Cecil Sharp visited Cambridgeshire for the first time to collect songs in September 1911. He collected 32 songs from 11 singers in the Ely area including the workhouse. There were 10 male singers, 1 female - average age was 68.8yrs. Of the men, 6 were agricultural labourers, 1 each thatcher, brick maker, retail.
Sharp had attended Clare College Cambridge as a young man and had apparently enjoyed visiting Ely cathedral with his father many years previously.