John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Early Days

Wednesday 13th December 1961[1]
 Somehow, at school, I got roped into doing a recitation of T.S. Elliot’s Macavity: The Mystery Cat:
Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw—
For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.…
 There was a group of us—ten or fifteen, perhaps—and we stopped behind after school on a few occasions to perfect this rendition of Macavity. It was for some evening show put on for the Friends of Fleetwood Grammar School Association. There were items by the School Choir and Orchestra, the Junior Drama Group, and, as I say, this Verse Speaking Group. I remember very little about the event, or of the poem itself, apart from the repeated line: “Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity”—and the line, or one of the lines, that rhymes with that; I thought it was “a master of depravity”, but it isn’t:
Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
For he’s a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.
And I remember that “Macavity’s not there!” was repeated several times:
For when they reach the scene of crime—Macavity’s not there!
And something about “long division sums”:
You’ll be sure to find him resting, or a-licking of his thumbs,
Or engaged in doing complicated long division sums.
 The teacher who coached us for this was Miss Eatough;[2] she was thin, quite tall, and had—perhaps, shoulder-length—blonde hair and a long, slender neck. If she was making a point, or querying something, she would adopt a slightly peculiar, open-mouthed—almost vacant-looking—expression.
[1] The Georgian, No.60, Spring Term 1962, page 4:
Dec. 13—…F.F.G.S.A.: Items by Choir and Orchestra, Verse Speaking group, and Junior Drama Group.
[2] Miss Eatough: Cf. The Georgian, No.60, Spring Term 1962, page 3:
We had to say goodbye… to Miss Woodward who was recently married… We welcome the following new members of staff who have joined us since last September: …Miss S. Kittson (English)… Miss J. M. Eatough (English)… Mr. J. F. Cox (Geography); Mr. D. H. Smith (Religious Instruction); Mr. G. W. Price (Physics)…

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