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Left work half an hour early. Went to theatre and had fish supper. We won the war; EXCLUSIVE Hazel's 67-year diaries an intriguing blend of world events and everyday existence.

Byline: BY MATT ROPER

IT'S said most people can remember what they were doing when they heard JFK was shot - but Hazel Wheeler can also tell you if it was sunny and what she ate for tea.

She can also tell you that when the Second World War ended she went to the theatre, that she spent pounds 1 (in old money) on paint in 1953, and that during the 9/11 terror attacks she baked macaroons.

Hazel was 14 when she found an empty diary in the attic of her parents' shop in 1941 and decided to keep a record of her life.

Today, 67 years on, Hazel - now an 81-year-old widow - has never missed a single day.

Every detail of her life - from earth-shattering events to personal concerns - has been faithfully committed to paper.

Hazel, who grew up in Huddersfield, West Yorks, recalls: "It was the first diary I'd seen, dated 1936, and I was fascinated by the idea. I altered the dates to 1941 and started recording daily happenings.

"Writing in my diary became as important as cleaning my teeth. I'd write down what I'd said and done, what I felt, love affairs, prices, world events, everything.

"I wanted to make sure I could always remember what happened every day of every year of my life."

Her diaries now fill an entire bookcase of her flat in Canterbury.

They include the fall of Thatcher and the death of Diana - as well as her marriage to Granville (they have two daughters, Elizabeth, 54, and Caroline, 52, and three grandchildren) and his death from lung cancer in 1999.

Here, Hazel opens her diaries at key dates in history to find out what she was doing on those days. Her entries give a fascinating insight into an ordinary wife and mum living through extraordinary times...

Wednesday, June 6, 1944 (aged 17) - D DAY

GOT a letter from Netheroyd Kennels for a job interview tonight. Home on the 5.20 bus and had a dispute with dad about working there. Met Ethel Dixon and we went to see Mrs Absom at the kennels and saw the dogs.

Invasion began.

Monday, May 7, 1945 (aged 18) - WW2 ENDS

WENT to work at Leachers in Brighouse, colouring photos. At 3pm the Germans surrendered. Finished work at 5.30 instead of 6pm. War in Europe is over. The Prime Minister Mr Churchill is broadcasting tomorrow. We have two days' victory holiday.

At night went to the theatre to see Shakespeare's As You Like It. We went for supper at Lyndon Smith's chip shop.

Tuesday, May 8, 1945 - DAY AFTER WAR ENDED

R EAD in bed. PM: Had a bath and listened to Prime Minister's speech. 6.30pm: Met Sidney and called for Betty, then we queued to get inside the town hall for the dance until 8.30pm. Had a smashing time.

Stanley made a date with me for 5.30 tomorrow, at Rushworth's Corner.

Midnight: With Betty and Sidney outside the Ritz cinema playing kissing game King William. I had to kiss three Frenchmen in the street kneeling down on the cobbles.

MY AMBITIONS - 1945

To be a good artist

To be Sunday School Queen (but I don't think I ever will as don't even go now!)

To be a singer (what a hope!)

Tuesday, June 2, 1953 (aged 26) -

QUEEN'S CORONATION

WALKED to town with Granville, Geanne and Norman to watch the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on Geanne's mum's television set.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh came out of Buckingham Palace at 10.30am, then we saw the crowning inWestminster Abbey. We had tea there, and got home at 8pm.

Granville got upset - he wanted to see the fireworks on television but we had to leave because Geanne and Norman went to the pictures.

DIARY NOTES - 1953 HOUSEHOLD GOODS I'VE BOUGHT AND PRICES (in pounds, shillings and pence)

Hook 1'-0d

Bath mat 4'-6d

Carpets pounds 41-10'-0d

Mirror for room pounds 5-0'-0d

Paint pounds 1-0'-0d

Chair pounds 12-15'-8d TOTAL pounds 63-16'-2d

Blue Formica table pounds 4-15'-0d

Cord trousers for Granville pounds 2

Friday, November 22, 1963 (aged 36) - JFK'S ASSASSINATION

AM: Did shopping in town, home for dinner then washed socks. At 4pm I met Elizabeth and Caroline outside school and walked them home. Had tea at 6.10pm.

Granville came home from job as a shipping clerk and went straight to work behind the bar at the Pack Horse pub.

Switched on the television to find out that President Kennedy was assassinated today while driving through Dallas. Shot through the head. Did knitting.

Saturday, July 30, 1966 (aged 39) - ENGLAND WIN WORLD CUP

AM: Raining. Shopping with Granville, Elizabeth and Caroline.

Granville bought some lightweight trousers in the sales for a pound.

PM: Granville and Elizabeth went to Lodgers supermarket before the World Cup match began.

I prepared fresh salmon salad for tea. We had invited mother and my stepfather Syd around but they didn't turn up. Mrs Broadbent (neighbour) did. We all watched TV after tea. I knitted.

Sunday, July 20, 1969 (aged 42) - MOON LANDING

AM: Granville took his mother to Fernside restaurant. I cooked chicken, baked, washed and ironed before carrying the food up the fields for lunch at my mother's. We all sat at the new round table.

PM: The lot of us went to the park.

