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Obituary: Ian Board

AS PIANIST in Muriel Belcher's Colony Room from 1958 to 1960, I had daily contact with Ian Board, writes Malcolm Williamson (further to the obituary by Christopher Howse, 28 June). While I dispensed Gershwin, Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers, he ran the bar.

Ian was then notably abstemious and efficient. Muriel was no stranger to brandy at that time but she was certainly not foul-mouthed; and she was fortunate at the time of later reversals in her personal life that Ian Board was a loyal friend to, and beyond, her passing.

It was not a romantic friendship, but it was something deep and infrangible, reflecting credit on both. I feel that in the Soho of those days when the club drew countless people in the arts into an extended family, by no means all heavy drinkers, Ian's faithful, moderating and unswerving affection for Muriel and her now vanished world deserves a salute.