Here’s the scoop story on what Davy did on his recent trip home to England, told by his sister… HAZEL WILKINSON.
The day after Boxing Day, when the Christmas season is over, most people have to go back to their work. This Christmas, David isn’t one of these people, he is still on vacation and enjoying every minute of it. He comes down to breakfast, then as usual, he walks to the front window to see if there are any fans waiting. Already quite a crowd has gathered. We all know what’s coming next, and we are right. “I think I will just nip out and say good morning to the girls.” That’s David speaking.
We all go out with him and have a chat with the fans. After a minute or two David sees one small girl who is trying to take a photograph of him, the taller girls are making it very difficult because she can’t see over them. David has had this problem himself, so he says to Ken, “Put her where she can take a good picture.” So Ken lifts her over the garden wall, but then she doesn’t know how to move the film along and can’t take the photograph. David takes the camera from her and shows her how to operate it. This is too much, she forgets all about her plans and just stands looking at him. Back in the house we are joined by Gerald Jones, one of our cousins, he says he will show David all the latest “IN” places in Manchester. “Great!” say the boys and they arrange to meet in the evening.
When Gerald returns after tea, they all pile into the back of his van and the first stop is a small hotel, “The Garibaidi”. This is where all David’s school friends gather in the evening.
Everyone is pleased to see him again and after a quick drink, he has his photograph taken with the landlord, to put behind the bar. They set off again and go to the “Piccadilly Club”. The manager recognizes David immediately and brings Champagne. A good time is had by all and at the end of the evening the head waiter presents David with a Champagne bottle cork with a silver sixpence embedded in it.
When they get back home, David makes tea and tells everyone to be very quiet because he doesn’t want to wake Dad up. Dad likes to see us all enjoy ourselves, but he grumbles about the late nights out.
Friday is the day David is going back to London and we are all up early. Even though he is not leaving until 5 p.m., with all the luggage he brought with him, he’ll be repacking all day. Dad is up as well and already he is worrying in case David misses the airplane. He’s probably right to worry, with David around, anything can happen before take-off time.
For lunch Lynda and I prepare a cold buffet. Lynda is in a rush because she and her husband, Alex and baby Mark are going to Scotland for “Hog-manay”. I might have known it, as soon as we set the table, all the men go out. This time they go in Ken’s car and have a little trouble getting out. Somehow the fans have realized that David is leaving and they think this is the last time they will see him. Eventually they get away out of the garden gates and drive off down the road, followed by a stream of fans.
David and company go to see sister Beryl in her new shop, a sports goods store. David, pretending to be a gangster, bursts into the shop and says, “What are you paying for protection, kid.” Unfortunately the joke backfires because there is a customer in the shop who panics and leaves in a hurry, without his change. David runs after him with the money, but this only makes things worse and the customer hurries off faster. Everything works out fine in the end and he returns to the shop laughing. After this, Beryl bans the boys into the back of the shop. However, David buys a chest expander set and is duly forgiven.
On the way back home they pass the “White House Hotel”. This is owned by an old friend of David’s, Sadie, so they drop in and David goes in through the door doing a soft shoe dance and singing, “Sadie—Sadie married lady.” Sadie gives them meat pie, peas and curry sauce, so when they finally arrive back at home they don’t want anything else.
David has another session signing autographs and saying “Goodbye” to all his fans. Then cousin Gerald arrives with his van to take all the luggage to the airport.
David and his friends pile into Ken’s car and as quickly as they came, they go off. This time to London. At the airport, two or three friends of David’s are waiting, but goodbyes are limited because they are almost too late for the airplane, just as Dad knew they would be.
Saturday morning, the telephone rings, Dad answers and the operator tells him that there is a call from New York for Davy Jones, or anyone at Clumber Road, so Dad accepts the call. “This is Peter, Peter Tork, sir. I’m so pleased to speak to you. David has told me such a lot about you.” The message is to tell David that Peter is at the airport in New York and is flying to London, can David meet him there for the New Year? Luckily we are able to get hold of David and fix things up. On Sunday morning Peter flies into London and David meets him at the airport. After a swinging New Year’s Eve party at the “Speakeasy Club” in London and then a quiet New Year’s Day, Peter Tork, David and their friends fly to St. Moritz in Switzerland to try some skiing. David sends us all postcards, which he often does; he doesn’t like writing letters.
We have a quiet week now and we can all wind down. My husband and I return to our own home in Accrington with our family. At the end of the week David is returning to Manchester for a couple of days before he finally returns to New York.
When David and his friends return they all go straight to bed with bad colds. Dad thinks this is very funny, David doesn’t really agree. After a good night’s sleep the boys feel slightly better and come over to Accrington to see us. We can tell when they arrive because our Alsation dog “Petal” starts barking at the front window. David used to take her out a lot and she still remembers him.
They ease themselves out of Dad’s tiny “mini” car. Because they’ve all got so much clothing on, it must have been a tight squeeze getting into the car in the first place. David has a huge, grey fur coat on, which Petal takes an immediate liking to. As soon as David takes it off she seizes it and dashes upstairs, followed by David at full speed. You see what I mean, about my brother, he hasn’t been in the house two minutes and already we are in an uproar!
After things have quieted down somewhat, the boys all go out to the back yard.
I’m glad I did some baking today, the cakes are cooling on the table by the door and as the boys walk past they all sneak a cake. I pretend I don’t see them, because you’ve got to indulge your young brother occasionally and he always did like freshly baked cakes.
Deborah takes her Uncle David up to her room for a chat and shows him all the photographs on her wall. About half are David and the Monkees and the other half are Val Doonican. When they come down Deborah gives David Pearl and Phil some beads she has made. Unfortunately she didn’t make enough for Uncle David, so he gets a photograph of herself instead.
About this time we notice that it is snowing hard and time for David to leave. We live high in the Pennine Range of hills and the roads block up fairly quickly when it snows. David has trouble starting again, but it soon starts with a push, and they leave us shouting, “Goodbye—see you soon.” They are right. Ten minutes later they return because David has forgotten his gloves. This is when Petal decides she will go with them and happily jumps into the car, onto David’s lap.
Now Petal is a big dog and she’s heavy and it’s not a bit funny having her sitting on you. At least not when you’re the one being sat on. In the end we pull her out and the boys leave again. This morning we got a postcard from David, saying, “Back soon, luv David.” We hope so.