John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Jones’s first visit to Chris’s house

Early Days
February 1962 or after
 1. The time that Jones first visited Chris Woodhead at his home at 19 Ascot Road, Thornton—that was an occasion! Chris’s Mum and Dad hadn’t met him, for he was still a relatively new friend. It’s not clear, after he came out of hospital,[more] actually how Chris met up with David Jones again. One supposes that their mutual membership of the Club—the Emeralds, Mallards, Broadswords and Hellfires—had something to do with it.

 2. So he came round to Chris’s house for the first time. He had his gaberdine mac on, and his Fleetwood Grammar School scarf. He came to the front door, “stonked” up; Chris brought him in, and took him into the lounge. Chris’s Dad was in the dining room, because he was studying at the time; and his Mum was sitting on the settee in the lounge.
 And Chris introduced her to Jones, that is, to “David”, and he shook her hand, very old-fashioned, and said, “Hello, Mrs. Woodhead, I’m very pleased to meet you. Quite a nice place you’ve got here—rather small,
[1] though.”

Chris’s house, 19 Ascot Road, 1979 photo

[1] Rather small: Or, following Chris’s words on the source-recording, “…a little small…”. I consider rather small to be more traditional, but on discussion Chris still favours a little small.
 3. Then without any prompting or invitation—there were glass doors between the lounge and the dining room—Jones opened the glass doors and looked through, and said, “Oh, I see, this is the dining room; that leads through to the kitchen—very nice. Hello, Mr. Woodhead.” Chris’s Dad had looked up then to see this character whom he had never seen before; and Jones, realising that he was Chris’s Dad just said, “Hello, Mr. Woodhead.”

 4. There were now pauses of embarrassment, both on Chris’s part, because of Jones’s comments, and also on his Mum and Dad’s part, because they obviously thought that Jones was a bit strange. At the first available opportunity, Chris ushered him up to his bedroom to get him out of the way.

 5. After Jones had gone Chris’s Mum and Dad commented that they thought Jones was a very studious boy. They thought that he was “very studious”; and he had long fingers—and did he play the piano? Chris said, “I don’t know”, and his Mum said, “Oh, he’s got the right fingers to play the piano; I wonder if he does.”

 6. Chris didn’t know at that point that the long, white fingers were used for playing chess with. Jones was quite a chess fanatic, and he often carried a pocket chess set with him. He had the habit, when considering a move, of sucking his long, white fingers. He would then also pick up some piece or another from the pocket chess set, to ponder before finally putting one of them in place, and would thus transfer quantities of saliva from his mouth to the chess pieces.

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