Tag Archives: work

June 28th 1975

“went round Southampton looking for a job – no luck”

1975 saw UK inflation running at a staggering 24.2%, the cost of petrol had risen an astonishing 70% since the start of the year, and interest rates were at a mind-boggling 11.25%

Unemployment was also at its highest levels since the 1930’s, topping the one million mark.

No wonder there were no part-time, even mere Saturday, jobs to be had!?!


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January 3rd 1975

“Did absolutely zero all day. waited for phone. have to see them at 4 mon”

In case you’re curious I was waiting to hear about an interview for a new Saturday job.

I think I had finally had enough of stocking shelves at Lancaster & Crook, and definitely enough of having to go out on that bloody delivery bike.

Now I was a “college boy” my eyes were on a bigger prize, as far away from tins of soup and old grannies wanting fresh bread as you could get.

My life could change at 4 o’clock on Monday Jan 6th 1975. Will it? Wait and see.

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December 23rd / 24th 1973

• “Worked in morning”
• “Worked all day – Good laugh!”

Good laugh?

Must have been the only time I worked in retail in the two days prior to Christmas that I could have described as a “good laugh”

Maybe supermarket customers aren’t quite as … er … ‘frustrating’ … as hi-fi or music buyers proved to be later in my career?

Mind you, given the other kinds of things I got up to as a spotty-faced 15-year-old, a “good laugh” could have referred any number of questionable activities… so we should maybe approach these diary entries with a slight shudder and one eyebrow sternly raised.

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December 21st 1973

“Got £7.20 pay – BLOODY HELL!!”

Using online tools and research I appear to have worked out that £7.20 would be worth approximately £33.30 in today’s money.

[pauses to look at current income from investments and savings…]


£7.20 was a lot of money!!!

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November 2nd 1973

“Bort 2 cassettes from Comet – Recorded 2Man – Work, out on bike in pitch black darkness (figures!)”

The music piracy and piss-poor grocery delivering continue unabated!

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August 4th 1973

“Work all day – Ward in BAD mood. Nig came up in evng. Done painting”

Hey, a boss in a bad mood?

In the best traditions of ‘karma’ and/or the philosophy of “pass it forward” I bet I got my own back later in my life when I ran my own businesses!

As for the painting, I can REMEMBER it!

(Pauses for regular readers to go “blimey flip!”)

The reason I can remember it is because…. well, I still have it! Around this time I painted an entire series of ‘space/sci-fi’ canvasses – directly onto thin hardboard no less – which have somehow stayed with me and managed to survive several house moves, including my international one.

I would present the painting here, except we’re currently in a “no camera” predicament.

It sounds like a lousy excuse, but its true!

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August 3rd 1973

“Roger came for me at 10 – said Ward wanted me to work all day – did so. Swapped my Scalextric for Bernard’s organ”

I will now pause whilst the more juvenile amongst you make up your own jokes…………


Good….. 😉

Right, so having been denied an earlier opportunity to become a Scalextrix racing Car driver of some considerable note, it appears evident that my fascination for this toy had decreased considerably since early 1972.

So much so that I decided to trade it for our newer neighbour’s electric piano….. OK, OK… ‘organ’ (*tee hee*)

Bernard had a young kid – Jonathan I think his name was – making my Scalextric a good fit. I doubtless had dreams of becoming the next Jon Lord or Keith Emerson, so this organ was a good fit too.

Bernard’s *ahem* organ – as it will doubtless continue to be referred to – was something of a toy instrument really. When you turned it on, a huge fan sound ensued – a noise only quelled when you pushed down a key as the wind rushed across (presumably) some kind of reed. You could only play one key at a time.

I can neither confirm nor deny poking a few kitchen knives in between the keys as per Keith Emerson’s stage act, however I bet I mastered Smoke on the Water in double quick time


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July 30th 1973

“Worked all day”

As this was a Monday “all day” in 1973 would have meant from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm.

Yes, a supermarket that was far from convenient.

That’s how it was in the seventies. God forbid that a shop would be open when you might need it to be open?!!

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