Week 52 : 25th-31st December 1966

Diary Shelf

Here’s the last week of Peggy’s diary entries for 1966. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the regular readers, those who just dip in occasionally, and those who have only recently discovered Peggy’s world, for making this all worthwhile and so rewarding. 1967 of course kicks off next week and it would be great if Peggy were to gain a few more followers and readers in the coming year. So please follow, share, tweet and comment.

So for the last time in 1966. Here’s what’s going on around the world this week:

  • December 25th – Died: Nicholas Dandolos, Greek-born American gambler known as “Nick the Greek”. An obituary would note that, “Possibly half a billion dollars passed through Nick’s fingers during a lifetime of wagering on dice, at card tables, and at race tracks. He was alternately a millionaire and penniless 73 times in his lifetime.”
  • December 26th – The third phase of the Cultural Revolution, referred to as the “Economic Warfare and Revolutionary Rebels” phase, began as the Chinese Communist Party pritned editorials directing the Red Guards to become “revolutionary rebels” and to “carry the Revolution into the factories and farms”.
  • December 28th – China conducted its fifth nuclear test, and a subsequent analysis of the radioactive fallout from the test indicated that China had developed a “triple stage bomb”, considered the precursor to a hydrogen bomb because the second stage produced a fusion reaction necessary to trigger the thermonuclear explosion. The 300-kiloton bomb, the United States Atomic Energy Commission concluded, was also the “dirtiest” of the bombs, maximizing both radiation and fallout.
  • December 30th – Operation Marigold, a secret attempt to reach a compromise solution to the Vietnam War, failed after attempts by Polish diplomat Janusz Lewandowskiand the Italian ambassador in Saigon, Giovanni D’Orlandi, in collaboration with American ambassador in Saigon Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.. Polish Foreign Minister Adam Rapacki relayed Hanoi’s final rejection to the U.S. Ambassador in Warsaw, John A. Gronouski.
  • December 31st – In the most expensive art theft in history up to that time, thieves stole eight paintings from London’s Dulwich Art Gallery, the oldest art museum in the United Kingdom, and demanded a ransom of 100,000 pounds sterling for their safe return. The paintings themselves were considered worth more than $20,000,000. Three of the paintings would be recovered a couple of days later, and the next evening, the other five would be found “wrapped in old newspapers behind a bush” at Streatham Common, a few miles from the gallery.

But for now, here’s how the family are ending 1966!

Sunday 25th December 1966 – Christmas Day
At last!! Philip awake at 5:30am, but managed to contain himself till 6:30am. They were so thrilled with their gifts and they had such a lot! Cyril gave me three fivers! Went to church at 10am. We have had the usual drinks here and there. Late lunch at 3pm, didn’t wash up until 5pm. All the Turners came in for the evening – bed about 2am

Monday 26th December 1966 – Boxing Day
Up and cleared up by eleven and prepared drinks etc. for our visitors. They all came – and stayed until quarter to two! So another late lunch. Turners in during the evening , bed about 12!

Tuesday 27th December 1966
Did a bit of washing early – but it has rained on and off all day. Have been trying to do some ‘ta’ letters! Had tea with the Turners. Trying to get to bed early tonight. It’s 10:30 now!!

Wednesday 28th December 1966
It was horrible going to work today! Worked until 1pm then brought it all home with me and have done another 4½ hours!! Sue came home to turkey lunch with us. Cyril has had a pottering day! Going to have the car serviced tomorrow.

Thursday 29th December 1966
Worked until 12:15 today – Cyril picked me up and while he and Bill serviced the Corsair, I took the children – plus Helen to Leatherhead. Gillian bought her record “Peter and the Wolf”. Philip bought his tunnel and had his hair cut. We were home soon after five. Cyril met the bus!


Peggy’s 1966 household accounts. She recorded everything spent throughout the year down to the last half penny.

Friday 30th December 1966
Have done a good job tonight – balanced my yearly accounts – and found I have spent £150 more this year!! (The accounts are fascinating. Click on the image for an enlarged view) Going well? Only worked two hours – then went to Guildford. Not a very successful day – all we did was get tired out. Bought a couple of lamps in the sales.

