John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Chris has another fit

1965, the year that changed my life
Chris has a fit

Chris wrote in 1967: "…We talked about
going and finding this church one day,
probably one weekend when we were off
school."


video

Saturday 9th January 1965
 1. On Saturday 9th January 1965, exactly one month after the programme Sharon had been shown on television,
[more] Chris and I were walking along Victoria Road towards Cleveleys, past King George’s Playing Fields, Thornton. I happened to mention the church Sharon, and said to him, “You want to go to this church”, meaning, “You ought to go.” I said this because of his fits.

 2. That evening, at around 7pm, Chris was walking home along Fleetwood Road. Presumably, he had just been to my house and was coming from there. He was just about to turn right to go down the passages leading to Ascot Road, when he espied there just before the turn the two or three new houses which were nearing completion. They were somewhat like Jones’s old house in Victoria Road.

“The passages leading to Ascot Road” — looking back towards Fleetwood Road. A house, “somewhat like Jones’s old house in Victoria Road”, can be seen through the fence in this 1979 photo.


“Jones’s old house in Victoria Road” in 2003
 And Chris decided to go in and explore and use the loo (either that, or have a smoke). While he was upstairs he was taken in a fit, and the next he remembered was being in Victoria Hospital, Blackpool. He must have been heard in the house by a passer-by, who summoned an ambulance.

 3. He was questioned by a policeman in the cubicle in the hospital casualty department. The police had been called, and it was they who contacted Chris’s parents. They probably wanted to know what he was doing in the house.

 4. Then Fido, Chris’s Dad, arrived at the hospital to collect him. It was just his Dad who came. When he got home, his Mum was (as Chris put it), “a bit narked”.
 “We can’t even go out for the evening without you spoiling it,” she said.
 The reason for her displeasure was that the police had embarrassed them by phoning the friends at whose house they had been spending the evening. What had evidently happened, was that from Chris’s personal effects the police had found out the address, probably from the Ribble bus pass that Chris carried for weekday use on the school bus. Calling at Chris’s house, the police would probably have found only his younger brother David in, who would have volunteered the information that his Mum and Dad were at the Butlers’ house in Station Road, Thornton. His Mum and Dad and the Butlers used to meet two or three times a week. It would have been an easy matter for the police to look up the Butlers’ number and phone them.

"His younger brother David… his Mum and Dad" in 1972
The adventure begins (4.15pm–6.20pm)


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