BBC internal memorandum from Kenneth A. Wright, BBC

Letter No.: 
29th June, 1942.

As you know, Vaughan Williams will be 70 on the 12th October, and the Home Service plans a week’s celebration – one programme each evening, ending on the Saturday with a broadcast of the Celebration Concert by the Royal Philharmonic Society.  How are you planning to reflect this on the Red Network?1 Would it be convenient for us to change the “Music of Britain” (“Homespun”, Scotland) into a Vaughan Williams concert, which we could easily do.  My only feeling is that the occasion calls for a half hour in all services, rather than merely a quarter.
If it comes back to “Music of Britain” I suggest that we think of Vaughan Williams not so much as a composer, as a quarter hour can carry very little which is representative of his wide range, but rather as a great personality in believing in and helping to develop the music of the people, whether in his work for folk music, festivals, or writing music for homely choirs and bands.  This is an angle that would have wide appeal in the Dominions.
K. A. Wright

1. The Red Network was one of a number of colour codes used, mainly by BBC engineers, to indicate the different groupings of transmitters used to broadcast in the overseas services.  The Red Network transmitted to the English-speaking parts of the Empire Service, covering the Pacific, the East, Africa, and North America.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
File 910, VW composer
Cobbe 385
Original database number: