Letter from Ursula Vaughan Williams to Joan and Martin Shaw

Letter No.: 
February 26th [1958]

10 Hanover Terrace
London N.W.1.

Dearest Joan & Martin
Ralph says I must explain all our cunning to you.  For years he has been paying vast supertax for the Chancellor to squander.  Now we have a splendid accountant who has helped us to arrange this new and splendid affair; all Ralph's PRS1 goes to this Trust2, which is under the shelter of the Mus Ben.3 & adminsiterd4 by them, through our Committee, so Ralph doesn't have to pay supertax , & the Chancellor doesn't get his money, and it can all be spent on nice people & giving concerts & so on.  We aren't any less wealthy, and everyone is happy.  So you see, you are really doing us all a great favour, as its so nice to know you can have some extra fun, & Ralph feels that nothing could be more right than waht came from music going back into music, and what could be more music than you two?
Dear Joan, how lovely that you read Hopkins too, I do love him.
We have just had a most lovely St John.  For the first time in eleven years there wasn't a blizzard (it's been fantastic, always the coldest day of the winter) and everyone was warm & happy, & played & sang like angels, & Ralph completely on top of his form.  The church was crowded, & some people had to sit on the steps of the font!  The Matthew is on March 16th, a bigger business in the Halls5.  Last year we were trailing up & down to Manchester where Ralph did it too, & I feel what a positive blessing not having to go to Manchester is!
Otherwise life is pleasantly as usual, lots of opera going, and lots or work.  Ralph has been doing the test piece for the Brass Band Festival!  And we have already got about 12 kaufmaniana tulips out in the garden, & I have balsam & morning glory seedlings in the bathroom.  Gerald Finzi grew morning glories in pots indoors, & they were simply terrific, bigger flowers than outside, & so I'm doing the same.  After soaking the seeds for 24 hrs they came up in 2 days!
Poor Diccon - but it does sound a very distinguished thing to have an operation for*.  I hope not too uncomfortable.
Ralph sends kisses to Joan, I to Martin, & love from us both to you both,
* Throat.  ? Singers nodes.6

1.  Performing Right Society.
2.  RVW Trust.
3.  Musicians Benevolent Fund.
4.  i.e. "administered".
5.  i.e. the Dorking Halls.
6.  Added in another hand.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1767/3/1/1/12 (1)