank teller Burnice Geiger was arrested after federal bank examiners discovered that she had embezzled money from the Sheldon National Bank. Initially, audits showed more than $120,000 missing over a three-year period. Mrs. Geiger admitted to stealing a total of $2,126,859.10 — an American record to that time, equivalent to $14 million fifty years later. Sentenced to 15 years in prison, she served five, and lived until 1981.

And here’s what was keeping Peggy busy:

Sunday 1st January 1961
Had a lie in this morning – until about eight. Philip woke at 5 but went back to sleep. Its Dick & Phyllis 10th wedding anniversary & we’ve been over to theirs for tea. Cyril was a bit poorly before we left – he seems better now though.

Monday 2nd January 1961
Dull & showery this am. but I put the washing out for an hour. Cyril went back to it this morning – his tummy seems better. We couldn’t go out this afternoon as it was pouring with rain – so we took the decorations down!

Tuesday 3rd January 1961
Cold & showery – had hail shower this morning. I’ve had a day of reckoning on the living room – & how dusty it was. I thought I would never finish. We’re certainly back to normal now – have been to the village for fish & meat! Letters from Jackie & Joan. Cyril late home – meeting – unexpected & missed two trains.

Wednesday 4th January 1961
A bitterly cold day – we’ve been to the clinic – only for C.L.O. (cod liver oil) & Orange Juice. Two more greetings cards today from Holland. Which has ?.. our total up to 77. Highest ever. Gillian took her pram today it has been a slow cold walk. Rang Cyril at 2.45 but no reply. Long lunch hour???

Thursday 5th January 1961
Cold, sunny & dry this morning – Gillian spent a big part of it in the garden. This afternoon we’ve been to the village. Philip walked part of the way home.

Friday 6th January 1961
We went out this morning to see about the non appearance of the Papers. Had to wait nearly 1/2 hr for the phone box as I had to ring Cyril. Also lost Phils gloves. So it wasn’t a very good morning Letters from Dad, John & Jan.

Saturday 7th January 1961
We were out with the lark this morning and into Kingston by 9.15 what a crowd at Bentalls for the first day of their sale. It was a free for all!! I joined in & got a couple of pairs of pyjamas for Gillian & a Kamella tweed coat for Phil for 42/6 – very nice too it is. While all this was going on Cyril was in the hairdressing department getting the childrens hair cut. Philip has had his first short back & sides & looks a real lad!!!

Sunday 8th January 1961
Had a surprising visit from Olive Valerie & Pete for half an hour this morning. We’ve had a nice afternoon – decided to look up the Lotts – & found they only live 10 miles away – no time at all in the car. It was very pleasant seeing them again. Late night Mrs C came in and we played cards.

Monday 9th January 1961
Frosty morning – not much drying. This afternoon we’ve been for a walk to the village. It was cold & wet though so not very pleasant Letter from Joan.

Tuesday 10th January 1961
Cold & wet and my spinner has gone wrong. SEEboard came to look at it but he hadn’t the spare part needed. We’ve been up to the village – Gillian is a bit better behaved today but only a bit. Letter from Jim!!!

Wednesday 11th January 1961
Nice cold & frosty morning. The spinner is back in action. (T.G.) Went out for an early walk – Met Mrs Roberts with her three & we all came back for a cuppa. Letter from Mur. Am going to knit ???? !!!

Thursday 12th January 1961
Gillian & I have been baking this morning! – she made some biscuits for Daddy!! Quite a nice day. We’ve been to the village this afternoon and met Mrs. Roberts and we joined forces.

Friday 13th January 1961
Damp today – we had a good night’s sleep – Phil didn’t rouse until 6.30. He hasn’t eaten much again today. Still having trouble with these teeth. Have a load of ironing tonight so am going to bath and shampoo Gillian before tea.

Saturday 14th January 1961
We went – all of us – into Esher & Leatherhead this morning – not a very nice day – cold & damp. Cyril did some gardening this afternoon while I took the children for a short walk. Afterwards I had a go at washing the car – but didn’t do a very good job of it! Letter from Mum today which she wrote herself.

