23rd October 1961


 I haven’t written anything here for such a long time and I don’t intend to catch up with the happenings between the 18th September and now.

Gran was released from hospital after a week and appears to have made a good recovery from her stroke.

Apart from Ron and Brenda’s wedding on the 14th October our lives have settled into a routine followed by many courting couples and would soon become too tedious to both write and read.   That is, occasional trips to the cinema (taking turns to choose the film) an evening in a pub with friends, with more emphasis on the chat than the drink but mainly evenings in one house or the other playing records and talking.

Now I really do have something it is vital to record.  Something that will build into a real climax on the 11th November.

After false starts on Friday and Saturday this evening Alan and I told my parents that we wanted to get engaged.  It really was nerve-wracking and I couldn’t believe that it was really me in this situation.

We spent the evening at Alan’s house and were determined to mention the subject this evening.  We want to buy the ring two weeks before the engagement in case it takes a long time to be altered.

When we got back to my house we watched TV for a while and that was the worst half-hour I’ve spent for a long time.  Then, it came!  I felt Alan take a deep, deep breath and he said, “Mr. Brown, Maureen and I want to get engaged.  Do you mind?”

I don’t know whether Dad genuinely didn’t hear or whether he couldn’t believe what he had heard.  Poor Alan had to say it all again.

Dad looked at Mum and said, “Well, I don’t mind.”  Just like that!  We had at least expected some sort of persuasion that we should wait.  But not at all, hardly any, well no real argument.  All Mum said was, “Are you both sure?”  In fact, she said it about 3 times.

All this time I was sitting there trembling and feeling cold inside.  It was just coming home to me what I was doing and how important this step was.


24th October 1961


A night off this evening.  The first time for ages that I haven’t seen Alan in the evening.

About 8 o’clock there was a knock on the door and who should be standing there but my old mate from long ago DEREK!  (as long ago as Dec 1960 actually!)  He had come to ask me to a Philco staff dance the following Friday.  When I told him my news he got all sentimental about all the old crowd leaving.  I was pleased he came.  I didn’t feel so much as if I was getting married on the rebound after seeing him again and able to get in the final refusal.

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