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Alan Holmes Fairhurst and David Charles Jones

Early Days

 Alan Fairhurst appears quite often in the Early Days stories, e.g. in—so it is surprising that I have little or no recollection of him. Almost all the information about him comes from Chris Woodhead. And there’s more, for Chris wrote to me on 10th May 2011:
I was browsing through the Fairhurst [stories]… the other day, and something struck me which hadn’t occurred to me before. This was that Alan Holmes Fairhurst and David Charles Jones had a surprising number of things in common.

Firstly, Fairhurst also considered himself to be something of a little professor — not in the same smug way in which Jones liked to display his superiority: no, in a different way, in which he was clearly convinced of his own intellectual prowess. His parents, on the other hand, were down-to-earth Boltonians, and both had appropriately strong accents. His dad, Bob, was a builder, and his mother, Elsie, worked in a shop in Fleetwood. His dad had a work-mate on the building site called Winterbottom, whom Bob Fairhurst always referred to as “Cowdarse”.
[1] “Cowd” (pronounced like “code”), a substandard form of “cold” heard in the north of England, as in the cold of winter + “arse”, a somewhat coarse word for one’s buttocks or bottom.

I remember an occasion when I did something (probably quite deliberately) which upset Alan, and he immediately ran into the kitchen, protesting to his dad about the injustice which he had just suffered; I think his words were, “D-a-a-a-d, look what he’s gone and done now!” Bob Fairhurst would have none of it; his reply was simply, “Stop being so damned sentimental, Alan!” and that was the end of the matter.[2]

[2] Jones’s dad’s reply to Jones, in the story Jones first reveals the threat of the Middleton Empire, was similarly blunt: “Don’t be so bloody daft, David! Whatever will you think of next?”

Fairhurst also liked to think of himself as a great detective. Jones, of course, found his rôle models in The Saint or in Inspector Lockhart of No Hiding Place. This led him to stage those dramas in our garage, in which I was always forced to be the villain.[more] In contrast, Fairhurst was a Sherlock Holmes fan. Maybe because his own second name was Holmes, this made him feel a special kind of affinity to Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous character. Unlike Jones, he didn’t need me to be the villain, but rather liked me to play Doctor Watson. The stories which he then conjured up were usually aimed at discrediting Leech. For Alan, Leech was always the natural villain! Your own excellent account of the Fairhursts and the Leeches gives most of the background to this.

Also like Jones, Fairhurst had a brother who was considerably older than he.
[3] This brother, Gordon, was married and lived in Luton. I remember that he once went to stay with his brother during the school holidays. His parents took him to the Coliseum bus station [in Blackpool] and put him on one of the Standerwick “Gay Hostess” buses. This bus made a call at Dunstable, where his brother Gordon would meet him. I’m not sure what kind of relationship Jones had with his brother; he was a half-brother, anyway, and presumably he lived in Manchester. I can’t even remember his name.

[3] Jones… had a brother who was considerably older than he: In these stories, there is only one very brief mention of him in David Jones (alternative version).

Email from Chris, 10 May 2011 09:54. The text is his; footnotes [and glosses] are mine.

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