Saturday 31st December 1966
Went to Kingston – certainly not our weekend! Scratched the car badly trying to park! Most depressing last day of ’66. Bought Gill’s bed – £17.10.6d. Took the decorations down – defrosted the fridge – washed! Bought two slips (35/- each) in Hides sale with my Christmas money.


Week 51 : 18th-24th December 1966

Diary Shelf

Here’s what’s happening around the world this week:-

  • December 18th – Leonid Brezhnev, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the U.S.S.R.’s de facto leader, was awarded the nation’s highest honor, Hero of the Soviet Union, the day before his sixtieth birthday.
  • December 19th – The United Nations adopted the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, more commonly known as the Outer Space Treaty.
  • December 19th – Duke Ellington began recording his album, The Far East Suite, in New York City. The nine tracks on the album were all compositions by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn (except for one by Ellington alone).
  • December 20th – Harold Wilson withdrew all his previous offers to the Rhodesian government, and announced that he would agree to independence only after the founding of a Black majority government.
  • December 22nd – On the eve of the United Kingdom’s trade ban with Rhodesia, Prime Minister Ian Smith declared that Rhodesia had become an independent republic by operation of the UN Security Counil’s vote for sanctions. “We are ipso facto in a position that we are no longer under the control of Britain,” Smith told reporters, “and, in the circumstances, I would say we are no longer members of the British Commonwealth; if that is the position, I do not know what we have become, except a republic.”
  • December 23rd – Ready Steady Go!, the pioneering British pop music show on Britain’s ITV network, was broadcast for the last time, after making its debut on August 9, 1963. Appearing as the last act was The Who, and the final show was subtitled “Ready Steady Gone!”.
  • December 23rd – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, directed by Sergio Leone of Italy and the highest grossing of the “Spaghetti Western” films, made its US debut.
  • December 24th – Died: Frank Mitchell, 37, British armed robber known as “The Mad Axeman”, twelve days after escaping Dartmoor Prison. The Kray twins, who had masterminded his escape, ordered his murder after quickly becoming tired of their friend.

But here’s what’s occupying Peggy’s world:-

Sunday 18th December 1966
To the Morgans for drinks.
Had quite a pleasant hour at the Morgans while the children were at Sunday School. Had a lazy sort of afternoon – made some vol-au-vents for tea. Children late-ish going to bed.

Monday 19th December 1966
Cyril – day off.
Supposed to go to Cherry B tonight for a drink.
Worked until 2pm – and have done the bills at home this evening. Went to Cherry Burton (Mr. & Mrs. Murray’s house) – inclined to be stiff and formal! Cards and presents arriving! Cyril has had a tiring day.

Tuesday 20th December 1966
The week is dragging for Philip – he’s looking pale and spotty too – can’t get to sleep for excitement! Still busy at work – at least I am! No one else seems to have much to do.

Wednesday 21st December 1966
Last day school.
Still working hard – about the only one who is!!! Went back this afternoon and have done some of the washing this evening – and cleaned the brass. Cyril has been blowing up balloons!

Thursday 22nd December 1966
Children quite good when I left them – in fact they were a bit fed up with my ringing to see if they were okay!! Busy washing this afternoon. Joan rang. She says that Pa is having Christmas Day with Ted and Gill.

Friday 23rd December 1966
Worked until 12:30.
Mr. Chilcott came in worrying me with accounts. Mr Murray gave us all a fiver for Christmas – but no drinks in the office!! Been cooking and cleaning this evening – the tongue, gammon and frozen special!!

Saturday 24th December 1966
Christmas Eve – and a very wet and nasty one. We were in Leatherhead before the shops opened! Just for a few things – then picked up our ordered goods in village and home. Pottering and baking during afternoon. Had a late night – filling stockings and drinking with neighbours. Went to church at 5pm. Children went off to sleep very quickly.


