In Gym this afternoon, Mr. McGawley had us doing most peculiar things with medicine balls. We finished with a hectic game. We were split into two sides and each side had about ten medicine balls and five footballs to be got rid of. After three minutes the side with the most balls was the loser.

   All our Practical Chemistry periods nowadays are devoted to Iodometry.

   I was alone for most of the evening because everyone else went to a carol service in which Julia was taking part at school. I had plenty of work to do but when I had finished and taken Ginger for her evening walk I listened to All Star Bill introduced this week by Frankie Howerd.

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


   It was very foggy this morning and the S.B. was late in arriving at school.

   I cam home through town. I called at Larkins’ in Livery Street to see if I could get a job there in the holidays. The fellow that interviewed me seemed a bit of an imbecile and was under the impression that I wanted a permanent job there. The form which I gave him clearly stated “Temp. Xmas Employment” but perhaps he couldn’t read. Anyway they weren’t employing any extra staff so I went to the Post Office. There I was told that I had already been put down for delivery so I need not have gone to Larkins’.

   Nothing else happened

Wait, I say, on the LORD


   Nothing at all happened today. In our free period I did some Inorganic Chemistry revision. There was no N.C.O.’s parade so I spent the dinner hour with Chadwin in Mr. Whalley’s Geography Room. I came home on the Special Bus.

   This evening I have done some revision for tomorrow’s Physics exam but I am going to watch Current Release at 9.30 when the films from which scenes will be shown will be:

   The Turning Point — Paramount

   The Story of Will Rogers — Warner Bros.

   The Big Sky — RKO Radio

   The Devil Makes Three — MGM

   The Four Poster — Columbia

I want to see the first of these — a very good crime film.

He shall strengthen thine heart. Psalm 27:14


   I felt unwell when I got up this morning and I decided to go to bed as soon as I got home from school. In the middle of our Physics exam though I was overcome by a fit of trembling and I all but fainted. Mr. Mathews got me to the Medical Room and then I was brought home in a taxi. Mam had just gone to town but had left three hot-water bottles in my bed fortunately. It seems that I have got influenza, in fact I think I have had it all this week. I slept all afternoon.

   One of the things I forgot to mention yesterday was that I listened to Haydn’s The Creation in the Midland Home Service. It was performed by the B.B.C. Symphony Orchestra and B.B.C. Chorus conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent. The soloists were Ena Mitchell, Webster Booth and Norman Walker. The performance (all 3 parts) lasted two hours. I heard approximately half of it.

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


   I have had to stay in bed all today of course and for most of the time that I was awake I looked through my stamp collection and at my Boy’s Own Papers and Meccano Magazines.

   The first two postage stamps of the new reign were on sale today — the three halfpenny green and two penny halfpenny magenta values. The designs are different from each other and, I think, an improvement on the King George VI issues. What I fail to understand is why we could not have had a set of pictorials like those of some of the colonies. There is surely ample scope for this sort of thing. As the first country to issue postage stamps, one might expect that Britain would lead the world in stamp design. Instead we continue to have stereotyped designs which to say the least would seem to indicate a general lack in initiative and an indifferent attitude.

Fear not: for I am with thee. Isaiah 43:4


   Today I got up for a short time at 3.0pm but I did not stay up to see the evening’s television.

   While I was up I re-arranged some of the stamps in my album.

Thou wast precious in My sight ... and I have loved thee. Isaiah 43:4


   Today I got up about twelve o’clock as I felt much better. I watched another edition of “What’s My Line?” this evening.

The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; Thou maintainest my lot. Psalm 16:5


   I got up shortly after eleven this morning. I started to re-write my play “The Editor’s Decision”. I am making it longer and I think I shall submit it for children’s TV.

   I watched a film this afternoon — James Cagney’s musical Something to Sing About [made in 1937]. I had seen it once before — last Christmas Eve I think.

   It is 8.30pm now and I am listening to Show Time from the Palladium. It’s been a first-rate show so far.

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27


   I have been up for most of today and I took Ginger out once this evening.

