»  Letter: Saturday, November 7, 1981

    E.A. Derbyshire to John Derbyshire

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We saw the Baseball game[1] on TV.!! Rang Annie & Pete & gave them all your news  They send their love.

Nov. 7th 81

My dear Son,

just got your very welcome letter. I have gone through your post & am sending on what seems to be most important. No one is dunning you for money as far as I can see!! but your Bank Statement very low!!! The rest of your post is just advertising matter. Peter Paterson rang yesterday & wants you to get in touch with him. I worry about your health, Dad worries about your financial position so between us we are thinking of you!! You know you should have told me about your pain again, you were supposed to return to Casualty.[2] Please do, if it occurs again or at least to the "Quack".

Tess got chicken pox off Marcus so I've had her this week, she's had it very badly & was quite ill for a few days, unable to eat or swallow, absolutely smothered. Dad has bad days, which make him more miserable than ever. The weather has turned cold & foggy, very drear. When you come home I'm thinking of having a point[3] by my bedside in the little front room & a single electric blanket. I know you will be feeling frustrated dear, you can only keep trying. Xmas just around the corner once again, I just long for the Spring. We had a bomb scare in the Grosvenor Centre,[4] it was a hoax but supposed to be a nail bomb. The place was cleared but there were police, fire brigade, special SAS soldiers, Bomb disposal etc, it really is wicked. An elderly woman was attacked in that little jitty[5] that runs from College Street up the side of Debenhams. A coloured youth tried to snatch her bag.

2pm time. Darling, this is the last bit of airmail paper I found in your drawer, so my love to everyone. Thank the children for their notes & wish Courtney[6] the best of luck in his exams. Miss you very much. See you soon

Lots of love




  1. Presumably the World Series.
  2. I suffered a slipped disc in early 1980. "Casualty" means the emergency room at a hospital.
  3. "Point" = an electrical outlet.
  4. The Grosvenor Centre is the big shopping mall in the center of Northampton.
  5. "Jitty" = alley. I remember this particular jitty very well. It ran from the Drapery, in Northampton town center, west to College Street (see the center map in the bottom row here). The eastern ten yards or so were entirely enclosed, a tunnel, the brick walls painted with shiny black paint for some reason — very creepy to a small child.
  6. Courtney Kopec, Kathy's son, age 12 or 13 here.