The Diarists: This week in history


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6 July 1746

John Wesley, theologian: "We agreed it would prevent great expense, as well of health as of time and of money, if the poorer people of our society could be persuaded to leave off drinking of tea. We resolved ourselves to set the example. I expected some difficulty in breaking off a custom of six-and-twenty years' standing. And, accordingly, the three first days, my head ached, more or less, all day long, and I was half-asleep from morning till night. The third day, on Wednesday… my memory failed, almost entirely. In the evening I sought my remedy in prayer. On Thursday morning my headache was gone. My memory was as strong as ever. I have found no inconvenience, but a sensible benefit in several respects, from that very day to this."

6 July 1943

Joan Wyndham, memoirist:

"A funny note in the kitchen from old Kate who 'does' for my mother. 'Madam,' it said, 'had one bomb at the top of our street. I was shot out of my bed. It was gastley, all night digging. Today I am nearly a cripple… The butcher has run out of sausages.' My mother's note for today simply said, 'Dear Kate, so glad you are still alive. I think we will have Welsh Rarebit tonight.'"

11 July 1975

Peter Hall, theatre director: "To Alan Ayckbourn's theatre at Scarborough to see Bedroom Farce… Supper with him after. He told me that the play had been announced even before it was written. It was due to rehearse on a Monday, he started writing it on the previous Wednesday, wrote all day Wednesday and most of the night, all day Thursday and most of the night, all day Friday and most of the night; on Saturday he typed it, and on Sunday armed with some duplicated copies he drove up to Scarborough. He gave it to the cast on Monday, and after the reading collapsed in bed for two days. He said this was the kind of pressure he needed, and usually induced, to write a play."