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As I read that, I wondered if it was the same Mrs Mills who used to be on TV in the 1960s - and when I followed your link, I found that it was. Knowing the kind of thing she used to play - she was very much Saturday Night at the London Palladium - I'm inclined to believe the Quality Sreet story! Anybody else remember her?


Sorry, it was Sunday Night at the Palladium, wasn't it ... betraying my age twice-over, that I remember it and then get it wrong!


I remember meeting Gladys Mills briefly when I was 13 and my mother was working on a summer show in Bournemouth. She (Mrs Mills) had arms like sledgehammers and her size would certainly add credence to the Quality Street story! Her playing style was of the sledgehammer school too. If you were being kind I suppose you'd describe it as "bravura".


I remember her vaguely but certainly don't recall a repertoire that included Ravel or anything like that!


'Sledgehammer school' - I love it!
I don't suppose von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic were on the bill at Bournemouth as well, were they?
I had a quick look on Youtube, and there are clips of Mrs. M with the likes of Morecambe & Wise, so while she may well have had a fondness for Quality Street, did she really ever play with that orchestra?


Did you hear I wonder James Galway recently on Radio 3 telling the story of his falling-out with von Karajan? Galway was talking to the woodwind section during a rehearsal. Karajan objected and James told Karajan to 'wait a minute'. Apparently no one tells Karajan to wait! Except for James Galway, who was laughing his head off at the memory.This story is true!

Sorry, I digress....

Mr Cornflower

That story absolutely cries out to be told in an Alan Bennett voice!


I remember Mrs Mills! Also Winifred Atwell. My favourite was Russ Conway, though. Golly, I'm old.

Dark Puss

I too am enjoying the adaption of Parade's End but I am not going to watch the programme about Ford, fan of "The Culture Show" that I am.

Entertained by the Mrs Mills reminiscences, so glad I never came across her playing. Good for Galway too!


I think James Galway is probably a lot more fun than von K was!


Doesn't it just!


I can just remember Russ Conway, then came Bobby Crush ...


The programme was very interesting but it didn't make me warm to Ford, either personally or on the page (like the characters in The Good Soldier, he needed to get a grip), and I'd have liked more from Tom Stoppard.
Clive James, in his review of Parade's End, says:
"The ghost of Ford is lucky that Stoppard has straightened out the convoluted narrative, or things would be nothing like so clear-cut. But we easily found out, without having to read six times backwards and seven times sideways, that [various plot points, etc.]". Quite so.

Dark Puss

From my reading about Karajan I think it is absolutely clear that he was a very unpleasant bully and I'm not at all surprised that Galway left the Berlin Phil. Your comment is masterful understatement!


Leaving the orchestra didn't do the twinkly-eyed Mr. Galway any harm!
Surely music made by players cowed by a 'baton of fear' is never going to be as pure and as spiritually expressive as that produced under the direction of a person of kinder heart - all other things being equal, of course.

Dark Puss

One day you'll need to explain "purity" in music to me! Whether more or less pure and expressive ensemble playing is produced, bullying is completely unacceptable as I'm sure you would agree.




Thanks for the link - will watch it as I'm greatly enjoying Parade's End. Haven't read either The Good Soldier or Parade's End and don't feel tempted! However, I think the adaptation, direction and acting is working very well and it looks absolutely beautiful. I did see the documentary and would recommend.


It is beautiful, isn't it?
I must watch the documentary.

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