24th Oct, 2016

Historic cello to be heard again

Evesham Editorial 27th Feb, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A PERSHORE veteran’s cello made from an old oil can during the First World War is to be played for the first time in a century.

The ‘trench cello’ owned by Reginald Paul Quelch, a sapper with the Royal Engineers who passed away at the age of 94, will be played by a professional cellist as part of an exhibition at the Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum.

Julia Palmer-Price, will play It’s a Long Way to Tipperary on the 4ft instrument which is a wartime favourite that has connections to the county.

Philippa Tinsley, senior curator at the museum, said: “The cello was donated to the Worcestershire county museum by the Quelch family after his death, and came to us all packed up in his kit bag looking like it had been untouched since he returned from the war.

“The trench cello is such an evocative object from the museum collection, you can see the inventiveness of the maker in the beautiful hand-turning of the neck and shaping of the oil can to create a real musical instrument.”

The exhibition, World War One in the Words of Worcestershire People, opened in October and will run until Saturday, March 14.

“It’s easy to imagine the cello bringing a little cheer in the most tragic circumstances,” Ms Tinsley added.