PEOPLE

Steven Spurrier

‘I was brought up in Derbyshire where my family have lived for several hundred years. We have been churchwardens of the village church at Marston-on-Dove, where my elder brother still lives, since 1632 without a break. He will be the final churchwarden there. The Damascene Conversion moment for me was Christmas Eve, 1954, probably my first in long trousers because I’d just started at Rugby public school, dining with my grandfather, parents and brother in the family house. He said, “I think you’re old enough for a glass of port”. A ...

Read More

Jane Corry

‘I was an only child until I was seven when my sister came along. I read a lot and enjoyed my own company. I wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember and still have scraps of paper on which I’d written little stories in rounded childish writing. My parents didn’t have much money but they loved books. They would read to me every night and I am sure this made a big difference. My mother was a nurse and later an educational welfare officer. My ...

Read More

Peter J W Noble

‘My grandparents were White Russian and Irish Catholic on one side and mainly English on the other. And although I’ll never really know the truth, that might account for why my parents decided to marry in secret. They married in March 1939, went home to their respective parents’ homes afterwards and didn’t tell anyone. They obviously managed to see each other at some point because in November the following year I appeared. My father, after working for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation joined the RAF and I never ...

Read More

Cathy Anholt

‘I have an unusual, and possibly rather annoying gift known as ‘total recall’. This means that I can remember virtually every detail of my life, beginning with a vivid recollection of being swaddled in a tight blanket in my pram. The pram was parked under an apple tree in the garden of our family cottage, where I was born in 1958, the third of eight siblings in an Irish Catholic family. If this all sounds a bit ‘Cider with Rosie’, that’s because we lived just a few miles from Laurie Lee’s ...

Read More

Philip Browne

‘I grew up in Sligo in the west of Ireland, the eldest of three children, two boys and a girl. I was one of a small percentage of Protestants in the town where my Dad was the Church of Ireland clergyman. Sligo is about the same size as Dorchester. We lived in a big eighteenth-century rectory, which had nearly three acres of garden. It was huge and surrounded by a ten-foot wall. As the only Protestant kid in that part of town and living behind these huge walls it was ...

Read More