»  Letter: Thursday, October 29, 1981

    E.A. Derbyshire to John Derbyshire

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  Transcription of Letter

From
Mrs J.R. Derbyshire
62, Friars Avenue
Delapre
Northampton
England  NN4 9PX

To
John Derbyshire
Co/. Mrs K.M. Kopec
188 Voss Avenue
Yonkers  New York
10703.  U.S.A.

October 29th 81

My dear Son,

Scribbling this so that I can post it on my way to the most exciting day of the week — Pension Day.!! It is 8.45am & I am sitting in the window with the sun shining, duster & Hoover at the ready.— for later. It was great to get your letter dear & to know you are O.K. Watch your weight love, I know, to my cost, how easy to put on, how hard to take off. I told you on the phone we'd had a murder up Hardingstone Lane. Diana Summerfield from Parkfield Avenue taking her dog a walk was attacked, strangled with the dog lead & rape apparently attempted. When she did not return home her father found her body dragged into the spinney.[1]  They have a 17 yr old youth from Pleydell Rd, it has scared everyone off & I no longer walk up the lane to Jean's. Her sister lives next door to Janet. Detectives came to every house & all the males had to account for their movements. Diana left a girl of 13 & a boy 11. It has cast a blight on the whole area.

Marcus had chicken pox, so I had him one week & Mrs Moore the next, now it's ½ term & Tess has it!! so she'll stay with me next week.

I went to Paris on Friday, via Dover to Bologne, across the battlefields of Arras, Lille, the Somme etc. Weather was beautiful, but I found the journey very tiring & sitting too long. We arrived at our hotel at 2 pm. & started back at 10 am Sunday am. arriving home after midnight, where Phil met me. I got a bottle of whiskey & 200 cigarettes for you — part of the package. We went on the Seine, lovely, saw Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Sacre Cour & nearly had my purses pinched. Angela saw this gypsy girl open my bag & was able to push her away, but some were not so lucky. Went to the Artists Quarter fascinating but expensive. Some of the party went to the Pigalle Sat. night, but I was too whacked, I'd seen all before anyway. Prostitutes, pimps, weirdos, queers, naked bodies all come in one's nursing career. Nothing shocks me, I just think its degrading & sometimes laughable. Our courier was as bent as a pin, but very charming. The francs I brought back have paid the electricity bill.!! I found dealing with francs & no knowledge of the language very confusing.

The weather here is lovely, lots of sunshine, a bit chilly, but not yet too cold. We're fine, Dad O.K., well.!! … My love to all, be good to Kathy. You're very lucky. Miss you very much. Judy says she wants to know if you're home for Xmas, so she can order the turkey.!! Wayne has Hepatitis, so the house has to wait. He's improving slowly, but can't work yet. Not much help from the Social Services. See you soon darling. You've no winter clothes i/c you!! By the way, something silver is usually a christening gift, commemorative plate or something similar. Good Luck. Lots of love, not forgetting Mary & Jay.

        Mother  X X

        I have a cold.!!

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  Notes

  1. A spinney is a small patch of woodland. This would be the one on the north side of Hardingstone Lane.