Sunday 15th January 1961
Rob (Birthday).
It will take me a long time to let Cyril forget this – besides washing the car yesterday I polished it today & cleared out the interior – looked very nice too – we went out for half an hour this pm – mainly to post Robs card.

Monday 16th January 1961
The wretched spinner has gone wrong again & I haven’t liked to use it too much so theres very little washing dry yet. ?Fine cold day. Letter from Mur – talking of the possibility of Marg having twins! Heaven help them all!!!!!!

Tuesday 17th January 1961
Oh dear – I’m likely to be without the spinner for a fortnight – a bearing in the motor has gone. It also looks like being a pricey job. Damp & cold – we’ve been as far as the village – letters from Joan & Anne.

Wednesday 18th January 1961
Celia (Birthday).
Nice windy morning so I was able to wash & dry the woollies. Quite a large mail this morning with letters from Rob & Dad & some travel folders for Cyril. He fancies a holiday in Brittany!

Thursday 19th January 1961
Had a rotten night with Phil last night I am feeling the effects of it today! Got soaked on our short walk this afternoon. Pleasant surprise – parcel from Mum containing 2 prs nylons for my b’day! Cigs for Cyril sweets for children.

Friday 20th January 1961
Phil had us awake from 4am. – consequently I wasn’t too cheerful on rising! – and the eve of my 40th too!!! Cyril went off in a huff! I’ve dried some of the washing round the fire – went for a walk & had to push Jill’s pram back!!

Saturday 21st January 1961
My b’day
Had a bumper mail this morning – 13 cards (very amusing some of them – harping on my 40 years!!) & a pair of nylons from Greens. Cyril bought me a dozen tulips last night and is paying for a hair do at the month end. We all went to L’head this morning. Between us we’ve washed the car this afternoon.

Sunday 22nd January 1961
To the Lotts for tea.
We’ve had a very pleasant afternoon with the Lotts – Cyril spent most of the time playing Pontoon. We didn’t leave until nearly half past seven with two very tired children. The ?Devonals were there too & I’ve had a good natter.

Monday 23rd January 1961
Cyril to Malvern
We were up – at least I was several times last night – consequently we were a bit late waking up. However Cyril got off by 7.45. Very quiet during the evening. Had four more cards making my total 17! Ironed this evening.

Tuesday 24th January 1961
Very damp & cold & Philip is miserable with his teeth. I was up at quarter to six! – but they slept all night. We’re going to get ready for a walk to the village now. How I hate getting ready!! Letter from Mur. up for 2hrs in the night.

Wednesday 25th January 1961
Bitterly cold day – thought it would snow out but it hasn’t yet. Children had cards from Cyril today so he arrived safely! Been up to the clinic for some Ovaltine. Squared up my last years accounts.

Thursday 26th January 1961
I’ve been down in the dumps today – felt sure I would have a letter from Cyril but only cards for the children. Gillian had me up half a dozen times last night – aftermath of her smacking I suppose – she was so naughty on the walk – & again today. Yes – I’m feeling pretty miserable.

Friday 27th January 1961
A filthy day – very high winds & rain. We haven’t been out – I didn’t get up until 7.30 – Baked this morning. Cyril arrived home at 5pm – much to Gillians delight. He looks well & has enjoyed himself. Brought some ?prod??? from Joan & a nice dressing gown she’d made for Jill

Saturday 28th January 1961
Another filthy day. Cyril has been out shopping. I’ve boiled up some washing but goodness knows when it will dry.
Later – we’ve had a short trip out to Esher. & since our return I’ve put the wash out for a blow & have written two letters. Cyril is having a hectic time with the two. Am also bringing my accounts up to date.





Week 48 to 52: 27th November 1960 – 31st December 1960


We’ve been remiss and missed a few weeks, so here’s a bumper month of Peggy’s life to wrap up 1960. To kick off though, here’s what was going on in the world in December 1960.

