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Dan Worrall

History Of The Anglo In England, Pre-1920

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Dan I presume you saw the Pathe Archive News Clip of the old Anglo Player playing for The Rapper Sword Dance .From memory it was a Colliery side.

I remembered the clip where they were dancing to a flutina, but I'd forgotten the Anglo one.

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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Dan I presume you saw the Pathe Archive News Clip of the old Anglo Player playing for The Rapper Sword Dance .From memory it was a Colliery side.

Al

Alan,

 

I searched under 'concertina' and 'sword dance' and couldn't find it...could you point me in the right direction?

 

I'm not at all disappointed though. Under 'concertina' there is a brilliant bit of film from WWI of sailors dancing to the music of a melodeon and concertina! www.britishpathe.com

 

Cheers,

Dan

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I searched under 'concertina' and 'sword dance' and couldn't find it...could you point me in the right direction?

Dan,

 

That's 'cos it's indexed under "accordion" and "miner dancers"...

 

Here's a link to the film: Miners Dance, though in the silent 1926 clip and the Out Takes they are dancing to a tin whistle - probably a Clarke's?

 

Edited to add 1926 clip.

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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I searched under 'concertina' and 'sword dance' and couldn't find it...could you point me in the right direction?

Dan,

 

Here's a link to the film: Miners Dance, though in the Out Takes they are dancing to a tin whistle - probably a Clarke's?

Thanks, Stephen and Alan. It is a wonderful clip....and has sound! The style of anglo playing is particularly of interest. THe anglo player in this 1930s scene looks to be in his late 60s/early seventies, thus of Kimber's age or even a decade older. His style is basically melodic, with only a punctuating chord every now and then. He is also cross row fingering....in fact, it sounds much more like modern Irish playing than what we have come to expect in morris concertina playing today (heavy on the oom pah). I can think of four old time English anglo recordings now that I have heard (Kimber, Tester, a snippet of Les Rice, and this fellow....would like to get my hands on recordings of Bob Cann (on anglo not melodeon) and Eric Holland)....and they are all as uniquely different as soap and shinola. Remembering that thread Alan started 3 years ago on the origins of the 'English' style of anglo playing, that name 'ENglish style' seems pretty elusive....how about 'harmonic' or 'chorded', because clearly not all the English old timers played that way, by far. Very individualistic altogether.

 

Cheers,

Dan

 

ps. I placed a couple of still photos of that in my 'shopping basket' on that website (great for any eventual article), until I saw the price....29+ pounds sterling for each frame....or 500 pounds for the clip! I could probably recreate the entire scene live for that. Grumble.

Edited by Dan Worrall

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The style of anglo playing is particularly of interest. THe anglo player in this 1930s scene looks to be in his late 60s/early seventies, thus of Kimber's age or even a decade older. His style is basically melodic, with only a punctuating chord every now and then. He is also cross row fingering....in fact, it sounds much more like modern Irish playing than what we have come to expect in morris concertina playing today

 

The Rapper dancing that is still alive and well on Tyneside still uses almost entirely Irish jigs for the musical accompaniment. I'm told by members of the Tyneside Irish community that the local Rapper dance tradition was strongly influenced by Irish people who came her to work in the coal industry.

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The style of anglo playing is particularly of interest. THe anglo player in this 1930s scene looks to be in his late 60s/early seventies, thus of Kimber's age or even a decade older. His style is basically melodic, with only a punctuating chord every now and then. He is also cross row fingering....in fact, it sounds much more like modern Irish playing than what we have come to expect in morris concertina playing today

 

The Rapper dancing that is still alive and well on Tyneside still uses almost entirely Irish jigs for the musical accompaniment. I'm told by members of the Tyneside Irish community that the local Rapper dance tradition was strongly influenced by Irish people who came her to work in the coal industry.

 

Theo, that explains a lot about this clip; thanks.

As a side, from Reg Hall's book on Scan Tester, it appears that a lot of Tester's early influences on concertina were of a melodic style, too. How extensive that was, we'll never know...but finding this clip from Newcastle is a big addition to what we do know.

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Is the international debut for this going to be the upcoming Bradfield Musical Weekend? Will it be posted on the 'net shortly thereafter?

And is the plan still to move to the history of the Konzertina in Deutschland once you catch your breath?

