Collection date: Apr 1910
Thomas Barlow at Darlingscott (1840-1923): age 70, FT2470 ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ on 27 Apr 1910: Darlingscott is a village 2 miles S of Armscote, where Sharp was staying with Mrs Stanton. In between the two villages is the village of Blackwell which used to have its own morris side. Thomas Barlow was a former dancer and Sharp wrote of him: ‘(He) danced to me ‘The Cuckoo’s Nest’, ‘Nelson’s Praise’ and ‘Shepherd’s Hey’. Not a good dancer, too old, so did not note steps … the Blackwell morris stopped in 1867, when the fiddler died – struck by lightning.’ (Folk Dance Notes 1/131). Sharp did, however, collect Barlow’s tune for ‘The Cuckoo’s Nest’ but noted that it was ‘not very trustworthy as tune was sung not overdistinctly’.
Thomas Barlow was born in Blackwell village and baptised at Tredington church on 1/3/1840, 3rd child (out of 5) of Samuel Barlow, agricultural labourer and his wife Martha. In 1861 census he was working as a shepherd in Cherington village 7 miles away. On 18/10/1868 he married Leah Hill at Tredington and they set up initially in Blackwell village (1871). They had 5 children and moved to Darlingscott village in 1880, where they stayed until Leah died in 1904. Thomas remained, working as a road labourer and died January qr 1923 (6d 900) aged 82.