Like most heritage organisations Heritage Quay keeps a disaster kit in case of serious damage to the University’s heritage collections (eg. through flooding). We are very fortunate in that we have never had to use our disaster kit – other than in practices!
Last week Sarah was able to access the University’s closed campus and retrieve the personal protective equipment from the disaster kit and donate it to two frontline NHS workers known to members of the Heritage Quay team.
We were able to donate 500 gloves, 800 aprons, 11 full
protective suits, about 40 masks, and a pair of goggles, as well as 6 packs of
Heritage Quay is committed to the health and safety of our visitors and staff. We are closely monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19, and we are working to monitor and respond to the evolving conditions and following guidelines.
Sometimes when we catalogue a collection, an interesting story appears as a tangent. The life of Arthur Arathoon Paul is one of those stories.
We’ve recently been working on the Society for the Promotion of New Music archive. Amongst the papers was a box of creative writing from someone called “Arthur Arathoon Paul”. His unusual middle name was intriguing, particularly as a quick search seemed to suggest that he wasn’t a professional musician, or composer. As I love a historical puzzle, I decided to look a bit deeper.
Helpfully, a colleague had come across some more clues – it seemed that Arthur had left the SPNM around £100,000 in his will (about £1.7 million today) in 1967. And there seemed to be a connection to a G. Paul who was involved in music in some way. Thus armed, I took to the internet. A quick websearch suggested that that unusual name, ‘Arathoon’ was Armenian in origin. Thanks to a well known genealogy website, I found an Arthur in several British records and followed the breadcrumbs. This is his story…
Who was Arthur Paul?
He was born in 1896 in Singapore, in the Straits Settlement (part of the British Empire) to Thaddeus Paul and Mary Pauline Arathoon. Arthur’s parents were both from important Armenian families in Singapore, a small number of whom (including the Paul, Arathoon, Sarkies and Stephens families) had built properties including hotels, churches and were merchants and traders.
It’s worth noting that these “Armenians” were actually from the city of Isfahan, which is in modern-day Iran.
The first we see of Arthur in British documents is the 1901 Census. He appears to be staying with his mother and older sister Mary Sophia in Dulwich, London (helpfully for us), with the Stephens family.
By 1911 the Pauls (now with younger son Gerald but not Thaddeus) were living permanently in Hampstead, London, with a small staff of servants. They lived alongside merchants and stockbrokers, and the odd celebrity.
Arthur next appears in 1915 when he joined the 28th London Battalion (the ‘Artists Rifles’). Incidentally, their headquarters in London is now a venue called The Place which hosted SPNM concerts.
He enlisted on the 11/12/15, went to France on 5/3/16 and was sent home 6/7/16 then was then discharged in September 1916! So he had a pretty short war. The reason for discharge was “being no longer fit physically for war service”. Considering that the 1/28 Rifles were running an Officer Training Corps base at the time, it looks like he was injured in a training accident. From the dates in his creative writing books, Arthur spent the rest of the war staying at Selma and East Cliff Manisions in Bournemouth writing jocular romantic short stories.
After the war Arthur became an independent gentleman. When asked to give a profession, he used ‘merchant’ (perhaps when helping with the family business) and ‘author’. A selection of his poems was published in 1929 but the rest seem to be unpublished. He also had a go at writing music in the 1940s and we have his manuscript book with this work.
Arthur never married and died without a direct heir (more on that below).
So what about his family? His elder sister Mary married a Mr Galistan/Galestan (another prominent family from Singapore).
Gerald, his younger brother, was born c. 1904. Gerald trained as a barrister following education at Pembroke College. He worked for a firm called Escombe, Mcgrath and Co before quitting to run the family business on the death of his father Thaddeus. In his spare time Gerald was a songwriter.
In 1938 a song he had written was personally selected by Gracie Fields for inclusion in her new film Keep Smiling. Unfortunately Gerald didn’t live to see the premiere.
Arthur’s immediate family faced almost complete tragedy in the 1930s-1940s.
Mary Sophia (already a widow) died in 1930, leaving a small fortune to her father Thaddeus. He then passed away, in London, the following year. Most tragically, Gerald died of heart disease, still in his 30s, just before Christmas 1938, leaving a small part of his own fortune to a charity helping poor or sick musicians. He died shortly before the premiere of Keep Smiling, and so never got to see his song on the big screen. Finally, Arthur’s mother Mary died in 1942. Arthur was the only one left.
However, one last breadcrumb from the archive shows that he still had some family in Britain.
Arnold (1909-1971) and Cecil (1913-1983) were the sons of Mary Arathoon’s sister Lily and were Arthur’s cousins. Both lived in the North of England.
We still haven’t completely solved the mystery of why Arthur left a fortune to the SPNM, but they were very glad he did. Following years of financial insecurity, the money allowed them stability at a crucial time and contributed to the future careers of composers such as Peter Maxwell Davies. If you know anything about this fascinating family please get in touch!
The Philip Greenwood Archive consists of research material from former University of Huddersfield student, Philip Greenwood’s PHD project on the life and works of the late Polish classical composer, Sir Andrzej Panufnik. Items in this collection include: Greenwood’s research notes, books and journal articles, letters, interview transcripts, written work by Panufnik, newspaper and magazine extracts about the composer- and a great number of music scores! I was unfamiliar with Panufnik before I began helping to catalogue this collection, but quickly became intrigued by his story, which emerged from the pages of Greenwood’s notes.
