July has been a busy month. In the first part of the month we were in Austria, enjoying a few days holiday in wonderful scenery and lovely weather. He had a super time, and included in our stay a visit to Salzburg, birthplace of one of my heroes – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
We visited Mozart’s birthplace, and were totally absorbed for a couple of hours, looking at many kinds of Mozartabilia – letters by the great man, his hair, his violin and harpsichord. All wonderful. If you are ever in Salzburg I can recommend this to you, even if you aren't
On my return to the UK, early in July, we went to see a tremendous open air production of Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors at Stafford Castle. We go to the Stafford Festival Shakespeare production every year, and are always entertained quite superbly. This year was no exception. If you live within reach of Stafford and haven’t yet done so I heartily recommend that you give it a try next year, when the play will be Romeo & Juliet.
Next, I had to crack on with preparing the next edition of the Shropshire Family History Society journal, which will be published in September. I always find it a fascinating challenge, choosing the right content to fit together in the 48 pages available, correcting the typos and fitting it all together. It is a job I’ve done for quite a few years, and one I still enjoy.
All this has meant that I have had little time available to deal with the aftermath of the Bankes Reunion, which we held in Surrey on 18th June. A number of attendees kindly advised me of Bankes descendants who need adding to the tree, and also quite a few people have requested pdf files of their section of the tree. I have started working my way through the additions, and when I’ve got those all sorted out Helen and I will pool our resources to make the necessary addition s to the tree and send out the pdf files.
I’m aware that I also need to put on my website some of the photographs from the event. I’ll get around to that as soon as I can.
My apologies if this all seems to be taking quite a while, but alas, in addition to all this activity I have to earn a living as well, and thus time is limited.
The notes relating to the talks that were given at the reunion are available for viewing on the internet at the following urls:
• The slides for my talk on John Bankes can be seen at:
• The slides for the Bankes Bingo can be seen at:
• The slides for Helen’s talk on Robert Hanham Collyer can be seen at:
I have no treeing research to report this month. I would just like to mention a concert that Jan & I attended last Friday (29th July) at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. It was a programme of music composed by Richard Strauss, William Walton and Sergei Prokofiev, all played by my favourite band - The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) – a fantastic orchestra – conducted by Andris Nelsons. All the pieces performed were new to us, and all were quite spectacular! The highlight was the performance of Walton’s Violin Concerto by that most incredible violinist, Midori. She left us all quite spellbound by her skill and artistry. It really was a privilege to have been there. The CBSO and soloists then decamped to London and repeated the performance at the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday, 30th July. I watched it all again on tv, and again I was spellbound!
If you like classical music, do catch this on the BBC iPlayer. You won’t be disappointed. As for me, I’m a sucker for all this stuff, so I’m off to give ear to the latest BBC Promenade concert.