This morning I heard that I had been given provisional acceptance at the Medical School in October 1953. [It is quite a shock though to be told I have to send a “registration fee of five pounds” and “cheques should be made payable to the University of Birmingham”. Mam and Dad haven’t got a bank account, and if I don’t get my three A Levels the £5 will be lost. Mam has always wanted me to be a doctor. I don’t really know what to do. I have to reply within 14 days.]

   After dinner I went to St. Andrews where Birmingham City beat Barnsley by 3–1. Blues:— Merrick; Green, Martin; Boyd, Badham, Warhurst; Stewart, Murphy, Trigg, Rowley, Wardle. Blues led 1–nil when Rowley converted a penalty for hands after twenty minutes and then two minutes later, he was carried off with a dislocated knee. Barnsley scored through [space left for the name] but Birmingham got further goals from Stewart and Murphy. In fact, Blues played so well that it seemed as though they had twelve men, not ten. Cyril Trigg, playing his first game since a knee operation five weeks ago, seemed to make all the difference to the forward line.

   I called at Granma’s on the way home and stayed for an hour. Then I went to the Robin Hood to buy ABC Film Review.

O LORD, I will praise Thee. Isaiah 12:1


   This afternoon at 1.10, I listened to “The Naturalist” as usual. Today’s topic was badgers and I made some notes on them for my Nature Study note-book.

   Nothing happened for the rest of the afternoon.

   From 7.30 until 8.30 we listened to the B.B.C. Repertory Company in “Out of the Frying Pan” by Arthur Goring.

   We watched “What’s My Line?” at 9.45pm. Joan Greenwood was replaced this week by Barbara Kelly who seemed to fit the bill rather better than her predecessor. The guest celebrity was the Crazy Gang — all five of them. There really were fireworks when they sat down in the team’s place and conducted their own “What’s My Line?”. It was one of the funniest things I have seen for some time.

We which have believed do enter into rest. Hebrews 4:3


This morning [I went to the Bank and withdrew £6, then later] we all went to town and we got back at 4.15pm. First we all had our photographs taken at Jerome’s. Then Mam had her photograph taken separately and I did as well. While Mam, Clarice and Julia did some shopping I spent an hour or more looking at the books in Smith’s, the [Midland] Educational and Lewis’s, and before coming home we collected our photographs.

   This evening I had not much work to do so I listened to “All-Star Bill” in which Maurice Chevalier took part. Maurice Chevalier is at the moment appearing at the London Hippodrome and scoring a big hit too.

All Thy waves and Thy billows are gone over me. Psalm 42:7


   In Chemistry this morning we had a test. Nothing else happened. I came home via town and I had my photograph taken at Jerome’s.

   One of the programmes we all listened to this evening was a Coventry Hippodrome Birthday Week Show. Pat Kirkwood, Norman Evans and Harry Secombe were some of the stars taking part.

Great is the glory of the LORD. Psalm 138:5


   On the 8.0am news bulletin today, we heard that Mr. Eisenhower had been elected President of the U.S.A., the first Republican since Herbert C. Hoover was elected in 1929. The full results are not yet available.

   It was raining when I got to school this morning but it cleared up later. At 1.0pm I went to N.C.O.’s parade. In Chemistry, Arthur and I hydrolysed Ethyl Acetate.

   After school, I went to a 1st XV meeting when we discussed our match v Jeune tomorrow. I came home through town with Griffin and Arthur.

   This evening I have listened to the Luxembourg edition of “What’s My Line?”. The panel is Elizabeth Allan, Jerry Desmonde, Margot Holden and Richard Attenborough with Bernard Braden as questionmaster.

   Fireworks have been going off for three hours now. It is 9.15pm. We have had to have Ginger in the house with us.

He hath done all things well. Mark 7:37


   Nothing happened at school this morning. This afternoon I played for the 1st XV v Jeune. We weren’t given much chance of winning after our defeat fourteen days ago but we did win, — 3–nil. The score was not indicative of our superiority. In fact, we had about eighty percent of the play. Our try was scored by Tipton midway through the first half.

   I came home through town with Riley who was playing for us in place of Alfie Manders who played for the school XV on Saturday.

   This evening I have made out a book in which members of the Natural History Society can record the various birds seen throughout the year. I have also had a bath. I am now listening to the radio. Outside a gale is blowing. It has rained quite a lot today.

The soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezekiel 18:4


   In Chemistry this morning we finished Phosphorus. After dinner I collected my Transport Allowance slip from Geography Room B.

   Griffin and I did not go on parade this afternoon as we had to put up some aiming rests for the platoon. The platoon did aiming for about ten minutes and then marched off to the University drive to practice the “Eyes Left” for Church Parade, Eddie [Hateley] and I acted as saluting markers.

   After school the Natural History Society met in the Large Lecture Room. Mr. Monkcom and I had arranged a film show but the attendance was disappointing — only twenty five turned up. Mr. Woods talked about badgers for some minutes and then we had a film on the subject. After this we had a longer film on the King Penguin.

Fear not: for I am with you. Isaiah 43:4–5


   I cycled to school this morning and I was late. I found I had a flat back tyre which took too long to blow up. In addition the wind was against me all the time and I had to go up Edgbaston Park Road and down the drive as Park Vale is temporarily out of bounds. In Tuesday’s gale, two or three trees were blown down. There was widespread damage throughout the country and some casualties occurred.

   I got home at twenty past one. Nothing much happened for the rest of the day.

   During the evening we watched the third part of “Operation Diplomat” and then “Café Continentale”.

The eternal God is thy refuge. Deuteronomy 33:27


   Nothing much has happened today. Mam and Dad went to the Mission and Mr. and Mrs. Moore came to tea.

   At the moment I am in some considerable doubt as to whether I should accept my place at the Medical School. I feel that my vocation is probably in the [field of] broadcasting and journalism rather than in medicine. Mr. Moore says he will arrange for me to see Mr. Enfield who writes the “Day by Day” and “Table Talk” columns in the [Birmingham] Mail.

   Mr. and Mrs. Moore were not able to stay later than seven. Later in the evening we watched TV.

Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:20


   As usual there was a Choir practice at midday today devoted entirely to rehearsal of carols. After choir practice I went along to the Music Room where my trio were busy rehearsing. They played better than I have ever heard them before.

   In Chemistry we did Analysis but otherwise nothing else happened.

   [I paid £5 19s 10d into my bank account today, and a further 5/-. I now have £10 5s.]

   I have spent about two hours on homework this evening. Now I am listening to “All Star Bill”.

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man. Proverbs 14:12


   Nothing happened at school today. I spent the afternoon doing homework and listened to the radio this evening before taking Ginger out.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33


   Nothing has happened at school today.

   At 1.0pm I went to a Musical Society concert in the Music Room. The music was on records. I missed the first item, Mozart’s Don Giovani Overture but I heard Dance Macabre by Saint-Saens and Walton’s Facade Suite. I liked both these.

   For a change I had little or no prep. tonight so I watched TV for most of the evening. The Newsreel was followed at 8.15 by “The Mr. Pastry Show”. Richard Hearn devoted the whole thirty minutes to a dream sequence in which several acts were incorporated. It was quite good entertainment but not really funny. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be.

   After this there was “Science Review” then “Private View”, in which we saw some of the models shown by the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers to the Queen earlier today.

His compassions fail not. Lamentations 3:22


   I had a letter from Denis Morris this morning requesting me to give his secretary a ring (!).

   I went for my interview with Mr. Enfield at 2.30 and we talked for about forty minutes. It gave me some idea about the difficulties of getting into journalism but otherwise it did not help me a great deal. His advice was to contact some of the lesser known Midland newspapers of which he gave me a list. I hadn’t heard of half of them!

   I called at the B.B.C. I wasn’t able to see him today but I arranged with his secretary an interview with Denis Morris at 3.30pm today week. I got home at about half past four.

   This evening I had quite a lot of work to do including the writing up of about three or four Chemistry experiments.

His left hand is under my head, and His right hand doth embrace me. Song of Solomon 2:6


   We had an eighty minute test on our Practical Chemistry today. I didn’t do too badly.

   I did not go on parade this afternoon. Instead I went to the Education Department in Margaret Street. I wanted first of all to get some information about University Awards and grants, and secondly to discuss with someone my career. I had a good talk with a Mr. Moore on this subject and I am going to have a further talk with him next Thursday after my interview with Denis Morris.

   While I was in town I called at the Post Office to get a job at Christmas. Unfortunately though, we don’t break up until Dec. 18th. The P.O. want people to start on the 17th. In addition, most of those being employed are being got from the Labour Exchange which has a large number of unemployed just now.

Consider the work of God. Ecclesiastes 7:13


   Mr. Ballance gave us a Practical Biology test this morning. We had to identify and draw Vaucheria and Spirogyra.

   [I am supposed to have returned the acceptance form and £5 to the University by today but I have written and told them I can’t accept.]

   I cam home through town and bought two further numbers of the Birds of Britain series [Books 4 and 5. They are published by the Eagle Publishing Company, 48 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, and are superbly produced with wonderful colour photographs and many in black and white. There are articles by Ludwig Koch (whom I met last year), Edward A. Armstrong (whose book I have, “Birds of the Grey Wind”), Eric Hosking, R.S.R. Fitter and many others. The editors are C. Eric Palmar, J.H. Stainton Crosthwaite and John Fraser of the British Ornithological Union.]

