On this day in 1906 John Ireland was in Littlehampton, taking part in the annual St Luke’s choir summer outing. Littlehampton was at that time a thriving harbour and popular destination, as seen in surviving historic photographs. The day began early with a 6am train from Victoria. After changes at Arundel and Ford, the party arrived at the seaside at 9am. The morning was spent in the sea. 12.30pm saw the group assembled for lunch and a commemorative photograph (tantalisingly lost). The rector, Henry Bevan, joined them from London at this point. In the afternoon some went rowing, some for a drive, bathed again and met for tea. The return journey commenced at 8pm with 4 boys missing. Charles Hindes, the vestry clerk, had to stay behind to locate and bring home the miscreants.
On this day in 1914 some of Ireland’s early part songs were performed in Bangor by the University Choral Society, alongside other works by Elgar and Walford Davies.
On this day in 1920 some of Ireland’s pieces were included in a programme of music for organ by living English composers, among them Bridge, Elgar and Howells. The soloist was William Ellis (1868–1947), formerly assistant organist at Durham Cathedral and now the organist at St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle.
On this day in 1915 the choir of St Luke’s sang for the first time Ireland’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in F.
On this day in 1923 Ireland opened the Pump Room Spring Festival with a programme of his own piano works. Others who appeared in Bath this week included Daisy Kennedy and Eugene Goossens.
On this day in 1922 one of Ireland’s regular performers, George Parker (below), took several of his songs to Exeter, placing them in a programme that also included works by Bax, Butterworth and Stanford.
On this day in 1911 and 1916, it was the 1st Sunday in Advent at St Luke’s, Chelsea. The anthem at evensong in 1911 was Handel’s ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye my people’, from Messiah. In 1916 it was ‘Lord, for Thy tender mercy’s sake’, at that time attributed to the 16th-century composer Richard Farrant. On both occasions there were two services with music.