  • The African state of Mauritania became independent shortly after midnight, with Moktar Ould Daddah receiving the transfer of sovereignty from France’s Prime Minister, Michel Debre. Daddah declared that “Mauritania … will never forget what she owes the French people.”
  • CIA Director Allen Dulles briefed President-elect John F. Kennedy on the agency’s plans to overthrow the Castro government. Kennedy told Dulles to continue with the project, which ultimately failed as the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
  • Gary Lineker, English footballer and broadcaster was born in Leicester.
  • The Most Rev. Geoffrey Francis Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the Anglican Church, talked with Pope John XXIII for about an hour at the Vatican, marking the first time since 1397 that England’s highest ranking religious leader had visited the Pope.
  • Camelot, the most expensive theatrical production to that time, made its Broadway debut, at the Majestic Theatre, with Richard Burton as King Arthur and Julie Andrews as Lady Guinevere.
  • The first episode of the ITV drama Coronation Street aired in the UK. It was originally planned to be a 16-part drama but became such a success that, running five times or more per week, it continued past its 10,000th episode in its 60th anniversary year.
  • Entrepreneur Tom Monaghan and his brother James took over the operation of “DomiNick’s Pizza” store at 301 West Cross Street in Ypsilanti, Michigan. In 1965, after the original owner declined to allow the use of his name for other locations, the brothers renamed their restaurant Domino’s Pizza.
  • The first “Tied Test” in the history of Test cricket took place at the end of the match in Brisbane between the West Indies and Australia. At the end of the First Innings on December 10, Australia had a 505–453 lead. In the Second Innings, however, the West Indies had outscored Australia 284 to 232. When Australia’s last batter, Lindsay Kline, came up for the 7th and final ball, the score had closed to 737 to 737. Kline hit the ball bowled by Wes Hall, and Ian Meckiff dashed toward the wicket for what would have been the winning run, but Joe Solomon fielded the ball and hit the stumps for the last out.
  • John F. Kennedy was elected as the 35th President of the United States, as the 534 persons who had been selected (on November 8) to serve in the Electoral College, met in their respective states’ capitals. Democratic candidate Kennedy received 300 votes, 31 more than the 269 needed to win, and Republican challenger Richard M. Nixon had 219. U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd received 15 votes, from all 8 of Mississippi’s slate of unpledged electors (a ticket which finished ahead of Kennedy and Nixon), six from Alabama pledged to Kennedy, and one from Oklahoma pledged to Nixon. Hawaii’s 3 electors had not been certified, pending a recount of the popular vote, but were awarded to Kennedy prior to the January 6, 1961, tabulation.

And here’s what was keeping Peggy busy:

Sunday 27th November 1960
Another filthy day – we haven’t been out – apart from a trip to Wilsons this am for ink. We were up early and G & I don’t feel so miserable today. Have done a lot of letter writing.

Monday 28th November 1960
A cold & frosty morning but dry & sunny. Dried all the wash & the children were out all morning & for a walk this afternoon. Philip has been very good & walks several steps now. Letter from Dad & Joan – Dad not too well.

Tuesday 29th November 1960
Wet today & its turned very cold this afternoon. We’ve been to the village and I’ve drawn the Family Allce . – & spent it . Was flat broke!! No letters. Philip walking a bit. Almost the length of the room.

Wednesday 30th November 1960
Wet & cold today – but Philip was able to sleep out and we’ve been for a short walk this afternoon. Haven’t done any knitting again tonight!! Written to Dad & Joan.

Thursday 1st December 1960
Dry but cold & windy – we’ve only been as far as the phone this afternoon but Gillian & Philip have been out all morning. No letters – no income tax refund!!!

Friday 2nd December 1960
Managed – with Gillian’s help! – Philip co operation to do the baking this morning! I’ve been vainly trying to get Philip to use his pot reckon I’ll still be trying when he’s 21!! – no idea – he’d rather put it on his head! No letters again.

Saturday 3rd December 1960
To Page’s to tea.
Cyril went to the village & to Esher this morning while I did the chores – we went off to Chertsey soon after 2.30 – stopped in Weybridge for a 1/2 hr & I bought some Christmas Cards & one or two everyday items! Gillian came with me while Cyril looked after Philip. The two were very good at Pages – we left about 6.20 – home 6.45.

Sunday 4th December 1960
Another wet Sunday so we haven’t been out. I put the Almond icing on the cake this afternoon. Had a fright in the early hours when I was up with Philip. I’m sure a mouse ran across the room.

