John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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My expulsion from the EMB&H Club

Early Days
 1. Chris Woodhead was the President of the Emeralds, Mallards, Broadswords and Hellfires Club and David Jones the Secretary. It was Jones who decided that the Club ought to have a “disciplinary court” for members who fell short of the just demands of the Club; but it was not by means of any such court that I felt the judicial wrath of Secretary Jones.

 2. It happened one sunny day. There was a knock at the front door, and my Mum answered it and told me it was for me. So I went to the door, and there were Chris and Jones. The brevity of their visit took me by surprise; they had not come to play with me, they had come to sack me from the Club. And having done just that, they left.
 I turned back sadly into the hallway, and tears were starting in my eyes as my Mum saw me and asked what was the matter.
 “They won’t let me play with them,” I blubbered.

 3. Immediately, my Mum went out of the front door and ran down the drive to take them to task. They had passed the front gate and were turning left into Fleetwood Road, so she called out to them sharply. They turned back and she faced them.

“They had passed the front gate and were turning left into Fleetwood Road”
The “front gate” is gone in this 2006 photo.
 “What’s going on?” she demanded.
 They made it obvious that no intention of playing with me had been in mind when they called on me, so my Mum said, “Well, what was the point in you coming down?”
 Actually, Chris did not say very much, feeling very embarrassed. He sheepishly tried to avert his eyes from the scene. It was Jones who was the instigator of the afternoon’s activity.

 4. In reply to my Mum, Jones said in a rather superior tone, “Oh, EMB&H Club business, Mrs. Cooper—you understand.”
HAT?” she exclaimed. Jones was fairly quietly-spoken, so she only half-heard him. And she didn’t understand his reference to “Club business”, either.
 Jones coughed slightly and repeated himself, not much louder: “Club business, you understand, Mrs. Cooper.”
 “No I don’t understand!” she retorted. Then she added, angrily, “Go away, both of you!”
 I was watching the scene sadly from the front room, leaning over the settee which stood with its back to the bay window.

“I was watching the scene sadly from the front room…”, 1979 photo

“…leaning over the settee which stood with its back to the bay window”, ca.1967 photo. The dark, reddish curtains of the bay window are visible. Seated are Ernest and Sally Lindow. Ernest Lindow was my woodwork teacher at the time of this story; see Early days at Fleetwood Grammar School: Woodwork—Mr. Lindow.

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