A MEMORIAL concert for Baroness Blatch was held at the Performing Arts Centre, in Huntingdon. Former Prime Minister Sir John Major unveiled a bust of Emily Blatch, who for many years was a leading Huntingdonshire Conservative and a former education minis

Sir John Major unveils the bust of Baroness Emily Blatch

A MEMORIAL concert for Baroness Blatch was held at the Performing Arts Centre, in Huntingdon.

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major unveiled a bust of Emily Blatch, who for many years was a leading Huntingdonshire Conservative and a former education minister in his government.

She was also his friend and political ally of nearly 30 years, appointed to two ministerial offices in his government in the early 1990s.

When she died in May last year, he said: "This is a sadder day than most people will know."

Baroness Emily Blatch

Sir John paid tribute to the baroness and her dedication to education and her continued interest in people, always having time for them, even when she was ill. Tributes were also paid by the baroness's husband and family.

Baroness Blatch was a former leader of Cambridgeshire County Council and had a passion for education and music.

A cheque for £8,000 - the remains from the collection for the bust created by sculptor, Shenda Amery - was handed to the English Schools Orchestra, of which Baroness Blatch was patron.

She died of cancer, aged 68, leaving her husband, John, her son James, a BBC television reporter, and twins Andrew and Liz.

At Sunday's concert, there was music from The Huntingdon Male Voice Choir, of which she was also patron, The Cambridge Sinfonietta, The Thornbury Ensemble, and choirs from Alconbury Primary School and St Anne's Primary School, in Godmanchester.

The musicians included trumpeter Michael Sedgwick, whose talent was recognised at an early stage by Baroness Blatch. She helped him to obtain a bursary to win a music scholarship at St Edward's School, Oxford.

The music varied from Mozart and Tchaikovsky to Queen.

Also on the programme was Speed Your Journey from Verdi's Nabucco and the Nile Chorus from Aida. The concert ended with the performers and audience singing Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem.