Kenneth Essex

Kenneth Essex

Walk10km in10 days before my 101st birthday


Total raised so far£0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00


Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]My name is Kenneth Essex and I was 101 on 20th July 2021. I completed a sponsored walk of two 500m circuits from my house, each day for ten days, a total of 10km, finishing on my 101st birthday in support of Hospice Aid UK. It is a unique UK based charity delivering grants and Emergency Funding to UK Hospices. They give support where it is needed, when it is needed. I do hope that people will sponsor me to raise funds for Hospice Aid UK.[/p][p]Having previously studied at the Royal Academy of Music, on being demobbed from the Royal Marines after the Second World War, I joined the musical profession, and had an amazing career as a viola player for almost 60 years. [/p][p]I was accepted by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, played at Glyndebourne with the Hurwitz Quartet, then played with the newly formed Amadeus String Quartet in their quintet dates, until work clashes led me to give up playing with them. I was then invited to join the Boyd Neel Orchestra, the front desk of violas for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, before joining the London Symphony Orchestra as principal viola.[/p][p]I left the LSO to go freelance, but I continued to play quintets and sextets with the Aeolian, Delme and Gabrieli Quartets and played with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, while pursuing my career in the commercial world as a session musician. I did TV, film and popular music recordings including playing in the string quartet backing The Beatles on Yesterday. I frequently played at Abbey Road Studios under the direction of George Martin. and composer Carl Davis, featured my viola playing in the background music for the TV serial, The Mayor of Casterbridge, and the film The French Lieutenant’s Woman where the title music begins with a viola solo. I played in the incidental music for Last of The Summer Wine for over 30 years, and am the only living member of the string quartet which played the Fawlty Towers theme music. [/p][p]I played in Royal Variety Performances, Royal Command Performances, the Eurovision song contest in Brighton when Abba won with Waterloo, numerous films, and TV series. My viola playing contributes to the backing tracks of countless popular music legends including Barbra Streisand, the Bee Gees, Burt Bacharach, Kate Bush, Cilla Black, Cliff Richard, David Essex (no relation) Dusty Springfield, Elkie Brooks, Gloria Gaynor, Michael Jackson, the Moody Blues, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, The Walker Brothers and of course The Beatles, to name but a few.[/p][p]I am well known in the musical profession, but many people will not know me, but they have certainly heard my playing![/p][p]I have been blessed with a musical talent, and have been very lucky to have had such an interesting musical career. I would like to give something back, and to help other people. I have chosen to support Hospice Aid UK, as several friends and fellow musicians, have benefited from the care of a hospice at the end of their lives. [/p]
Walk10km in10 days before my 101st birthday image 1
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Personal Challenge Date

11 Jul 2021


Aug 26, 2021


Well done Ken, from Dee a friend of Liz.


Aug 21, 2021



plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Aug 4, 2021


Brilliant 👏


plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Aug 1, 2021


Thank you to everyone at Hospice Aid UK for their support for my walk, and thank you to everyone who has made a donation. Ken


plus £50.00 Gift Aid

Aug 1, 2021

Tricia Lawrence

Very well done, an amazing achievement

Jul 30, 2021

William Allen

Great work Kenneth!


plus £1.25 Gift Aid

Jul 29, 2021

Claire Gilbert

Well done Ken! You’re an inspiration to us all! :)


plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Jul 29, 2021



plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Jul 29, 2021

J and G

In continued admiration.


plus £13.09 Gift Aid

Jul 28, 2021

Elizabeth Ganley


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