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Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Dr Rex Walford : Sad Death of Cambridge Professor with Mill HIll link

Dr Rex Walford was my tutor at Cambridge University. Sadly I have just read that he has died this week and it is being reported in the press HERE

He was a tremendous person and an incredible lecturer. He was passionate about drama - history - geography and music.

He has written several books about MILL HILL including the 1964 History of John Keble Church which seems to be his first commercially available publication. His most recent major publication about Middlesex had a whole section on John Keble Church in it.

He had just had a play produced at ATC called AMY WONDERFUL AMY based on the life of the London ( Hendon ) Aerodrome's "Amy Johnson" the famous female aviator from the 1930s.

His passing is a great loss to all who knew him and his obvious affection for Middlesex and Mill Hill means that our heritage will be all the poorer because I am sure he would have continued to write and research about this area.

I do not actually know what his link to Mill Hill is - so if anyone can let me know I would really like to know more about this.

1 comment:

  1. It was a great pleasure and privilege to be taught by the late Dr Rex Walford at several of the short residential courses he gave at Madingley Hall, Cambridge in recent years. He was a mine of enviable, expert knowledge on theatre, cinema, radio comedy and popular poetry.

    It was thus very shocking to learn last night on ITV London News of his sudden passing in such tragic circumstances, along with that of his friend whom I sadly never knew.

    Rex's courses at Madingley enjoyed a substantial regular following, due as much to his great personal charm, infectious enthusiasm and sense of both humour and fun, as to his erudition.

    Nobody who was present could possibly forget the deftly devised performances he incorporated into each course, given by talented local professional and amateur performers culled from the many East Anglian operatic and dramatic societies he directed. These included on one occasion his wife on hilarious radio sound effects of yesteryear, and always himself on keyboard accompaniments. If not staged in the elegant Saloon these entertainments might take over the more capacious onsite Church, enabling local parishioners to swell the audience.

    An abiding memory is of him sacrificing his entire coffee break in order to search a DVD for a short sequence in which my sister appeared. One does not forget such kindnesses, and she was both honoured and highly amused by the round of impromptu applause her brief scene drew in her absence, as captured on my recording of the session.

    When I last saw him a few months ago he was excitedly starting to plan a course next March on the American light music composer Harry Warren. He will prove irreplaceable and a great loss to the Institute of Continuing Education. My sympathies go out to his family, friends, colleagues and fellow-students.