Chris Woodhead used to visit Grimsby quite frequently during school holidays, and stay at his Grandma’s in Veal Street. And, of course, Jones had this address. For who knew? There might be valuable EMB&H diplomatic bags to be sent to Chris, since Chris was the President at the time.
So, Jones knew that this was the address Chris stayed at; and he asked him about it on one occasion when Chris was round at his house just before leaving for Grimsby.
“Chris,” he asked. “Is Veal Street an important street in Grimsby?”
Chris paused to think, before answering. “What does he want to know this for?” he wondered. He was caught off his guard somewhat. “Does he imagine it to be like Lord Street in Fleetwood?”
So Chris said, “Oh no— no, not really.”
And he had hardly got his words out when Jones just said, “I see: a slum.”
It was a definite statement that Jones made, without any hesitation, or sense of embarrassment, or thought that it might offend Chris that he was calling his previous home a slum. Jones had lived in Manchester where there were very many streets which were slums. So to him, anything that was a “street”, was either an important street, like Harley Street in London, or a slum. Veal Street, not being an important street, was therefore a slum.
Chris would never let anyone get away with such a pronouncement today. But this comment was the sort of thing that Jones was wont to make, and get away with it. Chris didn’t even defend himself at the time, except, perhaps, to protest, “Well, no, not a slum, David!”
And Jones might have conceded: “Well, a back street then!” or something like that.
The EMB&H in Grimsby
Chris’s old school pal in Grimsby, Peter Kemp, became Commodore of the Grimsby branch of the Club before Chris went into hospital. He had said to Chris that when he saw him again Chris must stay at his house. So, when Chris returned to Grimsby and Veal Street, he phoned Kemp; but Kemp’s parents weren’t keen on the idea of Chris’s staying there. Chris lost contact with Peter Kemp after this.
Chris went to see another friend of his, Stephen Bell. Bell seemed really keen on the idea of the Club, so Chris took a dossier of stuff about the EMB&H to show him. But after Chris left for home Bell didn’t pursue the subject, and they too lost touch with each other.
Chris’s cousin Brian Hall therefore filled the appointment of Commodore of the Grimsby branch.