Thursday, January 11, 2018

History when it happened -world and other events in my lifetime

The most precious document in our family has to be the diary of my maternal grandfather, George Graham. It starts with his conversion in 1912 and ends in 1952 just before his death aged only 62. It is remarkable for several things, not least history remembered not later but as it happened. So the refrain from 1914 to Easter 1918 is, when will this terrible war end. Also repeated mentions of Zeppelin bombs though George was in the peaceful countryside of rural north Northumberland.
   So what have I remembered? I am blogging my autobiography more from diaries than memory. But what of documents I am leaving.I will list those I have kept and some I regret not keeping with reasons for omission.

War Times 27 Dec 1642 - A fun fiction from the Times on IIRC 27 Dec 1992 on the Civil War
Daily Herald  1 Jun 1946 - birth date of Katy, my wife
I failed to collect for the death of the king or the coronation. I was only five then six.
I watched both Bannister's Four minute mile live on TV and also Laker's ten Aussie wickets at Old Trafford but no papers.
No Suez crisis.
I failed to record the Cuban missile crisis or the death of either Kennedy.
No papers for Profumo or the Great Train Robbery.
I failed to collect on the one state occasion I witnessed, Churchill's funeral procession
1969 No record of the start of The Troubles nor later of any bombs or the Good Friday agreement
The Times    12 Jan 1970 - Ojukwu flees Biafra. End of their civil war
Sunday Times - Jun 1977 Jubilee supplement for the Queen's silver jubilee.
1979 No record of the first lady PM, St. Margaret, none of her fall nor of her funeral. I was in Nigeria for the first and given up on printed newspapers by the latter.
Yorkshire Post 12 Jul 1981 - Charles and Di the wedding. I failed to record her death as I was disgusted by the public emotion.
Evangelical Times - Nov 1981 Nigeria: baker gets book in to supermarkets. The man I was to work for.
1982 Failed to record The Falklands. I was in Nigeria
1989 I failed to record the release of Mandela or the disintegration of the Soviet empire. The latter was gradual but I should have had a paper recording the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Potters Bar Press 30 May 1991 - My late father in law driving a new minibus for pensioners
Daily Telegraph 26 Apr 1991 - Christians flee after 150 die in rampage by Muslims in Bauchi
The Times 11 Apr 1992 The New House of Commons - Blair elected. New labour.
The Times 21 Oct 1992 The  former chief rabbi warns of a threat to Europe with Germany reunited
The Herald 26 Jun 1996 Professor a free man. Donald MacLeod not guilty in the Edinburgh court.
The Times 12 Aug 1999 The full eclipse of the sun
The Times 31 Dec 1999 Showbiz dames top of the bill.The millennium New Year's honours list
Newsweek 1 Jan 2000Welcome to a new century
The Times 1 Jan 2000 The Times Millennium
The times 1 Jan 2000 Magazine Century to century
The Times 1 Jan 2000 Weekend supplement - We've never had it so good.
The Times 1 Jan 2000 Metro - what's on Jan 1-7 2000
The Times 1 Jan 2000 Mega@ Kids supplement Life in 2000
The Times 1 Jan 2000 Here's to the new Millennium
The Times 1 Jan 2000 Times 2 In Defence of the Dome
The Times 12 Aug 2000 Premiership The Big Kick Off Leeds still there
The Times 1 Jan 2001 Ministers pressed to reopen dome.
The Times 1 Jan 2001 Sports pages - the real start of the millennium
The Times 9 Jun 2001 A kiss, then Blair wills axe. - after the election
The Times 9 Jun 2001 Election 2001 special
The Times 15 Sep 2001 America's might turns on Arab terror havens
The Times 15 Sep 2001 Terror in America supplement
The Times 5 Jun 2002 Gratitude, repeat and pride - Diamond jubilee
The Times 5 Jun 2002 World cup 2002
The Sun 27 Jul 2011 Farewell Amy 1982-2011 ( Her mother worked for me as a locus)
Greenford & Northolt Gazette 12 Aug 2011 Fear, shock, anger . Ealing riots.

The lesson I draw is that I should have commemorated more. The recent big omission is our glorious Brexit referendum and the departure of Cameron 23 Jun 2016. But as I say, I have given up on papers. I used to take the Times. But I gave up in disgust after it went downhill os a rag of the dirty digger. And why part with brass when internet reading costs nowt?But I should have bought one for St Margaret's funeral. Like Churchill's I was there to see it pass.

I failed to record Vietnam nor either Gulf War. Of course be had no dog in the Vietnam fight.

So not politics but the once in a thousand year event which most grabbed my attention and I respect the correct view that the millennium started in 2001 not 2000. Things future generations are unlikely to see - a real diamond jubilee. The thing I want no-one to experience its like 9/11.

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