We are sad to record the death at the age of 88 of Ted McFadyen (Edward J McFadyen) who had been a Friend of the Phil for 30 years and from time to time a Patron of the orchestra and a sponsor of concerts.
Ted was born in Ipswich. He trained as a journalist and lived and worked in London until the 1970s. In the 50s and 60s he was an active and avid anti-nuclear campaigner and a member of the famous ‘Committee of 100’, the precursor of CND. He took part in the Aldermaston marches, the annual gatherings of tens of thousands of protestors that every Easter weekend walked the 52 miles from the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment in Berkshire to Trafalgar Square in London.
All his working life Ted was a committed trade unionist and a member of the National Union of Journalists. Under the auspices of the NUJ Gay Group he wrote an influential pamphlet – aimed at his fellow journalists – setting out the basic facts about HIV and Aids “because there were so many distortions and lies at the time and we felt they needed to be told what was what”. He was also responsible for Gay Rights at Work, a booklet that played an important role in persuading trade unions to give better support to their gay members.
Ted moved to Brighton in the early 1970s and soon began to attend Brighton Phil concerts. He became an energetic member of the Sussex Playwrights club and both wrote and performed in plays. He was actively involved in local gay rights campaigning and later with the management of Brighton Gay Switchboard. It was at this time he began quite frequently to write letters to the Guardian newspaper – on a wide variety of subjects! A commendable number were published. Characteristically of Ted, they were a nice mixture of humour and waspishness, but always with a serious point to make. The hypocrisies of politicians were a favourite subject.
It is hoped that in due course a gathering will be arranged to remember and celebrate Ted’s life.