John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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“I’m very sorry, Chris, but what can I do?”

Early Days
Perhaps summer 1963
 1. In 1963, perhaps in summer, Chris’s friend and fellow EMB&H member Alan Fairhurst moved with his parents from their two-storey house near Chris’s in Ascot Road, Thornton, to a bungalow in Burns Avenue, near Meadows Avenue.

 2. Chris went round to Fairhurst’s new home once. Few people when we were kids had telephones at home, so we would just visit our friends’ houses and hope they were both there and available. Chris found that Jones was already there (this would be a very long bike-ride for him, then!);
[1] but Fairhurst had been given instructions not to let anybody else in while his parents were out. Chris was very friendly with Fairhurst when he lived down Ascot Road, but Jones must have superseded him in friendship-status, for on this occasion he was allowed access to Fairhurst’s house and Chris wasn’t.

[1] A very long bike-ride for him, then!: Compare Some sayings of Mums.
 3. They wouldn’t let him in; they would only talk to him through the window. At one point it was just Jones who was there. He was the more dominant and influential of the pair, so Chris addressed his plea to him. “Oh, David,” he said, “can’t you get him to let me in?” And Jones kept going away with Chris’s requests and entreaties and then coming back; and he said finally, “Chris, Mrs. Fairhurst has given specific instructions to Alan not to let anybody else in. I’m very sorry, but what can I do? I can’t ask Alan to go against his parents’ wishes.”

 4. And that was that. Chris had to go home then.

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