»  The Virtual Attic — Photographs — 1982-1986


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.

Library Here I am standing outside the Siping college library, late 1982.
Station Plaza 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 Typing in my office. The college provided me with a very good portable typewriter, some Hungarian model.
At the blackboard Hard at work.
Christmas 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.
Christmas Taken within a few minutes of the previous. The new guy is Henry Zhang, a fellow lecturer.
Christmas Me, the Christmas tree, and five students.
Christmas Working at my desk.
Tessa & Marcus Tessa (15) and Marcus (nearly 6). Picture enclosed in a letter from Mum to me dated January 10, 1983
Marcus at 6 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
Chinese New Year 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.
Class picture 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.
Class picture Rosie's class again.
Class picture The other 1979-entry class.
Great Wall In May I took another trip south, this time with Wang Yue.
Headman outside 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 …
Headman inside … Who invited my into his house to meet his wife and five sturdy daughters. Chinese peasants are wonderfully hospitable.
Office Working in my office.
Baby James 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.
Home office Back in England in early 1984, working in my bedroom/office.
Home office The same, but in close-up.
Forty 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.
Forty This one and the next are of Mum in the back garden at 62 Friars Avenue. It seems to be about 1985.
Forty Notice the hedge has been replaced by a wooden fence.
Xiaolong & Louise The wedding of old friends Xiaolong Li and Louise, August 10th 1985. Xiaolong, 34 years older, is in the foreground here, talking to Rosie. I am the rather robotic-looking figure at far right. Standing next to me is Mike Potter, who has a walk-on part in the Jeep Story.
New York In the plaza at the World Trade Center in Manhattan, Summer 1986.
New York 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.