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History

Rodney Meadows recollections of the early years of the Society and the Journal can be found here.

The first newsletters were written by hand by Dr Roland Gibson in 1961-2 to invite individuals to form a Delius Society. These were reproduced using a spirit duplicator. The material was written, drawn or typed onto a sheet resting on a second sheet covered in coloured wax. The pressure of the pen caused the wax to stick to the back of the top sheet to produce a mirror image for printing; this was done using a rotating drum with the sheet moistened by a solvent that dissolved just enough wax to print multiple copies. Dr Gibson personalised the letter by adding an individual salutation and occasional personal messages. The letters available on this site were donated by Mr Slater. The example below is part of a letter written in August 1961 with the name handwritten (here represented in black) and the duplicated material here printed in blue. (The original was purple).

After the Inaugural Meeting in London on April 14th 1962, the new committee produced and circulated newsletters at intervals, typed on a foolscap size gestetner stencil. These consisted mainly of information about concerts, recordings, broadcasts and reports of letters from members. The first ones were headed with the address of the secretary Mrs Betty Ruffles and were signed (and often written in the first person) by chairman David Simmons.

The Delius Society had initial misfortunes with its secretaries. Mr Alan Tabelin had agreed to be secretary by August 1961 and to help organise concerts for the new Society. We read in Dr Gibson's circulars that Mr Tabelin had a heart attack in December 1961 and Dr Gibson wrote to everyone apologising for the difficulties, offering to refund subscriptions or suggesting that earlier payments be revised to start from January 1st 1962.

Mrs Betty Ruffles took over the position of Hon Secretary and began circulating newsletters after the Inaugural meeting with her address at the top and the name of the chairman, David Simmons, as signator at the end. However, she had a serious car accident and found it necessary to retire after sending the Newsletter of June 1963.

The newsletters were initially a corporate production of the committee, often written in the first person and signed by the chairman David Simmons with Charles Barnard becoming the collecting point for information. There were three issues in 1962 and eight in 1963.

Charles Barnard became the editor with the first issue in 1964. When a member assked for the newsletters to be numbered so that he could be sure he had received them all in sequence, Charles numbered the issue in July 1964 as number four in that year. The numbering continued from that point. This retrospectively designated the issue of January 1964 as number 1.

Charles Barnard edited Newsletters (1), (2), (3), 4, 5, 7-10 in 1964 and 1965, with Estelle Palmley issuing number 6.

These early newsletters were mainly a compilation of information on Society meetings in London, concerts, broadcasts, records, reviews and reports of letters from members. They also included correspondence to the BBC and to others, pressing the case for playing more music by Delius. There were no extended articles as such, though occasionally a page or so was devoted to a topic written by a member of the society. In Newsletter (1), Derby Member Dick Kitching offered to form a Midlands Branch and the reports of their meetings featured regularly in subsequent issues.

John White became editor for issues 11-40 (1966-70). His initial newsletters followed the pattern of earlier ones, but soon began to include more substantial articles, initially writing most of them himself, but steadily encouraging others. Newsletters 12, 15 and 16 included reports of collated responses from Questionnaires filled in by members.

In January 1967, Newsletter 15 changed its objective to focus mainly on aesthetic and musical matters while the separate Secretary's notes sent out by Estelle Palmley dealt with forthcoming events and other Society matters.

Newsletter 20 was the first to have a cover sheet with the title DELIUS SOCIETY NEWSLETTER, still in foolscap size (8"x13").

This format continued until the last issue edited b John White in 1960 with two exceptions. Issue 24 was devoted to a 40 page A4 edition of a Delius Discography produced by Stuart Upton and Malcolm Walker, with the standard foolscap covering page. Issue 34 consisted of two foolscap covering pages and the Catalogue of the Delius and America exhibition in Camden in May 1972.

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Christopher Redwood edited issues 41-66 and number 68 (1973-1980). All of these were in a new format close to the modern A5 size.

In issue 42 he suggested that the publication should be renamed to fit its current status, writing:

I feel that the term "Newsletter" is more suggestive of the duplicated sheets of the earliest design, whereas I would like to think that our format is now that of a magazine, and therefore deserves a magazine's title. The only suggestion that has so far emanated from more than one source is "Deliana". Others include : "Dedicated to Delius" , "Grez", "Dance Rhapsody", "Lebenstanz", "Life's Dance", "Arabesque" , "Delius Digest", "Delius Society Report" , "Delius Society Chronicle", "Delius Society Journal", "Delius Society Bulletin", and "Delius Society Newsletter" (i. e. no change). At the moment, "Deliana" seerns to be the favourite, but please let me know your views, either verbally or in writing.

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After a deluge of correspondence on the subject, the publication was renamed The Delius Society Journal,starting with issue 43. The journals continued to be produced in January, April, July and November in each year, usually as a 24 page issue. As his methods of printing improved, the journal began to include a four page centre-fold of photographs, taking it up to 28 pages.

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Stephen Lloyd produced journals 67, 69-118 (1980-1996), with the traditional 4 journals a year of 24 pages, with occasional double size issues replacing two regular journals. For instance, Journal 80 (1983) was a 48 page special edition devoted to Bantock, Journal 87 (1985) was a 52 page edition devoted to the Harrison Sisters, Journal 94 (1987) a 64 page edition on the published writings of Philip Heseltine on Delius. The Spring edition of 1990 was withheld to allow publication of a comprehensive index for the journals up to Journal 100. Journal 106 was a 56 page tribute to Eric Fenby on his 85th birthday.

There were only two Journals in 1992, and after that the journals were scheduled for three a year. Journal 113 was a 64 page issue devoted to the opera Koanga, completed with a further 44 pages on the opera in Journal 116. Stephen Lloyd's last journal in 1996, number 118 consisted of 68 pages with a rich panoply of items from a wide variety of sources.

Journals 119 and later were produced electronically. Roger Buckley edited the nine journals 119-127 (1996-2000), being assisted by Jane Armour-Chélu for the last two before she took over and edited the nine issues 128-136. The Journals increased in size to around 100 pages and were now issued twice a year. Journals 137-143 were edited by Martin Lee-Browne who began a series of studies on a major work of Delius in each issue, with a range of authors with different expertise focusing on various aspects.

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Delius Society, Secretary@TheDeliusSociety.org.uk
Delius Trust, 13 Calico Row, Plantation Wharf, London, SW11 3YH. Tel: 0207 924 4250

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