“Mystery Man” Diary January 1957

Tuesday, January 1st
A busy day at the office. I went up on Local. Did the Bank of England stuff OK but got into a muddle with the forms. I did 5 “batches.” I came home on the bus today. On the way, I tried to think up a plan for next Tues. Thought of several, but still uncertain. Maybe I’ll have a brainwave during the week! Quite a good ‘Gun Law’ on T.V. this week.

Wednesday, January 2nd
Heaviest day I’ve known yet at New St. No complaints about the Local, but when we listed the local at the end of the day it just would not balance. I did not leave the office till 6.10pm. John Hodgens told me that when he was new to the bank & Mr Powell told him off for making a mistake, he said, “I didn’t do it on purpose, but if I’d wanted to baffle you, you’d never have found it.”

Thursday, January 3rd
A fairly busy day. Local went perfectly, but had a bit of bad luck with batches – nothing serious though. N.F.U. (National Farmers’ Union) letter came today concerning rebate on cartridges for pigeon shooting. A lot of red tape. I don’t think there is much hope but I have replied. Bought record of George Formby singing “Cleaning Windows.” I have made up my mind to go through with it on Tuesday next.

Friday, January 4th
Once again the Local went perfectly. I did 7 batches today – record so far. I bought a record down Snow Hill called “A Sky Blue Shirt & A Rainbow Tie.”(1/-) I got home at 6.30pm. At present I am reading “A Day To Remember” by Jerrard Tickell, hoping to pick up a tip or two – I must form a definite plan beforehand. I AM going through with it.

Saturday, January 5th
Local did not go so well today. Home at 2pm. I went into Hopwas Wood with the gun. Had 2 shots – got nothing. I was fascinated by the impenetrableness of ‘Rookery Nook’ & made up my mind to find a way in. Went to the Grand to see Broderick Crawford in “Big House, U.S.A” and also “Canyon Crossroads.” I am still thinking about next Tuesday and plucking up my courage.

Sunday, January 6th
Tregaskiss kicked up a fuss about me shooting in the wood – I am now limited to Saturdays. We all went for a walk in the wood this afternoon. I saw Billy & Nellie today. I put a film in the camera & took some photos on the hillside. I wrote to the “Shooting Times” tonight in praise of fox-shooting.
The day after tomorrow is Tuesday!! Tonight I finished “A Day To Remember.”

Monday, January 7th
When I walked into the Bank this morning I saw that I was down for Early Post. I was told to make arrangements for getting here earlier in future. I went in cash wagon to Bank of England with £1,000 000. Colin Flemming went on Local. Had lunch at the Kardomah. We didn’t finish till 6.30 as some of the stuff wouldn’t balance. Local was first to balance. I am now awaiting tomorrow and have no definite plans.

Tuesday, January 8th
My greatest disappointment! The Local played awkward when we came to list it, & at quarter to five I was 10/9d out. I had hoped to catch the 5.15 train but at that time I was 10/- out. The 5.50 train was now my last hope, but I did not leave the Bank until 6.10pm. So all my hopes fell through – until next week, of course! Mr Loughead told me, “They do the dancing – I do the drinking!”

Wednesday, January 9th
Had a bit of trouble with a “come-back” of Saturday’s local. A good day otherwise – Local practically ‘fly-balanced.’ Carroll Lowe (blonde) paid me plenty of attention today & I walked to the bus stop with her. I don’t think I’m interested though. I’m ready for next Tues – can’t wait!!! I did my Book-Keeping Correspondence Test tonight.

Thursday, January 10th
Local went very well indeed. Colin went up to the Clearing house. Barbara Brown pulled up Ann Hopkin’s skirt & shouted out that I had done it. Very amusing indeed! Today was the slackest day so far this year – I got the 4.40pm train. Carroll Lowe gave me a photo of herself today – but I’m waiting for next Tuesday. Miss Brewster came & gave me a Book-Keeping lesson tonight.

Friday, January 11th
Went up to the Clearing House with Colin & brought the cheques back. Got my photographs. Today has been rather uneventful but peaceful. I did 6 batches today & was fairly successful all round. I am looking forward to a nice quiet weekend after all these early mornings (Early Post 8.30am) & most of all to next Tuesday evening.

Saturday, January 12th
We went shooting to Eric Sansome’s today. On the way we saw a man lying in the road with his bike on top of him. Another man was bending over him. We stopped and I got out to see if they wanted any help. The man said, “It’s OK, mate, he’s just had a drop too much to drink & he’s fallen off his bike.” We shot a hare but it had a suspicious-looking growth in its side so we gave it to the roadmender. Tonight I went to the pictures to see John Wayne in “The Searchers” [and] also Elizabeth Montgomery in “The Siege.” Roll on Tuesday!!!

Sunday January 13th
Church (11am). Went down to Tamworth with Grandpa. Ran into Fred Emery & Sid Faulkner. In the afternoon I went to see Billy Wilkins. He told me about Arthur’s hat & said he would let me have the address to send for one. He said he went shooting in the wood with Fred Cole on Thurs – they shot nothing. Ken Price saw them but said nothing. I then went round to see Coles. Arthur has heard all about the parcel I sent Coles at Xmas. He says, “It must have took him all night to do it up, because it took her all next day to undo it!”

Monday January 14th
At 12.10am this morning I was awakened by a loud crash & a scampering downstairs. We all thought it was burglars & came onto the landing. We whistled Mac but he didn’t come. Daddy & I crept down the stairs with the sword-stick – the guns were in the hall cupboard. We got the guns & opened the kitchen door to find a section of the doorpost lying across the floor & a heap of plaster. Mac had got shut in & had tried to get out!!! Best Local yet, today. We were late finishing though owing to a difference in Country I. Went to the post with Carroll Lowe. She says I’m cheeky!!!

Tuesday January 15th
I went up to Mrs Winfield’s tonight. I have had to alter my plans slightly. Di works at Wallbanks and Cynth did not come tonight as she had too much homework. I had a very good evening. I think next week will be the climax. I had lunch at Lewis’s with Mummy, Lance & Grandma today – Local went very well.

Wednesday January 16th
I am looking forward to Tues – more so now than before. The Local went well again today. At 3 o/c this afternoon the inspectors arrived – now trouble will start! Today I bought a record of Victor Sylvester & his ballroom orchestra playing “Paper-kisses.” I don’t know who I am more interested in – Cynth or Di. Time will tell. I mustn’t be too slow though.

Thursday January 17th
The Local went very well indeed again today. The inspectors are quite decent, but are a nuisance all the same. I had a haircut in Batt’s today – the barber who cut my hair thinned it out a bit – I am annoyed about it. Had a Book-Keeping lesson from Miss Brewster. I am still thinking of Di and Cynth.

Friday January 18th
Local went well again. Today has been fairly peaceful. In the lunch hour I went into W.H. Smith’s & looked through their Valentine’s cards. I got the 4.42 train today & went into the Bank and waited for Dad. Mr Dyne was telling me tall stories of when he was at New St. I am simply longing for Tuesday.

Saturday January 19th
I went for a walk round Hopwas wood with the gun today. I did not have a shot, but saw plenty of jays and carrion crows. On the way back I ran into the Dales pinching wood. I went to the pictures to see Gregory Peck in “Moby Dick.” I am dying for next Tuesday.

Sunday January 20th
I saw Billy today. He told me that the girl I am keen on is Diana Stanton. I now have a good excuse to talk to her. I have been in a restless mood all day thinking about her. Roll on Tuesday. In Tamworth this morning I saw Sid Faulkner & Fred Allsopp. A good play by Guy de Maupassant on T.V. tonight.

Monday January 21st
I am now on Country I. At New Street Station today a red-bearded man came up to me & said, “Don’t you remember me?” I said I didn’t & he said he left Wrekin in 1949. His name is Roll. He travelled with me as far as Water Orton. We had a nice chat about the old school. I am looking forward to tomorrow. I have everything fixed now.

Tuesday January 22nd
A terrible day. Country I & II would not balance. Did not leave office until 6pm. Rang Grandma to say I should not be home till late & went straight up to Miss