»  Letter: Sunday, March 20, 1983

    E.A. Derbyshire to John Derbyshire

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  Transcription of Letter

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

John Derbyshire
Siping Teacher's College
Siping City
Jilin Province
People's Republic of China

March 20th Sunday

My dear Son,

Great excitement in the Derbyshire household yesterday. a large envelope came for you from London & I thought it might be about your book. However, inside was a copy of the Spectator, March 12th, & on the cover — in red — John Derbyshire, the name of your article & an amusing picture of 1 large & 1 small Mao-se-tung type[1] men holding hands & — wait for it — a cheque for £80 compliments of the Spectator. We are really thrilled for you. Now my first thought was to send it all to you. Oh! there's also a note from someone named Derbyshire from Bournemouth to say how much he enjoyed the article. We've all read it. Judy has taken it to school. So do you want me to send you the copy & cheque, keep it till you come, or see if I can put your cheque in your Halifax account — its got to be endorsed — I'll send the letter & you 6 snaps anyway, I got those on Friday. I went to Smiths to see if I could get any copies, but they say you have to write to the Publishers. Let me know love. Isn't it exciting. Judy is tickled pink. We're all very proud, none more so than your Mum.!!

It's now Monday, just been down to pay rates, its gale force winds & very cold. Judy, Ada & I went to the garden centre yesterday. Judy bought me a lilac tree, 50 Gladioli bulbs, some ployanthus plants for the garden, for my birthday. Auntie Win sent me £5  Dad gave me £5 so I shall get a net, some oxygenating plants etc. & 3 or 4 gold fish for the pool, when its a bit warmer. We are all well, I think I must have told you Dad has to have a Barium Enema — nasty!! — & X Rays on the 30th. He is sitting, at the moment, trousers rolled up, examining his legs.!! wondering what's wrong with them. I tell him its arteriosclerosis, but he won't accept his arteries are hardened, so I give up. I've written & thanked you for your cheque dear, don't think I was asking for more in my last letter, our letters had crossed. Am waiting for Ray to come & give me an estimate for tiling the bathroom.

Tuesday    Thank you darling, just had your lovely birthday message. Am now rushing off to Post Office to get this away.  am dying for you to know. Gales still raging. Have to get some air mail letter paper, then will send on snaps etc on Thursday

Love, love, love





  1. Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, the subjects of my article. If memory serves, I shared cover billing on that issue of The Spectator with Malcolm Muggeridge.