Dan Worrall Posted May 9, 2008 Share Posted May 9, 2008 (edited) I've been researching the history of the Anglo concertina in England, focusing on the period before 1920, and am working toward an eventual article to join others of mine (on the anglo in the US, Ireland, and at sea, all available at www.angloconcertina.org). Using various sources, digital and otherwise, I seem to be finding quite a lot of interesting material on its use in Victorian and Edwardian England---in street music, country dances, Salvation army rallies, street playing of music hall tunes, use in minstrel groups, and the like. There are two areas where I am having particular difficulty, however, and wonder if those hardy souls amongst you with an interest in history might have some information to help me: 1. Use of the Anglo in morris and 'folk-ritual' dances (mummers, etc.), prior to the time of Sharp's first English folk revival. As you can imagine, I can find many more references to urban life than to country life, so things like morris and mummers and the like go rather unreported. Keith Chandler, in his excellent book on the morris, thought that Anglo playing for morris was quite rare, but I've been finding a fair number of references (including the three photos Howard Mitchell kindly posted on this forum a few years back). Attached below is a list of what I have been able to find. Does anyone have anything that could be added? The more the list grows, the more it seems as if the Anglo might have been used more in the morris than some people think, during the Anglo's peak years at the end of the 19th century....but I'd need to see some more references to be able to state that with any confidence. Groups with Anglo players for Morris or other ‘Ritual’ Dance, pre-Sharp revival • William Kimber Jr., 1872-1961, Headington Quarry morris side, Oxfordshire • William Kimber Sr. (1849-1931, Headington Quarry morris side, Oxfordshire • Wheatley morris side, Oxfordshire, 1870s • Winchcombe morris side, Gloucestershire, 1880s • Shrewsbury, Shropshire morris side, 1878-79 • Glossop, Derbyshire morris side, 1927 photo recreating earlier activity • Mossley, Lancashire morris side, 1903 photo • Oldham, Lancashire morris side, ca. 1909 photo • Sherborne, Gloucestershire mummers group had concertina, along with Thomas Pitts (b. 1855) on pipe and tabor • Bradford, blackfaced mummer ‘Bletherhead Bands’, 1896 2. Remnant Anglo players in England after its popularity crashed following WWI. Even after the widespread Anglo craze in Ireland came to an abrupt end in the early 20th century, there was still a fair number of living players scattered around Ireland, and not just in Clare (see my Table 1 in that article). Six years ago, Roger Digby addressed the matter of surviving, active English players of the Anglo in the same period, and came up with only three: Tester, Kimber, and Fred Kilroy (Roger's article is at http://www.concertina.com/digby/anglo-file/ ). I can push it to six, just barely). I find this list too small to be credible. Certainly there were folks that must have been playing...your great-uncle Henry, perhaps? I'm interested in ANY Anglo players that can be documented during the period from 1920 to 1960 (in other words, before the concertina and folk revival happened). Do any of you know any others? Known Anglo Players in England, active during the period 1920-1960 • William Kimber Jr., 1872-1961, Headington Quarry brickmason, morris and country dance • Scan Tester (1887-1982) Sussex musician, various styles • Will Tester, Scan’s brother, Sussex brickmaker • Fred Kilroy, Oldham Lancashire, morris and dance tunes • Rev. Kenneth Loveless • David Jacob Blazer, London music halls in 1920s Any help on these questions would be very gratefully received! Likewise, any other information you might wish to share on early Anglo playing in England would be very useful. Kind regards, Dan Edited May 9, 2008 by Dan Worrall Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.