Sunday, October 01, 2006

Kenneth W. Matchett

A celebrated member of my family has died. Kenneth W. Matchett, OBE, was my mother's cousin and they were the same age. He was manager of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for some years for which he was awarded the OBE. Later, he managed a trout farm for Lord Shaftesbury. I have been trying to find an on-line obituary on him but have yet to be able to find one. I have been told there was an extensive obit in yesterday's Daily Telegraph. If anyone has access to it perhaps you could send it to me or direct me to the URL I would appreciate it. Thanks!

Ken helped set up the concert version of the show by Erik Sitbon and myself, "Jack--The Musical" at the UK Ripper convention held in Bournemouth in 2001. He thought that the singers would find the upstairs meeting rooms at the Suncliff Hotel to be rather dry for singing and advised that we hold the concert in the downstairs bar, which turned out to be an excellent location and enabled me to be a narrator and scene setter as barman of "The Ten Bells."

The below poem is a tribute to Ken Matchett.

Ammonite Fossil

To Kenneth W. Matchett, OBE
(Sept. 24, 1920 - Sept. 26, 2006)

I recall you as I trace with my index finger
the chambered whirl of the fossil on my desk.
I found it in Kimmeridge Bay amid the scree
of slate as we sought to fight for a foothold.

You demonstrated how to chip off cleanly
the excess rock with my miniature pickax
so I could transport my prize discovery
in my backpack. Curious seals coughed

and watched from sea-surged rocks
that diamond-bright Dorset morning.
Objective accomplished, we ascended
the cinder track to your Vauxhall.

Sun beat down upon us as we climbed.
You'd showed me how to soak a towel
in the sea to beat the sunstroke:
I wore it cool under my school cap.

Christopher T. George


Sherry Pasquarello said...

a very meaningful piece. better than just a paragraph of a life.

Christopher T. George said...

Thanks, Sherry.


Jim Doss said...


A fine tribute nice poem. I enjoyed the annecdote about the Ripper production also.

Christopher T. George said...

Thanks, Jim!


Graham North Wales said...

With reference to William Matchett, his father Billy Matchett (music hall entertainer) is mentioned in a book called 'The Fighting Mascot' by Thomas (Tommy)Kehoe, I uncovered this when researching family histroy. Tommy was my great uncle and after his WW1 escapades he was killed in Liverpool during the WW2 blitz.
Hope this is of some interest.
Graham Clutton, North Wales