Thankfully, I’m not used to reading obituaries of people I know, which perhaps makes it more sad to read the recent obituary of Arthur Brown, who died in March. Well, implying I knew him is overstating things a little. I remember going, when I was younger, with my parents, to the annual Christmas parties he hosted with his wife. One year, when I was small enough to do so, I had a lot of fun pretending that a furry rug on the arm of a sofa was some breed of mountable animal. Another time, during holidays from college in Bristol, an old but sharp gentleman told me about attending university there sometime in the early decades of the century. I was always too young and socially inept to feel quite at home but I remember Arthur being a great host and having a wonderful voice.
Today, John Sutherland wonders if the WEA, where Arthur Brown once lectured, still exists; obviously he hasn’t mastered Google yet. I always liked the sound of “The Workers’ Educational Association,” even when I was too young to fully appreciate the gloriously old-school, socialism-soaked overtones of the phrase.