Monday 5th December 1960
Fine but cold. Have dried all the wash – and quite a big one it is. I’ve been to the village with the children. Gillian in a very irritable frame of mind. Wonder if she’s sickening for anything?

Tuesday 6th December 1960
Wet morning, but it cleared up this afternoon & we’ve been to the village. Walked back with Mrs. Parker & Helen. Letter from Dick & Phyllis but nothing yet from Income Tax – or Insurance. Posted the Canadian & U.S. cards today.

Wednesday 7th December 1960
Jacqs T (birthday)
Damp & inclined to be foggy. Nothing much to report – the usual round of washing, cooking & cleaning & changing Philip. Letter from Joan – we haven’t been far this afternoon.

Thursday 8th December 1960
Eileen S. (birthday)
Got on well this morning – cleaned & defrosted ‘frig & had the wash out of the boiler by 9.30. The children played well together that’s why! Damp & foggy day. We had a quick walk as far as Weedons with the infants well wrapped up. Poor Cyril – car broke down at Putney he had to leave it behind.

Friday 9th December 1960
Dentist 11am
My day out
I got off to the dentist & from there to Kingston – had a tour round & began to get worried as time went on & I’d done no shopping. However I eventually bought nearly £3 presents & had a soup & roll for lunch – very quick!! Home about 4.45 – to find everything in order & the children in the middle of their tea : car ready for pick up tomorrow.

Saturday 10th December 1960
Cyril collected the car this morning while Gillian & I did some baking! & the chores. He was back by 11.30 – car in running order – for good I hope. It’s been a bitterly cold day – we thought it was going to snow. Had a run out to Epsom this afternoon, stopped in L’head for 1/2 hr on the return journey shampooed & bathed after the children.

Sunday 11th December 1960
We had an early lunch today – and set off on a flying visit to Frimley. Olive & Frank were out but we saw Valerie – then called at Greens  – gave them a surprise, afterwards a few minutes at Jacksons. Home at 5.30 – I have had a gadding about weekend – very nice too.

Monday 12th December 1960
A miserable damp & dirty day – haven’t been able to put out any washing but it has dried inside round the fire. We haven’t been out but Phil has been very miserable this afternoon – teething? I’ve given him a dose of Benadryl this evening.

Tuesday 13th December 1960
Another miserable foggy day but we’ve had to brave it to go up to the village. Plenty of turkeys in the butchers – & Xmas trees in the greengrocer! Alas & Alack – our tax rebate claim form hasn’t come so I don’t think we’ll have that for Christmas.

Wednesday 14th December 1960
Wet & cold & it tried to now just before we went out – much to Gillian’s delight! Christmas cards have started coming already – & there’s me with the gifts yet to buy & the cake to ice!! Letter from Mrs. Creed. Cyril brought Philip’s present home Tuesday – a large polythene train. Finished one “Sooty” last night.

Thursday 15th December 1960
Well we can certainly kiss the tax rebate goodbye before Christmas – letter from them today saying they have no trace of Cyril’s ? so he has to get another certificate from Pay Office – & he’s not in tomorrow!  Darn it! Had an early walk & have given Jill a bath & shampoo.

Friday 16th December 1960
Cyril went out early this am & phoned about a second hand dolls pram he later bought for £3. Have had another day out today lucky me! Have spent all day at Gamages & bought most of the presents T.G. Had a rushed lunch & then a rush to catch the 3.52 home. All well when I got in & Cyril had even put up some decorations. Am now going to sort out the presents & wrap up.

Saturday 17th December 1960
We’ve had a very nice day. Cyril collected the tree, posted the parcels Went to Esher this morning We set off for Welling soon after one I found them all looking well. We waited to see Eileen & left for Fairwater Ave about 6.40. We came home via the West End to see the lights – Gillian was so excited – they really are lovely. Home at 8.20 & the two soon in bed. Busy week ahead for us catching up on all the jobs.

Sunday 18th December 1960
A nasty day. I’m glad we had our day out yesterday. We’ve been decorating much to Gillian’s delight. Celia & Barry &
Mrs. G came over but didn’t stay long on account of the fog.