Edited by wntrmute

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Is the international debut for this going to be the upcoming Bradfield Musical Weekend? Will it be posted on the 'net shortly thereafter?

And is the plan still to move to the history of the Konzertina in Deutschland once you catch your breath?

 

Well, it is a partial debut. I've done my normal research diligence by this time, and have a harvest of period material on 'Anglo' concertinas in England in Victorian/Edwardian times. I've strung a few of the most interesting 'sightings' together with some very nice period illustrations and photos, added some bar charts and such on countable things like production and incidence of various sorts of music played by Angloers back then, and then added some interpretation, along with some sideways glances at demographic and social trends of the day. IMHO there is some interesting stuff there, some of it even surprising. I hope folks at Bradfield enjoy it.

 

However, I have deliberately not written any text yet. I figure that the English 19th century Anglo story is something that a lot of other folks, especially in England, have special knowledge of, which I have not yet fully tapped. I figure that by giving a talk that shows my present state of understanding, I will get some new information leads that will make the final result even better. I'm sure I'll also hear of my current goofs, too!

 

As far as Deutschland goes, I have been adding a little new research material on that subject that will ultimately be part of the 'English' article. The history of German concertina production is of course problematic....time and wars and iron curtains have taken a heavy toll on data resources there....but nonetheless these comprised the huge base upon which all 'Anglo' playing is built. Worth much more work, someday....

 

Thanks for asking....always nice to know of interest. And I'm always eager to hear from anyone with information about 'Anglos' in this time period.

 

Cheers,

Dan

Edited by Dan Worrall

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Hi Dan

I really enjoyed your talk at Bradfield ansd salute your energy and hard work. I look forward to the finished paper. Glad you met John Pitt from Handsworth. I'll ask my mates in Grenoside if they have any info on concertina players. I will try to find that book with a photo of Rusholme (Manchester) NW Morris. I grew up round there but the team had died out after WW2, there may be a revival side. I know there used to be massive concertina rallies between the wars at Belle Vue Gardens nearby because my Dad said he went to them as a kid in Ardwick. The Manchester papers should have info.

I think you will spark off local studies like yours which may yield a lot of information.

I suspect a lot of Morris sides don't look at Concertina. net etc ( I didn't til I started playing Anglo and had retired) and maybe a letter to their Squires my throw up info about sides they revived or material stimulateded by their displays. Cecil Sharp contacted vicars didn't he?

But I'm sure you know all this.

Cheers

Mike

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Cecil Sharp contacted vicars didn't he?

But I'm sure you know all this.

Cheers

Mike

Hmmm, we don't like to talk about that............ :ph34r:

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Hi Dan

I really enjoyed your talk at Bradfield ansd salute your energy and hard work. I look forward to the finished paper. Glad you met John Pitt from Handsworth. I'll ask my mates in Grenoside if they have any info on concertina players. I will try to find that book with a photo of Rusholme (Manchester) NW Morris. I grew up round there but the team had died out after WW2, there may be a revival side. I know there used to be massive concertina rallies between the wars at Belle Vue Gardens nearby because my Dad said he went to them as a kid in Ardwick. The Manchester papers should have info.

I think you will spark off local studies like yours which may yield a lot of information.

I suspect a lot of Morris sides don't look at Concertina. net etc ( I didn't til I started playing Anglo and had retired) and maybe a letter to their Squires my throw up info about sides they revived or material stimulateded by their displays. Cecil Sharp contacted vicars didn't he?

But I'm sure you know all this.

Cheers

Mike

Hi Mike,

Many thanks for the kind words and the offers to help find more data....one never knows what one can find, and anything and everything is useful. I look forward to hearing from you and from John Pitt. My morris contacts are few.

I was just at the Horniman Museum's library yesterday in London....an amazing storehouse of printed material on concertinas that Neil Wayne had collected there.

