»  Letter: Wednesday, October 16, 1974

    E.A. Derbyshire to John Derbyshire

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  Transcription of Letter

From
Mrs J.R. Derbyshire
62, Friars Avenue
Delapre
Northampton
England

To
Mr John Derbyshire Bsc.
57, North Perkins Avenue
Elmsford
New York, 10523
  U.S.A.

October 16th

My dear son,

got your long awaited letter today, bless you. Dad & I are fine, just the odd "screws"[1] now & then (hope you know in what context I put "screws"!!) but its so damp & cold, always raining, however, life flows on fairly serenely. Sugar is rationed to 2lbs a week (when its available) salt is almost non-existant due to greedy panic buying, a decent pair of shoes about £9 as was £6, etc. Electricity & Gas are exorbitant but we can always stay in bed!! Thanks for offer of help here darling, its not nice to have to ask for money, but every little helps, its only the winter quarters that are difficult.

Well, my love, I've wieghed the suit it will cost about £4 to send by air, so I will try & get a box & send it off this week-end. I've had the trousers cleaned, the waistcoat is quite new & the jacket I don't think needs cleaning. Anyway, I'll get it off, I'm sure it will fit you, its a Daks from Swanns & I know Allan paid around £60 for it. Later on I'll send you 2 sweaters, one is "Aran" Pattern in tan & one blue Polo neck I bought last year for you & never sent. They'll be warm anyway & if you don't like them you can sell them!!

No news from Judy this week. She has a part-time secetretarial job, & Allan had got an interview last week. Michael (Auntie Cis' son) had a car accident, was very lucky, he was thrown through the windscreen but only shock & superficial cuts. I've put on ½ stone this summer, now struggling to take it off again!!

I worry about you not eating properly & you seem to work very long hours. Take care now. I lost my specs some weeks ago, so going on Friday to get some new ones. I had a day with Fred & Mary Allen at Overstone last Sunday. We talked of you, they send their love. They are very sad as they never hear from Barry in Oregon. He's a Stinker.

Xmas will soon be here, afterwards shall be making plans to come, I hope, next September. We laughed at your ranch-style week-end,[2] mind them 'ere redskins!! I've sold your bed & going to do your room up as a "retreat" for me, but shall get a fold up bed for any visitors, you can always have my bed when you come!! All for now my love. As always,

Mother & Dad.  X X X
  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X  X

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  Notes

  1. Rheumatism. This is Northampton slang. Hence the quotes: to my non-Northamptonian parents, the local slang was quaint.
  2. I had gone with some friends to spend a day at a dude ranch somewhere up the Taconic Parkway.