»  Letter: Tuesday, January 15, 1974

    J.R. Derbyshire to John Derbyshire

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J.R. Derbyshire
62 Friars Avenue

NEW YORK 10805

62 Friars Av 15/1/74

Dear Son

It was so nice to hear from you again & to know you are still a free man. Allan says not to worry about not having VISA as there are thousands in U.S.A & they dont get caught unless they are pulled in for crime & in his opinion, if they did catch you & you hadn't broken the law they wouldnt do anything to you. So if I was you, I would carry on till weather gets warmer & put all you can in the bank for your future travels. I always found a bit in the bank was the best pal you could have. The letter you posted to me on the 17 DEC. I got on 7 Jan & the one to Mum arrived 14 Jan (yesterday).

I am going to Shropshire on Sat. as your Uncle Eddie died last night & Cissie Fred myself & I hope Noel are going to the funeral. I hope to get back on Sat. night.

We are all well here I hope you are keeping well I dont think your winters are as trecherous as ours as you have dry cold an ours is wet cold. today its 12° centigrade & with a warm West Gale blowing lovely sunshine & 2 good showers a day. So we are not to bad, but by the W/E it is possible to be 2 centigrade & icy N/E gales. We had a strong gale last week Force 12 I.E 120 MPH blew my aerial into longdons garden & I had only paid £3 for a new valve the week before so its been an expensive gale for us never mind if I come up on the pools we will pay you a visit & paint the town red its been so long since I did I have forgotten how.

It looks as if we are to have an election next month[1] not that it will make any difference. I dont think U S A have enough money to bail us out now. I recon in 12 months it will be back to war time rationing as we are short of all food stuff & energy fuels & any country in the world can pay the price that food exporting countries except us so I see a 50% shortage of food so offer a prayer for us. Bread is 2/8 old money[2] large loaf 2 years ago 1/1d[3] & the newspapers to day say food prices will rise 50% in next 8 months. its the young people I feel sorry for we deserve it as misgovernment has brought it on & for that we are responsable. Your cheque at Xmas came in useful a joint of Gammon I bought for Sunday before Xmas. only a small on cost me £2.65 2 years ago it would as indeed I did buy one the same for 18/6[4] but don't worry about us & if. when we get the fuel bills in & can't meet them we will let you know. We worry about you perhaps falling sick & other things parents worry & as long as we know you are happy & well so are we.

I would like you to go to New Zealand I am sure you would like it & I think in the Australisa is the coming centre of trade to China & Japan (when they join together) which I am sure they will. Languages will be the important thing but to visit them on your own wouldnt be wise now as they are in as desperate position as we are, at least Australia & New Zealand are self supporting I agree with you, the houses there are overheated you can see it in the faces of the people I couldn't stand it in the bedroom. As you say the government have been keeping wages & yet property & land dealers can become millionares in 5 yrs & all the firms who are raising prices are showing 50% increase & dividends & its published in the Press no wonder workers are after more money I am glad we have North Sea Gas but we havent had any Electric cuts yet but we are on a razor edge whether politicly or in reality I cant tell but I am sure its the former. I agree if you stay single & hang on to your money till you can see which way the economy is going as technology will dictate & that can only lead to shorter working week earlier retirement that will take at least 5 yrs & with oil & natural gas we may pull through but other countries will make us fight all the way. Your remarks about Buddhism is true but not practicable in modern society as all they preach by their example is how to live without work they have the right idea but must modernise by example & show that praying is no answer to our ills, it is when we learn to live with one another & realise that providing one is fit he should be able & willing to work & anyone who is not fit in mind or body should be allowed to breed. Antibiotics are the curse of modern world they cure one complaint & in time create another. As working time decreases leisure must be organised to lap up the extra energy & be treated as serious as work & of course no one country can do this it must include the whole world. A pipe dream but it must come in less that 50 yrs or trouble impossible to visualise.

So on this cheerful note I will leave you & hope to hear from you soon & keep your chin up & remember we worry just as much for you as you do for us & wish you all the luck. Mum says she will be writing in a few days so you are getting woman talk & man talk how lucky can you get

Cheerio love Dad & Mum



  1. And indeed they did.
  2. "2/8" means two shillings and eight pence — 13.33 pence in the post-1971 decimal currency.
  3. One shilling and one penny, equivalent to 5.42p post-decimalization.
  4. Eighteen shillings and sixpence — equivalent to 92.5p.