Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ethel Strudwick

Letter No.: 
VWL751
July 6 [1935]

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

Dear Miss Strudwick1

I tried to see you when I came to school yesterday and, as I shall not be at school again until the 22nd I think I had better write what I want to say and not wait till then.
I hope I have been some use to you during this past year – I have watched the teaching carefully and I feel strongly that you have a splendid staff of music mistresses who know exactly what is wanted and do not need any extraneous help.2 Indeed, during my last few visits I have felt quite uncomfortable because there was absolutely nothing for me to do.  So I think that you will get on very well without me after this term – and you can have full confidence that the musical side of the work will prosper -  I need hardly say that though my official connection with the school will cease that I hope I may still be allowed to remain a friend of the school where I have so many happy memories.  And of course if you ever do need any advice or suggestions I shall consider it a privilege to be consulted.
Yrs very sincerely

R Vaughan Williams3


1.  Ethel Strudwick, High Mistress of St Paul’s Girls School  (ex inf Rosamund Strode).
2.  The mistresses included Nora Day and Vally Lasker who were great friends of VW and regularly assisted him.
3.  Dictated to Adeline, signed by VW.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Add. MS 932, f.108
General notes: 

VW had diffidently agreed to a request from Adine O’Neill to help ‘keep the flag flying’ by supporting the music teachers at St Paul’s Girls School in the year following the death of Gustav Holst – this is not mentioned in R.V.W.: a biography.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 266
Original database number: 
350706