Week 5 : 30th January-5th February 1966

The girls

L-R Peggy, Margaret, Muriel and Joan. Photo courtesy of Dave Sparks

Here’s what’s happening in the World this week in 1966:

  • 31st January 1966
  • The Soviet Union launch an unmanned lunar probe, Luna 9.
  • The UK ceases trade with Rhodesia.
  • Barbara Rooney, estranged wife of American actor Mickey Rooney, is killed in a murder-suicide by her boyfriend after announcing a reconciliation with her husband.
  • 1st February 1966
  • BOAC ceases all flights to Salisbury, Rhodesia.
  • Buster Keaton dies at the age of 70.
  • 3rd February 1966 – Luna 9 becomes the first object to make a controlled landing on the moon and transmits the first, ground level, photographs of the surface. Importantly, it was discovered that the moon’s surface was rock and would support a manned landing.
  • 4th February 1966 – Nippon Airways Boeing 727 crashes into Tokyo Bay killing all 133 people on board – the largest single flight plane disaster at the time.
  • 5th February 1966 – José Maria Olazábal, the Spanish golfer is born.

The Overlanders are still at number 1 with ‘Michelle’.
Film releases this week include, ‘The Rare Breed’ starring James Stewart, Maureen O’Hara and Juliet Mills.

And here’s what matters to Peggy:

Sunday 30th January 1966
Lovely Spring like day. I’ve washed and polished the car this afternoon and done a bit of gardening – Cyril gardened too. Of course we are all feeling the effects of our hard work this evening!

Monday 31st January 1966
I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be a very good morning – and I was right! Work has been piling up on me and everyone is rushing hither and thither. The one bright spot was my pay cheque – biggest yet! Went to Penny Nairne’s this afternoon – back with Hilary Chamberlain and had a cuppa with her before meeting children. Worked tonight.

Tuesday 1st February 1966
Work isn’t going down at all well this week – so much of it! We’re having a spell of really fine weather. I almost took the children on the heath after school – Gillian wanted to ride her bike round the block though – and Philip wanted to stay in.

Wednesday 2nd February 1966
Work is still bothering me. I’ve had a frustrating morning – went back in for an hour this afternoon and have had to work this evening. Trying to balance the books!!

Thursday 3rd February 1966
Gillian came home this afternoon complaining of a sore throat – I wonder if it is the first sign of the flu that is sweeping the country – or if it is German Measles?

Friday 4th February 1966
Poor Gill is very sorry for herself and running a high temperature. I rang Dr. Little and he has given her a bottle of Gantresen syrup. She is very tearful. I fetched my work home this morning and went in for a while this afternoon.

Scan0013 crop

From Peggy’s recipe book

Saturday 5th February 1966
Gillian very much better – her temperature is down but her throat is looking very red. Cyril (very sweetly!) took the washing to the Launderette and dried it – he chose a good time, no waiting. Then he went on to the model shop at Surbiton and collected the engines he had had overhauled.
Mary and Leonard came in for Canasta and we had our ‘fish meal’. Late night.




Week 4 : 23rd – 29th January 1966

Diary Shelf

This week in 1966:

  • 23rd January – Bob Knievel and a group of friends give their first exhibition of motocycle stunts in California. Evel Knievel and the motorcycle daredevils were born. Knievel impressed the crowd by driving up a ramp and ‘jumping’ over two lorries parked end to end.
  • 24th January – Air India Flight 101 crashed into Mont Blanc killing all on board. The Boeing 707 came down in the same area as another Air India flight had crashed in November 1950.
  • Also on 24th January, Indira Gandhi is sworn in as Prime Minister of India.
  • 25th January – A Lockheed SR71 Blackbird spy plane disintegrated at 78,000 feet whilst flying at over Mach 3. The pilot survived thanks to his pressurised suit and parachute. The co-pilot however was not so lucky.
  • 26th January – Harold Holt became Prime Minister of Australia.
  • On the same day, three young children disappeared from Glenelg beach, near Adelaide in Australia. No trace of Jane, aged 9, Arnna, 7 or Grant Beaumont, aged 4, has ever been found.
  • 27th January – Hull North by-election, unexpectedly retained by the Labour Party, giving them a majority of just 3 seats.
  • 29th January – North America finds itself in the midst of a blizzard affecting most of the United States and Canada east of the Rocky Mountains. The cold spell brought record low temperatures, high winds and heavy snowfalls over a four day period.

And, The Overlanders were at number 1 with ‘Michelle’.

But, here’s what matters to Peggy……..

