The player who kept his double-bass in a Victoria Station locker

Among the many tales told of Francis Baines in a centennial memoir is that he was prone to keep his instrument in a left-luggage locker at Victoria Station because he had no room for it at home.

Baines was a member of the London Philharmonic and a great friend of Malcolm Arnold, a neighbour and friend of Herbert Howells in Barnes, a founding player with The Hanover Band, a professor at the Royal College of Music, and a presenter on BBC TV’s “So you thought it all started with Bach”.

On Tuesday, 11 April, there will be a memorial concert at Cadogan Hall. Among those taking part are Dame Emma Kirkby, The Hanover Band, Fretwork, Pavlo and Lisa Beznosiuk,  Annette Isserlis, Clare Salaman and many more.

press photo (c) Norman Parkinson/NPG

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  • These violinists, violists, cellists, etc. who are forever losing instruments on trains — or in some cases just leaving them behind, forgotten — should consider such a solution.

    • They occasionally do. I remember one instance a few years ago, when, while having dinner at a well known Berlin restaurant, two Berlin Phil violists with their dates paid, got up and left, only to come rushing back some 10 minutes later, quietly reaching under the table they had occupied, grabbing their instrument cases and making a hurried exit again.

    • They occasionally do. I remember one instance a few years ago, when, while having dinner at a well known Berlin restaurant, two Berlin Phil violists with their dates paid, got up and left, only to come rushing back some 10 minutes later, quietly reaching under the table they had occupied, grabbing their instrument cases and making a hurried exit again.

  • If the double bass was anywhere near the Brighton line, it may have met Wilde’s John Worthing in a handbag. A haaaandbaag?

    • That’s funny. I was just listening to the Haymarket Anniversary production –glittering cast led by Dame Judi as Lady B — on BBC 4 Extra. Never grows old.

      • My favorite lines: I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.

  • It is hard for musicians to find spacious accomodation in London. A friend of mine who plays the piccolo in one of the orchestras had no trouble to keep his instrument with him at home, but he had to open the window when putting on his coat.

  • The lest-luggage was because his home at the time was on a Thames house-boat. Greater risk of humidity or even outright immersion, maybe.

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