   During the afternoon I watched the Oxford and Cambridge University Match from Twickenham. Oxford were hoping to set up a record by beating their opponents for the fifth year in succession. As it was, they did not. They lost a thrilling match by 6 points to 5 after Cambridge had been a goal down and had lost a forward after only fifteen or twenty minutes.

   Tonight we all watched the Frankie Howerd Korean Party. It was rather spoilt by a long speech at the conclusion.

The Lord is faithful. 2 Thessalonians 3:3


   This morning I went back to school though when I began to feel weak in the middle of the morning I wondered whether I had done a wise thing. Apparently, Mr. Mathews has been away so far this week and our physics periods this morning were more or less free.

   After dinner, Colin Roberts and Michael Jacks had a rehearsal in the Little Music Room and I spent half the dinner hour listening to them.

   I came home on the Special Bus. We all watched television tonight, and saw the last edition in the present series of the Eric Barker Half Hour at 9.30. Previous to this, at 8.45pm we saw a television edition of “Any Questions?” which was very good. The success of this programme and “Town Forum” justifies a weekly programme on the same lines for television.

My cry came unto Him. Psalm 18:6


   I spent most of Physics this morning writing up Practical Chemistry notes. Our Music Option was held in the Music Room instead of the New Music Room as has been customary lately. Dr Grant had other work to do so we had to listen to some chamber music by Mozart. I didn’t like it much.

   Mr. Ballance is giving us a practical Biology test tomorrow & we did practical today.

   I came home via town with Harmer and spent quite a long time looking at books in various shops. This is one of my favourite occupations and it isn’t half as expensive as buying books first and then reading them.

   We listened to the radio tonight.

He that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. 1 Peter 2:6


   Nothing happened this morning and in the afternoon I did not go on parade. I spent the time working in the library.

   During the evening I listened to Twenty Questions, Variety Fanfare, Life With The Lyons, and Any Questions? Then I went down to the Olton with Ginger and met Mam and Dad on their way home from the cinema as I do most Friday evenings. They saw Bing Crosby and Jane Wyman in Just for You with a full supporting programme. Mara Maru and The Tanks are Coming are on at the Warwick].

   At school the other day we were each given a copy of the National Anthem in Greek. The words are:

Zen soson pneumene
Anassan eugene,
   Zeto zeto.
Esto neekephorus,
makar boolephorus
daron gerasphorus
   Zeto zeto.

[I wish I had been able to study Greek at school as the Greek of the New Testament will become of life-long interest to me. Roughly translated the above reads:—

Live! Save! she who breathes,
The Queen, noble,
   I pray, I pray.
Let her have victory,
be blessed, bringing counsel,
long winning honour,
   I pray, I pray.
Yea, I have loved thee. Jeremiah 31:3


   For a change I am writing my diary in bed tonight.

   [Clarice had her 13th birthday today.] This morning there was a layer of frost on the ground but I cycled to school.

   Everyone went into the library during Music Option except one or two of us in the school choir and we had to mark some of the music we shall be singing in the next few days [including the Quatercentenary Song, Quadringentos:—

1. Quadringentos iam per annos
   schola haec nutrivit
haud ingratos nos alumnos
   nosque stabilivit.
Nunc ferramus, nunc canamus
regi nostro grates.
Edwardum Edwardum regem celebramus.

2. Rex fundavit, instauravit
   scholam haec dilectam;
urbs amavit, conservavit
   tutam ac protectam.
Nunc ferramus, nunc canamus
urbi nostrae grates.
Edwardum Edwardum regem celebramus.

3. Procedamus, gaudeamus
   iuvenile mente;
studeamus, floreamus
   in florenti gente.
Nunc feramus, nunc canamus
almae matri grates.
Edwardum Edwardum regem celebramus.

which, being interpreted is:—

1. Four hundred now the years
   this school has nourished
our not ungrateful pupils,
   stabilising them.
Now let us bring, now let us sing,
our thanks to the king.
Edward, King Edward, we celebrate.

