Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Miss Townsend

Letter No.: 
VWL1408
Nov 12 [1938]

From R. Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates,
Westcott Road,
Dorking.

Dear Miss Townsend1

I wonder if you would be so good as to play for me at my Toc H. concert tomorrow week (Wednesday Nov 23rd) - the rest of the programme consists of a conjuror! Also Miss Hilda Bertha (the conjuror’s wife) who does “songs at the piano”.2 This lady tells she is a very good accompanist & has played for Melba - are you willing to trust her? If not, there are several good accompanists in Dorking.
Perhaps if you get this in time you cd give me a ring - so that I may announce you in tomorrow’s programme.
The time of the concert by the way is 7.30 & goes on till 9.0. You might send me your repertoire for me to choose suitable pieces - I think two “tunes” of about 7 or 8 minutes each would be right.
Yours sincerely

R. Vaughan Williams


1.  An instrumental player, probably a violinist, living at Holmwood.
2.  Toc H was the charity which was founded in a building renamed Talbot House (Toc H in signaller's code) at Poperinge in Belgium during the First World War. The concerts were a series held on Wednesdays for troops. See Vaughan Williams in Dorking: a collection of personal reminiscences of the composer Dr. Ralph Vaughan Williams O.M., edited by Celia Newbury, Local History Group of the Dorking and Leith Hill Preservation Society (Dorking, 1979), p.17. 

Location of original letter:

Location of copy:

General notes: 

The date on the letter reads Nov 12 but this may be an error for Nov 15 because of ‘tomorrow week’ being Nov 23rd; November 23rd was a Wednesday in 1938.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe no.307
Original database number: 
381115