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Fairhurst and the chemistry set

Early Days

[This story follows almost word for word the account authored by Chris on Friday 29th December 1978.]

Early in 1963
 1. Alan Fairhurst was a boy who was not very strong and who was consequently taken advantage of, if not openly bullied, by some of his peers. Even Chris, let it be known, might sometimes extract a certain amount of pleasure from tormenting Alan when the mood took him.

 2. It was on such an occasion that Fairhurst came to Chris’s house at 19 Ascot Road, Thornton, shortly after Chris had received a chemistry set for Christmas. Chris invited him to come to his bedroom to play with the set, at which Fairhurst became very enthusiastic. Chemistry was his favourite subject at school.

 3. Chris cannot remember exactly what they did, except that after a short while he began to feel mischievous and menacing. He started to be a bit careless with some of the compounds they were supposed to be preparing. Fairhurst must have suspected that Chris was up to no good, and decided he would leave. This he did, but in his haste he forgot to pick up his cap. He returned to collect it some twenty minutes later.
 Chris saw him coming and decided to take the afternoon’s fun a stage further.

 4. Chris’s bedroom was directly above the entrance hall of the house, and the window was therefore directly above the front door.

“Chris’s bedroom was directly above the entrance hall of the house, and the window was therefore directly above the front door”, 1979 photo
 He prepared, in a test tube, a solution of potassium permanganate, and waited until Fairhurst opened the front gate. Fairhurst walked up the path towards the front door, but before he actually rang the bell Chris opened the window and poured the contents of the test tube over Fairhurst’s head. As there was so little in the test tube most of it dispersed in mid-air and very little actually hit him.

 5. Fairhurst, however, went into a frenzy. He squealed and started jumping about; he wrenched his coat off and shook it frantically. It was as though Chris had poured nitric acid over him, or something!
 With that, he must have forgotten his cap, but before racing back down the road to his own home he started to scream abuse at Chris, telling him that he was a maniac.

 6. Chris rolled about with great hilarity.

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