Tag Archives: stylus

January 27th 1975

“Sold Tims cartridge for him”

God this is frustrating sometimes.

Who to, and for how much? That’s all I ask of myself really.

I don’t think this was the first time I’d sold something like this, but who exactly were my customers? Maybe I was far more geeky about all this hi-fi stuff than my diary suggests? Maybe I spent a lot of time in the company of other ‘geeks’ swapping notes and comment about this piece of equipment or that hi-fi magazine?

I certainly don’t remember being anything but a teenager merely interested in hi-fi, so perhaps the truth is more along the lines of someone saying “I need to get a new cartridge” and me replying “Hey, I know someone selling theirs“?


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February 17th 1973

“Got first pay 3.70 – 1.50 sub” / “Bort new stylus 70p” / “Took bak Who Do We Think We Are – got £2.50 back” / “Lent Roger Moving Waves” / “Statement from Halifax” / “City 1 Liverp 1”

Aaaaah……… my first proper pay packet, suggesting that I underestimated my anticipated income as £1.70. It actually appears to be £1.85 (£3.70 divided by 2 weeks) for 8 hours work, meaning I was on 23p (34¢) an hour.

I wonder if Mr Ward still has any jobs going? The 2008 downturn in the economy has decimated my savings and investment funds sooo much that 24¢ an hour looks like an attractive wage, and – actually – more than I’ve been earning recently.

Interesting that I did not wait to buy a new stylus before returning that faulty “Who Do We Think We Are” album again. As I recall I actually went through several replacement copies before abandoning it for a cash refund, but I could be wrong. (Do you reckon I maybe taped it first? Disgraceful, right?)

I obviously took some pride in getting my first savings statement from the Halifax Building Society. I’ll say again that had my Dad not gently persuaded me to save money when I was a kid, there is NO WAY I would be as financially savvy and secure as I feel all these years later.

Weird how habits you adopt as a spotty teenager stick with you for your entire life.

I must try and stop that other one sometime.


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October 30th 1972 (I)

“Took back H.P. Focus, got money back”

Firstly can I just say that this entry made my brain open a tad.

It suddenly remembered that when I wrote “NOT good” about Hocus Pocus by Focus a few days ago I didn’t mean the song was no good, but that the record I bought was bad. As in “faulty”.

For whatever reason my brain cells kicked in to remind me I had to return the single because it skipped. The high frequency levels of the song (Thijs Van Leer’s yodeling – yes, I said yodeling) most probably responsible for making the stylus jump out of the grooves!

I bought almost all my records from the “Jack Hobbs” store on Eastleigh’s High Street. It was a ramshackle place – as were most record stores in the early seventies – run by a cantankerous bespectacled man by the name of Eric, who was actually a bicycle repair man by trade (the store used to sell bikes AND records).

I have no doubt at all that when I initially tried to return “Hocus Pocus”, Eric would have first tried to argue that the problem was actually my “needle”, that it was probably worn out, and that I needed a new one. (Guess what else he sold?) He would then test the record on the store’s own record player, an ancient beast whose record arm was carefully weighed down with a taped selection of coins… you know, just to make sure the skipping problem was mine and not his.

However, on this occasion, it would appear that even Thijs Van Leer’s yodeling was even too much for a pile of pocket change to cure, so I obtained a refund.

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