Mother and Elizabeth played putting and talked with Grandma Wheeler.

A friend of Granville's took Mrs Wheeler back around 8pm. Granville and mother went to The Lion. Caroline, Elizabeth and I walked home.

Watched the Apollo moon flight on television. It was the first time man has landed on the moon. We intended getting up at 2am to watch the Americans walk on it but we were too tired.

Tuesday, December 9, 1980 (aged 53) - ASSASSINATION OF JOHN LENNON

JOHN Lennon of The Beatles has been shot dead in New York.

Got my first Christmas card, from Roy and Vera.

Evening: Granville out as usual. I read the papers and watched television, and tried on the red velvet dress I'm wearing for buffet dance tomorrow.

Saturday, July 29, 1981 (aged 54) - CHARLES AND DIANA'S WEDDING

WEDDING of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul's. A perfect summer day. Blue sky, cloudless, golden sunshine.

Granville and I watched from 8am, crowd scenes and so on, until the ceremony at 11am.

Glad the Queen Mother managed to be there, despite her leg ulcer.

I telephoned cousin Winney this morning to congratulate her on their Golden Wedding. She acted all important, just because she shares her wedding day with the future king and queen! The Huddersfield Examiner were even going to take their photograph.

Afterwards we watched the Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. Granville and I sat in the garden. Later Granville went to the Doncaster races. I wrote to Meg Francis.

Thursday, November 22, 1990 (aged 63) - THATCHER QUITS NO.10

SUNNY but cool. Walking to the bus to meet Pat. "We've lost Sandy," she said. I felt as if I'd been punched in the stomach. A week last Monday Sandy was put to sleep by a vet, she told me. Crying, I debated whether to continue - eventually I did and bought two frames to put Sandy's photo in.

Mrs Thatcher has resigned. Finished sewing up purple beret.

Thursday, May 1, 1997 (aged 70) - LABOUR VICTORY

SUNNY. Did the washing. Have to bang the machine to make it go. PM: Granville and I pushed the winter duvets into fitted wardrobes in back bedroom.

Evening, cleaned inside of the back window, then went to see Joan and Harold. Back before 9. Watched the election results later. Looks like it's a landslide victory for New Labour. The Conservatives are almost wiped out.

Friday, May 2, 1997 - FIRST DAY OF NEW LABOUR GOVERNMENT

GRANVILLE went to bed about 1.30am. I watched the Election until 4am. Woke up to brilliant sunshine - and a bloody car alarm coming from next door. Granville washed both front bedroom curtains and I cleaned inside the windows.

John Major has resigned as leader of the Conservative Party.

I pulled weeds out in the back garden. Talked to Betty over garden fence. Two men in appropriately dressed red jerseys came to take the temporary polling booth away.

Sunday, August 31, 1997 - PRINCESS DIANA DIES

PRINCESS Diana and Dodi died in a car cash early this morning.

Raining, grey and cold. Watched tributes on television. Spent rest of day watching. Saw Prince Charles and Diana's two sisters leave for France to bring back the body.

Knitting purple dress most of the day. People brought flowers to lay outside Kensington Palace. How awful Camilla Parker-Bowles must be feeling now.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001 (aged 74) - TERROR ATTACKS IN AMERICA

WENT to Post Office, then to the Co-op for grapefruit juice and organic baps. Talking to Elsie, who has a rescue cat. Someone had kicked one of its eyes and a tooth out. Wish the same could happen to whoever did that to the poor thing.

Baked macaroons and scones.

Met Mary for our usual walk and sat talking on a bench. An aeroplane was making an unusual noise, we thought it was going to come down.

Back in the bungalow about 4.15pm and put the radio on, astonishing news - two aeroplanes hijacked by terrorists and deliberately plunged into Manhattan skyscrapers.

People were jumping from windows.

My solicitor phoned to say the contracts on my new house had been exchanged. It paled into insignificance after such world-shattering news.

It could be the escalation of a Third WorldWar and the end of the world.

Who'd willingly live in this terrible 21st century?

Elizabeth phoned later, she's gone to Canterbury to see friends. Caroline also phoned.

She is coming to see me on Friday. Did some knitting.

TELL US ABOUT IT

HAS a diary changed your life? Email features@ mirror.co.uk, or write to Features, Daily Mirror, 1 Canada Sq, Canary Wharf, London E14 5 AP

CAPTION(S):

I wanted a record of my life SWEET 16 Diarist Hazel, in 1943; INVASION D-Day landings, '44; TEEN LOVELY Hazel aged 18; PEACE AT LAST Churchill, 1945; NEW LOVE Hubby-to-be Granville, 1950; CROWNING GLORY Coronation of Elizabeth II; BIG DAY Hazel weds, '52; BABY JOY Elizabeth; ASSASSINATED JFK is shot; HEROES England lift the World Cup, 1966; OUR HOLS The Wheelers at Butlins, 1968; GUNNED DOWN John Lennon is shot, '80; MAGGIE'S OFF Thatcher quits No.10, 1990; TERROR The US World Trade Center is hit; WRITE STUFF Entries in 1968; PAGE TURNER Hazel's diaries fill an entire bookcase; IN THE BEGINNING Her first diary
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 30, 2008
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