Farewell To Westminster

Storm Imogen appears to have slunk away today, which was calm and sunny, brightening our








and camellias.

Another strip of colour negatives from April 1986 in a brown window envelope in the rediscovered collection were clearly not taken by me, but by staff members on my last day as Westminster Social Services Area 1 manager as I prepared to continueย my working life in a freelance capacity. I scanned them and placed them in my negative files.

Derrick 4.86 1

Here I stand in my office in theย former Victorian Paddington town hall,

Derrick 4.86 2

and here I am signing a few documents. Through the window behind me can be seen the old St Mary’s Hospital, which like the town hall has been largely demolished and converted to Housing Association dwellings.

I doubt that any Social Services Departments can today afford the luxury of spacious accommodation for all staff, such as the splendid manager’s office, on the walls of which I was able to hang many family photographs,

Derrick and Louisa 4.86

Louisa came to see where I had been working. We stand in front of portraits of, clockwise from top left, Michael, Sam, Louisa, Auntie Gwen, Matthew, Dad, and Jessica. I think it was Becky obscured by her sister’s head. The other two are of me running in a marathon and a twenty mile race.

This brought to an end twelve enjoyable, if very difficult, years in post.

Cicken tikka

Jackie fed us this evening with her delicious chicken tikka; vegetable pakoras and samosas; colourful savoury rice brought back from our recent visit to Dynasty in Brockenhurst; and salad. The red splurges on my helping are Dorset Naga Chilli and Smoked Garlic Jam, spicing it up. The Cook drank Hoegaarden and I drank Kingfisher.


  1. Wow, wow, and wow! Look at those flowers! I always find it a little bittersweet to run across my younger self in photos.

  2. Lovely workplace memories – seems far away doesn’t it? I only ask, because I recently came across some photographs and letters from a past job back in the late 80s – it presented a whole different perspective with so many years gone. Not a bad thing, just a great reminder of what was ~ beautiful flowers!

  3. Derrick, I always have all sorts of comments until I see the dinner and it often happens when mine is cooking and my poor mind just thinks…must. have. Jackie. for. my. cook. Of course that’s complete fantasy, so keep eating those delicious meals and we’ll enjoy vicariously.

  4. Working in a similar capacity in rural QLD, I can assure you our facilities did not compare. Other than also having walls and roof. Just. ๐Ÿ™‚ lovely flowers.

  5. Memories are a part of history, great story, Derrick.
    My mother had purple crocus in our front yard and I looked forward to seeing them pop through the snow each year. Down here in FL, I can’t find any bulbs.

  6. Your present dinner looks delicious and Louisa coming to visit her father (you) was very nice, Derrick. Your daffodils looked so cheerful and bright, too. My Mom would like the pink camellia flowers! Back to work, late break.

  7. You’ve captured gorgeous signs of spring through vibrant flowers — very exciting to feel the sunshine again. What a fine follow-up to your Imogen post the other day! How dashing you are with your psychedelic shirt!! Jackie cooks Indian food? You’re good fortune never ceases to amaze me ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. That was a nice extra treat to see those old pictures and walk through memory lane with you. You looked so sweet as a young man and you have aged so gracefully. You must be quite proud to have had such a fulfilling work to do throughout those years. The flower pictures are always such a treat too. Perhaps you should make a book with all those lovely pictures and add your beautiful and poetic comments

Leave a Reply