Arthur Scargill in later life

Lifting wood out of the way of the rising floodwater and then valeting the Range Rover before catching up on reading and office tidying. A climber dies in North Wales and two potholers are also missing in Wales in poor weather and Arthur Scargill survives a leadership challenge from Jack Walsh

Another active retirement and then slept soundly until about 8.00am, when I got myself up and looked out at the rising floodwater. The ducks were still quacking about in excitement at this expanded area and the echoing of their calls against the house and trees make a distinctive sound that it can only be a flood. Got shaved, washed and dressed and down to breakfast, this time before the rest of the family. A nice fried breakfast, which I accepted in view of my weight being under control. Out immediately afterwards to the riverside and spent a couple of hours lifting up wood out of the way of the rising water and also took all of the spare hay out of the rear duck house and packed it within plastic bags in the garage. I then got the Range Rover out and started to clean it.

By lunch it was vacuumed, washed down and rinsed by hose and then, after, I went out again to leather it clean. I also touched up a few more rust patches, this time under the bonnet, before I broke off for afternoon tea. For lunch we had roast fresh chicken, which we all enjoyed, but had it in the kitchen as I was too busy to lay up the dining room table. Later, I took the Range Rover out and filled up its tank (and the tool box/spare 1 gallon tank) with petrol. Once home, I rested in the lounge watching Arsenal being unlucky to lose 2-1 to Manchester United. I then started my new notebook, which has all of the car’s expenses within it and will now be kept in the glove tidy box. Tea in the lounge, as is our routine, and then this evening I read my way through the last two weeks of local newspapers and snipped out the local press cuttings on Little Paxton. Tidied up my office and wrote my journal at the end of a more productive day. We saw a Corniche in good condition (28,000 miles and FsH) for only £30-32K in the Sunday Times, but it was chestnut brown, with yellow (!) upholstery, which colour was unacceptable to Diana. The news later tonight was of Arthur Scargill retaining his Presidency of the NUM from challenger John Walsh, by 40,383 to 34,715. This will disappoint the Government, the Coal Board and their supporters, but is good for the miners. Liberal leader, David Steel, still declines to say whether he would stand for leadership of the merged party, and Paddy Ashdown stands in the sidelines as favourite to succeed him, if he does not stand. The dangers of adventure are all too plain today, as a climber dies in North Wales and two potholers are also missing in Wales. Four of the dead climber’s companions are trapped by darkness on a sheer rock face and rescue teams are still trying to reach them.