Monday 19th December 1960
Wet today – but not quite so cold. Have had to dry the wash indoors – moved some of it before going out for a short walk. Gillian fell this morning & gave herself a nasty lump on the forehead. Christmas cards are beginning to come in.

Tuesday 20th December 1960
Didn’t know whether I was coming or going this morning. Both Gillian & Philip had crying & bad temper sessions & here was I with the living room all upside down! A very cold wet day. Its been trying to snow. A few cards today & a couple of parcels. Iced the cake this evening – in half an hour! – snow scene!!

Wednesday 21st December 1960
We’ve actually had a dry day & some clear skies! But what a cold wind! We’ve been out for an hour this afternoon. Glad to get back to the fire though. More cards today & a parcel for the children.

Thursday 22nd December 1960
A fine sunny day & I’ve done a big wash – all ready for the iron tonight – & that’s the last “Boil-up” until after Xmas. I hope! I’m desperately hard up – Cyril is having to buy the groceries etc. out of his slender purse! How I’m hoping my insurance money will come tomorrow.

Friday 23rd December 1960
I could have wept with disappointment today when the insurance man said I couldn’t have any money on my policy for 12 months!! That means we are VERY hard up now. I went to Cullens this pm. & had a large order put on the account! – including 1/2bot rum & cigs for Dad!! Just going to bath & shampoo Gillian. CYRIL brought home TURKEY.

Saturday 24th December 1960
Well we’ve had a very pleasant Christmas Eve. Cyril went out this morning & then to meet Dad at 11.50. We had an early lunch Roast Pork & then went L’head – not too crowded – we were early. Home & early to bed with the nippers. Now we’re going to sort out gifts. Lovely Turkey 14. 7oz  – 7 1/2 % discount.

Sunday 25th December 1960
We’ve had a lovely Christmas Day. Great excitement from the children – they have been very good – and so tired by six o’ clock. After they had gone down we sat down to high tea – Our turkey is lovely.

Monday 26th December 1960
Children awake very early – & now I’m very tired (8pm)  – we went over to Clarke’s at Hinchley Wood for a drink this am – consequently we had a very late lunch. Cyril has washed & polished the car. I took the nips for a short walk. Very cold.

Tuesday 27th December 1960
Muriel (birthday)
A lovely morning – Cyril left at quarter to nine to fetch Mum, Doris & Will – they were back at 11.15 & Mum managed very well. I think they’ve enjoyed their day – Dad & I took the children for a walk this afternoon. Cyril set off to take them back to Welling at 6.15 – they were going via London to see the lights – have just seen a picture on the news of the crowds in the West End!!!

Wednesday 28th December 1960
A dirty morning – Dad & Cyril went to L’head. This afternoon the Jacksons came & stayed to tea. Very nice afternoon.

Thursday 29th December 1960
Have had a boil up this morning – late starting though as we had a lie-in until 8.10!! Been out to Frimley this afternoon to see Mrs Green – home just before six.

Friday 30th December 1960
Andrew S. (birthday)
Cyril went to Esher this morning – to the Bank while Gillian & I baked. This afternoon we’ve all been to Leatherhead- but unfortunately no sales on! or fortunately? Have made mince pies tonight.

Saturday 31st December 1960
Have had a pleasant last day of 1960. Joan, Fred, Eileen & Andrew arrived about quarter to twelve – after having a slow ride away to ice on roads. A letter from ___ saying _____ had had a miscarriage just as they were about to leave ___ – she is in Ripon Hospital & has lost the baby. I can’t help feeling a little sad about it – but at the same time feeling that in the end it will prove to have been the best thing that could have happened. What sort of future would the little one have had?


