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.

No comments:

Post a Comment