Letter from Laurence Irving to Joan Western

Letter No.: 
VWL800
28.9.35

The Black Windmill,
Whitstable,
Kent.

Dear Mrs  Western,

You have every right to think me a broken reed in the matter of your Holst Memorial Fund.  I have been away since May and until this years Canterbury Festival was over, I was not really able to put before Miss Babington, the Secretary of the Friends of the Cathedral, the idea which I had in mind so that the effort of Canterbury for your Memorial should be a really worthy one.
Briefly, I have made the following suggestions which have been enthusuastically1 welcomed by Miss Babington.  Working on the principal2 that the whole idea of the Festivals really sprang from the performance of “The Coming of Christ” and that Mr Holst did so much to make that performance the great success that it was, it is proposed that the Friends of Canterbury Cathedral set aside one afternoon of next years festival as a commemoration gathering in his honour.  Roughly we have outlined the programme thus: Dr Bell is to be invited to preside, Mr Masefield to read some of his own verses or to pay a tribute to Holst’s work for Canterbury, Dr Boult to arrange for a small string orchestra (the B.B.C. orchestra will be there for the Festival) to play some of Holst’s work and if possible to invite his own choir to come and sing some of his choral work; perhaps the afternoon might close with the singing by everyone present of the beautiful carol which he wrote for “The Coming of Christ”.  If it was at all possible, the Friends would have liked to put up a plaque in the cloisters commemorating his gifts to the Cathedral, but this of course depends upon the Dean and Chapter; it would be a splendid focus for the whole meeting if it could be arraged.3  The entire proceeds of this gathering should go to your Morley College Fund.
All these suggestions are at present unacted upon. When I hear from you that you approve of the idea, we will get to work on enlisting the help of those concerned.  I have already written to Dr Bell and sought his opinion and help and I hope to hear from him in a day or two.  Miss Babington meets the B.B.C. early next month and will be ready to lay these plans before them.  It would be splendid if a representative of your Committee could attand4 the gathering and tell them of your scheme for a memorial at Morley College.  I do think that if we can arrange it all, a very substantial sum ought to be forthcoming.
Please let me know your views and forgive me for not having written to you before.
Yours very truly

Laurence Irving


1.  sic.
2.  sic.
3.  sic.
4.  sic.

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/9, ff.54-55
General notes: 

Typewritten, signed.

Format: 
Letter
Original database number: 
350928