Week 46 & 47: 13th November 1960 – 26th November 1960

Here’s what was going on in the world these two weeks in 1960

  • A fire at a movie theatre in the Kurdish village of Amuda, Syria, killed 152 children who had been watching an “educational film”. Some sources claimed that the fire had been set by Syrian security forces.
  • African-American singer and actor Sammy Davis, Jr. married white Swedish actress May Britt at a time when interracial marriage was uncommon, and, in some states, illegal. The resulting fallout would effectively end Britt’s film career.
  • Four 6-year old black girls, “first of their race to attend white public schools in New Orleans since the days of the Reconstruction”, were enrolled at two elementary schools in the area. Ruby Bridges, protected by U.S. Marshals, was the lone African-American child to enroll at the William Frantz Elementary School, and her first day was depicted by artist Norman Rockwell in a famous painting, The Problem We All Live With. The other three students enrolled at McDonough Elementary.
  • The submarine USS George Washington, armed with 16 nuclear Polaris nuclear missiles, sailed from the harbour of Charleston, South Carolina, following an undisclosed route. President Eisenhower praised history’s first mobile nuclear missile base, noting that the Polaris firing submarines “possess a power and relative invulnerability which will make suicidal any attempt by an aggressor to attack the free world by surprise”.
  • American film star Clark Gable died of a heart attack, aged 59, a few days after completing his last film, The Misfits
  • British television and radio presenter, Jonathan Ross was born in London.
  • The Hawker Siddeley P.1127, the first V/STOL (vertical/short take-off and landing) military jet aircraft made its first untethered flight. Test pilot Bill Bedford lifted, hovered, and landed the jet at the Royal Aircraft Establishment ground at Thurleigh, Bedfordshire. The production version of the P.1127 was the Harrier.
  • United Nations troops clashed with the Congolese Army, for the first time since the Congo crisis had begun. Soldiers were ordered by Colonel Joseph Mobutu to seize a diplomat at Ghana’s embassy in Leopoldville. A force of 150 U.N. troops from Tunisia, supplementing Ghanaian embassy guards, fought for three hours in defending the embassy before the government troops withdrew.
  • The USS Ethan Allen, at 410 feet in length the largest Polaris submarine in the U.S. Navy fleet, was launched from the yards at Groton, Connecticut. Not yet equipped with missiles, the submarine would be able to fire nuclear weapons a distance of 1,500 miles. On May 6, 1962, the Ethan Allen would make the only submarine launch of a live nuclear warhead, conducting an atmospheric hydrogen bomb test at a site 1,000 miles away.

And here’s what was keeping Peggy busy:

Sunday 13th November 1960
Dick & Phyllis to tea.
Not a bad morning – but it went very cold about 3pm. I took Philip & Gillian out first – Cyril followed on & took Gillian to collect Dick & Phyllis – we’ve had a very pleasant afternoon & evening. They left just before 10pm – children very good all day.

Monday 14th November 1960
I’m appalled at the thought of Christmas being so near – & nothing yet done! Shall have to start on the puddings this week – & the cake next. It’s been a very fine day – dried most of the wash.

Tuesday 15th November 1960
Miserable day – me I mean – the weather was lovely this morning but I’m in the dumps! Cyril has a cold & he’s in the dumps too! – he went to bed at 630 last night. Gillian got so muddy this morning I had to strip her.

Wednesday 16th November 1960
Another fine day – we’ve been to the clinic – only to get some advice about Gillian’s sore “tinky-winky”. Philip cried bitterly when we left him outside. Letter from Mur – but none yet for Cyril from the other fellows Insurance ?Coy.

Thursday 17th November 1960
Its been a filthy day & we haven’t been out at all. Cyril has been to Woolwich & had lunch with Mum & Doris. Philip has had the miseries most of the afternoon. Edna & Denis have another daughter Valerie Anne – born on ?12th.

Friday 18th November 1960
I’ve started – made the puddings this morning – at least started them with Gillian’s help!! It rained all morning but cleared up & we’ve been to the village this afternoon – and collected the key of the garage. Children have been very good.

Jack Warner, TV’s Dixon of Dock Green

Saturday 19th November 1960
Oxshott Xmas fair
It was a lovely morning – Cyril went into Leatherhead & when he came home I went to the Christmas Fair – it was such a crush – Jack Warner opened it. I only stayed half an hour and didn’t spend any money – everything was too expensive – we went again this afternoon for a short while – so that Gillian could see Father Christmas.
Have made the Xmas puds.

Sunday 20th November 1960
Another dirty day – we haven’t been out. Cyril seems to have developed another cold without having shaken off the first! Philip played up this evening & just wouldn’t settle. I had to nurse him to sleep.

