The 231163 Diaries:

That Day The 311163 Diaries is a new blog project which will collect diary entries and other materials written by various people from across the world describing what happened to them on the 23rd November 1963, the day Doctor Who was first broadcast and the day after US President John F Kennedy was assassinated.

Watching a documentary about the photographer Cecil Beaton recently, a man who kept detailed diaries throughout his life and published them pretty unvarnished, I wondered what he might have written on various days about world events, given how outspoken he was about his own acquaintances.

That led me to consider whether any of those acquaintances did the same and if they'd also talk about meeting him. perhaps at parties in the same way.  That sounded like an interesting project, but would require me to read enough of these various diaries to find a correlation.  Plus I hate reading about other people's parties.

Which then led me to wonder if I shouldn't just arbitrarily choose a date and then find lots of diary entries for that date and see if any of the people wrote about the same thing.  But it had to be date which I had vested interest in which is why I ended up, less arbitrarily, choosing 23/11/1963.

Did any of them watch the original broadcast of Doctor Who?  Probably not.  But they might mentioned the seismic event which occured the day before, offer some insight into the successive hours, how it affected their families.  A day later will have given people time to consider their feelings.

Most of the material will be collected from published sources but if you have any family documents which you think might of interest do get in touch through the usual channels.  My email address is  You might like to write your own explanatory text to go with it.  Let's see how far we get.  First entry tomorrow.

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