Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Elisabeth Lutyens

Letter No.: 
Nov 6 [1939]

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

My Dear Mrs Glennie1

(or do I on these formal occasions call you Elisabeth Lutyens?) I am most anxious to help and wd be glad to give my name to your Council2 if I can be sure that it is not merely overlapping & creating yet another body of which there are already too many. You have doubtless envisaged these - but in case you have not - I mention a few which have all written to enlist my sympathy
(1) I.S.M. “Concerts in wartime”

(2) Federation of rural music (Miss Ibbetson 106 Gloucester Place W.1)

(3) Society of Women Musicians Concert parties

(4) “Council of Music” (or some such name with rather high falutin’ terms of reference with T. Beecham at the head & John Goss for Secretary)

There are also, of course, the various rural community councils, the ATNS (or whatever it is for concerts to troops3) & the National Council for Social Service.
Would it not be a good plan to get into touch with one or more of these & work with them rather than start a new organization? But I daresay you have already thought this all out.
By the way you ask for an immediate reply & your letter is dated Oct 28 - but it did not reach me till Nov 3rd or 4th.
Yours sincerely

R. Vaughan Williams

1. Elisabeth Lutyens was married to Ian Glennie, until they divorced in 1940, although at this time she had already separated from him.
2. The Association of British Musicians.
3. VW was probably thinking of ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association).


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Add MS 63650 M, ff. 34-35

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/12, ff. 68-70
Cobbe 329
Original database number: