THIRTY years after Audrey Wilson picked up her Biro and began keeping a diary for 1984, her handwritten chronicles have been published.

Audrey, 78, who spends her time between her Sedbergh cottage and Liverpool, hopes the book’s day-by-day account of family life and world news will interest and inspire her readers.

She told the Gazette she could see many similarities between today’s headlines and the stories making the news three decades ago.


Audrey has been ‘confiding’ in diaries since her teens when she recorded the death of King George Vl in 1952.

It was after her son gave her George Orwell’s novel 1984 as a Christmas gift that she had the idea of recording the happenings of that year.

As each day unfolded, mother-of-three Audrey sat down and recorded events such as weddings and family holidays alongside major news stories such as the miners’ strike and the Los Angeles Olympics.

“I would complete it each evening because I was also studying with the Open University for a social work qualification. Each day was a new page,” said Audrey, whose late husband, Will, was a newsagent.

“I’m quite a quick writer and I assemble my thoughts pretty quickly.”

Some 366 days after she began – 1984 was a leap year – she put her diary aside ‘exhausted’ and for years it lay wedged under a dining table in her spare room.

Audrey always hoped to ‘do something’ with it one day, but she had given it up for lost after a house move, until it was rediscovered in an outhouse last year.

Audrey’s granddaughter typed up the pages, and they have now been published, complete with family photographs and newspaper headlines, by Kendal’s Stramongate Press.

* The book, called 48 Going On 50 – 1984 As It Was For Me – is on sale at Sedbergh’s Sleepy Elephant gift shop, on request from WH Smith, Kendal, or from Audrey on 07530-226898; priced £20.