The Circus

The Circus
21st C
I met my partner, Iann, through the society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings. At the time I was renting a wing of a splendid 16th C building, Layer Marney Tower, in Essex, owned now by Nicholas Charrington.

Iann lived at Barrow Court, a 16th C building erected on the site of a much earlier Nunnery. An elderly friend, Lady Jenkins, had suggested I join the S P A B because I lived in an ancient building and sh0uld know something about the architecture of the time.

I met Iann on the first night of a weekend organized by S P A B and held at the University of Bristol. I was struggling to operate the automatic coffee machine when this attractive man sporting a mop of grey hair and a cheeky grin came to the rescue and later invited me to visit his house in the country about six miles away. We arranged to meet in the car-park after the first lecture. He told me his white car was parked at the end of the hedge. I couldn't see him but saw a white mini and walked towards it. Iann appeared and waved. "Not that one!" he called. "Over here!" He was standing next to a low-slung white dream of a sports car, a Lamborghini, with doors that rose on either side like angel's wings. We drove a few miles into the country, turned up a narrow rutted lane, swooped past a lodge into the drive of his impresive stone mansion and the rest was history.

I had met the celebrated "Father of the Transputer" so named because of his invention of a new form of technology which enabled microprocessors to be assembled in brain-like systems (his description, not mine: the transputer is a tiny object the size of my little finger-nail yet so powerful in the world of technology.)