This is a collection of written pieces that comes from things I’ve thought and experienced; occasionally they are illustrated with photos that I’ve taken. They are here because I want people to enjoy them. This is a sort of print performance and as with other kinds of performance it is a meaningless exercise without an audience. So be my audience ...

About Keith Diggle

I was born in Bristol at the end of 1937, nearly two years before WW2 started. I lived in Bristol until VE Day, 8 May 1945 and soon afterwards my parents and I moved to Pauntley Court, near Newent in Gloucestershire (Where we celebrated VJ Day on 15 August of the same year). During my early years in Bristol I became very aware that there was ‘a war on’ – as in, ‘Don’t you know there’s a war on?’ which a butcher might say when three sausages were requested. I was familiar with the sound of sirens that indicated the imminent presence of enemy bombers or their departure and knew well the sound of those bombers as they flew overhead.

My parents’ repeated moving later took me to King’s School, Grantham, Carre’s Grammar School in Sleaford and Laxton Grammar School in Oundle. I served my National Service in the Royal Air Force. I trained as a teacher of mathematics in Birmingham and Exeter.

My working life corresponds to my married life in that both started in September 1961. First the teaching of mathematics which, during its five year course, ran parallel to the desire to present jazz musicians to the public and to which desire I surrendered. Qualified success with the latter moved me into the co-founding of a small chamber orchestra called Midland Sinfonia which subsequently became the English Sinfonia. Running parallel with this was a serious interest in the ways through which people might be tempted to experience not only jazz and classical music but other musics and, indeed, other art forms.

Achieving the directorship of the newly formed Merseyside Arts Association in 1969 provided a unique opportunity to develop ideas of what I started to call ‘arts marketing’ as the new job called for the ‘artification’ of a region through a programme of event presentation. During this five year stint I started to give lectures locally on audience building and also started to lecture on the courses in Arts Management initiated by the then Arts Council of Great Britain. The thread of lecturing ran throughout the next thirty years and took me around the world.

At this time the desire to write and be published became overwhelming and very many evenings and late nights were devoted to this. My target was the Guardian newspaper - a tough nut that I eventually cracked. This was a time when the Guardian had a sense of humour and was prepared to give a new boy a chance.
With financial backing from lecture and writing work I took my wife, Heather, and our two sons, to Italy for what was almost a two year long stay and during that time my first book on arts marketing was published. On our return to London the prospect of launching a magazine called Classical Music presented itself and was enthusiastically grasped. Nearly thirty years went by as a small publishing company was created and developed, more magazines and annual reference books were taken on board, two more books on arts marketing were published and, as an act of sheer vanity, my book of memoirs Not Heavy Enough To Win A Prize? was published as a 60th birthday present to myself. In a world where it is customary to deprecate one’s own achievements I resist in order to say that this book was probably the best piece of writing I have and will ever produce.

Retirement gives me the freedom to write and Out of Mind gives me the incentive to use that freedom. This blog is not in any sense a diary. It has no structure. It simply consists of items that I have written that I think my readers will enjoy. So I thrust my thoughts, my poems, my stories into this wonderful medium in the hope that once having found Out of Mind you will return to it and might even one day tell me what you like and do not like about it.



  1. I have got to your blog via Ivor Gurney's War Letters- and by surprise ! I baby sat for you both when Heather was at Gravesend Girls School...the Blog/blog? is enjoyable and I will drop in on it again...thank you

    1. You must be either Clare or Elaine. PLEASE email me on email@keithdiggle.com or go to Keith Winfield Diggle on Twitter.
      (Sorry to have taken so long to spot this - the infestation of nonsense comments makes me reluctant to open and look!)

  2. I think I may have just discovered another shit that makes Oundle great! See you at No4.