John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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“What’s happened to your new friend Peter Hargreaves?”

Early Days

Towards summer 1961
 1. It was around this time, that Alan Fairhurst accused Chris Woodhead of being “in league with Leech”.
[more] And he was, in fact, in league with Leech to the extent that he would see Leech as well as Fairhurst; he didn’t let Fairhurst know this, but he used to see Leech. And Chris had now become friendly with Peter Hargreaves.[more]
 Hargreaves had started coming round to Chris’s house in Ascot Road on his trolley. (He had quite a good trolley, did Hargreaves. Instead of being steered by a loop of cord attached to the front wheel assembly, it had its own steering wheel.)

A “trolley”
 So, during the time that Chris was friendly with Fairhurst, he also became friendly with Peter Hargreaves; and just as it had done with Chris and Leech, this also became a difficult situation where Fairhurst became jealous.

 2. Hargreaves was quite a “pushy” little guy; although in Chris’s eyes he was somewhat of a “little boy” type—for in age he was a year younger than Chris, and in physical development perhaps more than a year—he was nevertheless quite “pushy”. He could be very assertive; more than that, he tended to take over in situations that he found himself in. And that is what happened once, in connection with Fairhurst.

 3. Hargreaves had started to come round to Chris’s house quite often. It happened once that Fairhurst had come to Chris’s house, and they were on the front in Ascot Road, when shortly afterwards, Hargreaves arrived on his trolley. He always came on his trolley—like some whizz-kid in his sports car! Vroom, vroom! And Hargreaves came to invite Chris back to his house; and Chris was persuaded—in Fairhurst’s eyes—to reject him in favour of Hargreaves. Fairhurst was there first, after all, but he was left to go home, and Chris went off with Hargreaves. The reason for this may have had something to do with “Macnamara’s Band”, because Hargreaves apologised to Fairhurst for taking Chris away. Anyway, whatever it was, Chris went off with Hargreaves, left Fairhurst; and the next time he went to Fairhurst’s house he wouldn’t let Chris in.

 4. Chris went down the side of Fairhurst’s house, 36 Ascot Road, through the back gate, knocked on the door—and Fairhurst wouldn’t open it! And he came to the window, and there occurred a bit of a verbal duel as to why he wouldn’t let Chris in. And the culmination of this, was that Fairhurst said, “Why don’t you go off with your new friend Peter Hargreaves?”
 So Chris didn’t get in; he had to leave. Fairhurst’s final words were: “Why don’t you go off with your new friend Peter Hargreaves?” or: “What’s happened to your new friend Peter Hargreaves?”

On reflection, I'm now fairly sure that it was Hargreaves's mum who had sent him round to collect me on that afternoon, because she wanted us to practise the "Macnamara's Band" thing. I have a vague recollection of our being in their living room in Mayfair Drive, going through the sequence with her. I think it very unlikely that I would just abandon Alan, without good reason, because Little Peter turned up. This would also explain Peter's apology for taking me away. Alan was, nevertheless, quite put out by it all.
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