Week 50 : 11th-17th December 1966

Diary Shelf

Here’s what’s happening around the world this week:-

  • December 11th -NASA released the first photograph to show, “almost the entire disc of the Earth”, taken two days earlier from the ATS-1 satellite from a height of 23,000 miles.
  • December 12th – The West German cargo ship MV Contentia collided with the Bull lightvessel and sank at the mouth of the River Humber. The West German coaster MV Elke also collided with another ship and sank in the Humber Estuary.
  • December 14th – Voters in Spain overwhelmingly voted in favor of the new constitution that had been proposed by Spain’s President, Generalissimo Francisco Franco and that provided for the eventual restoration of the monarchy. Opponents of the proposed constitution had been prohibited from campaigning against it, although they had been allowed to ask people not to vote in the election at all. According to the government, nearly 89% of registered voters turned out at the polls, and 93.3% of them voted yes on the proposal, while 3.2% voted no, and 3.5% did not properly mark their ballots.
  • December 15th -Died: Walt Disney, 65, American animated film producer who built his independent film company into a multimillion-dollar empire of film studios and amusement parks, died at St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank, California. Flags on all government buildings in Los Angeles County were ordered lowered to half staff in his honour.
  • December 16th – By an 11-0 vote, the United Nations Security Council approved an oil embargo and other economic sanctions against Rhodesia. Permanent members France and the Soviet Union abstained. Other proposed amendments failed to gain enough support, including an amendment that suggested that the United Kingdom “use every means, including force” to bring about the downfall of the white-minority government of Ian Smith.
  • December 16th –Born: Dennis Wise, English soccer football midfielder, with 21 appearances for England between 1991 and 2000; in Kensington, London.
  • December 17th – The first successful pancreatic transplant on a human being took place at the University of Minnesota, as a team of surgeons led by Dr. William D. Kellyand carried out “a duct-ligated segmental pancreas graft” into an unidentified 28-year-old woman, effectively reversing her type 1 diabetes, and resulting “in immediate insulin independence”.

But here’s what’s occupying Peggy’s world:-

Sunday 11th December 1966
Had a drink before lunch with Mary and Leonard and apart from that it’s been a quiet sort of day. Cyril put some tulips in the front garden. Joan rang – Pa is talking of going to Ripon for Christmas.

Monday 12th December 1966
Didn’t come home lunch time – instead Gloria cut my hair! Feeling shorn and chilly now! Mr Murray starting a new system of book keeping and delaying me much more than somewhat.

Tuesday 13th December 1966
Cyril – Cambridge.
½ day from school.
Driving Lesson.
Worked until 12 and Gloria brought the children and I home from school – then came back and cut Gill’s hair. After my lesson, we three went to the village. I tried on a few dresses in the Boutique – didn’t buy anything though. Cyril and Ron came in about 8pm.

Wednesday 14th December 1966
Cyril and Ron to lunch then to Hog Rob’s “do”.
Had a rush round to prepare a 12:30 lunch for three. However, I left the office before 12 – went back to work – collected Gill and took her to Brownie Party – then back to work until 5pm!

Thursday 15th December
Cyril – Cardiff.
Help at party.
Worked through the lunch hour – in an endeavour to catch up! Then came home and almost at once went out to the party. Eileen Lister gave me a ring and picked me up fortunately and also brought us home.

Friday 16th December 1966
Cyril home.
Worked until one then caught the bus to Esher in the pouring rain. It was a miserable shopping expedition. Cyril’s train was 40 minutes late – he was home about 3:20 – then we went to pick up the Christmas tree. Finished icing the cake.

Saturday 17th December 1966
We were up with the lark and in Kingston at Lamberts before 9am. Bought Cyril’s Christmas present – the Ford manual and a car mat!  Back to Hook and Esher for the rest of the shopping. This afternoon I’ve been back to Kingston and it nearly killed me. Ghastly. It was so crowded. I’ve spent so much money that it scares me! The family decorated the tree while I was out!

