Monday, October 27, 2003

Old Cliftonian Society of Clifton-College: "The Old Cliftonian Society is a very active one, with a small secretariat at school, 19 branches in the UK and 33 overseas, including Canada, the United States, Austalia, Africa and the Far East. Its aims are threefold: to help members keep in touch with the school and with one another; to assist the school; and, in cases of need, to give unobtrusive help to members who experience difficulty in meeting Clifton school fees. All members are invited to regular reunions at the school by age group, and receive a copy of the society's annual report which gives details of the school's activities and news of former pupils"

from Our One Hundred and Sixth Annual Report

HAROLD ERNEST WILLINGTON died recently and worked in the art Department from 1946 to 1953 runnuibg the wood and metal workshop.

DLC Diploma Loghborough College after his name in the Blue Book and he influenced my choice of tertiary education to the BAUHAUS like sandwich courses in engineering at Loughborough College of Advanced technology from 1953 until I was failed in 1956.

Google Search: "Loughborough College of Advanced technology": " In 1966, the College, which by now had become Loughborough
College of Advanced Technology, received university status"

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

The old box is aprox 8" by 10" tall and 2½" thick.
It has a rounded spine and is covered with black paper and the edges of the "pages" with marbled paper.

A partly destroyed label "-OV_ --NSTIT-"
and within fine patterned paper and a nickel plated sprung "rat trap" to
hold the contents flat.
WATKINS and LAPHAM of Monmouthshire and Bristol UK:Information about Dorothy Hare: "Dorothy Hare was born June 28
- data from AMW Birthday Book -
and died September 16, 1976 in Cornwall.

She was a life long friend of my mother Alison Mary Lapham from their days together at Brighton College of Education, (daughter of Alfred Thomas Lapham and Florence Caroline Evans.)
Dorothy married Frank Butler on October 29, 1927."

the auto generated FTM 10 web site mangles that data friends became "married"

I have a post card from her post marked Mosely D O Birmingham
8 Sept 1957
complete with "loch steamer" Loch Katrine Steamship Sir Walter Scott - Steamer on Loch Katrine

Google Search: "LOCH KATRINE"

"32 Resevoir Road

Many Thanks indeed for the delightful treat which we all enjoyed very much.
Hope you met the sun. We loved Scotland but not the weather.
The sun always departed if we visited a loch.
Best wishes from all D."

it is addressd to

Mr J. Foreman
14, George Road,

Joseph who, from 1945 until he died, was a long term friend of my mother and a father figure to me.

The house in Reservoir Road by the Bakers (Ruth Gipps) backed on to an open space by the canal feeder reservoir.
From there it was possible to walk along tow paths and the rail bed of the closed Harbourne branch railway.

I remember one day visiting the Baker lounge
and being allowed to take down a post horn from the wall and blowing it, I was aboput 14 and learning the euphonium at Clifton College, and showing Lance Baker how to make a sound.
Google Search: "Lance Baker" "french horn"
the same little boy ?

GEORGE WELDON The Myths about Conductors: Personal Thoughts by Dr. David C F. Wright: "This article is written to fulfil a promise to the late Ruth Gipps and to set the record straight. I realise that I have written some things which may upset some people but it is not my intention to do so. What I have written is the truth which other people should have made known long ago. I have no desire to be troublesome or offensive to anyone whether living or dead, or to any family or relatives of those who have died, and I am not making any accusations against anyone in particular so as to avoid any suggestion of libel. What I have written is also true to life particularly the sexist attitude towards women after the Second World War in which many served courageously. "

an old scandal

Ruth Gipps (British Composer 1921 - 1999) by David C. F. Wright:: "Securing the position of second oboe and cor anglais with the CBO, Mrs Baker moved to that city in 1944. When Kendall Taylor was delayed in traffic Ruth Gipps deputised at very short notice in Beethoven's Emperor Concerto. On other occasions she deputised for, among others, Samson François, Nina Milkina and Shulamith Shafir. Consequently Weldon was accused of favouritism and ugly rumours were circulated that while Mr Baker was serving his country his wife and Weldon 'could not have been having a closer association'. When in March 1945 Ruth Gipps was soloist in Glazunov's Piano Concerto No 1 and then played the cor anglais part in the first performance of her own Symphony No 1 in F minor Op 22 in a concert conducted by Weldon, Ruth Baker was said by some to be Weldon's mistress and that there was 'an impending divorce'. The facts of the matter are that Weldon was inadequate domestically and a bachelor and Mrs Baker came to his aid; musically she was a versatile and accomplished all-rounder. The only impropriety was the jealousy directed at her. "

the point being that the male players were away at war, and like in the factories, the women musicians had far more possibilities of employment.

Google Search: "joy boughton" My mother told me that Joy could not sleep because of the air raids in WWII and took up the oboe

Sleeve Notes - Boughton: Aylesbury Games & Concertos: "If Boughton had a particular soloist in mind (the Oboe Concerto had been written for his daughter Joy Boughton) it was probably John Francis, who had been part of the orchestra at the Bath Festival in 1935. (John Francis married the harpsichordist Millicent Silver and their daughter is Sarah Francis who has recorded the Boughton Oboe Concerto on Hyperion CDH55019.) "

Sarah was my late wife Judith Thomas's big rival in our generation of London musicians.
I last heard her on Swedish Radio one night in Copenhagen

Musicians were riddled with rivalry and jealousy.

Well enough memories for now
this BLOG is still experimental, I call it a public first draft and
I know that I am not yet achieving a Proustian intensity of emotional recall,
basically those were happy days for me, but I will improve my writing skills by working on them.

