John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Pamela’s first letter

1965, the year that changed my life
Hazel and Pam return home

Perhaps Saturday 22nd May 1965
 1. I eagerly awaited a letter from Pam, a reply to mine or one of her own initiative. I imagine that I wrote my letter on the Monday, then counted the days till hers arrived. My fifteenth birthday came and went on the Wednesday. Because it was unusual for letters to be delivered more than a day after being posted, I suppose that Pam’s letter arrived on the Saturday, for the postmark reads “9.45
PM 21 MAY 1965”.

 2. My nervous fingers ripped the envelope open, and I read:

69, Upper Chorlton Road,
Whalley Range,  
Manchester 16

Dear John,
 Thanks for your nice letter. I agree with you about it seemed like a holiday just ended. It’s rotten being back at work.
 I hope it won’t be long before you can come down here again. Hazel and I are going to another church on Saturday for a special service not far from Manchester.
 Did you watch Top of the Pops? I don’t think much of No. 1, do you?

Top of the Pops” was a weekly BBC-television show featuring the best-selling hit records and their performers, transmitted on a Thursday. The “Number One” that Pam was unimpressed with, was almost certainly Jackie Trent’s Where Are You Now, My Love?, a wearisome and depressing song.
 I’m going with Hazel to have her hair cut and set on Tuesday. Should I have mine cut?
 Has Jones found out any more about the phone call?
 Hope to see you soon.

Bye for now.
Love, Pam.
x x x x

P.S. Thanks for the phone call.
Sorry we could not phone back. But the number we rang was a private house.

I can’t remember the circumstances of the “phone call” that Pam mentioned in her P.S. Because of her use of the plural pronoun “we”, I would guess that it was both Chris and I who made the call, to speak to both Hazel and Pam. I have a vague recollection of our going to the phone box in Carleton, as opposed to the nearer Beechwood Drive phone box just round the corner from my house. It was situated well beyond the farmyard where we hid in January,[more] and just beyond where the houses start again after the fields, along Fleetwood Road. The reason for going there, a distance of over half a mile from my house, was, I imagine, that the nearer one was still one of the old “Button A”, “Button B” telephones, whereas the farther one was one of the new “STD” telephones, by which you could make long-distance calls without going through the operator. I seem to remember our waiting there for quite a long time for their return call, then giving up and going home. Presumably we were out of money for the telephone and had asked them to ring us back just as the “pips” were going.

 3. If I was looking for expressions of undying love in Pam’s letter, I was disappointed, though the letter itself was friendly enough. I liked the kisses at the end.

The “waiting meeting”

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