The 1980's

We have thus also ended a decade which was perhaps the most significant in my life. In the early 80's I had been working hard at my business, Comart, and in 1983, the IBM personal computer had been launched and was carrying all before it in America and promising to do the same here. I was struggling to hold together fellow-members of the BMMG and was unsure that my fellow executives in Comart had the talent, experience and dedication to help me manage Comart through another difficult transition of product development and market re-entry.

Expecting our third child, I was philosophical and looking for a change of pace of life. Elsewhere in 1983 we had seen a year of strange weather patterns with the British February gales that felled millions of trees and Ethiopian droughts that threatened millions of people. Bush fires in Australia and tragic Italian cinema and cable-car accidents and rising shooting incidents in the U.K. Union-bashing was then the norm with Murdoch and Wapping as one example and the Miner's Strike another.

Thatcher had won another term after the Falklands euphoria and was gradually introducing more-and-more extreme policies. We had the "benefit" of the first year of breakfast television.

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December 1989

The month closed calmer after some strong winds and heavy rain, causing flooding the West Country and the snow in Northern England was later working its way south but the thick fog cleared and the sun came out to present an exceptionally still, mild and sunny day for my Dad’s funeral at St James Church, interment at Little Paxton Cemetery and reception for a coach load of mourners at The Hayling View.

I managed to settle Mum back into her Stanton mobile home afterwards with the help of neighbours and carers and visited her there as we drove to and from The Norfolk Broads to buy and commission our new boat.

Daniel and Deborah did well at Kimbolton School and pleased us accordingly. Debbie continued to enjoy her pony Sundance and we took delivery of Daniel’s new £1,000 Commodore computer; both of these luxuries being their incentives to work particularly now that Daniel was accepted for a Computer Studies degree at The University of East Anglia.

I still found the time to organise a victory in the Eaton Socon by-election for Derek Giles with a landslide majority and I took fifteen of us to St James’s Church for the Family Carol service before inviting them home to The Hayling View for tea.

Each year the burden as well as the joy of Christmas becomes ever bigger. More and costlier cards, presents, decorations etc. After Christmas, we cruised in our new boat and I took Diana to the Swan when we were on the Norfolk Broads for a nice meal as our anniversary event to mark yesterday; 21 years married!

The national news was of 50 fellow Conservative MPs refusing to support Thatcher’s continued leadership and she is now isolated in Europe over monetary union and was outvoted 11 to 1 on the Social Charter and during a special conference at the EEC summit. The cruelty of the first forced repatriation of the Vietnamese boat people still rankled but new Tory MPs showed their true colours by being  upset by the 140,000 Hong Kong people being given right of emigration. 

December saw the climax of the reforms that have been sweeping Eastern Europe and the New Year saw half a million Germans from East and West celebrating the event by the Brandenburg gate. The whole of the East German Politburo resigned en masse, and free elections are due next May as the peaceful democratic revolutions in East Germany continue. The Czechoslovakian Prime Minister resigned, and the deputy premier formed a government consisting of a majority of non-Communist’s being sworn in as Alexander Dubcek stands in the wings.

Not peaceful in Romania; In an anti-government rally against leader Nikolai Ceausescu, clashes take place where ‘up to 2000’ are claimed killed as troops use helicopters, tanks and guns to crush protestors. Then the Romanian army captured and executed the deposed Romanian leader and his wife President Nicolae and Mrs Eleanor Ceausescu for allegedly being responsible.

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