Derek came from what he described as a “vaguely artistic family”, numbering, as it did,several figures such as his great-grandfather,William Sherborn, a noted engraver.
After attending Streatham Grammar School he served in the RAF until being invalided out in 1944. Four years later he joined the Ministry of Town and Country Planning as an investigator of historic buildings.
As a boy in Streatham Derek had dreamed of coming into a fairytale inheritance. His wish came true when, in 1950, his father inherited a property, Fawns Manor, in Bedfont, Middlesex, which Derek claimed had been associated with the Sherborn family since the fourteenth century. (Regency Review)