These were my final years at university. 1976 saw the longest, hottest, driest summer anyone living then had ever known, and nobody now has known one more so since then. The UK appopinted a Minister for Drought in September, who had the shortest and most successful career of any Secretary of State, ever. In the summer vacation I did a job at the Sheffield Unemployment Benefit Office, earning a massive £30 per week, which was a small fortune in those days. I had an hour for lunch, which gave me time to go to a nearby second hand record shop called “Rare ‘n Racey”, which I did almost every working day. It was in this way that I acquired many of my most valued bits of vinyl, notably the 1968 Incredible String Band double LP “Wee Tam and The Big Huge”.
In 1977 I obtained what at that time was regarded as a very good and sensible degree, and got engaged to Girlfriend 27 (The Mouse – see above). I started work in a local solicitors’ office.
Meanwhile, like the Phoenix, Fairport Convention was being resurrected from the dead, just as it had been in 1973, except not quite as well. More of this next time.