THIS WEEK IN 1973: Meaty talks for the PM and pensioners 

A handful of demonstrators await the arrival of the prime minister at Portsmouth Guildhall.
A handful of demonstrators await the arrival of the prime minister at Portsmouth Guildhall.

After his meeting with Portsmouth’s pensioners, prime minister Edward Heath said none of them went without because of their small pension. 

Mr Heath’s meeting with 20 pensioners, said to represent a fair cross-section of the city’s senior citizens, took place behind closed doors at the Guildhall. 

The prime minister expressed the view that his Conservative government had done a lot for pensioners. However one pensioner told The News that £10 per week was not enough to live on and buy a joint of meat.

Ruby Bodenham said: ‘I asked Mr Heath if he would like to live for two weeks on the money an old pensioner has. He didn’t really have an answer.’

Beatrice Atkins told Mr Heath that she had to manage on an income of £10.05, of which £4.04 went on rent. 

‘I told him I can rarely afford a joint of meat.’

About 30 demonstrators representing trade unions and the International Socialists chanted and waved banners as the prime minister was driven to the Guildhall. He replied with a smile and a wave.