In their days as students at the RCM, a number of young musicians formed a Literary and Debating Society, which had a short but active lifespan from January 1896 to January 1897. Dunhill recalled the roll of membership as including the following names:
Cecil Wybergh (chairman), E. Howard Jones (secretary), G. Von Holst, R. Vaughan Williams, Willy Scott, Herbert Fryer, Sherwin, Carter, J. N. Ireland, Welch, Falkner, Colles, Beeching, Ridgeway, Sam Grimson, W. Kingdon, Fritz Hart, Martin Shaw, Percy Harmon, and J. St. A. Johnson. During the second session, which occupied the Summer term of 1896, we added to our list the well-remembered names of W.Y Hurlstone, Nicholas Gatty, N. Ingleby, Leslie Peck, Elliott, Chuter, Ellingford, E.C. Mercer, Percy Bright, and Edward Behr.
Meetings were held on Saturday afternoons, with readings, discussions and debates. More importantly, the sessions ended with a trip to 11 Kensington High Street. This was the home of Wilkins the bakers, Frederick John Wilkins (1849–1922) being purveyor of bread to her Majesty. Thus the happy band concluded their gatherings with a ‘huge feast of tea and buns’.