This page contains links to family photographs dating from late 1982, when I went to work in mainland China, to my marriage in August 1986.
In October 1982 I took up a lecturing position at Siping Teachers' College in Jilin Province, Northeast China. I returned to England in August 1983. I spent a few months writing a book about my experiences in China, but nobody would publish it.
In mid-1984 I took up contract programming and systems design work around London, renting a flat in Bloomsbury. In October 1985 I went to work on contract for First Boston Corp., a New York bond brokerage. The arrangement was, that if my work was satisfactory, they would offer me a permanent position after one year. It was, and since I had decided to get married, I took the opportunity of stable full-time employment, joining the firm as an employee in November 1986.
|Here I am standing outside the Siping college library, late 1982.|
|With two of my students, Sylvester Chen (left) and Bernie Han (right), in the railroad station plaza at the center of Siping. (The English forenames were awarded by me. I knew I would never be able to hold a hundred-odd Chinese names in my head.)|
|Typing in my office. The college provided me with a very good portable typewriter, some Hungarian model.|
|Hard at work.|
|Christmas 1982. The college provided the tree. I was amazed to find decorative Christmas lights at a store in the town. The guy is Wang Yue, my "minder." The girl is a student.|
|Taken within a few minutes of the previous. The new guy is Henry Zhang, a fellow lecturer.|
|Me, the Christmas tree, and five students.|
|Working at my desk.|
|Tessa (15) and Marcus (nearly 6). Picture enclosed in a letter from Mum to me dated January 10, 1983|
|Marcus' 6th birthday party, at Macdonald's in Northampton. Also present: Tessa, a friend of Tessa's. Picture enclosed in a letter from Mum to me dated January 31, 1983|
|For Lunar New Year 1983 ("Spring Festival" in communist China) I took a trip to Hong Kong to see Chan Kwong Chi, stopping off in Peking to see the sights, and get the obligatory photograph taken before Tian An Men.|
|This and the following two are class pictures, the first two of Rosie's class, the third of the other fourth-year (admitted 1979) class.|
|Rosie's class again.|
|The other 1979-entry class.|
|In May I took another trip south, this time with Wang Yue.|
|As the weather warmed, I persuaded the college to supply me with a bicycle, and went off cycling around the nearby villages. Here I am talking to one of the village headmen …|
|… Who invited my into his house to meet his wife and five sturdy daughters. Chinese peasants are wonderfully hospitable.|
|Working in my office.|
|Mum and Dad with Dad's first great-grandchild, James, May 18, 1983. James (five months old here) is the first child of Robert Derbyshire, my brother Noel's older boy. James Derbyshire is therefore my great-nephew.|
|Back in England in early 1984, working in my bedroom/office.|
|The same, but in close-up.|
|Aged forty (actually taken in April 1985, a few weeks prior to my birthday).
I had no doubts.
That tie, incidentally, is my college tie: purple and light blue.
|This one and the next are of Mum in the back garden at 62 Friars Avenue. It seems to be about 1985.|
|Notice the hedge has been replaced by a wooden fence.|
|In the plaza at the World Trade Center in Manhattan, Summer 1986.|
|In my office at First Boston in New York, Summer 1986. Either this or the previous one is the last surviving photograph of me as a single man.|