Handwashers’ Newsletter 12th April 2020

We hope you are having a peaceful Easter and, most importantly, keeping healthy. Many of us have relatives and close friends working in the NHS and other support services for whom a peaceful time is a forlorn hope. We send our gratitude and best wishes to them all.

A reminder that, if you want to get into touch with other members, simply email: timp470@btinternet.co and your message will be forwarded. If you need help or support (moral or not!) just ask.

We need more contributions if we are to keep this Newsletter afloat so come on, what about some special musical event or even one that went horribly wrong? If it includes something from You Tube please just provide the link (URL); videos are difficult to include without it. Are you turning out on Thursdays at 8.00 to applaud the NHS and support services? Tell us about it and, by the way, anyone know the best way to get dents out of saucepans?

Here’s a little riddle for you: In one tree sit 18 crows. In another isolated tree sits one crow. What is his name? Suggestions to timp470@btinternet.co

We are delighted that our Conductor has kindly agreed to contribute this:


My family and I are fortunate to live in the Worcestershire countryside with views of the Malvern Hills from the back of our house. The Malverns were, of course, a great source of inspiration to Elgar, who happens to be one of my favourite composers. His masterpiece, The Dream of Gerontius, is one of the great works of the choral repertoire. 

I had the privilege of conducting this work some years ago – probably one of the most demanding but, equally, rewarding things I have ever directed.

However, I did once have a rather uncomfortable experience with this work. The performance was held in a theatre, as the local church was too small to cope with the large orchestral and choral forces required. I was booked to play the organ part on the theatre’s electronic organ. Bizarrely, the console of this instrument was placed in a cupboard-like room at the back of the tiered theatre. A CCTV system was installed so that I could see the conductor. The rehearsal was fine but, to my horror, when it came to the concert, the CCTV failed and I couldn’t see a thing! Fortunately, my wife (actually before she was my wife!) had come along to turn pages but ended up relaying the beat to me and saved the day. So – in a rather unorthodox way – she too can claim to have conducted Gerontius!

Here is a complete performance directed by the legendary Sir John Barbirolli:


PS. Katie reminded me as we were having our regular daily walk this afternoon that, because I was pretty much out of sight, I didn’t bother to dress up for the concert. However, at the end the conductor graciously acknowledged me amongst the applause and the audience turned back to see this odd chap wearing a t-shirt and jeans!


And these are the solutions to Pam’s anagrams:

  1. Arable figure      Gabriel Faure
  2. Be he vet?No!    Beethoven
  3. Mad wiry Bill      William Byrd
  4. Reply re lunch   Henry Purcell
  5. Divan violation   Antonio Vivaldi
  6. Arsenal tip         Palestrina
  7. Leeward drag    Edward Elgar

Thank you for your entries. The first one dispatched and thus the winner is . . . . . . . . . Jane Read


Jilly South has kindly offered to share her experience of being driven home by David after rehearsals including potholes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcBn04IyELc


About six years ago, Warwick Cole, Director of ‘our’ Corelli Orchestra introduced his Cheltenham Coffee Concerts at Holy Apostles, Charlton Kings on the first Saturday of each month from October to May. Coffee and wonderful homemade cake are provided by the Cole family from 10.30 and superb music from 11.00 to 12.00. Entrance is free but a generous donation is invariably justified.

The performers are drawn from Warwick’s wide circle of expert singers and players. Programmes are varied and tend (I’m pleased to say!) towards the Baroque and Classical eras, perhaps reflecting his doctorate and continuing interest in J S Bach and other Baroque composers. We did, though, enjoy a great morning with Stravinsky.

At Passiontide each year Warwick and his friends excel themselves by performing a Passion by Bach or one of his contemporaries. Last Saturday it was to have been the rarely performed St Mark Passion attributed to Bach and reconstructed by Warwick Cole. Listen to a reconstruction by Ton Koopman here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=st+mark%27s+passion

Go here: http://corelliconcerts.co.uk/page1.html for more and write Coffee Concert in your diary for the first Saturday of each month from October onwards.


A plane with 5 passengers on board, Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, the Pope, Nicola Sturgeon and a ten-year-old school boy.

The plane is about to crash and there are only 4 parachutes.

Sturgeon said “I need one. I’ve got to sort out Scottish independence!”, takes one and jumps.

Boris Johnson said “I need one, I’ve got to sort out Brexit.” He takes one and jumps.

Trump said “I need one. I’m the smartest person in America, so smart’, takes one and jumps.

The Pope said to the ten-year-old “You can have the last parachute, my son. I’ve lived my life, yours is only starting.”

The ten-year-old said, “Don’t worry, Holy Father, there are 2 parachutes left. The smartest person in America took my school bag.”