Monday 21st November 1960
A miserable wet Monday – but I’ve dried & ironed all the washing. Philip didn’t sleep long this morning – & was very tired tonight. Not too tired to have another yelling session though. Only walked as far as Browns this afternoon. Letter from Joan.

Tuesday 22nd November 1960
I’ve been having an awful pain in my right leg – Cyril says its sciatica! I thought that was a complaint you had in your very old age!!! Cyril has gone to Moorfields tonight for a further eye examination. I do hope all is well for him.

Wednesday 23rd November 1960
Fine afternoon after a wet morning. We’ve been out to the Clinic. Cyril was given a clean bill of health at the Eye Hospital last night. He was home before 7.30.

Thursday 24th November 1960
A filthy day. Gillian wet the bed last night so I’ve had a sheet wash! Philip not very happy – we’ve been out for a short walk in the puddles!! No letters.
Up 5 times in the night!

Friday 25th November 1960
In an effort to raise some cash for Christmas I’ve surrendered my small policy today – it wasn’t worth keeping anyway!! But don’t know if I’ll get the cash for Xmas as the collection says it takes a month! Pouring most of the day. Up 4 times in the night.

Saturday 26th November 1960
I’m feeling miserable again today & everything seems to be getting me down – its the continual sameness of every day. I suppose “All work & no play”. Cyril has put in a dozen bush rose in the front & I’ve made the Christmas cake. Took the children for a short walk.

Week 45: 6th November 1960 – 12th November 1960

Here’s what was going on in the world this week in 1960

  • One person was killed and 18 injured by a bomb that had been placed inside a subway car in New York City. The bomb was the fifth to have exploded in New York on a Sunday since October 2, and the first to have taken a life. The five bombings injured a total of 58 people, including the fatal injury to Sandra Breland, a 15-year-old Brooklyn resident.
  • In the U.S. presidential election, a record number of American voters turned out to make their choice between Democratic candidate and U. S. Senator John F. Kennedy and Republican candidate and U. S. Vice President Richard M. Nixon. With 270 electoral votes needed to win, Kennedy received 303. The popular vote was the closest in history. Kennedy (34,220,984) won slightly more than Nixon (34,108,157) by a margin of 1/6 of one percent of the total votes cast. The day after the election, Vice President Nixon conceded defeat to Senator Kennedy following the news that Kennedy had won Minnesota’s 11 electoral votes. With 270 needed to win, victory in Minnesota took Kennedy to at least 272.
  • RMS Britannic, the last of the ocean liners of the White Star Line, sailed from Liverpool to New York City on its last voyage. Operated by Cunard Line since 1934, the Britannic was sold for scrap three weeks later.
  • Construction of the first Soviet nuclear submarine, the K-19, was completed, three days before the first American nuclear sub (the USS George Washington) would set to sea with nuclear weapons. The K-19, which would receive its nuclear arsenal later, was the first of the eight “Hotel class” nuclear-powered subs.
  • The uncensored, Penguin Books edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover went on sale in England and Wales, eight days after a London jury had concluded that it was not obscene, and became an instant bestseller.
  • Elvis Presley’s, ‘It’s Now Or Never’ was UK No. 1 single.

And here’s what was keeping Peggy busy:

Sunday 6th November 1960
Had quite a good night with the children last night – but my back was giving me “sticks”!!! We’ve been out for a run this afternoon called on Dick & Phyllis for half an hour. Wretched car wouldn’t start.

Monday 7th November 1960
Cold but fine & sunny – the children have been out most of the day – garden this morning & in the woods this afternoon. Should think they would sleep tonight. Car in garage for completion of repairs.

Tuesday 8th November 1960
Not so good today – the sun has only been out for a very brief spell this afternoon – cold & misty. No washing dried. We’ve had a walk to the village – no letter from Joan yet this week.

Wednesday 9th November 1960
Cold & damp again – but Philip was able to sleep out. Have been for a short walk. Didn’t go to the clinic this week Mrs. Roberts brought me in some marmite & stayed for a cup of coffee.
Cyril brought the car home but it needs a new battery.

