Tag Archives: church

June 26th 1974


Yes, I really did write it that big.

My first “jilting” by a girl.

The first, as my life would turn out, of many such events. If truth be told I was a ‘jiltee’ more times than I care to discuss.

Naturally, you’re all eager for the nitty-gritty details of this teenage heave-ho.

And naturally, I can’t remember them.

I remembered the disappointment I felt that she wasn’t in when I called on her a few days earlier, but I have zero recall of how or why Angela dumped me on this Wednesday in 1974. Sorry.

It remains to be seen, but this jilting may result in my relationship with “the church” coming to an end. As regular EFA70sTRO readers will know, I wasn’t necessarily attending for the whole ‘jesus’ thing.

Whilst I retrospectively go off and cry into my beer about losing Angela 35 years ago, I present the best song ever written about jilting … 1978’s “Jilted John” by Jilted John…


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January 18th (Part 2) / 19th / 20th

• “Go to Alresford”
• “Good laugh at Al. Usual missing of clothes etc”
• “Got home about 5:30”

Old Alresford Place was built in the 17th Century as a country parish rectory.

In the 1800’s it became the home of the Rt Hon Reverend Sumner, whose wife Mary  founded the Mothers Union, now a worldwide christian organisation boasting a membership of over 3 million grassroots volunteers and helpers.

The lovely building became a stylish commercial “christian retreat” deep in the heart of the Hampshire countryside.

Here’s what I remember – and what I am willing to openly divulge – about my two night stay there in 1974…

• It was run by a bunch of nuns. If not nuns, then women who dressed in some kind of nun-like garments

• The dining room was massive, containing a HUGE and very solid dining table that sat around 30 or more people

• I was there for some kind of ‘religious’ retreat thing organised by my TIB group, a group which included Val (my unattainable crush), one of my best teenage chums (Trev) and sundry other nefarious characters.

• Also in attendance – from another religious group that presumably ran ‘parellel’ to ours – was Angela (again, name changed to protect her identity). Yes, the same Angela with whom I had shared a certain ‘ religious experience ‘ during a sleepover at a vicar’s residence in February 1973.

• All the different groups got together for praying and general religious brainwashing in a chapel somewhere on the premises.

• We also had writing and drawing lessons and I seem to recall some singing songs rubbish one of the afternoons whilst our vicar played a guitar. There was also a crappy football match.

• I can CLEARLY remember spending (at least) a couple of hours sat – with my feet dangling outside – one of the dorm room windows on the upper floor with my little cassette player blaring (and I mean BLARING) the opening sequence from The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” on constant repeat. I don’t think alcohol was involved, but I can’t be 100% certain. (Funny how certain things can’t be forgotten isn’t it?)

• I remember seeing Angela in the grounds below looking up at me and smiling & waving. Then coming to our dorm room and quietly asking me if we were going to repeat our ‘time’ of a year or so earlier.

• Each dorm room slept 8 teenagers.

• In the most respectful way I can possibly express this, let me say that our dorm room slept nine.

This religion stuff wasn’t all bad.

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September 17th 1973

“Had a look for chain at school – could not find it – damn!”

I do remember that this lost chain saga really dominated my thoughts back then.

Maybe its why I went to church yesterday?

Considering the “damn!” however, maybe not?

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September 16th 1973

“Went to C in morn”

On this occasion the much-maligned “C”-word refers to “church”

Something that is as alien to me now as never being grumpy.

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July 15th 1973

“Done project nearly all day. Went to church and saw my “battle in vestry” in print. Played football wiv Nig, Mal, Mart & Cuppa”

I vaguely remember writing a tongue-in-cheek piece for the church magazine about how two different sets of  religious ‘youths’ fought a raging battle across a crowded vestry.

A bit like “Hot Fuzz” – but not.

Yes, I openly admit, to see it in print may have been the only valid reason for me going to the service this particular morning.

In other news, we had a friend who’s last name was Tee.

Ergo, he was nicknamed “Cuppa”

(These days he would probably be called “Far”)

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July 12th 1973

“Went to Parocial Church County meeting at All Saints.


Wikipedia describes a (spelled correctly) Parochial Church Council thusly…

A photo of the Clergymen of Eastleigh, taken 1905. Which is a little after 7 o'clock. This looks like an Edgar Broughton album cover.

The Parochial Church Council or PCC, is the executive body of a Church of England parish. It is constituted as a body corporate by the Church Representation Rules set out in Schedule 3 to the Synodical Government Measure 1969, and consists of the clergy and churchwardens of the parish, together with a number of representatives of the laity elected by the annual parochial church meeting of the parish. Its powers and duties are defined by certain Acts of Parliament and other legislation, principally the Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956. It has the responsibility of co-operating with the incumbent (rector, vicar or priest) or priest in charge in promoting the mission of the Church in its parish.

Formally, the PCC is responsible for the financial affairs of the Church and the care and maintenance of the church fabric and its contents. These latter responsibilities are executed by churchwardens. It also has a voice in the forms of Service used by the church and may make representations to the bishop on matters affecting the welfare of the parish.

PCCs were set up in 1919 as a successor to the vestries, which had had their civil functions removed in 1894 with the establishment of civil parishes.

The question is: WTF was I even doing there in the first place? I suspect that “BORIN” may have been an understatement?

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June 17th 1973

“Went to C. – and accident with eye. Sleeped all afternoon, then up woods with nig + mal”

I will assume that the “C” refers to church, although my memory is naturally dim as to the whole ‘eye’ incident.

I’ve always loved Ernest Hemingway’s quote about sleep… “I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?

In that regard, there are certainly days lately when I wish I could’ve sleeped all afternoon

Regardless of the incorrect grammar.

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May 31st 1973

“H.Term – confirmed at All Saints 7:30. Got 100 kroner from Mormor & Holger, Pen from Uncle Bill & Auntie Dot, Alarm clock from Simmonds”

“Confirmation” – according to online research – is a rite of initiation in many christian churches, including the Church of England.

It takes the form of the ‘laying on of hands’ by a bloke in a big pointy hat and bestows
a) full membership in the church
b) the ‘gift of the holy spirit’.

In respect of the first I refer to Woody Allen’s famous quote (itself updating a prior comment by Groucho Marx) where he stated “I’d never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member

In respect of b) I could swear I’d been gifted some holy spirit the night before?

Still, it looks like I got lots of presents for dressing up a little and allowing myself to be pawed at by a geezer in a fancy dressing gown.

To be honest, I probably wasn’t this cynical in 1973.

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