Manchester violin is found in Lost Property

Manchester violin is found in Lost Property


norman lebrecht

January 27, 2020

Chetham’s student Poppy Wald-Harding is a very lucky girl.

Last Tuesday Poppy, 18, left an 1804 Joseph Strauss violin on a train at Manchester Victoria station.

Yesterday, it was discovered in the station’s Lost Property Office.

Her mother tweeted:


  • Esther Cavett says:

    Maybe losing things runs in the family. The mother has this on her old tweets:

    Hayley Harding @HAHarding 30 Aug 2018

    @on_lothianbuses please can someone answer your phone in your lost property office.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    A tweet by Mrs H shows the saxophone was possibly crowd-sourced. I wonder if the violin was ?

    Hayley Harding @HAHarding 22 Jan 2018

    “Help me raise £500 to help towards purchasing an intermediate alto saxophone for Leeds #Jazz musician Poppy. Please #donate on @justgiving and RT. Thanks!”

  • Mike Schachter says:

    One would have thought a violin was a rather precious object to forget?

    • Anon says:

      It happens to the best of us, with instruments more valuable than hers. Just ask any touring musician; we all have stories of ourselves or colleagues leaving our precious objects on taxis, buses, and the like. Fortunately, one usually realizes right away and the instrument is retrieved.

    • willymh says:

      If Miss Prism can do it with a baby anything is possible.

    • Bruce says:

      I left my backpack (containing music folders for our next 3 symphony concerts, as well as my flute) somewhere last week. I was tired, stressed, and distracted. Fortunately, the place I left it was in our hall, on my chair, but the fact remains that I did forget it.

      I also forgot it about 15 months ago, in the same place, after a particularly grueling set of Harry Potter concerts.

      Then again, my dad forgot me at the store once when I was 5 or 6 years old. I don’t know if he would have described me as “precious” though.

    • Hayley Harding says:

      Hi. Indeed! However she also had her alto sax with her and was just back from Boston… slightly jet lagged and despwrate fir a sleep. More of the story here:

  • Jack says:

    Thrilled for her!

  • Silversled says:

    It sounds to me like a bit of a publicity stunt, designed (by her mother?) to get the young person’s name before the public, but then, I’m rather a cynic.

    • Hayley Harding says:

      It really wasn’t. I took to social media because it had simply disappeared. Into the caverns of lost property as it turned out. But the intention was to find the violin. In the original tweet I didn’t mention my daughter’s name. It was Manchester Evening News that named her, with her permission.

  • Christopher Clift says:

    Lucky young lady

  • Ramon Scavelli says:

    For a serious violinist, leaving your violin behind is totally irresponsible. My instrument (viola) became an extension of my body and I have performed all over the world sometimes under very challenging circumstances.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Indeed. The best performers also take their instrument to bed or to the bath room. About the difficulties such relationshop can create, the German author Patrick Süskind has written a successful play: ‘Der Kontrabas’.

    • Hayley Harding says:

      She is a serious saxophonist. Poppy would agree that losing her sax would be akin to losing a limb.
      She had her violin with her, however, for a Ceilidh band rehearsal… which she does for fun. No excuse but I feel that calling an 18 year old irresponsible after getting herself to and back from Boston, from Manchester- via Heathrow – is a little unfair.

  • Shawn Christopher White says:

    I left my violin in a Montreal strip club – only realized this once I reached the nearby McGill metro station – ran back and retrieved it. By the way, lay off Poppy’s mom with all the skulduggery and internet searching – she sounds like a nice lady.

  • John Borstlap says:

    A tragic case of forgetfulness happened in 2016 when well-known pianist [redacted] forgot the music of Cage’s 4’33”, which he only discovered during the recital he gave at Conway’s Hall in London, the program of which included works by Webern, Sorabji and Earle Brown and thus was read from the music. But he saved the item by improvising through the work as he remembered it, and apart from one audience member who protested against an assumed infidelity to the score, the work was received well, as usual.