Miss Barrington-Huntley, Chairwoman of the interviewing
panel, took off her steel-framed spectacles and polished
them slowly and deliberately. As she did so, her eyes
passed over my gangling six-feet-one-inch frame like
an X-ray scanner, from the top of my unruly brown hair,
down past my Buddy Holly spectacles and fashionable
flower power tie, to the neat creases in my flared polyester
trousers and the toecaps of my polished shoes.
So it was that on a bright sunny morning in the summer
of 1977, at the age of thirty-one, I left my tiny, bachelor
flat in the village of Bradley, near Skipton, filled
up my emerald-green Morris Minor Traveller with petrol
and drove on the A59 over Blubberhouses and through
Harrogate towards the beautiful, historic city of York.