Thursday 10th November 1960
Dreadful night with the two! Pouring when we got up but it cleared enough for us to be able to go to the village – got caught in a storm though. Gillian in a mood today! Bought Philip a hat.

Friday 11th November 1960
Good drying day – T.G. as I’ve had a big wash. Cyrils new battery arrived this morning so I won’t be pushing the car anymore! We’ve been for a short walk & I’m now going to give Gillian a shampoo.

Saturday 12th November 1960
I’m feeling properly browned off & in the dumps tonight – its the “sameness” of every day which is depressing me. Saturday – rapidly becoming as every other day – a day of washing ironing cooking & cleaning! Gillian has been naughty too – & had to go to bed early – she was in soon after 5.30 – & before Philip!
Gillian had the best nights sleep for ages – didn’t wake until 7am. Philip slept after one am.

Week 44: 29th October 1960 – 5th November 1960

Here’s what was going on in the world this fortnight in 1960

  • Michael Woodruff performed the first successful kidney transplantation in the United Kingdom, at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Transplants had been performed in the United States and in France since 1954.
  • A cyclone more powerful than the one that hit East Pakistan in October swept across the entire area that would later become Bangladesh, killing at least 10,000 people. The entire island of Kutubdia was submerged under 10 Metres of water.
  • Prime Minister Macmillan of the United Kingdom announced that American nuclear submarines would be based at the Holy Loch, on the Firth of Clyde at Scotland.
  • A jury in London concluded that Penguin Books had not broken Britain’s Obscene Publications Act, clearing the way for the sale, in the United Kingdom, of 200,000 paperback copies of D H Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
  • Filming of The Misfits, starring Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, was finished. It proved to be the last film for both legendary actors. Gable, who had performed many of his own stunts, had a heart attack the next day and died on November 16.
  • As John F. Kennedy arrived at the Chicago Stadium for a pre-election rally, Jaime Cruz Alejandro forced his way through the crowd to get as close as he could to Kennedy’s open convertible, then fought with police after running from them. He was found to be carrying a loaded .25 caliber pistol. Moments later, Reverend Israel Dabney was caught attempting to carry a .38 revolver into the coliseum. Both men said that they were carrying the weapons for self-defense and were later released.

And here’s what was keeping Peggy busy:

Sunday 30th October 1960
Cyril cleaned the car this morning – hence the rain at tea time! We’ve been out for a run as Cyril wanted to give the Battery a chance to charge – he’s having starting trouble &
I’m having to give him a push. Gillian seems a bit off colour.

Monday 31st October 1960
I have a nasty feeling Gillian is sickening for mumps – there’s quite a lot of it about. Sunny this afternoon so we’ve been out early for a quick walk. Have dried part of the washing. Letter from Joan.

Tuesday 1st November 1960
Gillian seems better today – she has eaten all her all her meals for the first time for several days. It’s stormy again but we dodged them & I had a quick trip to the village – to draw my F.A! (Family Allowance) – which I need!!! Had the back plate of the cooker repaired today.

Wednesday 2nd November 1960
Very rough with gale force winds today so we haven’t been out. Gillian had a couple of coughing spells during the night. Philip had us up again – he really is troublesome at night & is very miserable this afternoon. The room is like a shambles at the moment with all their toys about. Roll on 5.30!

Thursday 3rd November 1960
We had another night of it last night with Phil so I took them both to the Doc this am – he’s increased Philip’s Benadryl (sedative) so maybe he will sleep tonight. Got soaked on the way home – haven’t been out this pm – also got a tonic for Gillian.

Friday 4th November 1960
Wet start to the day but it has cleared up & we’ve been out for a short walk – have dried most of the washing – ready for ironing tonight. 3.30 & I’m going to put Gillian in the bath. Better night with Phil last night. T.G.

Saturday 5th November 1960
Cyril’s been to the Bank while I prepared an early-ish! lunch. We left for Welling at 1.30 & had a pleasant afternoon with Doris & Will & Mum. Doris wasn’t looking too well but Mum seemed fit enough. Gillian collected more birthday presents – lucky girl.
We left without the childrens medicine so had to go back all round the houses. Gillian & Philip slept all the way home. We were later than usual getting in.