Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, was due to chair a meeting of the Government’s crisis committee Cobra in response to the bad weather and power cuts.

Upbeat: Hidden Haydn

So where has Haydn's setting of Psalm 26 been all this time? Well, at home with Basil and Noel Mary Williams, who would invite friends round to sing it in their living-room. Now at last, with the manuscript up for sale at Christie's on 29 June, scholars will be able to examine a treasure which was unknown for nearly 200 years. Inscriptions on the score show it to have been a gift from Haydn to Cecilia Maria Henslowe, daughter of the distinguished violinist Francois- Hippolyte Barthelemon, who emigrated to London and put Haydn up on both of his visits. The manuscript came into the possession of Mrs Williams, who died in 1988, after she had completed her course as a violinist at the Royal Manchester College of Music in the late 1930s. 'It was a gift from a great aunt,' says Basil Williams, a former Admiralty official. 'How it came to be with her we had no idea. Although we were keen choral singers, we never sang the Psalm in public.' Christie's hopes to raise at least pounds 15,000 from the sale, a large proportion of which will go towards creating an award in Mrs Williams' memory at the RNCM.

FOOD & DRINK / Eating Out: Lunch among the ladies: FIFTH FLOOR: Harvey Nichols, 109-125 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RJ. Tel: 071-235 5250. Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday. Set lunch pounds 17.50 (two courses), pounds 21.50 (three courses); dinner around pounds 35 per person with house wine. All credit cards accepted.

THERE'S something wrong with the whole system. Very good food is usually very expensive and the only people who can normally afford to eat it seem to be the people who are least likely to appreciate it: they are either overweight men with expense accounts, and judging by the colour of their cheeks, worrying digestive disorders. Or they are underweight women with much more worrying eating disorders.

OUTSIDE EDGE / Owen Slot on the boom behind Basil Brush

IVAN OWEN is a shy 66-year-old who shrinks from the limelight - quite the opposite from his noisy, abrasive alter-ego, Basil Brush. Yet they get on famously. Owen refers to Basil in the third person, he talks very dearly of Basil and he was hugely pleased for Basil when he was recently asked to return to regular television, 12 years after his BBC1 show ended.

Letter: The walk out that never was

IRVING Wardle's anecdote about Ralph Richardson walking out on Basil Dean ('Art of luvvie flouncing makes a comeback', 13 February), appeared in print in 1966 in Letters From an Actor by William Redford. I am sorry to spoil a good story but my 1967 English edition has a sticker which reads, 'Author's note. Since publication of Letters From an Actor, Mr Basil Dean and Sir Ralph Richardson have strongly denied that there is any truth in the anecdote concerning them which appears on pages 51 and 52 of this book. I told it in good faith but I am now quite certain that it has no foundation in fact'.

Gay man murdered

Scotland Yard warned homosexuals about casual pick-ups after the murder of Basil Wicomb, 49, who frequented the pub in west London used by the serial killer Colin Ireland.

FOOD & DRINK / Sauce on everyone's lips: Pesto was around before the Romans; in just three years it has swept through Britain. Michael Bateman charts the phenomenal rise of a north Italian conqueror

COMING SOON, to a restaurant or supermarket near you, Pestomania. England's green and pleasant land is on the verge of being swamped by the savoury Italian sauce, pesto. It is popping up everywhere; though there aren't pesto-flavoured crisps on sale yet, nor pesto sandwiches in M & S, nor pesto hot drinks or pesto shampoos. But it's only a matter of time.

Equestrianism: King Basil not faulty

MARY THOMSON and her seven- year-old partner, King Basil, held the lead after the first day of dressage for the Brittany Ferries three- day event yesterday.

Suffer little children: the cardinal is given an East End welcome

Cardinal Basil Hume, Archbishop of Westminster, being greeted yesterday as he arrived to open a pounds 1m extension at Bishop Challoner RC school, east London.

Letter: On laughter and forgetting

THANK YOU, Robin Buss for 'England's Dreaming' about the early days of Ealing Studios (Review, 25 July).