Sunday 23rd January 1966
Cyril not feeling too well – sore throat.
While the children were at Sunday School, Cyril and I went over to the Washerette at Claygate where I put the 3 flannelette sheets in the tumble drier!! Good idea. Shan’t have them hanging around drying all week now. Miserable wet day.

Monday 24th January 1966
Had to have an hour back at the office today as Mr Murray is going to Malta tonight. Perhaps I’ll be able to relax a little this week while he is away. Had my hair cut this afternoon. Wrote to Joan, Dad, Eileen C tonight.

Tuesday 25th January 1966
Worked until 1pm today as Cyril wasn’t in to lunch and this afternoon I’ve had a good go around the house. Went to bed – very tired at 9:30. Letter from Tim.

Wednesday 26th January 1966
Cyril to Glasgow tonight.
Very cold in the office as the heating wasn’t working. Made everyone miserable. I worked until twelve. Had half an hour with Ivy this afternoon. Helen has German Measles.

Thursday 27th January 1966
Mary’s birthday.
Have had a full day! Worked till 11am then went to coffee at Liz Burge’s to discuss forming a badminton club! Have become a member !!! Then I went to lunch with Mrs James at Claygate – back to work until the children came from school. Made up for it and cleaned the brass this evening!

Friday 28th January 1966
Cyril home tonight.
Quite mild today. I worked until one – so have put in many more hours this month. I’m feeling tired and achy tonight – maybe the ‘flu as I’ve read there is an epidemic spreading southwards. Cyril home about 7pm.

Saturday 29th January 1966
Cyril did the shopping and I did the washing and so on and then we all went to the village. Bought Phil a shirt and some gloves. We had a wasted afternoon really at Surbiton – dried the washing on the way at Claygate.
Mary and I beat the daylights out of the men at Canasta this evening!


Week 3 : 16th – 22nd January 1966


Diary Shelf

This week in 1966:-

  • Indira Gandhi is elected to become India’s first female Prime Minister.
  • January 16th sees the release of the film ‘Our Man Flint’ starring James Coburn, a James Bond parody – apparently!
  • Stefan Edberg the Swedish tennis player was born on January 19th.
  • On January 20th the MV Mi Amigo ran aground at Frinton on Sea following a storm and eight members of the crew were rescued. The MV Mi Amigo was better known as the pirate radio station, Radio Caroline!
  • The Beatles were still at Number 1 with Daytripper.

……. But, here’s what matters to Peggy!

Sunday 16th January 1966
Woke up to snow this morning. The children were out playing in it soon after nine! Car wouldn’t start at Sunday School time, so David T took them in his recently acquired Westminster.
Have just had a shampoo.

Monday 17th January 1966
Went along to Penny Nairne’s this afternoon – to look for a gaberdine for Phil. No luck – but I fell over on the way home!! Very slippery. It was hard work going out to Keep Fit – but I was glad I made the effort.

Tuesday 18th January 1966
Still very slippery. I had my birthday present from Cyril today – another Shetland jumper which I bought at Mrs Strudwick’s.
Young Wives starts again tonight.

Wednesday 19th January 1966
Had a good clean up this afternoon – even did some of the brass – must have had the message! Worked this evening too! Ivy came up for a cuppa this afternoon.

Thursday 20th January 1966
Cyril to Cardiff
Treacherous weather. The roads are a sheet of ice and there have been many accidents. I was glad Cyril didn’t have to go out by car – our car is in Oxshott Garage – brake sticking trouble.
Mrs James had lunch with me.

Friday 21st January 1966
My birthday – and aren’t I knocking them up! Had quite a fan mail – and the children came in to our room soon after seven singing ‘Happy Birthday’ and each clutching a potted hyacinth. Very nice. Worked till Midday. Cyril had a bad journey home – 80 minutes late!

Saturday 22nd January 1966
Gill Pantomime with Brownies.
Nasty foggy day. Cyril did the shopping while I washed and gave the beds a good make etc. Mary gave me a very useful pyrex for my birthday. Gillian has gone to the pantomime – we had a little look round Leatherhead this afternoon. Since then I’ve been keeping the fire warm and doing my books!
Canasta tonight with Mary and Leonard.


Thursday 21st January 2016 would have been Peggy’s 95th birthday. Please raise a glass and wish her a Happy Birthday, wherever she may be….!

Week 2 : 9th-15th January 1966

Diary Shelf

The number one record for this week in 1966 was The Beatles – We Can Work It Out.

Sunday 9th January 1966

Joan and Fred coming to collect Eileen.
My word, my tiredness peak is on now – 11pm! I was up and ironing at 8am! Joan and Fred arrived before 10 and we’ve had a lovely day. They left at nine o’clock.

