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My father was an amateur violinist and my mother a vocalist and pianist (Associate of the London College of Music) who met through playing in the same small orchestra. Presumably more people played an instrument in the early 20th century since there was no radio or TV, very little recorded music and (initially) only silent movies. Later in my life my father made a few extra pounds by teaching violin (his regular job was as an engineer – strange combination).

Perhaps, not surprisingly, he hoped that his young son (me) could emulate Mozart and thus I started (1/2 size) violin at age four years.


Unfortunately, this didn’t quite work out because by age of seven years our neighbor had moved out and my teacher had given up. And I don’t mean stopped teaching me, but given up the violin!


Nevertheless, I stuck with instrumental playing until I left England at age 24 and played either string base (or guitar) or bass trombone with groups ranging from rock to Nottingham Philharmonic orchestra. Many of my happier hours were spent with various groups and as lead singer with the rock group.


As noted in my memoir (Gruff Exterior) we were offered a recording contract with Radio Luxembourg, but science was my love and although I miss playing for 50 year I do not regret my career path.

Pop singer christened Elvis Walton.

Trombone section in “pit orchestra” for practice session of Iolanthe.

Bass practice with early rock group.

Bass player with dance band.

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