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Song: The Future for Ken Proctor


This news release is to celebrate the successful conclusion of Song: The Future (2022-2023) and to commemorate Ken Proctor, my partner and the Project Manager for Bridging the Gaps (2020-2024) and Song of the Female Textile Workers (2020-2021), both awarded by UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council).

Ken passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Friday 11th June 2021 in his sleep after receiving his second COVID booster three days earlier.

Before working as a Project Manager, Ken had 30 years’ service at North Yorkshire Police as a Detective Sergeant and a Tier 5 National Interview Advisor, which is the highest UK national advisory role, specialising in Major and Serious Crime investigations.

Bringing his experience into the AHRC research projects, Ken demonstrated excellent communication skills and meticulous management standards. It is under Ken’s full support that the AHRC projects developed gradually and steadily, despite COVID travel restrictions and tremendous logistic challenges. Ken was, in his own words, ‘extremely excited to see something wonderful begin to emerge’ and was confident that ‘the projects will truly make a difference in bridging the gaps of understanding between China and the UK people’.

Many were surprised that I wrote the bid for Song: The Future in August 2021, barely two months after Ken passed away. I did this because I knew Ken would have wanted me to; he was so passionate about the next phase of the projects. I wrote the bid for him, and carried it out to completion with him in my heart all the way through.

Thank you Ken, for all your love and support, without which I would not have made this far. I dedicate Song: The Future (2022-2023) to Ken Proctor. Obituary of Ken Proctor can be read here.

Haili Ma

I would like to thank WU Chunyi and LIU Yiou, my PhD students, for making the impressionist photo from the picture of Ken and I taken in 2014.