Andrzej Panufnik was born in Warsaw, Poland on the 24th September 1914. Panufnik’s father was an engineer by trade with a passion for designing and making violins, while his mother was an accomplished violinist and composer. Despite being immersed and interested in music from an early age, Panufnik’s father discouraged him from perusing a career in music as it was ‘not a profession for a gentleman’. Nevertheless, with his mother’s support, he started receiving weekly music lessons at the Warsaw Conservatoire. He became a full-time student there at age seventeen and gained his Diploma with Distinction in 1936, graduating in half the usual time. He then completed his studies in Vienna, Paris and London. With the prospect of an imminent war in Europe, however, Panufnik returned home to Warsaw to be with his parents. Shortly afterwards, the Nazi and Soviet armies came marching into Poland, an event which triggered the Second World War. All Polish music was subsequently banned by the occupying forces. Panufnik fiercely opposed the Nazi occupation, and spent the war years playing piano for underground and charity concerts, as well as writing patriotic songs under a pseudonym. The failed Warsaw Uprising of 1944 had tragic personal consequences for Panufnik, as not only were all of his early compositional works entirely destroyed, but his brother also lost his life as a member of the Polish Underground Resistance Army. Panufnik later recreated three of his lost works and dedicated his rewritten Tragic Overture to his brother. After the war, Panufnik was appointed conductor of the Cracow and Warsaw Philharmonic orchestras and enjoyed success as a composer and conductor. However, Panufnik was frustrated with the political control over the lives and work of creative artists. In 1954, he left Poland and settled in England. He said that he would only return to his home country once it was free from Soviet occupation.
Three years later he was appointed conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, where he experienced great success as a conductor, although he left the post in 1959 to concentrate on composing. In 1963 he married his second wife, photographer Camilla Jessel, settling in Twickenham near London. Shortly afterwards he won first prize at the International Composers’ Competition for his Sinfonia Sacra which proved to be his breakthrough. More compositions followed and he achieved international recognition for his work. During his lifetime he wrote ten symphonies, three string quartets, and concerti for piano, violin, bassoon and cello. In 1990, he finally returned to his native Poland for a performance of a number of his works at the Warsaw Autumn Festival. He died the following year. Shortly before his death, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to music.
Unfortunately, there is no record of Greenwood’s completed thesis being held by the University library, although we did come across a possible draft version of the thesis in the collection. Nevertheless, Greenwood’s passion for Panufnik’s story and music is evident through the dedication he put into his research. For example, in his research notes, Greenwood describes an emotional meeting with the composer’s widow, Lady Camilla Panufnik, where she showed him her husband’s studio. This meeting proved instrumental in convincing Greenwood to pursue his PHD project idea.
If you’re curious to hear what Panufnik’s music sounds like, have a listen to these recordings of his Tragic Overture and Sinfonia Sacra, the scores for which are held here at Heritage Quay.
The Patrick Stewart exhibition is open to all to view seven days a week in the Heritage Quay exhibition space. To view additional material from the Patrick Stewart archive, please visit the research room when it is open to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays 9.30-5.00pm. For more information and questions about the collection, please email email@example.com
In the week that Sir Patrick Stewart returns to the iconic role of Jean-Luc Picard in the series Star Trek: Picard, the University Press team explores Sir Patrick’s career history and highlights through the contents of the archive deposited by the actor and former chancellor in Heritage Quay.
We are pleased to add this rare record to the British Dance Band Collection. It is a special souvenir recording issued to commemorate the maiden voyage of the RMS Queen Mary in May 1936. The BBC’s band-leader Henry Hall was asked to direct the ship’s orchestra for the trip to New York and to mark the occasion, he wrote “Somewhere At Sea” as the signature song of the brand new liner.
From time to time we’re in a position to be able to help the next generation of Archivists get some work experience to help them obtain places on the postgraduate training. During June we hosted Razia and Felicity in Heritage Quay, both of whom already have some experience in archives already and are hoping to train within the next couple of years.
Hi, I am working as a volunteer in the Heritage Quay Archives for two weeks. I have been working on several different projects and familiarizing myself with what the role of an archivist entails. I have been learning about how precision and accuracy is needed especially when listing catalogues including scores and manuscripts. During this fortnight I have also worked intensively in the strongroom and the bookstore cataloguing rare books from the Special Collections. These have mainly been donated to Heritage Quay by public figures or institutions, for example, the theatre company called Mikron and also the prominent local conscientious objector Arthur Gardiner.
Gardiner was a prominent member of the Huddersfield Socialist party and refused to take up arms in the military. This is all well documented in the archives. In later years, he became a popular Labour figure and Mayor of Huddersfield. His estate donated his large library collection to the archives and part of my duties here included cataloguing each book.
His book collection mirrored his political views as the vast
majority of the collection was on socialist ideology, such as: Problems of a Socialist Government, Karl
Marx, Social and Political Pioneer, Civilisation: Its Causes and Cure and
Ethics and A Worker Looks at
Economics. As well as these he also possessed a large number of well-known
fiction titles, such as; Tess of the
D’ubervilles, The Road the Wigan Pier, Works of Robert Browning, War and Peace,
Robert Burns and the Common People, Madame Bovary and Shakespeare’s As You Like It.
His archives were wide and vast, embracing both works of classical literature and non-fiction works on social reform.