Letter from Brian Johnston Parkstone

Brian Johnston Parkstone, Poole 10 March 2010

“Dear Dick,

I am pleased the book Grammar to Comprehensive is at last coming out. King should have been knighted. I am hoping to get a copy of the book and booklet/cd. I came to Wandsworth School from Fulham, which did not have its own boys’ grammar school. Of course having been second prefect I stayed on into the upper sixth. I eventually went as a violinist to the Royal Academy Music getting my Licentiate in 1961.

I am still interested in geography, geology and economics and I am still in touch with Albert Preston and Ian Cobb. I remember seeing you on television about 15 years ago. In the magazine the wartime picture of senior boys and staff features Sam Cowan (Morley C) before Mr Bacchus; then Louis Fenn et al.

I still find time to run 60 miles a week with Belgrave Harriers at distances up to 20 miles (2 hours exactly). In 1961 I did some training sessions with Gordon Pirie at the Duke of Yorks track near Sloane Square but music put pay to athletics.

After freelancing in London with Barbirolli, Boult and Robert Farnon, I joined the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1962 and went across to the Sinfonietta in 1969, which was axed in ’99 courtesy of the Arts Council. I became freelance again and am still playing sometimes for the Bournemouth Symphony and other orchestras. I give talks on musical topics to organisations.

I now enjoy rugby as a spectator, more than I ever did at school. Anyway, all the very best. We know that Wandsworth was a very exceptional school. P.S. Where are Tudgay, Cowling, Donald Cowling and all the rest now?

Best wishes you

Brian Johnston L.R.A.M.”

On Saturday the 20th of November 2010 Brian gave a talk entitled ‘30 wonderful years with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta’ at Bournemouth Library.

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