Saturday, 27 May 2017
693 Wogan's Women
First viewed : 22 December 1984
We're into the Christmas Holidays now and this one was marked by a not entirely agreeable surprise. My sister was home after her first term at Oxford and I know this sounds bad but I'd kind of assumed she'd be out of her depth there, particularly with her ultra-conservatism around food and drink . That had now been completely banished , she was having a whale of a time and she wasn't entirely disguising a frustration at being landed back in Littleborough for a fortnight or so.
This in turn prompted the first evaluation that perhaps I wasn't making the most of my opportunities and the most immediate result was using a little diary to make a note of a daily "achievement" such as finishing a book or trying something new at a pub. I kept this up for a while but unfortunately events were already conspiring against me elsewhere..
On the evening that I returned from Leeds, the members of the Civic Trust Footpath Group had their Christmas meal at some place near Heywood. Earlier in the week I had missed the main Civic Trust committee meeting and I innocently asked some of the other guys how it had been. They were pretty forthright in telling me how dreadful it was, comprising a self-indulgent monologue from the chairman Keith Parry ( who wasn't at the meal as he didn't come on the walks ) about all the people he'd met at the Coach House over the past month and little real business being discussed. I recall my friend Lincoln prophesying " If it carries on like this he'll kill those meetings, well , kill the Civic Trust !".
The nub of the problem was that Parry had accepted the chairmanship of the Trust when his predecessor and her vice-chair had stepped down three years earlier in order to become directors of the Littleborough Coach House Project. It's my feeling that it wasn't long before he started thinking he'd got the bronze medal and his energies became diverted towards undermining and then replacing them. The Civic Trust could help his cause by raising more money for the Project than the other participating organisations but apart from that, he didn't seem very interested in the society's activities and it started to wither. That wasn't all down to him but it was happening on his watch.
One of the other members present at the meal was a man named Roy Prince, my predecessor as newsletter editor, who concurred with all that had been said. After a bout of ill health, he had recently retired as a secondary school headmaster and had some time on his hands. Roy obviously went home and pondered on what had been said. A week or two later, he called me and revolution was in the air. He had spoken to the vice-chair Betty Pickis ( no friend of Parry's ) and she'd agreed to take over with Roy becoming her deputy. The unsatisfactory Treasurer, a nice bloke but he was under too much pressure at work to do the job, was also going to be replaced. They were going to put the idea to Parry at the next committee meeting, did I approve ? I don't think my vote was essential but I said yes , effectively committing myself to the reconstruction job in the Trust for the rest of my time at university and beyond.
Ho hum, back to the TV. Terry Wogan's career was going into orbit and Wogan's Women was a compilation and review of memorable moments involving female guests on his Saturday night chat show. Felicity Kendal was on hand to help boost his ego. The only bit I remember was a re-visit to a notorious interview with Dallas star Victoria Principal who had rightly taken him to task for harping on about how ugly a baby her screen son Christopher was. Kendal cooed "I don't think she understood your sense of humour Terry" . No Felicity, she understood he was being an arsehole and gave him the kicking he deserved.