Life story retold by Yota Dimitriadi
Percy Ravenscroft Scrivener was born on 31st August 1852. She was the second Head Teacher in the history of Kendrick School, Reading, a post that she held for nearly 29 years.
The service was at St. John’s church. Mr P.R. Scrivener, who was at the Kendrick School with Miss Rundell was at the organ and some of the girls of the school formed the choir. Psalm XXIII, “the Lord is my Shepherd” and the hymns “The Saints of God!” and “For all the Saints” were sung. Mr Scrivener played “Ases Tod (Grieg), “O Rest in the Lord” Mendelssohn, Choral Preludes of Parry, and “I know that my Redeemer Liveth” (Handel).
Miss Rundel made a bequest to the school and was used to buy for an organ in February 1936. The following inscription was placed on it: “This organ was installed to give effect to the generocity of Gertrude Caroline Rundell who made a bequest to this purpose and to fulfil the desire of the Town Council to commemorate her devoted services as head mistress of the Kendrick Girls’ School from 1885-1913.
duringng the first performance a letter by Mrs Cassell was read which said: “It was one of her [Miss Rundell’s] great wishes that the beloved school should have an organ, but this far exceeds her fondest hopes, which she treasured for years. I want to thank you, the school governors and the Town Counvil and all who have helped so generously to bring about this realisations.” The organ was chosen by Mr Scrivener. It was reconditioned and installedby Mr Hill and Sons, Norman and Beard, a well-known London firm. It was small and suitedto the size of the hall. Ten and a half feet in height and a manual of 56 note and a pedal keyboard of 30 notes, conforming to the Royal College of Organists’ patten. Reading Standard – Friday 07 February 1936
Mr. Scrivener was a descendant of Thomas Ravenscroft. the famous musician who was born in 1592.
The Berkshire Organists’ Association was founded at a
meeting held on 19 April 1921, arranged by Mr. Percy Scrivener
(Founder President) and Mr. Archibald Lusty, who subsequently
served as Secretary for 46 years. The Association was affiliated
to the National Union of Organists’ Associations: this body
became the Incorporated Association of Organists in 1929, to
which we are still affiliated. In 1988 we became a registered
It is a long time to be organist for 63 years at the same town church. Previously
to his arriving here, Percy Scrivener had been organist at St John’s Caversham and
assistant at Christchurch, as well as playing at a small church in Bengal where his
father worked as a railway engineer. His mother had been Miss Ravenscroft, a
descendant of the Tudor musician.
Until the thirties, the choir of 40 or so, was augmented by a ladies choir, the
Cecilia Choir. With his conductorship of the Reading Philharmonic, his teaching at
the University College, at Kendrick School, Portway College, Wallingford and
Newbury Grammar Schools, and his individual pupils, his influence upon the musical
life of the town was great. He was in 1921 the Founder and first President of the
Berkshire Organists’ Association. Not that he was alone, for Dr Read at Christ
Church, Mr Strickland and Dr Daughtry at St Mary’s, Dr Embling at St Laurence’s all
added to the town’s vigorously competitive church music life in the first quarter of the
century. It was an age of large choirs and full churches – one had to be in church here
half an hour before evensong to get a seat.
He kept careful records, bound up in volumes, of choir attendances and of all
service music.12 Yet beneath someone who might be obdurate was a man interested in
people and what they did, not least of course his family. And as a good father to all,
he saw to it that, unlike his predecessor, he was seen listening to sermons.
It had only been a generation since hymns A&M had ousted collections such as
Binfield’s Reading Psalmody. He inherited the Westminster Chant book (and retained
it in use until he retired), changing from the somewhat old-fashioned Elvey’s Psalter to
the then in vogue Cathedral Psalter.13 His copy is marked carefully so as to make clear
what would-be purists call the Anglican thump, and others know to be an essential part
of understanding the development of Anglican Chant.
When Percy Scrivener came to be organist here, the organ had just been
overhauled. He saw to it that electric blowing was installed in the 1920s, together
with the pedal Trombone stop, prepared for in 1888. There was a plan to have the
organ rebuilt with a det
Buried in Section 68, Row B, Number 1