1. My first manual contact outside clothing with a breast occurred with a girl called Elaine, who was rather plump and whom I didn’t like much at all.
Postman’s Knock at Pat Lomas’s
2. Shortly after our triumphant return home to Thornton in November 1964 (see Ann Nurse), Chris and I went to a party at the house of someone called Pat Lomas in Cleveleys, while her parents were away. She was one of the Happy Land crowd and was going out with Brian Collinge at the time, though he wasn’t there at the party. Peter Gooding, I recall, was there. Pat was small and had quite a chubby face, though she wasn’t overweight, and had her hair all back-combed and piled high on her head in a “beehive”.
 A party… the Happy Land crowd: Chris recalls meeting a girl, either at the Happy Land or at a similar party to this one, who was Barbara Swann’s “cousin” [see Towards the first kiss: Barbara Swann]. She perhaps just claimed to be her cousin because they both came from near Oldham and sort of “adopted” each other. Anyway, this “cousin”, false or real, told Chris a number of stories about making fun of Jones. She sat behind Jones at school, and had actually flicked ink-pellets at him: blotting paper soaked in ink, propelled using a 12" ruler.3. There was a game of Postman’s Knock, where one person was chosen to be the “postman”, went out of the room and knocked on the door; another person was chosen by the rest of the group to answer the door, and go out to pay for the “letter” with a kiss. At one point I was outside the room in the dark, snogging with Pat. I remember that while kissing she seemed to move her head around quite a lot.
I was a bit apprehensive about what Collinge’s reaction might be if he found out, for he was “hard”, and I regarded him rather with fear and trembling. It later came to my ears, though, that when Collinge was told that I’d been kissing her, he replied that he wouldn’t have cared if I’d shagged her!
(Collinge wasn’t terribly impressed with my new-found enthusiasm for snogging, and told me that there was a lot more than that that you could do with a girl.)
4. The same evening, by Postman’s Knock or some other way, I got off with a girl called Elaine. She was rather plump, and I didn’t like her much at all; but snogging was still new to me, and I wasn’t all that choosy about whom I did it with. Chris also got off with a girl that evening, Cathy, a quite attractive blonde; but Peter didn’t get off with anyone. I remember that as I now sat in the room with Elaine on my knee, I leaned over and tried to persuade another girl, who was dressed in black, to go with Peter, but she wouldn’t.
 Cathy: Chris recalled, on 28th September 2007, in an e-mail to me:Yes, the snogging sessions at Pat Lomas’ place were fun. I got to really fancy that Cathy and, although I was with her there on at least a couple of occasions, she apparently had a boyfriend. I remember that, on one occasion, she even asked Pat if she could go with me into the front-room, but this request was immediately turned down (Grrrr!!)! She lived in Luton Road. I can remember Elaine, but not very clearly.I was only present at that first “snogging session”, but evidently there were others.
 A girl who was dressed in black: I am always reminded of her by the song Baby’s in Black from the Beatles for Sale album (released 4th December 1964):My date with ElaineOh dear, what can I do?
5. I left the party with an arrangement to meet Elaine again a day or two later, either at Collinge’s in Fleetwood, or with the intention of going there. So, at Collinge’s, in the living-quarters behind the shop, I was downstairs with Elaine, and he went upstairs with, I suppose, Pat. We lay on the carpet, kissing; and eventually my hand wandered to her left breast, which I rubbed gently. She was wearing a fine-knit pullover, which I didn’t attempt to remove or get inside. And the sensation of just rubbing that soft, featureless mound disappointed me; it didn’t meet any expectation of thrill or fulfil the promise held in Collinge’s words that there was a lot more you could do with a girl. But then, I didn’t fancy her anyway, and what’s more, her breath wasn’t all that fresh.
6. After the session on the floor, I noticed that a cigarette I’d left had fallen out of the ashtray onto the table, and had scored a great long black groove in the polished wood as it had burned all the way along to the filter tip. We left there without telling Collinge about this accident, and there was a fight (or as Collinge would say, a “feight”) when he caught up with me again—but that’s another story. I did arrange to meet Elaine again, but I didn’t turn up.
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