French composer visits friends in Hamilton Terrace in 1958
In the summer of 1958 the French composer Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) stayed with the Pilkingtons who had been living at 28 Hamilton Terrace since the end of WW2.
Vere Pilkington (1905-1983) was a director of Sothebys and also a keen harpsichordist. He was the inspiration for the British composer, Lennox Berkeley’s “Mr Pilkington’s Toye” for solo harpsichord. Berkeley lived close by at 8 Warwick Avenue.
Lennox Berkeley had met Poulenc in Paris when he was studying with Nadia Boulanger, which is no doubt how he then introduced him to the Pilkingtons.
In June 1958 Poulenc was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music of Oxford University hence his visit to London.