Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Miss Townsend

Letter No.: 
Nov 12 [1938]

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

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. 

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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.

Cobbe no.307
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