Stoke-on-Trent - photo of the week
Havergal Brian, composer, and his association with Stoke-on-Trent
Symphony - part of the BBC Proms 2011
broadcast live from the Royal Albert Hall on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday 16th July.
Bust of Havergal Brian in the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
This bronze of the composer was produced by the sculptor Richard Thomas
Born William Brian - he lived in one of the houses on the left of Ricardo Street, Dresdem, Longton
born in 1876 - the Brian family lived at 35 Ricardo Street
photo: The Blake Collection at The Potteries Museum and Art Galley / Staffordshire Past Track
The church of St. James-the-Less, Normcot Road, Longton
photo: c.1950's - Lovatt Collection
Holy Trinity, Meir
Havergal married Isobel Priestley in 1899 - they had five children -
the family lived at this house 11 Gordon Street, Hartshill
One of their sons was named Sterndale after the English composer Sir William Sterndale Bennett.
Here, in 1903 when aged 27, Havergal wrote his setting of the Shakesperian sonnet 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day'
Google Street View
(in the mid 1950's Gordon Street was renamed Dominic Street)
from: 1907 Staffordshire Sentinel 'Business Reference Guide to The Potteries, Newcastle & District'
(18, Clifton Street)
1 Huson, Henry
3 Akers, Albert, telegraphist
5 Frost, Samuel, joiner
7 Wright, Wm.,engine man
9 Potts, Reuben, messenger,N.S.R.
11 Brian, William H., traveller
13 Toft, Arthur, modeller 1
5 Burgess, Jas., guard, N.S.R.
17 Willock, Horatio E., chemist
19 Hayes, George, potter's foreman
21 Mather, Phillip, schoolmaster
At the date (1907) of this directory William H Brian was working as a traveller for a timber business.
It was not until a couple of years later, when Herbert Minton Robinson became his patron, that Brian was able to concentrate full time on his composition.
'Victoria Hall, a noble building which is the venue of the leading musical and political fixtures held in the Potteries'
During March and April 1907 a number of Havergal Brian's works are performed at the Victoria Hall in Hanley, including 3 movements of English suite 1 and work for cello and piano.
Brian (by now aged 31) conducts the performance of By the Waters of Babylon.
from Hartshill the family moved to Trentham and then to this house at 50 James Street, Stoke
Google Street View
For about 14 years Herbert Minton Robinson was patron of Havergal Brian - he financially supported him and his family with an annual sum of £500 (then a good lower-middle-class salary) to enable Brian to devote all his time to composition.
[Herbert Minton Robinson was the managing directory and company secretary of Minton's pottery company from c.1883 to his death in 1923.]
Although he continued to compose Havergal Brian fell into obscurity - his work was revived whe in 1954 the BBC arranged a production of Brian's 8th Symphony.
In 1966 his Gothic Sympony was performed at the Albert Hall, London - this performance to be repeated 45 years later in 2011.
the play 'Awkward Cuss', about Havergal Brian, was produced in the round at the Victoria Theatre, Hartshill
a number of books have been written about the life and musical works of Havergal
drawing: Neville Malkin