Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Arnold Barter

Letter No.: 
August 28th 1957.

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


Dear Arnold,

I think after nearly 50 years this is allowable1  -
The great thing which would incline me to come to Bristol would be for my wife & I to have the pleasure of seeing you & your brother.  But I fear I ought not to do it - October & early November are always great productivity times with me - and October, as you know will be nearly full of champagne and birthday cakes.2 So I must keep the rest of the time free for my work.
I often think of those early days when I met you at Kingsway Hall & you had just been doing the Sea Symphony.  And all the other episodes of a long friendship.  Do you remember how I came down a few years later to conduct the S.S - made a mistake which nearly brought the last movement to grief - but the chorus & orchestra made a soldiers victory of it?3
But [I] could go on for ever with these reminiscences.  I am so sorry the doctor will not allow me to come to Worcester, though I am feeling quite well.  But perhaps sometimes you come up to London - if you do, let me know & we'll arrange a meeting.
Give my affectionate greetings to your brother


PS Ralph is getting on splendidly & will be home next week - the doctors say he'll be 100% +++ - but he must take the next few weeks gently.4

1. i.e. use of first names.
2. i.e. for the celebration of VW’s 85th birthday.
3. See VWL742.
4. The postscript is by UVW. VW was in the Middlesex Hospital following an operation for a cancerous prostate.


Shelfmark of original letter: 
General notes: 

The letter is in the hand of UVW signed by VW.
Barter had written to RVW on 31 July (see British Library, MS Mus. 1714/1/23, ff.61-62).

Cobbe 721
Original database number: