Friday, March 30, 2007

Monday 6th May 1935

Jubilee Day!

Blazing hot. Spent a lazy, restful morning. Sat in the garden, talking to an intellectual, uncouth old Irishman.

The Sports at Egham. Paripan won the first round without much effort. “Heave! Hold! Heave!” We’d won. In the semi final we were defeated by a team of gigantic labourers from the gasworks. “Hold it, hold it!” All was over!

A cosy tea at the Kings Head. Young phoned me. I went up by the 8 o’clock from Staines and met he and John on Hungerford Bridge. Each of us wore a red Turkish Fez…
HMS President was like a fairy ship – ablaze with lights from stem to stem. A dance in full swing. Blue jackets and women in evening dress on the decks…

Along the Strand, arm in arm, into the midst of the Carnival. The gay laughing incidents! I can’t write of them all! …Charging along Regent Street – “Up, Daventry!” – a girl snatched at Dick’s hat –“Hail!” – “Hurray!” – The gay old ladies…
Tightly packed crowds at Marble Arch… frightened boy with a cycle, hemmed in – “Why don’t you ride it?” – laughter, cheers. Struggled into a pub – tired, harassed attendants….salt sweat hurt my face… Hyde Park, a roaring bonfire… Young picked up a board and held it aloft. We marched behind – “Please keep off the grass”!

Strode through vast crowds outside the Palace. Cheers, “Hail, Caesar!” People followed us down the Mall and were scattered by a rival army of students. “Long live the King!” Songs. Trafalgar Square. Cheering. Whitehall and the Cenotaph. Orderly quietness. Then noisy happiness again…

It was time for us to return….Climbed into the 11.58 at Waterloo – still with the notice board – tired and a little sad, now it all was over. Parted at Staines. “Hail, Athelstan! Hail!”


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