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Letters from Chris and from Pamela

1965, the year that changed my life
A letter from Chris

Thursday 29th July 1965
 1. I received a letter from Chris on Thursday, 29th July 1965.

136, Clee Rd. 
Old Clee  

Dear John,
 Thanks for your letter, which I got this morning. I can see what you mean about our church seeming dead, but you know John, the folks might be just as reverent in worship deep down inside them even if they don’t kick up a noise. I can well understand your feelings after such rowdy services at camp. They were great, weren’t they?
 The church here is quite lively although there aren’t many young folk go there.
 Do you think you could send me some tracts, as I’ve been doing quite a bit of witnessing and I haven’t got many left. I’ve decided to stop for another week, you know I’ll miss you and the rest mate, as I haven’t many friends here now, but I’m sure that the Lord would have me stay, and I’ve got to do some more witnessing, for believe me, Heaven only knows how much this town needs it, it gets fiercer every time I come. I don’t know about Blackpool, but when I was in the town this morning, that chapter in Timothy
[1] kept going through my mind, it’s a perfect description of Grimsby in its present state, believe me it’s shocking! The things that go on here are too disgusting to describe, but I’ll bet no more than 10,000 people are saved out of all the 130 thousand that live here. How I only wish that you could come and help me, it’s going to be hopeless trying to get 3 or 4 by myself. Still it’s certainly a challenge, so please pray for me.

[1] That chapter in Timothy: 2 Timothy 3 seemed to be an oft-mentioned and oft-repeated passage in sermons at that time.
What Chris wrote in that paragraph, he later admitted to me, was largely if not completely fiction. His thoughts were centred more on girls than on the gospel while he was in Grimsby.
 I did write to Hazel on Saturday, when I got here, but I missed half the things out I wanted to say. I had it all planned out in my mind what I wanted to put, when I was on the bus to Hull but when it came to writing it, it was all gone.
 You and I and the Lord can only know how I feel about her. You know, I still love her very much, and she still means more to me than anything in the World, apart from my Salvation and Jesus. I don’t know how you felt for Pam, or maybe I do if you feel the same as me, but I’ve never loved anybody like Hazel, and though folks used to wreck me, ’cause they couldn’t understand what I saw in her, there was something more than her good looks about it, and it’s hard to explain, but you probably know, if you still feel the same about Pam. Honest though, John, it’s only prayer that’s stopping me from sobbing my heart out again, for when I arrived here, I kept thinking about her, and it seemed unbearable being separated from her, after praying so hard, asking the Lord to keep us together. Still, like my Mam said, we might come together again one day. So all there is to do, is pray that that day will come. Thanks anyway for putting a good word in for me when you wrote to Pam.
 You asked me what there is between me and Barbara, well as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing, but I should hate her to know because she likes me, and I think we’ve had enough upsets, so I’ll still go with her, until it fades out, which maybe won’t be long. Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t dislike her, I think she’s a very nice girl, and I like her to go with, but there’s nothing like there was between me and Hazel with her. I suppose I feel the same for her as I did for Cathy and Vivian.
 Talking about ex-girlfriends, guess who I bumped into in a bus queue yesterday. Yes, right first time, it was Jenny. I was just walking towards this bus stop to catch a No. 4 bus home, when who should look up and stare straight at me, it was her. Well, it didn’t half give me a shock. I’ve heard about people getting shocks like that, but I never thought I would. I felt something really jump inside me and my legs went all giddy. Anyway I walked past to the next bus stop, but I could feel two eyes glaring at the back of my head like two red hot pokers. The funny part of it was just before I saw her I was thinking how funny it would be to bump into her while I was here.
 Well, I’ll close now. See you a week on Saturday. God bless

Yours, Chris.

P.S. Please don’t forget the tracts, do you think you could see if they’ve got “The Power of Christ” and “Jesus Saves”. I think they’re the best.

 2. It seems likely that I also received a letter from Pam the same day as I received Chris’s.

69, Upper Chorlton Rd,
Whalley Range,
M/c .16 
28th July 1965.

Dear John,
 Thanks for your nice letter. Glad to hear you arrived home safely and that you enjoyed yourself in Scarborough.
 I did understand your feelings, John, that’s why I was so upset even if I didn’t appear it, and I wouldn’t have blamed you if you had never wanted to see me again.
 But I believe through prayer it has all been understood and forgotten like you said.
 I’m afraid I can’t say what should have happened between Chris and Hazel. But perhaps it’s better this way.
 It’s okay about going with that other group. I understand exactly what you mean by feeling free on your holidays. And I’m glad you and Peter enjoyed yourselves with them.
 It’s horrible being back at work. I keep wishing I was back at Scarborough. But I don’t suppose we’d appreciate holidays if we didn’t work.
 Well I’ll close now John. Mum and Dad send their love, and don’t get up to too much mischief in the holiday.

Love, Pam.

 3. I wrote Chris an immediate reply, because I thought that his best plan would be to get any tracts he needed from the Full Gospel Church in Pasture Street, Grimsby. I also suggested that I enclose his letter in my next one to Pam, in the hope that Hazel would see it and get to know the depth of his feeling for her.

A letter from Chris

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