I am going to browse my way through that box of letters, ephemera and school reports and when that is done there are thousands more yet unsorted.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Two piles of old letters turned up, my father's old tobacco pouch with my mother's letters to him in the months before they got married late 1933.

The other a box bound like a book with some of my and other letters from 1952 to 1958 to my mother

Union Jack Club
8 February 1957

Dear Mother,

I am on a diet I didn't expect the British Army to do it - but in fact the MO & the Messing Officer are very cooperative.

Just up for the usual square dance at present = I believe I owe you £2 hence enclosed PO.

I am playing in Ruth Gipps Orchestra now concert coming after march (28th)



<<< I better write an explanation of that lot later - briefly

Welcome: "Situated in Sandell Street opposite Waterloo Station "

very cheap bed and breakfast for servicemen.

MO Medical Officer - the regimental doctor

Messing Officer - in charge of the catering and cook house for the RE training regiment in Gibralter Barracks Aldershot where I lived in.

Ruth Gipps (British Composer 1921 - 1999) by David C. F. Wright:: "The origin of her first orchestra, which came into being in 1955, lies in her marvellous capacity and friendship for young people and students who adored her. Whereas some older people resented her magnificent musicianship and were patently envious of her stupendous abilities, the young ones, free from all such prejudice and pernicious guile, discovered in her a warm and unfailing friend whose judgments were always right. When Dr Gipps asked young orchestral player: what was missing in their training they replied that they had no opportunity for sight-reading and repertoire study. One would have thought that someone would have resolved this problem long before, but it was Ruth Baker who advertised and subsequendy founded the One Rehearsal Orchestra, later renamed the London Repertoire Orchestra, in 1955"

Friday evenings and I was the only bassoon player
"On 19 March, 1942 Ruth Gipps married Robert Baker " who was a brilliant bass clarinetist and helped out with the bassoon line. A big musical memory he could read a piece of music once and play it from memory.

Players in the CBSO they had been neighbours of my mothers friends "The Butlers" at Reservoir Road Edgebaston and so I felt at ease having met them en familie years before.

I was a beginner so not good enough to play for her concerts.

Google Search: "Ruth Gipps"

EFDSS Home Page:I used to dance at English Folk Dance and Song Society "Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent's Park Road, London, NW1 7AY. "
and square dances were part of the repertoire.

I much prefered it to ball room dancing which I felt to be unmusical.

Google Search: "cecil sharp house"

Google Search: "cecil sharp house"

Hiring Cecil Sharp House: "Kennedy Hall 80' x 50' (24m x 15m) our largest hall, has many unique attractions, including ample natural light, wood panelling, sprung floor, double storey ceiling, and the celebrated Ivon Hitchens mural spanning the 65ft length of the hall. Doors opposite the mural open out onto a walled garden."

Google Search: Ivon Hitchens

Ivon Hitchens: biography

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Moving lots of boxes containing my late mothers "junk" and the odds and ends of old furniture that I have used since my childhood, now my daughter is here from Denmark and she is beginning to enjoy ferreting around and finding old handbags, and more, which any normal person would have thrown out.

She has done a wonderful job helping me even if I was late to the BHX airport to meet her OOOOOOOPPPPPPS sorry dear

Well she could not get to her bed for books.

I stocked up with cans of coca cola light, crisps and frozen pizzza, so now I can taste the extra salt from my diet in my mouth.

Too tired for more so BACK to BED

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

George Pollen Biography: "I entered the British Army in 1958, into The Royal Engineers Staff Band in Aldershot and served the full 22 years. Whilst in the band, I discovered arranging music as a hobby and arranged and composed many pieces for concert military band, many of which were broadcast on BBC radio, BBC TV and placed onto records, cassettes and CD's. "

We are old comrades from Army days. and lived in Gibralter Barracks Aldershot, and I had a copy of the spine-tingling 78rpm recording of George Pollen Biography: "La Tarentelle de Belphegor (Roch Albert)" by the BBC Wireless Military Band
conducted by Walton O'Donnell which he loves to this day.

We were in the same band for eight and a half years but I spent 1956 - 1957 studying bassoon with Frank Rendell at the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller HallTwickenham by the Rugby ground. I continued with Frank Rendell for five more years at the Guildhall School of Music before returning to KH from 1964 - 1965 as a Student Bandmaster befoire opting out at the end of the first year.

Charles Cracknell was another of Frank's students, in whose bassoon section I had the pleasure of playing third bassoon in the Rite of Spring in the Halle Orchestra under Barbarolli "when they emptied the labour exchange in London" to put on big works. (the Rite is scored for 3 bassoons and 2 contra bassoons ie instrumentation: orchestra = - - perc., timp. - string 5tet from An Annotated Compendium of Stravinsky's Works) . We were all Heckel players so tuning and intonation was brilliant.

On one trip from London Euston I met Leonard Brain one of the few bass oboe players of the world who was also Halle bound. He was the brother of the french horn player Dennis Brain whose untimely death was as memorable to us young musicians as that of Kennedy. Dennis was one of my musical heroes until my twenty years younger second wife, with the golden ear, pointed out about my favourite LP . . .it's out of tune.

And musical standards get higher and higher with each generation.
Sygdomme og Lægekunst på Bellmans Tid:
"Knarvorne Löfberg,
gul som et lig,
forbanded sig og al sin musik,
han døde med knækket fagot,
da han drog til næste kro."

Sickness and doctoring in the Swedish poet Bellman's time.

"Knarvorne Löfberg,
yellow as a corpse
cursed himself and all his music
he died with a broken bassoon,
when he set out for the next inn."