Monday 10th January 1966
School starts.
Very cold. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see snow tonight. Work didn’t go down very well this morning – school didn’t either for Gillian. She hated going.  (Obviously some sort of divine retribution now has Gillian working in a school!)

Tuesday 11th January 1966
Went back to work for a couple of hours this afternoon – to save bringing it home. Mr Murray seems to be piling more and more work on to me. Bitterly cold day – it tried to snow this afternoon. I believe there has been a fall at Guildford and Woking.

Wednesday 12th January 1966
Very busy at the office – I did a couple of hours this evening too. Still very cold. Philip lost his first tooth today and feels very brave! Living on turkey soup again!!! Letter from Rob. We’re beginning to look at holiday addresses.

Thursday 13th January 1966
I don’t know what I’ve been thinking about. It’s Sunday today and how am I to remember what we did on Thursday! I know, I went to work and I remember it was bitterly cold. Cyril brought Vic Fletcher to share our turkey soup lunch.

Friday 14th January 1966
Cyril brought me back from Esher – I’d gone in to the bank and to do the weekend shopping after work. Still very cold and trying to snow. Bought myself a jersey slip at the village sale to wear with skirt also bought at sale.

Saturday 15th January 1966
I did the washing – at least most of it this morning then had an hour or so in Kingston. Was looking for another sweater for me and socks for Phil – bought neither. Instead came back with a tie for Cyril, a pair of towels and a couple of wastepaper bins!
Had tea with Dick and Phyllis – a very pleasant afternoon. Home about 7:45. Played Canasta with Mary and Leonard.


Peggy’s recipe for Turkey Soup was so simple that she never wrote it down! Here, I’ve recreated it. In my memory it was the most wonderful thing and seemed to last forever!

Week 1 : 1st – 8th January 1966

Overwhelmingly, Peggy’s followers have asked us to continue for another year. How could we not!

So here is 1966….

  • A stamp – no first or second class until 1968 – cost 4d.
  • Camberwick Green was first broadcast on BBC 1 from 3rd January. Only 13 episodes were made, ending on 28th March.
  • Harold Wilson was the Prime Minister.
  • Longleat Safari Park opened its doors.
  • Moors murderers, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders of three children.
  • Oh and there’s the small matter of some football tournament taking place.

….. And here’s what matters to Peggy.

Saturday 1st January 1966
Did a load of washing this morning while Cyril went to Esher. Cyril and I, with the children, took Dad as far as Reading. Afterwards we had a walk around Heelas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lewis_Reading) – bought a few sale items – had tea out. Home about 6:35pm. I’ve spent the evening doing my accounts!!

Sunday 2nd January 1966
Not a very cheerful sort of day! We cleared up and put all the Christmas gear away for another 12 months. I’ve just posted an order to Gamages without the cheque. Cyril is not amused!!

Monday 3rd January 1966
It was nice not having to do the washing – finished it all yesterday. Eileen hoovered round while I was at work so there wasn’t much to do when I got in so we got cracking and Cyril took us as far as Surbiton and we’ve had a look round Kingston. The only part the children enjoyed was having tea and chocolate eclairs!

Tuesday 4th January 1966
Rang Joan.
Cyril wasn’t home to lunch – I worked this morning – Eileen and I have been baking (among other things) this afternoon. Rang Sainsbury’s and ordered a turkey for the weekend. Yummy! Philip doesn’t seem on top of the world today – bit weepy. He, Gill and I cleared the logs off the patio.

Wednesday 5th January 1966
Had a day off today – worked pretty hard at home though. Eileen went to town. I was very brave this afternoon and took the children to the village – on their bikes!! Had a cuppa with Avril and Nicky.

Thursday 6th January 1966
Cyril back from Cardiff & off to London Airport
Worked this morning and this evening. Eileen went to Kingston this morning. I took the children on the Heath – on their bikes. They loved it! Cold and frosty.

Friday 7th January 1966
Eileen brought the children up to the village to meet me today. I went into Strudwick’s and bought a tweed skirt – very nice one too – 28” waist. Gillian and I went to Esher this afternoon for the weekend shopping – Cyril picked us up at 5pm.
Bought a 16lb TURKEY for Sunday!

Saturday 8th January 1966
Redgrave’s party
Cyril not in a very good frame of mind today, I’m feeling terribly down! However, we made friends this afternoon and I took the children on their bikes to the Heath. Had a bath and shampoo after tea and we left for the Redgraves at 9p.m. Enjoyed their, rather noisy, party – home at 02:15am to find Eileen up with David and Diana here!