Saturday, September 29, 2007

Thursday 31st December 1936

Leave from the works until Monday. Received pay tonight, including a rise, which brings my salary to £156 a year - £3 a week. So I set out to celebrate New Year with a fairly light heart!

Called for John at his digs and had an amusing encounter. He introduced me to a friend of the family – Arthur Biddlecombe. We had met before! He was the leader of Peggy’s entourage, a member of Rookery and the young man who was her escort at Staines Station one night in April 1935. “My presence was, therefore, superfluous”. Arthur informed me that she was now married and lived in Reading. I had imagined that he was the one who won but guess I must have been wrong. “Do you remember Peggy Hoar?” “I haven’t forgotten her yet!” Damned interesting encounter.

John and I met Winnie in the Regent Palace foyer about 9:30. London’s West End crowded and a gay atmosphere in evidence. We had an a la carte dinner at an Italian restaurant in Soho – including a half bottle of real old Port. John and I left Winnie at Charing Cross and went to Westminster. A drizzly evening and the streets deserted. 10 minutes to 12 by Big Ben. Hastily boarded a taxi and dashed to Piccadilly Circus. Traffic began to thicken. We donned hideous masks and leered through the windows. At a minute to 12 we left the taxi about 150 yards short of the Circus and ran like hell (John howling and waving a balloon). People scattered at our macabre appearance. Hooters of scores of cars unable to move set up a rhythmic din. The Circus was packed with yelling people. Apparently it was –

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