   I got home at 1.45 and didn’t go to see Blues match v Hull City, Blues won 4–3 after leading 3–nil at half-time. Schofield took the place of Merrick in the Birmingham goal as Merrick was injured in Wednesday’s international.

   This evening I watched Episode 4 of “Operation Diplomat” but not “Music Hall” in which Gracie Fields was appearing.

Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not. I have called upon Thee, for Thou wilt hear me, O God. Psalm 17:5–6


   After breakfast this morning I took Ginger for a walk through the park. I spent most of the day working.

   Grandad came to tea and stayed to see “What’s My Line?”. This week the highlight of the show was again the celebrity spot. Actually there were two celebrities. The second one took part unrecognised as a challenger. He was in fact Coco the Clown. When the team “got” him, he and his son did some water splashing and then they painted Eamonn Andrews’ face to make him look like a clown.

   The play was The Merry Wives of Windsor and it was performed with all the gusto one might expect for such a play. As Sir John Falstaff, Robert Atkins was very good.

Charity ... thinketh no evil. 1 Corinthians 13:4–5


   My trio’s rehearsal today somehow became a “jam” session when Colin Roberts took to playing a trombone. It was all highly amusing.

   In Gym we played with medicine balls and climbed ropes. We finished with a game of mat-ball in which I scored two goals.

   We did volumetric analysis in Chemistry. After school, Mr. Woods lectured the Natural History Society on Field Study Technique. It was a first rate lecture and lasted eighty minutes. Mr. Woods illustrated his talk with the epidiascope and gave a demonstration of how to collect insects. One bucket of Edgbaston soil yielded three spiders and a centipede.

   I came home thro’ town with John Maund who had been giving a lecture to the Photographic Society. I wrote a N.H.S. report for the “[King Edward’s School] Chronicle tonight.

God our strength. Psalm 81:1


   This afternoon the 1st XV played Levett. On paper we should have won but the match was a draw 3–3. Mr. Leeds was referee. He is a good referee but I cannot help wondering whether his policy of giving a penalty for offside every time is a correct one. There was one ridiculous situation when no one would touch the ball for fear of incurring a penalty. Levett’s full back kicked the ball a short way ahead of his own forwards who were thus put in an offside position. Pendry then kicked ahead of me and the other forwards putting us offside. Back went the ball with the Levett forwards still offside and every one else standing still just gaping. Finally, Pendry put the ball into touch.

   Levett scored after four minutes with an obstruction penalty, then we scored a penalty & missed a second, as did Levett. It was very even throughout.

In Thy presence is fulness of joy. Psalm 16:11


   I went to N.C.O.’s parade at 1.0pm today.

   There was a Julian Horner concert at 3.15 when Egil Nordsjo the bass-baritone gave a thirty five minute recital of Norwegian songs.

   I came home on the Special Bus. Tonight there was a particularly good edition of “Current Release”. The films shown were:

Monkey Business — 20th Century Fox
It Started in Paradise — Rank Organisation
Because of You — Universal International
Father’s Doing Fine — Assoc. Brit — Marble Arch
The Merry Widow — MGM

   Of these films I intend to see Monkey Business and Father’s Doing Fine. The latter is a domestic comedy — the sort of film which often proves a great success like Young Wives Tale and Behave Yourself.

Trusting in the LORD. Psalm 112:7


   This afternoon I went for my interview with Denis Morris at the B.B.C. We talked for about half an hour or a little more. He gave me some idea of the difficulty in getting started in the B.B.C. and it seems that they usually advertise for people between the ages of 27 and 35 — people who have had a good experience of writing and made a name for themselves perhaps. The only way to start young seems to be as a junior studio manager but I think this involves some sort of course in electrical engineering.

   I found Denis Morris a charming personality. He told me he is 43, has been with the B.B.C. 17 years after starting as a sports reporter, and has four sons, [two of them by his second marriage. He comes from Leicester, played cricket and rugby, and became the youngest member of Leicester City Council. He was Talks Assistant for the B.B.C., then Midland Public Relations Officer. When the war started he was appointed to the Ministry of Information as Midland Information Officer, returning to the B.B.C. just 10 years ago as Programme Director. He devised Town Forum. He will receive the O.B.E. in 1968 and become Head of the B.B.C. Light Programme in 1960.]

1 Peter 2:7


   Today was Field Day but the weather was terrible. It was raining and snowing early in the morning so the programme was changed to an indoor one. First period, Under-Officer Benson gave the platoon a lecture on Fire Orders. In second period, the platoon cleaned rifles. After break I lectured on Battalion and Platoon organisation and last period was devoted to Bren instruction.

   We ate our sandwiches in platoon classrooms then at 1.30 I drilled the platoon for twenty minutes. The rest of the afternoon we had films in the Large Lecture Room with tea in the Dining Hall at 3.45.

