One of the marvellous aspects to the sheet music archive the Music department was bequeathed by the Ken Lewis Dance Orchestra is the peripheral documents occasionally to be found lurking amidst all the music.
As regular readers will know, the Ken Lewis Dance Orchestra was a dance band active throughout the county during the 1950s and 60s, run by George Morgan, from Gravesend. The band played throughout the region, including playing as the warm-up band for the Ted Heath Orchestra in at Chatham Town Hall. In 2005, George and his wife Maureen (the latter Chief Manager of the band’s sheet music!) generously donated the entire archive of band music to the department, and in 2013, the Deputy Director of Music, Dan Harding, put together a group of student players to bring the music to life once more as General Harding’s Tomfoolery. The band danced its way through that academic year, and formed once more in 2016-17.
Going through the archive, this morning’s find is a copy of a special section of the Herald Tribune, published in Paris in July, 1952, commemorating the maiden voyage of the SS United States from America to Europe, when it was to dock at Southampton. The ship weighed in at 53,000 tonnes and measured 990 feet, and was making its way to Le Havre, where it was to dock later that month.
The pull-out section celebrates ‘A great new liner for the Atlantic service,’ and is a wonderful historic document to discover amongst the original band-folders. More finds to be revealed later…