Sunday 12 January 2014

Dr Wills; My Sunday Hero.


This man, above, was one of my heroes when I was a young whipper-snapper. His name is Arthur Wills.

Back in the dark ages he foolishly tried to improve the singing voices of us dysmelodiac schoolboys. He also played the organ in the cathedral.

Occasionally I would creep-up into the organ loft, peer over his shoulder, and (if required) turn music for him. He was a big man who made a very big sound; to listen to and watch him play was always a fabulous experience, especially at his side.

Dr Wills (as he was known) used to wear one of those huge billowing gowns, that, when catching the hint of a breeze, would appear like a giant black spinnaker spread out behind him. That, his heavy black spectacles, and his long bushy white hair, gave him the look of a man that instantly commanded respect.

A prolific composer, he was awarded the OBE in 1990.

He's still around somewhere, and I would like to send him my kindest regards.


  1. We had several of those billowing black presences at our school too. :)

    1. We had two who were particularly 'billowing'; Dr Wills and the headmaster! I think their gowns must have been specially made at Billowing & Co.

  2. I love this Cro - these figures always seem to have been only in boys' schools. Our all girls grammar school had only thin, middle-aged, grey spinsters (you couldn't teach if you were married in those days - I don't know what sort of message that gave to the pupils!

  3. Replies
    1. I've just looked him up on Wiki. He was born in 1926, so he's either 87 or 88.

    2. He must have been very young then.

  4. I hope 2014 proves to be a good year for you and yours!

  5. If you find an address for him, perhaps you could send him a note. I sent a note to teacher years after i she had been my field hockey coach. She didn't write back, and i wasn't expecting her to do so. I just wanted to thank her for all she had done, and how i incorporated much of what she had taught us when i helped to coach a field hockey team.


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