2. The king founded, instaurated,
   this delectable school;
this city loved and cherished it,
   kept it safe and protected it.
Now let us bring, now let us sing,
our thanks to the city.
Edward, King Edward, we celebrate.

3. Let us go forth, let us rejoice
   with a youthful spirit;
Let us study, let us flourish
   Amidst a flourishing people.
Now let us bring, now let us sing,
thanks to our bounteous mother.
Edward, King Edward, we celebrate.

I hope Mr. Power would approve the translation! Mr. Dunt wrote the words and Dr. Willis Grant the music. It is a shame that the King died before he co [[XXXX words missing]]

   I stayed in the Music Room during second period doing a job or two for Dr Grant. At one point he gave me a voice test and straightway put me in the XXII Choir. The XXII Choir had a rehearsal at break and another at 12.0 so I didn’t do much work done [sic].

   After school, Trevis and I removed four benches from the Gym to the stage in Big School. [P.S. Trevis is in the Classical Upper Sixth; his twin brother J.E. Trevis who was in the History Sixth left school in the summer.]

   It was snowing hard when I cycled home and I did not go to Blues’ match v Brentford. Blues won 3–1 (Murphy 2, Trigg; Lawton). [The team was:— Merrick; Green, Martin; Boyd, Ferris, Warhurst; Stewart, Purdon, Trigg, Murphy, Wardle. The gate was the lowest this season, only 10,000.]

   The Mail published a letter I wrote them on Tuesday about the design of our postage stamps.

All things are possible unto Thee. Mark 14:36


   We had more snow last night and again during today. Unfortunately it has been settling.

   Nothing in particular happened during the day; this evening we watched television. Granma came but did not stay long after tea.

   The TV play was “The Man With a Load of Mischief” by Ashley Dukes. This is a fine play and it was very well done but it seemed rather long (100 minutes). The leading parts were played by Margaret Johnston, Andre von Gyseghem and Tony Britton.

God giveth strength and power unto His people. Blessed be God. Psalm 68:35


   When I went outside this morning, the snow lay six inches thick or more and there was ample evidence of the nocturnal perambulations of our feline friends!

   I spent every minute of the day either singing or doing various jobs for Dr Willis Grant such as checking orchestra scores and carrying music stands to Big School. During the day both the school choir and the XXII choir had rehearsals. The choir was not allowed to go home as there was a full rehearsal with the orchestra at 5.0.

   The service started at 7.0 after we had each had a piece of cake and a drink for tea. I was starving though I had had a school dinner. The service included these carols: This is the Truth, Adam lay ybounden, King Jesus, O freude, Rejoice & be merry, the Coventry carol, Angelus ad Virginem, From church to church, Quelle est cette odeur & Sing Lullaby.

If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15


   Today has been Tuesday, contrary to what my page heading [which says Friday, Dingaan’s Day in South Africa] would lead one to believe, and breaking-up day.

   We had prayers at 9.15am, then after this we recorded for the B.B.C. two verses of Adeste Fideles, then Quadringentos & the National Anthem in Greek. [The programme, “Traditions in Public School Singing”, is to be broadcast in the B.B.C. Overseas Service]. The school then went to House Meetings while the choir remained in Big School to record Sing Lullaby! After this the chapel choir and XXII choir went down to the chapel for a final rehearsal. At about 11.30 we all went to Big School for an end of term service after which the two special choirs did their recordings. Each recording went off well first time and I heard snatches from one of the discs later on.

   I came home on the 31A with Bruce. [The 31A bus ran from the city centre, so I assume this was a casual meeting with G.W. Bruce of the Professional Division; he lives at 38 Shakespeare Street, Sparkhill.] His family sails for Canada on Friday. They intend to settle there. I went to, and came from, tonight’s carol service in the Maunds’ car. When I got back I saw Pet Clark on TV.

The Father Himself loveth you. John 16:27


   I got up at about ten this morning and stayed indoors most of the day.