Week 49 : 4th – 10th December 1966

Diary Shelf

Here’s what’s happening around the world this week:-

  • December 4th – Working in the Ogoja Province in eastern Nigeria, Dr. William Foege first implemented the “surveillance and containment” strategy that would eventually eliminate smallpox throughout the world. An American epidemiologist as well as being a Lutheran missionary, Dr. Foege acted with the knowledge that smallpox was contagious for only two weeks, slow moving in its progress and, most importantly, that “infected people rarely transmitted the disease to more than a few others, mostly within the immediate household”. Consulting with 14 other missionaries in the region, Dr. Foege arranged for a communications network in villages and marketplaces, looking for signs of a smallpox infection and, “When an infected person was found, a map of his or her likely social pathways was drawn, and everyone on it immunized”. This course of action “demonstrated that smallpox could be treated and eliminated from large areas by immunizing as few as six percent of the people— if they were the right people at the right time!”
  • December 6th  – Over the course of two days, South Korean troops purportedly killed 456 men, women and children in two villages in the Quảng Ngãi Province of South Vietnam. On December 5, the village of Bình Hòa was surrounded at dawn by soldiers, and the inhabitants killed. The next day, troops moved to the nearby village of An Phuoc, four miles away, and murdered its inhabitants.
  • December 7th – ATS-1, the first experimental equatorial synchronous satellite, was launched into geostationary orbit at 23,000 mi (37,000 km) above the equator. Carrying the Spin Scan Cloud Camera, developed by Verner E. Suomi and Robert Parent at the University of Wisconsin, ATS-1 could take full photos of the Western Hemisphere every 30 minutes, and transmit them back to Earth. “For the first time,” historians would note later, “rapid-imaging of nearly an entire hemisphere was possible. We could watch, fascinated, as storm systems developed and moved and were captured in a time series of images. Today such images are an indispensable part of weather analysis and forecasting.”
  • December 7th – No. 1 in the UK charts was still Tom Jones’ The Green Green Grass of Home.
  • December 8th – Born: Sinéad O’Connor, Irish singer, in Glenageary
  • December 10 – At Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Dr. Jay Sanford told the press that Jack Ruby had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Ruby, who was weeks away from a new trial for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, had killed the accused presidential assassin in front of the largest number of witnesses in history, as millions of viewers watched on live national television on November 24, 1963.

But here’s what’s happening in the centre of Peggy’s Universe:-

Sunday 4th December 1966
Both very tired and queezy today!! (Hardly surprising if you read last Saturday’s entry!). Not felt like doing anything. I’ve been having a tussle with my accounts as I lost some of my shopping lists at the weekend!

Monday 5th December 1966
Driving Lesson
Don’t think I did very well on my lesson today – seemed to be overworking my right foot!! Cyril and I not feeling very fit yet. Had such a lot of work at the office that I brought a whole lot home.

Tuesday 6th December 1966
Met Miss Hutt at school this afternoon for a small meeting re children’s party. Did an hour at the office afterwards. Philip has been very sick tonight and is feeling sorry for himself.

Wednesday 7th December 1966
Kept both children in bed today. Cyril had the afternoon off to put shelves in Philip’s wardrobe so I went to work this afternoon. No more sickness from Philip – Gill seems rather ‘down’. We’re all tired I think after a bad night.

Thursday 8th December 1966
Here it is, Saturday night – what did I do on Thursday? Oh yes – worked until noon – children were OK they got up soon after I got home. Did some baking. Cyril went to London Airport so was late coming home. I did some homework.

Friday 9th December 1966
Worked until noon – children got up when I came home. Did all the washing I could find, dried and ironed it! Looking forward to having a day out tomorrow. Cyril’s cold developing.

Saturday 10th December 1966
We shopped in the village – left for Welling at 10:30 – lot of traffic about – got there 12:20. Very nice lunch and Doris moving about quite well. I went into Welling and did some Christmas shopping. We left at 6:30 – home via West End to see the lights. Very pretty. Traffic not bad at all – home 8:30. Very tired.


I know this is from an earlier era but I love it. Tea with Doris and Will was always like this. Even Phil and I have a cup and saucer! I seem to remember lunch at Christmas time involved ‘Giblet Pie’! Gotta love Phil’s bow tie!