On the Cusp: Days of 62 by David Kynaston

On the Cusp: Days of 62 by David Kynaston

Author:David Kynaston [Kynaston, David]
Language: eng
Format: epub

No complaints that Wednesday, though, from West Worthing’s 13-year-old Diana Griffith. ‘We all went to London, arr. 11 am. Had lunch in the Chicken Inn (Baker St.). Fantab. After lunch (3 pm!) walked down Oxford Street. Luverly. Got shoes in Dolcis. Fab!’ Judy and the girls escorted Danielle to Folkestone to catch the ferry home, with Danielle’s last words to them from the jetty, ‘My boomerang won’t come back!’, a nod to Charlie Drake’s novelty hit of the previous autumn. The Beatles were filmed by Granada TV playing a lunchtime gig at the Cavern, where a man shouted out, ‘We want Pete!’; Everton’s first home match of the season (a 3–1 win over Manchester Utd) had the boys in blue running out for the first time to Johnny Keating’s ‘Theme from Z-Cars’; and Anthony Heap took an evening stroll. ‘The square garden, with its elaborate new café, fountains, flower-beds and rockeries, has been redesigned, trimmed up and altered almost out of recognition during the last three or four years,’ he noted about the revamped Russell Square. ‘It all looks, in fact, as new and spruce as the recently built and opened President Hotel on the east side of the square between the stately turn of the century piles of The Russell and The Imperial. But I liked the old square better. It wasn’t so darned tourist conscious.’16

Thursday saw the unveiling by an ICI subsidiary, Plant Protection Ltd, of the paraquat weedkiller given the appealingly neutral-sounding trade name of ‘Gramoxone’. ‘There are’, declared a spokesman, ‘millions of acres of poor permanent pasture which either cannot be ploughed or where ploughing is difficult. “Gramoxone” can be used at the rate of one gallon per acre to kill the existing sward. New and improved strains of grass can then be sown …’ Paraquat rapidly became one of the most commonly used herbicides; but over time a link would be discovered between it and Parkinson’s disease, leading to its being banned in the EU from 2007. Nothing about it in next day’s New Statesman, but instead Malcolm Muggeridge’s seasoned appraisal of the satire boom, above all the ‘delightfully and offensively rude to one and all’ Private Eye, almost a year old. Even so, he could not help but regret that the magazine lacked ‘a sense of purpose’ and was far from Swiftian: ‘To Private Eye, authority is a schoolmaster, who, when his back is turned, can be pelted with paper darts and mocked with mimicry and funny faces. Such insubordination can easily be laughed off; boys will be boys.’ Nella Last probably went to her grave oblivious of the very existence of Soho’s finest. ‘I see in our local Mail tonight’, she recorded that Friday, ‘a big garage in town has started giving “Green [Shield] Stamps” – 10 stamps given for a gallon of petrol or oil. Servicing from 50 stamps up to car radios from 1,500 stamps. Quite a new idea for Barrow …’17

This was also the week of the Writers’ Conference, running


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