   This evening, Current Release was a Christmas Party edition to which about thirty famous film-stars had been invited. This should have been the highlight of the week; instead, it was completely spoiled by Lionel Gamlin’s dismal failure as one of the interviewers (the other was Eamonn Andrews). He made a hopeless mess of the job by trying to be funny and when interviewing Heather Thatcher, he put on the finest impression of being bored and turned away from her once or twice. Leslie Mitchell should have been there.

Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you. John 15:14


   This morning at 7.30 I started work at the Post Office again on letter and parcel delivery. As usual the Church Hall in Stockfield Road is being used as a sorting office.

   This year I am on Walk 17 which includes Circular Road [where we lived at 153] and the roads leading off it, and the whole length of Dolphin Lane, though I don’t have to do all this on my own. There is another temporary postman on my walk, a Mrs. Caudron who lives in Dolphin Lane.

   I had three deliveries all day — one of parcels for Circular Road, the other two of letters for Dolphin Lane. I finished at 3.0pm.

   This evening we are listening to the radio.

Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD ... their help and ... shield. Psalm 115:11


   Today I started work at 7.0am. I went out first with the parcels for Dolphin Lane then I came back home for breakfast. During the rest of the morning I delivered the circular Road letters. What I found most annoying was that at least half of these were football coupons — sometimes there were as many as four to a house. I had only one delivery to do during the afternoon and I finished at 4.0.

   For a change this evening I watched “In the News” and then another very good edition of “Toppers About Town” which lasted this time for fifty minutes instead of thirty. Max Bygraves was the star.

   [Mam and Dad have given me my school report to keep with all the others:—

PHYSICS   He has worked well and made considerable progress. It was a pity that he was taken ill during the exam as he thus lost some valuable experience. O.M. (Mr. Mathews)

CHEMISTRY   A most likeable pupil who would succeed at “A” level if he made up his mind so to do, but at the moment his work shows no promise of this. S.D.W. (Mr. Woods)

BIOLOGY   Coming on very well. Very good practical ability. H.W.B. (Mr. Ballance)

FRENCH   A satisfactory term’s work. A.C.G. (Mr. Gosling)

FORM MASTER   a boy of wide interests and conscientious in all he undertakes. H.W.B. (Mr. Ballance)

HOUSEMASTER   As usual, he has been active and enthusiastic. (Mr. Copland)

HEADMASTER   Clearly more of his enthusiasm is wanting in the direction of Chemistry. R.G. Lunt].

I don’t why Mr. Lunt thinks I need more “enthusiasm” for Chemistry. I am actually very interested in it, especially the Periodic Table.]

How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake I am still with Thee. Psalm 139:17–18


This morning I delivered parcels to Circular Road and two lots of letters to Dolphin Lane. It started to rain round about 11.0 and it kept on for the next seven hours, only stopping occasionally. I had a row with a woman who complained that one of her six letters was wet!

   It was nearly five before I finished and afterwards I went down to the library.

   I had been invited to the Martins’ this evening and I went there [8 Oxford Road, Acocks Green] at 7.30. Apart from Kipper and Phil who is on leave from [National Service in] the Army, there was John [Maund], and Brenda, Jill and Barbara. We had a rehearsal of carols for over an hour, then someone put the lights out and we talked ghosts. Jill had an original ghost story. We all went home shortly after eleven o’clock.

God shall supply all your need. Philippians 4:19


   This morning there were rather more letters and parcels to be delivered. I did three deliveries, all in Circular Road. I finished at two o’clock.

   This evening we have all been watching “What’s My Line?” and an ice-pantomime — “Jack and the Beanstalk”.

Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. 2 Chronicles 19:6


   Today’s deliveries were for Dolphin Lane. Fortunately the weather kept reasonably fine and I finished at 4.45.

   I went to the Robin Hood tonight to see Lovely to Look At, a technicolor musical which I had been waiting to see for some time. Picturegoer said the film was Roberta remade, re-hashed, but not rejuvenated, but I liked it very much. The glamour and color were quite remarkable and I especially liked the tunes. [The music was by Jerome Kern.]

