In recognition of his generous support of the Society we will be dedicating our final concert of the season on Sunday 20 March to his memory.
Frances Lindsay-Hills writes: “Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony was one of his absolute favourites, having been a keen sailor all his life. The Festival Chorus always got him excited and he never missed a concert if they were on the bill.”
With his wife Frances, Martin had been a member of the Society since 1998, and a regular and generous sponsor of orchestral chairs and concerts, including the Summer season at the Unitarian Church and previously the “Music in the Music Room” series at the Royal Pavilion.
Martin was educated by the Benedictine monks at Douai and then studied at St Johns College, Oxford where he gained a first class degree in Experimental Physics, and played rugby and sailed for the College. He worked in the field of telecommunications, first for ITT and then for Ericsson, where he rose to the position of Director of Development.
Whilst at ITT he installed a telephone exchange in Paris – he always said that it did wonders for his French, but the exchange never worked very well. When ITT was bought by Alcatel and closed in the UK, he was appointed as ‘the last man to turn out the lights’. This was a stressful time as he struggled to help his colleagues find other jobs.
He came to Brighton when he joined the management team of the Swedish company Ericsson, and met his wife Frances at a party at her house mourning the loss of a council seat by the local Liberal Party. He had been a committed Liberal for many years.
He was “Mr. Millennium” for the mobile phone industry and had teams stationed around the world to report any problems as the clock ticked past midnight – he always said there would not be, and there were not, apart from overloaded systems crashing as everyone took to their phones to wish friends a happy millennium!
His work took him to many parts of the world and before he retired was commuting to Stockholm on an almost weekly basis.
His hobby was sailing and he was instrumental in establishing sailing for the disabled (Sailability) at Sussex Yacht Club, and was their Chairman for many years as well as being a very active volunteer. When ill health forced him to retire from Sailabilty, they named a boat after him. He could not have been more pleased if he had been awarded a knighthood.
The Sunday afternoon BPO concerts were important to him, both to listen to the music and as an opportunity to meet and talk with friends.