Oral History collection: Elsie Thomas (née Davies), 'Telynores Tawe' (born 1902, Brynhyfryd, Swansea, Harpist) interviewed by Mr Pope about her musical career

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 216 D/D Z 327/17
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 tape

Scope and Content

Track 1. [00:00:02] Personal Details: Mrs Elsie Davies, n Thomas, Ynystawe, 21/2 lbs at birth. [00:01:55] Music: Music as therapy for frailness. [00:01:59] Music: Acquisition of harp. [00:04:53] Housing: Front parlours only used for funerals and weddings. [00:05:26] Music: Trade: lessons/use of harp. [00:05:53] Music: No sharps or flats: not professional harp. [00:06:16] Music: Tuning harp with key. [00:06:52] Music: Concert invitation, at Workhouse. [00:08:04] Music: William Matthews, Swansea councillor, post-concert invite, meets Lady Britton. [00:09:07] Music: Invite: "Band of Harps" at Eisteddfod - 12 in band. Aged c 18. [00:10:27] Music: Acquisition of first harp - double action Grecian harp. [00:11:43] Music: Won National Eisteddfod on this harp: memorised 22 pages of music, Theme of Variation by Toni[?]. [00:13:38] Music: Never received prize: collapse post-performance, nervous exhaustion, harp repairs. [00:15:18] Music: Scholarship exam Aberystwyth, passed. [00:17:45] Music: Acquisition of harp at auction. [00:18:39] Music: Charity concerts. [00:19:03] Music: Prince of Wales lifeboat, concert at Albert Hall, Swansea. [00:22:03] Music: Post-college, first professional engagement in Bournemouth. [00:23:11] Music: Ben Davies, singer, relative. [00:27:05] Music: Left harp, anonymously, in a will. [00:29:40] Music: Harp in operas. [00:32:44] Music: President of Worcester Amateur Operatic Society was Evans & Bevans brewery owner - also deacon!. [00:35:48] Music: Holloway Town Hall concert, police assistance. [00:40:30] Transport: To Australia on SS Himalaya, 1952.

Track 2. [00:03:23] George Bernard Shaw: Meeting in Snowdonia: explains to him that a lyre is a harp with 5 strings in the octave. [00:07:47] King George V[?]: Played for King in City Hall, and Duke of Beaufort, in castle. [00:08:44] Music: Harp teacher was Taliesyn James. [00:08:59] Eisteddfod: Made Bard in 1922, same time as Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII). [00:09:29] International Eisteddfod: Played at first at Llangollen in 1923, and since, now aged 85. [00:10:37] Music: Played with Sydney Symphony Orchestra. [00:10:52] Radio: 1923 or 1924 radio concert, London. [00:11:20] Harpo Marx: Met at Theatre, Leicester Square, with three brothers, "very charming". [00:12:54] Theatre: Drama company. [00:13:48] St Fagans Museum: Opened by father of Hugh Weldon, broadcaster. [00:14:00] Music: Use of harp in orchestra in 1920s, conducted by Braithwaite. [00:14:43] Music: International Variety Orchestra. [00:15:05] Theatre: Theatrical stories. [00:24:31] Music: Stories of Australian tour in 1950s. [00:29:57] Music: £50 pw to play in Australia, in David Jones store, 2 performances daily.