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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Holst & Crickley?

Joanne Milroy writes: "I have been away on holiday but the day before I set off I was brushing my teeth to the sound of the Today programme on a Friday morning when a news item popped up about about a newly-discovered piece of archive film featuring the Cheltenham born composer Gustav Holst. Apparently Holst was an eccentric figure, and the radio item reported how once he was chased away by a local farmer after he spent the day on the top of a nearby Gloucestershire hill top practising his trombone. The farmer apparently complained how the noise worried his cow.

I was just thinking, while still brushing my teeth, whether the said hill top might be Crickley, when the Chair of the Holst Birthplace Trust was introduced. It turned out to be none other than Marjorie Imlah, well known among many Crickley-ites from the mid 1980s-early 1990s vintage, as the manager of the GLOSCAT Crickley "Project".

Richard Savage and others will have to fill you in on the "project" work. I was never quite sure of the purpose- although I do recall expeditions transporting vast quantities of finds and scrunging material either from the hill to the 'Project' or from the 'Project' back to the hill. I can't even remember where the Project was located although I seem to recall it was near Travis Perkins, the builders merchants where we often used to go for advance weekend mending and renovation kit. I think Waitrose has now nicely sanitised this part of Cheltenham now.

I seem to remember JP had various touching terms of endearment for the project and various personalities connected with it. The Project did spawn the yellow peril bus and there was a lovely lady called Liz, who was Marjorie's deputy and often drove the bus around the district to schools and other destinations to spread the Word about Crickley.

Perhaps Richard and Phil can provide more detail?"

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