are warned that Malcolm Rudland is "NUDE" during part of this
MEMORIES OF THE AGM - GLOUCESTER - 2001
What really happened on Crickley Hill at midnight?
Those of you who saw these midnight plans on page 19 of the last Newsletter (See 'The Music of Peter Warlock' by Dr Ian Copley, p.23, for the background) may care to know they were written on 1 April. On 14 April, I received an e-mail asking what was the cost of the bike hire, and what was planned between the end of the AGM talk at 5.30pm and the midnight re-enactment. Was someone really going to rise to the occasion? Yes.
Rudland Enterprises Unlimited got into motion with a reservation for 16 suppers at The Air Balloon at 7pm, and as we had had police protection last year for a brass band parading around Chelsea, I wrote to Gloucestershire Police asking if they might offer the same facility for a band of motorbikes parading up and down Crickley Hill. The correspondence appears on p..xx.
As I was a music critic for the Gloucestershire Echo whilst a student, I innocently sent them a Newsletter, thinking my successor may care to review the AGM concert. The Tuesday before the AGM, one of their reporters phoned: "Sorry we can't cover the concert, but we'd like to cover the midnight event on Crickley Hill". As my Morris Traveller drove into Gloucester with Felix Aprahamian that AGM morning, we stopped for petrol and bought a local paper. Felix was aghast to find a front-page banner headline: "Naked caper brought to life", together with a full column based on my telephone interview.
By the time I had switched my mobile phone back on, there were three messages from reporters and photographers. "Where and when can we meet?" Although nothing was formally discussed at the AGM, I was getting a little uneasy about the 'lack' of police protection, and it was not until the interval of the Partridge's concert that private deliberations led to a phone call to the Echo to call the event off. I duly announced this to much uproar after the last lecture, and told the Echo we'd be delighted to discuss why we'd cancelled, if they'd care to meet us at The Air Balloon at 7pm.
The result was the photo on p.xx which appeared in the following Tuesday's Echo, when I was back in London. That day, Andy Vivian of Radio Gloucestershire saw it and phoned: "Would I like to do an interview on Warlock on Vernon Harwood's breakfast show?". At 8am next morning, the President of our Gloucestershire Chapter, John Merrick, arrived at the offices of Radio Gloucestershire armed with some recordings of Warlock, and I was ready by the phone in London. By 8.45am I had made my first appearance in the nude with Ian Partridge on Radio Gloucestershire! If you do not believe me, go to www.peterwarlock.org, click on AGM 2001 in Gloucester, and find the links to the Radio Gloucestershire interview, or, send a donation of £2 or more to the Hon. Secretary of the Peter Warlock Society, and he will send you a cassette of it.
By 9.30am that morning BBCTV Bristol had phoned to ask if they could use the photo of Peter Warlock on our website for their lunchtime news. The result was a two-minute plug for Warlock, with the story, maps of Crickley Hill, and a punchline to say we'd be back in Gloucester for a Warlock lunch at the Three Choirs Festival, "presumably with all our clothes on!" By 3pm that afternoon, a reporter from the Western Daily Press had seen it and phoned "Can we come and photograph you in the nude on a motorbike?" We'd make sure nobody would see what you didn't want them to! I flatly refused and nothing appeared in that paper. However, the Gloucester Citizen had picked up the story from the Echo, and on 9 May billed it as Police squash plans for a naked bike stunt, and on 11 May, they even reported my Radio Gloucestershire interview as "Nude interview is music to Malcolm."
When are we going to Stalham? (see the account of Augustus John's visitation with Warlock in Cecil Gray's Peter Warlock pp.12-14)
"Created by Richard Valentine - Peter Warlock devotee"