I WAS hugely heartened to read the letters from Philip Baldwin and Richard Willmott (Letters, November 2 and November 2).

These were in reply to David Parry’s futile and offensive attempt to diminish Elgar’s association with Hereford (Letters, October 26). However, I now feel that his core theses: Alfred Watkins’ ley line theory and length of residence, as legitimising his ridiculous claim that Watkins should have Elgar’s statue spot, should be examined.

It must be said that Elgar was a Worcester man, but he also had a great association with and affection for Herefordshire.

Parry quotes Watkins’ theory about ‘ley lines’, linking ancient sites, and adopted by the countercultural and ‘Earth Mysteries’ movement.


However, these have been roundly debunked as pseudoarchaeology and pseudo-science.

Nevertheless, Parry also espoused them as influencing a fantasy-comedy film ‘Ghostbusters’ – really?

By contrast, Elgar needs little introduction as a composer of a wide range of well-known classics and being the subject of many serious biographies and documentaries.

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Watkins was born and lived most of his life in Hereford, but Elgar lived at two addresses in the county, over many creative and productive years, where he composed most of his well-known works. Here, he had many lifetime friendships and became intimate with the county during his extensive cycle rides, as now evidenced by the statue of Elgar with his bicycle.

If Parry is really serious about his proposed statue, he should first try winning hearts and minds rather than alienating a large part of the population which feels deeply about the county and its most famous ‘son’.

He has now, conversely, given them a platform to reinforce Elgar’s associations including, here, the indisputable claim of ‘residence by descent’ in that Elgar’s mother was a Herefordian.

Elgar by a ‘Herefordshire’ country mile!


Former secretary, the Elgar in Hereford Group