   The film tells the story of three young men (Howard Keel, Gower Champion, Red Skelton) who want to put on a show but haven’t the money. One of them is left a half-interest in a Paris dress salon & with the help of a showgirl (Ann Miller) and two co-inheritors (Kathryn Grayson, Marge Champion) they put the salon back on its feet & raise the money for their show. The other film was Trigger Junior with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.

Daily shall He be praised. Psalm 72:15


   This morning there was a terrific amount of mail and I had to do rather a lot of sorting before I could go out delivering. I finished about an hour after dark.

   This evening I have listened to forty minutes of Handel’s Messiah and the 100th edition of the Forces Show.

   Mr. Donaldson is going home [to Scotland] tomorrow and this evening he gave us some presents each. I had a book token for twelve shillings and sixpence [62.5p] which will be very useful.

   [One of the Christmas cards I have had is from Kipper. It is a school Christmas card with a design from a French Gothic carving of “The Magi of Autun”. The design, printed in grey, is overprinted with “Gloria in excelsis Deo” in red. The Magi appear to be asleep in bed, but an angel is touching the hand of one of them who appears to be half-awake. I think it is meant to illustrate Matthew 2:12.]

And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:6


   I finished work this afternoon. Today was almost as bad as yesterday until after dinner, in fact I only finished my morning rounds at 2.0pm.

   After a final delivery, I was paid off. Altogether I earned £5 8s 4d from which was deducted 6s 5d.

   This evening I have been listening to the radio. David and Marjorie came earlier and stayed for about forty minutes. They brought us a present each but they must have made a mistake with mine because it is for 8 to 10 year olds.

Thou art my God, and I will praise Thee: Thou art my God, I will exalt thee. Psalm 118:28


   Christmas again! I had a lot of presents this morning. Mam and Dad bought me a 1953 Diary like this one, and two books: Tonight and Every Night — the Windmill Story by Vivian Van Damm and Film Review 1952–1953 by F. Maurice Speed. In addition I had a pair of football stockings and a box of Cadbury’s Roses Chocolates. Freda gave me a wallet and I had a Filmgoer’s Diary from Clarice and Julia.

   I got up at 9.30 and had rather a rush to get to St Andrews to see Birmingham City’s match against Plymouth Argyle. I got there just after the kick-off. The teams were: B’ham City:— Merrick; Green, Martin; Boyd, Ferris, Warhurst; Stewart, Purdon, Trigg, Murphy, Wardle. Plymouth Argyle:— Short; Ratcliff, Jones; Dougall, Chisholm, Porteous; Astall, Dews, Tadman, Smith, Govan. [Neil Dougall is a former Birmingham City player who was transferred to Plymouth Argyle in March 1949; Len Boyd was transferred from Plymouth Argyle to Birmingham City in January 1949; Gordon Astall will join Birmingham City in October 1953, as will Alex Govan later.]

   There were no goals in the first half and neither side looked like scoring. Blues had rather more play than Argyle but relied too much on short passing. The game opened up considerably in the second half and Birmingham scored four times — Murphy twice and Stewart and Purdon once each. Purdon had another disallowed. Today’s win means that Blues have lost only once since October 18th and are third in the League.

   When I got back home I listened to an old ITMA recording. After dinner (we had a turkey) we listened to the Queen’s broadcast at 3.0pm. In it she asked everyone, whatever his religion, to pray for her at her Coronation in June next year.

   At 3.20 we all watched a Laurel and Hardy film Swiss Miss. It wasn’t bad. We watched television again this evening. From 7.30 until 9.15 there was a first-rate Christmas Party. The guests included Petula Clark, Norman Wisdom, Ethel Revnell, Tommy Cooper, Betty Driver, Arthur Askey, Frankie Howerd, Eric Robinson, Cyril Stapleton, Eamonn Andrews, Gilbert Harding, Elizabeth Allan, Jerry Desmonde and McDonald Hobley as host. Some of these did turns and there were party games as well. In all it was as good an entertainment as has been shown all through the year. I enjoyed every minute of it.

