Mrs J.R. Derbyshire
62 Friars Avenue
Mr John Derbyshire Bsc
2 Habor Lane
New York 10805
9 — 2. 74
My dear Son
Just to let you know a card came from Hong Kong on 7th posted on 5th to say thank you for
your application & it is
receiving attention. Will send anything on that comes. Its cold & pouring with rain for 2 days. I long for Spring
& sunshine. I've painted
the bathroom this week & put down carpet very "Ritzy"
I suppose you've heard about the forthcoming Election, what a farce, it will solve nothing. There'll be some sore heads no doubt. You're well out of it. We live in such a beautiful & wonderful world, what a mess man has made of it. I've always longed to see the mountains & valleys, the seas, deserts, the quiet & strange places & people, silly isn't it. You'll understand. I wish I was a bird, then I expect some silly bugger would shoot me down!!
I saw Mrs Gotch yesterday, here is Gary's address,
3A Quarry High St.,
They would like to hear from you. The U.S.A. job fell through & Barbara is very pregnant till April. They
are not enjoying the standard of
living they've got used to & will move after this baby comes. Gary has to travel 50 miles to work every day so
they are not very settled.
There's a petition around to try & stop the Grammar School going "Comprehensive" Mr Oliver Mr is leaving, though I think he came after your time. Hope every thing O.K with you my love.
We are fine.
Loads of love
X X X X X
X X X X X X
- The old tripartite system of secondary schooling in England was being dismantled at this time. The former "grammar," "technical," and "secondary modern" schools (respectively more, less, and not much academically-oriented) were to be replaced with a uniform kind of "comprehensive" school, embracing all levels of ability. The better grammar schools, though, were a unique way for working- and lower-middle-class children to get a good academic education. People didn't want to lose that. Some grammar schools — including Northampton Boys' — survived more or less intact to the present day.
- The headmaster, I suppose. He was indeed after my time. I don't know who replaced him in 1974. Frank Holmes, who tried to teach me German in 1957-58, was headmaster from 1977 to 1985. He died in 2008. There must have been a headmaster between Oliver and Holmes, but I don't know the name.