Ireland knew and worked with the eminent cellist Carl Fuchs (1865–1951) over a number of years, in part because of their Manchester connection, Fuchs having moved there from Germany in 1888 – at the time the young Ireland was growing up. Fuchs went on to become Principal Cello of the Hallé orchestra.
This letter – Ireland to Fuchs, August 1924 – is one of several written in the 1920s, some of which are held in the RNCM archive.
As well as contributing in a small way to our knowledge of the relationship between the two men, this is another biographical source pinpointing the composer’s whereabouts at a given time. At the beginning of August 1924 Ireland was in Cerne Abbas, staying in the New Inn (pictured), a beautiful village tavern still much the same as it was in Ireland’s day. This area was quite a draw for the composer, especially in the 1920s, and it is no coincidence that his Hardy-inspired works date from this decade.