   When I took Ginger out at 9.15 it was raining but it kept fine all day. I felt too tired to watch TV’s production of 1066 and All That so I went to bed and listened to a programme of dance music.

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. John 10:11


   I must have been very tired last night. When Mam woke me, it was twenty past twelve.

   Grandad came just before dinner. I spent nearly all the afternoon reading and this evening we are all listening to the radio.

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter 1:2


   We got up rather late this morning.

   After dinner I cycled to Stoney Lane to get some meat for Ginger. In Sparkbrook the light was so bad that nearly every vehicle had its headlights on. It was rather foggy.

   When I got home I watched an ice-hockey match between Scottish Select and Streatham from the Murrayfield Ice Stadium. The result was a 3–3 draw.

   This evening I have watched the week’s Newsreels (only four this week) but I took Ginger for her walk during Music-Hall. I have also seen the fourth paper of The Pickwick Papers.

And I will bless them. Numbers 6:27


   I got up first this morning. Nothing much happened during the day. Marjorie and David came to tea. We watched “What’s My Line?” as usual.

Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him. Acts 10:34–35


   I had been hoping to have a question included in tonight’s television edition of Town Forum but when I did not get an answer by post this morning, I gave up hope. However, at twenty past four I had a telegram from the B.B.C. saying that my question had been placed No. 4 and would I please be at the Midland Institute by 8.45pm.

   I wasn’t sure which question of mine had been chosen until I got there but it proved to be: “I have heard it said that a man’s character is best reflected in the way he spends his leisure hours. Do the members of the team think there is any truth in this?”

   I think this edition of Town Forum was highly successful. The team had plenty to say and put plenty of life into the 45 minutes though they sometimes missed the point of the question.

God be gracious unto thee, my son. Genesis 43:29


   I never knew so many people had television sets!

   This morning I went to the library and also fetched some straw for Ginger. John Winrow came during the afternoon and stayed for about three quarters of an hour. I had a bath at 5.30pm.

   This evening, Mam, Dad and I saw on TV an excellent comedy film Storm in a Teacup starring Cecil Parker, Rex Harrison and Vivien Leigh, then later at 10.10 we saw again [last year’s] “Retrospect 1951”.

Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Proverbs 30:5


   Another year is drawing to a close, a memorable year in many ways.

   This morning I spent over an hour in the Library and this afternoon I spent getting my diary complete. Mam & Clarice and Julia went to Aunt Daisy’s [at 136 Mapleton Road, Hall Green]. Mam got the address of some of our long-lost relations living in Roseland, Ontario, Canada. Mam hasn’t seen any of them for over thirty years.

   It is 8.0pm now. I am listening to “What’s My Line?” on 208 metres [Radio Luxembourg]. Later we are all going to watch Current Release and Retrospect 1952 on TV.

   I have been looking back on some of the things that have made 1952 such a memorable year. Undoubtedly this year will go down in history as the one in which a beloved monarch died and a young queen came to the throne. King George VI’s death shocked the world.

   I have tried to make some sort of chronological list of events that made headline news in 1952 or will perhaps be of great significance in the future.

   January was the month in which the world first heard of the Flying Enterprise and her captain — courageous Captain Carlsen. How eagerly we waited for news of that ship and what a welcome Carlsen, and Dancy, got on their return.

   Apart from the King’s death, the only other thing I can remember of February was the abolition of Identity Cards at last!

   One day of March that I particularly recall was the 29th — a day of sport, the day when Oxford won the closest-ever Boat Race, Teal — a comparative outsider — won the Grand National, and England beat Scotland 2–1 at Hamden Park.

   April brought the death in Switzerland of another great man, Sir Stafford Cripps. Newcastle achieved the rare feat of winning the F.A. Cup for two years in succession.

   May was very hot about the middle of the month — over 80 degrees in London on the 18th. Was there ever a more written about robbery than the Mail Van robbery on the 21st. £200,000 worth of bank notes were stolen. Hutton became the first-ever professional captain of England. Tulyar, horse of the year, won the Derby.