 

Best,

Dan

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Hi Dan

I'm still looking for the picture I mentioned on Rusholme Clog Morris, there were a lot of Rushbearing Ceremonies in the area ( quite a wet, boggy area) and the dances were linked to them

I've just been browsing mustrad site and found a nice piece from 1983 by Ronnie Wharton and Arthur Clarke on Tommy Talker bands and Wuffen Fuffen bands in the West Riding. They have lots of concertina players shown and they look like Minstrel influenced groups grafted onto older agricultural resistance groups and luddites ( see EP Thompsons, Customs in Common on men in all sorts of disguises, including blacked up faces , There is even a link to KKK as a sideshoot of means of ordinary people maintaining social control and using rough music)

Good luck

Mike

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Hi Dan

I'm still looking for the picture I mentioned on Rusholme Clog Morris, there were a lot of Rushbearing Ceremonies in the area ( quite a wet, boggy area) and the dances were linked to them

I've just been browsing mustrad site and found a nice piece from 1983 by Ronnie Wharton and Arthur Clarke on Tommy Talker bands and Wuffen Fuffen bands in the West Riding. They have lots of concertina players shown and they look like Minstrel influenced groups grafted onto older agricultural resistance groups and luddites ( see EP Thompsons, Customs in Common on men in all sorts of disguises, including blacked up faces , There is even a link to KKK as a sideshoot of means of ordinary people maintaining social control and using rough music)

Good luck

Mike

Hi Mike,

 

Many thanks for the tip...I had missed it. After Bradfield, Mark Davies had sent me a related article, on the Crown Street Comic Band, by the same two folks. The mustrad article however has a nice photo and still more to add to the story of the Bletherhead Bands of that region, which were active at least by the late nineteenth century (and rife with anglos), and continued into the twentieth in various slightly altered guises like these comic bands using Kazoos (Tommy Talkers, as you know). Your tip really helps tie it all together. (For any wondering what we are talking about, see http://mustrad.org.uk/articles/t_talker.htm ).

 

Cheers,

Dan

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Hi dan

Glad it was useful . I have found a nice picture of a group of blokes from Manchester going to The Derby on Queen Victoria's Jubilee, one on a cart , he's playing an Anglo. What's the best way to get it to you , a scan or photo. Do I send it here or to your email address or your Anglo site. I'm not too good at the technolgy yet, but learning fast.

Yours

Mike

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Re Waffen Faffen, I wonder if the word has same Germanic root a Waffen for weapon as in Waffen SS. If they were armed ruffians and it goes back a long way?

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Hi dan

Glad it was useful . I have found a nice picture of a group of blokes from Manchester going to The Derby on Queen Victoria's Jubilee, one on a cart , he's playing an Anglo. What's the best way to get it to you , a scan or photo. Do I send it here or to your email address or your Anglo site. I'm not too good at the technolgy yet, but learning fast.

Yours

Mike

Mike,

 

Many thanks; email probably works best if you can master the scanning process. My email address is posted on my website (see bottom line of this note). If you need to send just a photo, then just email me at that address and I'll send my snail mail address. Either way, I'll be VERY interested to receive that. I'm beginning to amass some staggeringly good photos for the article, and I'm always on the lookout for more!

 

Best,

Dan

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Hi Dan

 

I've just been talking to John Newman of Grenoside Sword team. He says they never had a concertina player but there is a picture of a flutina player.

 

Still no luck with scanning, my machine is wrecked, and digital photos are too small and blurred in close up. I'll keep trying

 

Yours

Mike

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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

• David Jacob Blazer, London music halls in 1920s

• Eric Holland (d. 1977), Dorset, 40 button Wheatstone player

• Yet unnamed player, Sunderland, Tyne and Ware (more coming)

• Joe Marten (1870-1959), Chelwood Gate, Sussex, taught Trayton Tester anglo

• Harry 'Bogie' Woolgar, Horsted Keynes, Sussex, played only one side of the anglo; Tester friend

• Albert Browning, Horsted Keynes, Sussex. Marten, Woolgar and Browning were a generation older than Tester.

• Punch Browning, Sussex, Tester friend.

• Tommy Stephenson and Martha Stephenson, Nutley, Sussex, of Nutley Inn Band; same general age as Tester.

• Tom Bridger and Fred West played Anglos in B flat, 'jolly good players' and regular buskers on Brighton beach, after WWI.

 

 

We can add to this list George Cann (Bob's uncle) and his neighbour, or near-neighbour, Les Rice from mid-Devon. Bob Cann owned several Anglos himself.But I find the idea of Fred West playing an Anglo rather frightening. Was there no end to his villainy?

 

Cheers

 

Big Roly

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