Dennis Jones bequest

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Correspondence, chiefly between Dennis M Jones and the Pitfields, and Jones's collection of published music and other output by Thomas Pitfield. Also included are concert and exhibition programmes and other leaflets, calendars illustrated by Pitfield, and articles written about Pitfield. With 4 pictures: Shockerwick house; Italian villa; Marden Mill; an unnamed church; and a framed copy of 'Naiad' (poem by Dennis M Jones; calligraphy and music by Thomas B Pitfield). 2 recordings: one an interview with Thomas Pitfield and the other a recording of a recital held to celebrate 50 years of Pitfield's work. There are two photographs, both featuring Dennis Jones with the Pitfields.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dr Dennis McKay Jones (d.2003) qualified as a medical practitioner in 1954, in London. He practiced as a coroner in Saskatchewan, Canada, and was a member of the British Association for Homeopathy, and the Royal Society of Medicine. He lived at Marden Mill, Marden, Devizes.

Jones was working as a physician at the Harley Street Clinic in London when he first met Thomas and his wife, Alice, Pitfield at the UK Vegetarian Society's conference in 1984. A friendship was struck, and correspondence was begun in 1984 which lasted until the death of Thomas Pitfield in 1999. Copies of letters sent by Jones were retained by Jones and form a part of this collection. It appears that the last letter which Jones sent to the Pitfield home was to Alice, shortly after the death of her husband. Throughout the fifteen year friendship, Jones collected concert programmes, exhibition leaflets, published works (both literary and musical) by Thomas Pitfield, and biographical articles on Pitfield which were published in national newspapers and magazines; many of these items are contained in this collection. Jones continued to collect items after the death of Thomas Pitfield: items include an order of service for the funeral mass, and the obituaries from various national newspapers.

Thomas Pitfield (1903-1999) was a composer (as well as a poet, artist, writer and teacher); he studied for a year at the RMCM in 1924 and at the Bolton School of Art from 1930-4. He returned to the RMCM in 1947 and taught composition there until 1973.

The RNCM Archive already holds a Pitfield collection, which contains Music MSS, drawings, sketches, painting, poetry & other output of the composer.

It can be surmised that it is Pitfield's connection with the RNCM that Jones requested that his collection of papers relating to Pitfield be donated to there following his (Jones's) death.

Arrangement

The collection has been split into five series to reflect the various aspects of Thomas Pitfield's life and work, including his relationship with Dennis Jones. The series are as follows:

  • Correspondence: this has been ordered according to the original order established by Dennis Jones in his filing of the correspondence
  • Works of Thomas Pitfield
  • Biographical information relating to Thomas Pitfield
  • Publicity material relating to the works of Thomas Pitfield
  • Thomas Pitfield - miscellaneous: although this file contains items which would best be sorted with the four previous series, it was filed by Dennis Jones in this manner, and thus the original order has been retained.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation.

Note

Description by Mary Ann O'Kane

Appraisal Information

The following items have been removed from the collection:

  • From DMJ/1/2: 4 duplicate copies of a programme for a memorial concert held in November 2000.
  • From DMJ/2: a duplicate copy of a booklet which contains a selective list of the works of Thomas Pitfield; two pages of photocopies of a signed album of works by Thomas Pitfield; a copy of the Vegetarian Society's newsletter from November/December 1988; a copy of 'The Vegetarian' magazine, dated July/August 1983, which featured an article on Pitfield's 80th birthday celebrations at Eddisbury Hall, outside Macclesfield; and two photocopied pages of 'Cheshire Verses'.
  • From DMJ/3: 3 duplicate copies of an article on Pitfield from the Musical Times.
  • From DMJ/4: a duplicate copy of an order of service for a memorial mass for Pitfield; a duplicate copy of the programme for the Bowdon Festival of 1986; a duplicate copy of the programme for an exhibition held in Macclesfield in 1990; and a duplicate copy of the programme for a concert held in Altrincham of Pitfield's works.
  • From DMJ/5: a photocopy of the score of a song entitled 'The Short-Tempered Singer'.
  • Miscellaneous items: a business card for Tina Fox, Chief Executive of the Vegetarian Society, and one for Rosemary Williamson, RNCM Librarian; a photocopy of an article from the Independent relating to piano makers; and a page from the Daily Telegraph of 11 January 2002.

Custodial History

Accumulated by Dennis M Jones and given to the RNCM following his death in June 2003.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.