   June. A windy and rainy Bank Holiday. India 0 for 4 in the test match at Lords.

   July brought a heatwave. The American liner the United States beat the Atlantic record set up by the Queen Mary before the war. At Wimbledon 17-year-old “Mo” Connolly won the Women’s Singles. Television joined up with France to give us a unique ten days viewing, and in Egypt, King Farouk was forced to abdicate.

   August 1952 will forever be remembered by the inhabitants of Lynmouth as the month in which their town was destroyed by floods with hundreds made homeless. A Canberra jet bomber flew the Atlantic in under twelve hours. Surrey won the County Championship. The Farnborough Air Show and the disaster which overtook John Derry and the DH110. This will be the month in which everyone came to know the meaning of the sound barrier.

   Two men made headline news in September — John Cobb and Charles Chaplin. Cobb broke the world’s water speed record on Loch Ness and gave his life in so doing. Charles Chaplin’s first visit to England in many years was very much publicised as was his new film Limelight.

   In its way, October was one of the momentous months of the year. Britain’s first Atom Bomb was exploded in the Monte Bello Islands off N.W. Australia on the 3rd. Dr. William Penney was knighted for his services to Britain. Tea came off the ration. The rail disaster at Harrow & Wealdstone brought nearly 300 casualties. The Queen opened Claerwen Reservoir. Trouble flared up in Kenya — Mau Mau and the Kikuyu.

   In November there was the U.S. Presidential Election won by Mr. Eisenhower who earlier in the year had relinquished his army appointments. The Queen approved designs for the new coins. The Opposition decided on another motion of censure on the government. The Duchess of Kent was touring the Middle East with her son. It was a very cold month.

   And so to December and the Great Fog — the worst London had ever known — it killed hundreds of people. In Korea the war was continuing for the third winter. And finally, just two days ago the event that made news was the release of Alan Nunn May after serving two thirds of his ten year sentence for giving away Atom secrets.

   Yes, it has been an eventful year with its full share of tragedies but with its bright moments too.

   For me personally, 1952 has been a notable year. I made four more broadcasts and appeared on television for the first time.

   I went to camp and got a second stripe, and the Medical School gave me provisional acceptance for October 1953 though I didn’t accept this.

   At school we have celebrated our four-hundredth anniversary with probably the most notable event, the opening of the Swimming Pool and the dedication of the War Memorial.

   Although the year was not a particularly spectacular year in the cinema, there were some extremely good films. Some of the big box-office attractions were The Greatest Show on Earth, Where No Vultures Fly, Ivanhoe. Then there were Angels One Five, The African Queen, Encore, Mandy, The Planter’s Wife, Reluctant Heroes, Singin’ in the Rain, Son of Paleface, The Sound Barrier, The Quiet Man, Quo Vadis, The World in His Arms.

   Personally, the ten best films that I saw in the twelve months were as follows:—

Crime:— Strangers on a Train
Musicals:— Lullaby of Broadway and An American in Paris
Futuristic:— When Worlds Collide (because of the photography) and The Thing From Another World
Comedy:— Laughter in Paradise, Reluctant Heroes, Worm’s Eye View, Young Wives Tale and The Card. (Altogether 1952 was a very good year for comedy.)
   I still have a dozen 1952 films down on my list.

   I went to the theatre seven times during the year, four times to see a Music Hall show and three times to see plays. Two of these I shall never forget, the Repertory Theatre’s brilliant production of King Henry VI Part 3, and As You Like It at Stratford.

   There were one or two particularly good TV programmes — “What’s My Line?”, “This is Show Business”, The Frankie Howerd Show, “How Do You View?” and the Eric Barker Half-Hour. Some of the plays I best remember were “2 Dozen Red Roses”, “The Monster of Killoon” and “Black Limelight”.

   On sound radio the best programmes, I thought, were “Any Questions”, “Take It From Here”, “One Minute Please!”, “Life With the Lyons” and “The Goon Show”.

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:17

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