   TV tonight included “Toppers About Town”. This evening they were at the Bagatelle and we had a very good show. But thirty minutes isn’t enough.

Behold, I come quickly. Revelation 22:12


   Mr. Ballance was absent today and we worked by ourselves in Biology. I came home on the 1A ’bus.

   During the afternoon, I listened to a commentary on the Blackburn Rovers v Birmingham City match. Blues won 2–1 with goals from Murphy.

   This evening we all watched the final edition of the present series of “This is Show Business” introduced by Vic Oliver. This has been a really outstanding series in which Vic Oliver has tried, and succeeded, in covering every branch of show business from ballet to the circus. Unfortunately a new series will not come until 1954.

   I finished reading a library book Death on Duty by Miles Burton today. It wasn’t bad but Mr. Burton annoys me by making every character say “for” & not “because”. It happened scores of times.

Keep me, O LORD. Psalm 140:4


   Nothing has happened today. Mam and Dad went to the Mission. Mr. Donaldson and I listened to a programme devoted to recordings made by the Glasgow Orpheus Choir and played as a tribute to Mr. Hugh Robertson, its founder-conductor who died on October 7th last.

   This evening we watched “What’s My Line?” at 10.0pm.

The Lord is faithful. 2 Thessalonians 3:3


   Today has been rather depressing and there is nothing much to record, except that the other day Dr. Willis Grant told us that the school is to make some recordings at the end of term which will be broadcast in the General Overseas Service at Christmas. Apparently we are one of five schools taking part in a programme about traditions in public school singing. We are reviving the tradition of singing the National Anthem in Greek and, amongst other things, we shall record our Quatercentenary Hymn.

   I have had rather a lot of prep. this evening but now I am listening to Derek Roy in “All-Star Bill”.

Thanks be to God. 1 Corinthians 15:57


   The main point of interest today has been the publication of the designs approved by the Queen for the new coins.

If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. Mark 9:23


   Chadwin and I went round Edgbaston Park during the lunch hour today. The lake was almost entirely frozen over and the only duck there were some thirty Mallard. We saw a few Marsh Tits and a Black-headed Gull.

   In Chemistry we prepared Acetamide.

   This evening, Dad, Mr. Donaldson and I watched the “Eric Barker Half Hour” and an ice-hockey Autumn Cup match between Harringay Racers and Wembley Lions, Lions won 7–5.

Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief. Mark 9:24


   I cycled to school this morning. In our Music period, Mr. Turnbull, a new master, gave us a talk on String Quartets. Dr. Willis Grant was absent.

   It snowed during the morning but we were able to play our match v Gifford. We won by 11pts to nil. It looks as though we have won the League. The 1st XV won five and drew one match, the 2nd XV won two and drew one, and the 3rd XV won all its seven matches. We are the only House to have played all its games but I don’t think 86½ pts from a possible 126 can be bettered. CHECK FIGURES.

   I went to the Olton tonight to see The Thing From Another World, an X-film. A vegetable monster arrives at the North Pole (in a flying saucer!) where it deals out death & destruction. [Neither] heat nor cold will kill it but it is finally destroyed by a strong electric current. The film was most convincing — the suspense had me gripping my seat. Margaret Sheridan was v. good.

Great is the glory of the LORD. Psalm 138:5


   The weather today has been as cold as ever but it hasn’t snowed. We had our Organic Chemistry exam this morning.

   “C” Company came to school in mufti today, then changed into K.D. after dinner. The afternoon programme consisted of teaching the crawls. As usual I had nothing to do.

   I spent the evening doing prep. but I also listened to the radio.

Thou shalt glorify me. Psalm 50:15


   I cycled to school this morning. For our Practical Biology exam, Mr. Ballance gave us sixteen slides to identify and write notes on. No one got more than half way through so we are going to have two more periods for the exam next week.

   I had every intention of going to Birmingham City’s match against Nottingham Forest this afternoon but the dinner was not ready and since the kick-off was at 2.15 I decided not to go. I certainly wasn’t sorry. At about 2.15 it started to snow and it was still snowing late this evening. On top of that, Blues lost 5–nil — their biggest post-war home defeat.

   This evening I watched the last episode of “Operation Diplomat” and “Don’t Spare the Horses”. Really the last two editions of Jimmy James’ show have been pitiful and not worth seeing.

God our strength. Psalm 81:1


   I listened to “The Naturalist” at 1.10pm today. The subject was “Insects in Winter”.

   Mam, Dad, Mr. Donaldson and I spent the evening watching “What’s My Line?” and a comedy “Adam’s Apple” by N.C. Hunter.

So shall ye be my disciples. John 15:8

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webwork by Jim Nagel at Abbey Press, Glastonbury — this edition published 2007-06-30