Parfitt, Alfred

Also known as: Korfie Parfitt

Dancer

Collection date:

Area: Somerset - Mendips (Harptree & Priddy)


Alfred Charles Parfitt, stepdancer (1879-1971) known as ‘Korfie’: Alfred’s name and address ‘Nettlebridge’ appears in Sharp’s field notebook (CJS/9/1/1907/2 p60) but it seems he didn’t actually receive a visit. Korfie was, however, present at the stepdancing session at the Nettlebridge Inn, which was led by fiddler Henry Cave (see his profile) and attended by Sharp in September 1907. Mrs Kettlewell, who attended the same event, wrote: 'The room was full of men who faced each other in long rows and as soon as the music struck up began to step dance. They advanced and retired and walked round, and then footed it briskly ... The landlord told me that whenever Korfie was in the neighbourhood, men would flock from far and near for a dance’.

In her book Trinkum-Trinkums of Fifty Years (1927 p63) Florence Kettlewell reminisced further: 'A clever young teacher was sent here by Miss Mary Neal to learn some of the intricate steps from a man locally known as 'Korfie' and when she had mastered them, she went to America to teach them there'. This teacher was Florrie Warren, one of the Esperance teachers.

Alfred Parfitt was a judge at the Wells stepdance competition in 1931 (Wells Journal 6.11.1931 - thanks to Katie Howson for this information). Korfie's full biography is in Bob & Jackie Patten's Somerset Scrapbook INA Books 1987 pp86-7.

Alfred (Korfie) Parfitt was born at Ashwick on 13 May 1879, son of William Parfitt, labourer and his wife Mary Ann. He married Lucy Delilah Weare on 22/5/1899 at Ashwick and they had 12 children, one of whom died. Korfie was a stone quarryman and even in the 1939 Register, aged 60 he was ‘a woodcutter, heavy work’. He died April qr 1971 aged 91 (ref 7c 1313).

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