Letter from Ursula Vaughan Williams to Michael and Eslyn Kennedy

Letter No.: 
July 30th [1955]

From R. Vaughan Williams,
10, Hanover Terrace,
Regents Park,
London, N.W.1.

My dears

The photographs are fun. Thank you so much for them.  It is nice to hear your raspberries welcomed you home with immense crops.  Its one of the nicest smelling jams to make don’t you think? 
We enjoyed Cheltenham enormously,1 & it seemed to me to be so leisurely, so one really had time to meet & gossip, & was not oppressed by trying to think of  all the things that one wanted to say in a limited time.
We’ve come home to a quiet patch – a great pleasure: the garden full of flowers, & no particular engagements – though today we had a visit from a young Welsh composer, Bryan Davies: he works as an inspector in a fire extinguisher factory, 12 hours (overtime more or less enforced I think).  In his spare time he composes, studies scores, plays a double bass in an orchestra, accompanies visiting artists at celebrity concerts (Sylvia Fisher & all).  He wrote letters saying he would walk barefoot to London to see R.  However, he came by train, & was in the sort of state Moses must have been in on Sinai: he couldn’t even speak in a normal voice, but a holy whisper.  However, he thawed in time, & was nice, I thought.  Lyrical & exalted & surprised at being here, all at once.  He says he never goes to bed till 3, & his wife makes him black coffee to keep him awake.  He is 21 & knows a lot of things, Greek & Verlaine, & all that goes on in the third programme!  He was realy touching, & it is impressive to see what a real passion can achieve after 12 hours in a factory.
We are enjoying home life again – and the park looks like a Monet – green & water; Moody & Sankey the cats all fit and well.
Have you read a wonderful book – The Wise Man from the West by Vincent Cronin?  It’s one of the most enthralling I’ve ever met.
Love to you both from both of us,


1. The VWs and Kennedys had been to the Cheltenham Festival - see R.V.W.: a biography, p.362.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 159, ff.78-79
General notes: 

Year taken from postmark.

Original database number: