Last Night Of The Proms 1991 – tape 1310

Back to the Albert Hall, with Last Night of the Proms 1991, once again introduced by Richard Baker.

Richard Baker

Andrew Davies conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra, starting with Elgar’s Overture Cockaigne.

Andrew Davies


This is followed by Vaughan Williams’ Towards The Unknown Region. A big choral work featuring the BBC Singers and the BBC Symphony Chorus.

Then, Walk to the Paradise Garden, by Delius.

Finally, in the first half, Dame Gwyneth Jones sings Brunnhilde’s immolation scene from Wagner’s Gotterdammerung.

Dame Gwyneth Jones

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 14th September 1991 – 19:30

The second part is on BBC1, and it opens with Richard Baker going for a walkabout at the Proms Queue. I asked my wife to watch out in case there was anyone we know, but as it went on, there weren’t many familiar faces, until suddenly I noticed her mother and youngest daughter Miriam standing behind a woman being interviewed. Looking closer, I can also see two more sisters behind them, Mary-Anne and Clara. But when I spooled back, I noticed Bernadette herself, her other sister Camilla, and their Aunty Sandra. Almost of full house, only sister Lucy was missing, and she’s probably just standing somewhere we can’t see her.

It’s slightly embarrassing how exciting I’m finding this discovery, but it’s like having a time machine. I didn’t meet Bernadette until just over three years after this was filmed, so it’s like looking back in time. Quite thrilling for me, but of no earthly interest to anyone reading, for which I apologise.

The concert starts with the March from Things To Come, by Sir Arthur Bliss, followed by the marvellous Polovtsian Dances by Borodin.

Next is a special performance by 91 year old harpist Sidonie Goossens, of her arrangement of The Last Rose of Summer, with Gwyneth Jones singing.

Sidonie Goossens and Gwyneth Jones

After this, the traditional finale gets underway with Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance March (Land of Hope and Glory), Sir Henry Wood’s Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and the National Anthem.

During the Hornpipe, we also spotted the missing Willmott sister, Lucy, in the arena audience holding her teddy, Russell. So that’s a full house.

Lucy at the Proms

To sing Rule Britannia, Dame Gwyneth comes on dressed as Britannia.

Gwyneth Jones as Britannia

I’m not sure the end credits were completely signed off.

Videotape Editor TBC

BBC Genome: BBC One – 14th September 1991 – 20:55

After this, there’s a trailer for Sunday programmes, followed by the start of a news bulletin. News was the possible release of a British hostage in Syria. Checking Wikipedia, it was Jackie Mann who was released very soon after this bulletin.

The recording ends during the bulletin.


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