Today would have been David Farrant, the founder President of The British Psychic and Occult Society’s 75th birthday. David passed away in April 2019, so is not with us to celebrate his birthday. He remains greatly missed on a daily basis, and thank you to all of his fans from around the globe who continue to send emails of support, and of thanks for what he gave during his life. Baby David entered the world on Weds 23rd Jan 1946, at the Forest Gate Maternity Hospital, E7, as at the time his parents were living way out east at Goodmayes, which is almost in Essex. They moved to Shepherds Hill, Highgate around a year later.
Apologies for the photo by the way – I have searched high and low for the photograph of baby David which once led to a 30-minute chase around the front room and bedroom but alas cannot locate it at present. David claimed it back as victor, and I had hoped it was in the old Lucky Strike tin where we keep our passports and other irreplaceable items, but it seems that David hid it far too well. Remind me to tell you all about the fight with Colette on the stairs over the first Ham and High album one day! Fortunately I do know where the Baby David neg is for another day, hehe!
Speaking of irreplaceable items, changes are afoot in the House of Farrant. I have finally begun opening up and archiving the contents of the 159 boxes of photographs, letters, newspaper clippings (of course!), diaries, calling cards, ‘contracts’, court documents, early manuscripts, tape recordings, obscure magazines, books, altar equipment, ghost-hunting tools and so on which David left behind. They constitute an enormous legacy, and just how to manage it all for the best is taking quite some thought. What to do, for example, with all the confidential letters and membership applications received by the British Psychic and Occult Society over the decades? How do I go about digitising the thousands of never-before published negatives of David spanning the 1940s through to the 1980s? (I have almost solved the latter – tricky when they are in so many different sizes and formats).
The collection represents an archive of an extraordinary life, from David’s boarding school tuckbox (previously forgotten secret compartment intact) to the daily notes he wrote during 1982, chronicling the most significant and ascetic spiritual journey he undertook – the abandonment of many aspects of Wicca and the commencement of a solitary path verging upon Gnosticism. And in the middle of course looms the Highgate era, in all its high gloss, b/w, borrowed topper glory. What a beautiful creature David was to behold; I know I am biased but to me it is no wonder at all that he was so frequently photographed. What a beautiful muse he made.
It is a slow process, and I have not forgotten my promises to various groups and societies who wished to acquire some of these items for posterity. Many which are more sentimental in nature will never leave the family, and some will wend their way to David’s friends from Highgate or to their children, (you know who you are – and there are some surprises in store!).
I do have a working vision of how to curate this extraordinary collection, and that this is happening seems to fit to announce on what I would refer to as the 75th anniversary of David’s natal if I was pretensiously inclined. Further details to be announced! And ideas welcomed – please email [email protected]. I will also be making David’s books available for purchase again in the very near future, as many people have been emailing me about this and I know that David would want his books to be out there. Information will be posted here soon.
Anyway – back to David’s 75th birthday celebrations! David hated birthdays and birthday parties. But I do feel that he would appreciate a little rerun of this funny little video we put together after we made A Christmas Quarrel. I’m wading through loads of home movies at the moment, but this one is easy to post up here, and IS pretty funny. “Oh I will have my little ‘joke’, won’t I?” 😉
What he would really love is for you all to raise a glass – or a mug of strong tea if you prefer – to his memory. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVID!!! Not really gone that far, and certainly not forgotten.
Much love to friends and family,
Stay safe and keep looking out for each other.