John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Sunday 9th June 1996


From documents that I set in order the other day I made a few notes, before returning home.

Extract from The Cooper Diaries:
After yesterday’s walk in the sun, the top of my head is really red and glowing hot. I made a few notes from the documents that I set in order the other day, which I expand below:
 Holiday in the Isle of Man was in July 1949.[more]
 Nanny and Grandad Cooper appear on a photograph with “Bridlington 1950” printed underneath.[more]
 My baptism was on 30 July 1950 at St. Andrew’s church, Ashton-on-Ribble; godparents were: “John Paine,” (Uncle Jack) “Ronald Paine,” (Uncle Ronnie) and “Sarah.” Who is Sarah? Sally? I had thought that it was “Auntie” Connie and “Uncle” Roland who were my godparents, but presumably they were our Steve’s.
 “Marjorie and Charles” were invited to the marriage of “John” (Uncle Jack) “with Miss Sally Palmer” on Wed. 13 September 1950, 3.30 p.m.
 There are holiday photos of our Steve, with “Bridlington 1954” printed at the bottom.
 We were all invited to Uncle Ronnie’s marriage to “Margaret Esther Winstanley” on Saturday 4 September 1954, 11 a.m., and I appear on the group photo but don’t remember the event.
 There are a number of photos, with “Scarborough, July 1956” written in Mum’s hand on the back, covering going to “Treasure Island”: Steve with Long John Silver on the Hispaniola, both of us with Ben Gunn, and me with a goat. There are also 2 certificates saying we’d hunted treasure there, and a fake gold doubloon which I think Steven dug up.
 David and Eileen’s silver wedding anniversary celebration was on 9 January 1982, so the wedding itself must be dated January 1957.
[David and Eileen are mentioned in I learn to swim.]
 There are thank-you letters from Steve and me to Nanny and Grandad Paine dated “10th June”. Steve’s is written in ink; mine is joined-up writing in pencil. I learned joined-up writing in Class 4 (September 1957–July 1958) and started using ink in Class 3 (September 1958–July 1959), so I have dated the letters 10 June 1958. Nanny and Grandad had been on holiday in Germany and had brought back a musical roundabout which played an abridged Brahms’ Lullaby, so that was the occasion of the thank-you notes. In my letter I mentioned having been to Pwllheli, so that was presumably when we first went to the Butlin’s holiday camp there. We subsequently, I think, went to Butlin’s, Filey, and after that back to Pwllheli. Nanny and Grandad sent a postcard from Germany to us ℅ Butlin’s, Pwllheli, but the postage stamp with the postmark’s date has been removed; I have dated this 1958 on the basis of the above evidence.
 There’s a postcard from Nanny and Grandad Paine from Boppard-am-Rhein dated 24 May 1960. They brought back for Steven and me poetry manuscript books; Steve’s is lost, I discovered while talking with him, mine is inscribed “WEISBADEN [sic] GERMANY 25.5.60. To John with love from Grandad & Nannie Paine.” It contains autographs from both sets of grandparents and from Steven dated (Sunday) 29 May 1960, from Mr. Robinson my class teacher 30 May 1960, and from Mum, Trevor, and Dad 31 May 1960. There are some pages torn out which, I remember, contained some inconsequential autographs from Butlin’s (Pwllheli again?), followed by an ornate one in pencil from Uncle Joe in Sheffield dated 30 July 1960.
 A clipping from Thornton Cleveleys Times dated 30 December 1961 shows a group of people including Dad, who is mentioned as receiving a “Home Office rescue instructor’s certificate”.
[Compare A walk with Jones, where Jones’s disdain for my Dad’s Civil Defence activities earned him a punch in the belly.]
 There’s a Home Office Civil Defence School course photo with Dad and a large group of others dated 14 April 1964.
[Compare A walk with Jones, as above.]
Mum and Dad took me to Blackpool North station. As we went past the parish church, All Hallows Road (in what I think of as Bispham but shown as Churchtown on the map), Mum said that that’s where Nando and Elaine go now. At the station, there was a delay for my train of some 15 minutes, which was confusing and annoying because:
  1. There was no announcement to let us know what was going on;
  2. There was no train on Platform 6, at whose gate we were waiting; and,
  3. The message on Platform 6’s monitor about my 9.25 train to Buxton suddenly changed to be about the 10.25.
So we stood around there, perplexed, and wondered, “Is the 9.25 cancelled?” Should I get the 9.55 Manchester Airport train instead? Anyway, I got the delayed 9.25, which was on a different platform. There should have been 12 minutes between trains at Manchester Piccadilly, so I was a bit concerned when the train was consistently 13 minutes late at the stations between Preston and Bolton. The next train after the 11.01 from Piccadilly would have been one at 13.02 arriving in Cleethorpes 1½ hours later than planned: 15.45 instead of 14.00. Anyway, the train seemed to make up time at Bolton, and I arrived at Piccadilly with about 5 minutes to change platforms. The train arrived a little early. J met me, taxi home.… I gave church a miss. Cycled to Andrew’s ca.8pm and we went to The Tilted Barrel. He is on a diet and didn’t drink very much. He has started having flying lessons. Liz was serving, though Louisa was in the other bar and appeared in the corridor from time to time. There was very little else of interest to catch our eye. Back to Andrew’s, home earlier than usual (before midnight) because he had the next flying lesson tomorrow.…

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