Calls to the Bar: Middle Temple

Yvette Bernadette Thomas; Anthony Koshy; Jonathan Robert Greenhalgh; Per-Ern Khoo; Reginald Antony Deleyre Lassalle; Ranmini Manisha Wijewardane; Prabha Chandra-Ganesan; Basil Kah Liang Ong; Beng Hock Tan; Choon Jupiter Kong; Nicholas Kum Yew Loh; Keng Chye Ng; Tchuang Cheio Tchwonyoson; Dorothy Tay; Dennis Chiu Cheong Loh; John Boon Leng Lee; Kia Heng Chew; Mai Cheng; Rosaline Wing Yue Wong; Barry Gordon Ryan; Irving Thian Chee Choh; Dominic Malcolm Nicholas Offord; Mark Gabriel Francis; Cheok Yin Law; Katherine Elizabeth Arnold; Caroline Sarah Sumeray; Shivani Jegarajah; Bulent Ismail; Sathish Ramachandran; Ting Chin Cheng; Julian Khian Fah Loh; Valerie Mui Heng Lim; Seng Lok Kay; Lawrence Shien Loon Tan; B. Uthayachanran; Stephana Juanette Gabrielle Saunders; Camellia Angela Hui Liau Tan; Yung Chang Leong; Renuka Chettiar; Tien Shoong Mun; Kim Heoh Oh; Yew Tuan Khaw; Steven Shu Keen Seah; Vijayan Venugopal; Dr Ian Budden; Fuzet Farid; Mavis Sze-Chyi Chionh; Shireen Sidhu; Lorraine Pin Lee; Tien Gui Koh; Michael Alfred Herman Peglow; Elengovan Krishnan; Tien Hua Koh; Melvin Elias; Hwan Seng Hee; Ranjit Singh; Gerald Choon Beng Chong; Venkata Chellam; Min Yi Chow; Hock Keng Chan; Sean Yu Chou; Bee Leay Teo; Mui Lu Phua; Joanna Seng Yan Ti; Deborah Sing Mei Foo; Nancy Alexandra Miller Johnson; Yin-Soon Yap; Julian Andrew Fook Siong Wong; Nor Aishah Abdul Rahman; Kiernan Jane Bell; Ping Lin Yeow; Constance Wan Yee Loh; Adillah Ahmad-Nordin; Seok Wah Cheong; Aye Cheng Tan; Komala Veloo; Kenneth Jin Teck Khaw; Eleanor Siew Kim Choo; Rajesh Sreenivasan; Lionel I Kwok Tan; Lee Lim; Audrey Su-Hsien Wong; Aik Yeow Khoo; Kei-Jin Chew; Fon-Leng Chay; Douglas Yee Wan Li; Nadija Wijendri Tambiah; Monica May Lin; James Chee Hau Tan; Suman Kalpanath Singh; Kok Seng Ong; Ming Ngiam; Feei Sy Tham; Hwei Lin Thng; Margaret Tin Tin Yeow; Soong Ing Low; Shu Hon Loh; Shan Tjio; Wai Mun Leong; Champa Hassaram; Sun Weng Tham; Marwalis Mohd Kassim; Wendy Hsiao Wen Lee; Shariya Haniz Zulkifli; Muslin Abdul Hamid; Beng Piow Chiok; Zaharina Wahab; Moira Siew Ling Toh; Zarida Jean Noordin; Nancy Ng; Kit Ping Ong; Calvin Raymond Pereira; Joyah Junella Sutton; Angelia Hwee Gek Chia; Professor Kevin John Gray; Dr Geoffrey Marston; David John Cavender.

Peskin's contract under fire

OUTRAGED shareholders are this week expected to question the board of Great Portland Estates, one of Britain's largest property companies, about the controversial management contract with its chairman and chief executive, Richard Peskin, which can only be terminated on 57 months' notice, writes David Hellier.

BOOK REVIEW / Brick pix: Brickwork - Andrew Plumridge and Wim Meulenkamp: Studio Vista, pounds 25

It's not only Carl Andre who is bats about bricks, but it is a bit like owning up to a passion for Morris dancing. However, if you thrill to the perfect proportions even of homely London Stocks, let alone medieval herringbone nogging, honeycomb barns and crinkle-crankle walls, Romanesque basilicas, Gaudi's flights of whimsy, Raymond Hood's American Radiator Building, the Pantheon in Rome or St Basil's in Moscow, then Brickwork, by Andrew Plumridge and Wim Meulenkamp (Studio Vista pounds 25), is the book for you. Above, the ziggurat at Ur: the Mesopotamians invented the fired brick in about 2500 BC. Bless 'em.

Equestrianism: Thomson gains an advantage

MARY THOMSON held the lead at the end of yesterday's first day of dressage at the Brittany Ferries Three- Day Event in Windsor Great Park, where she is trying to win the international section for the fourth time.

Inchcape set to buy 81m pounds stake in Gestetner

INCHCAPE, the overseas trader, has agreed to buy up to 25 per cent of Gestetner for up to pounds 81m after three years of on-off negotiations with Chiltern, a company partly owned by Basil Sellers, the outgoing chairman of Gestetner.

Time to examine the nation's soul: In calling for a Royal Commission on the family, Basil Hume sees an opportunity to reverse society's moral malaise with a deep reflection on symptoms and causes

A SOCIETY that has suddenly caught its image in the mirror and dislikes what it sees can either shrug its shoulders and walk away, or pause and ask why. The national moral agonising prompted by the horrific death of James Bulger needs to be channelled creatively.
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