Because this is a blog each story appears in order of publication. If you prefer to read my memoirs in chronological order click on the links below as you scroll down the stories column. Hover on the images in the context column for related events or facts.



Life and times
             Context               Stories
Before I was born

Dad’s side: The only famous Dewrances I can find were 19th and 20th century engineers, both named John.
Mum’s side: complicated!

   The Dewrance Connection
The Dewrance Connection: Update
1943 – 1946 Wartime days

Born! Lived in Tokyngton Avenue, Wembley with Mum, Dad and two aunts and uncles, until offered a prefab.


Early Memories

1947 – 1955 Prefab days

Though prefab people were looked down upon, the prefabs were palaces for many returning servicemen and their families, including us.

   Prefab posts
Fryent Days
1956 – 1961 School days & odd jobs
Up to O level I was a disaster, but the sixth form was a happy time. Studied at the school of real life and escaped to France.
   En Marche!
Me and my Palm Beach
Kingsbury County Days
1962 – 1964  Leicester Days

The furthest north I had ever been! Pity I chose the wrong subject……….

   Turbigo days
Leicester: my part in the city’s rise (not)
1965 Interlude in Caen
The idea was that I would achieve fluency in French by teaching English to French school kids. Fat chance.
     Me and my Puch
1966 After Leicester
Bought a bubble car, scraped a degree, found love in Filbert Street, learned some lessons in a public library and a failing school, married in Scotland and emigrated to New Zealand. A busy year.
   Thank you General De Gaulle (for my bubble car)
Thank you Miss Bugler
1967 – 1969 A new life

In New Zealand. Assisted passage, customs trouble, bureaucracy NZ-style, scary insects, Auckland and Dargaville, school teaching in the sticks. Met a man in a pub.

   New Zealand days Part 1
New Zealand Days Part 2 (Dargaville)
1969 – 1970 Auckland Days

Started work in TV at the NZBC in Auckland (AKTV2). Waited for the Queen in a phone box on Queen Street. Set up home in the bush. Baby No.1.

 title="The Golden Year: 1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their 'bed-in' for peace during their honeymoon in Amsterdam. Photo credit: Gold radio"  

New Zealand Days: Part 3 – first steps in the NZBC

1970 – 1972 Wellington Days

New job in the Windy City (Wellington) editing and producing. Baby no. 2. Passed the NZBC producers’ course and posted to Dunedin.

New Zealand Days: Part 4 – Wellington
1972 – 1973 Dunedin Days

Worked as a qualified TV producer in Dunedin, nearly got killed by the negligence of a trolleybus linesman, decided to return to the UK.

   Trolleybus blues

New Zealand Days Part 5: Dunedin

1973 – 1976 BBC Days (London).

1973 – not a good year to be in Britain. Returned with very little money, no home and two lovely kids. Immediate priority – get a job! Baby No.3

   Working for Auntie, BBC London
Working for Auntie, BBC London revisited (RIP Michael Dean)
Working for Auntie in the 70s continued
Working for Auntie: Huw Wheldon
1976 – 1983 BBC Days (Southampton)

It all started when the New Forest caught fire. Close encounters of the journo kind. Lawrence of Arabia, not fenced in and a pink caravan.


My Window Faces the South Part 1
My Window Faces the South Part 2: John Fowles
My Window Faces the South Part 3: Lawrence of England
My Window Faces the South Part 4: Netley Days

1983 – 2001 Yorkshire Days

To be made redundant once may be forgivable, but twice is just careless. Finnish and Gambian interludes. Goodbye TV, hallo media training!


Jag älskar Helsingfors
(I love Helsinki)
Where were you when Mrs T resigned?

More to come!

2001 – 2018 Lincolnshire Days

University teaching, being a grandpa and blogging. Still learning.

   On tour with Leeds Phil (2007 video)
Jane Chapman: War seen through cartoons

More to come!