Collection date: Apr 1911
Charlie Gardiner at Oakridge, Glos, 6 miles E of Stroud (1838-1913): age 73, 2 songs on 11 Apr 1911: one of Gardiner’s songs (‘George Ridler’s Oven’ FT2581) was sung annually at the Gloucestershire Society feast and was circulated on broadside ballad sheets from 1771 onwards. Click vwml link above. It is thought to be an amalgam of 3 different songs including ‘My dog and I’, a bawdy song from 17th century (if not earlier).
Sharp did not record Gardiner’s lyrics but he had previously obtained 4 verses from William Hedges at Chipping Campden in Aug 1909 (FW2081). See https://www.gloucestershiresociety.org.uk and also http://glostrad.com
Charles Gardiner was baptised at Bisley church on 6/5/1838, eldest of 4 sons of Benjamin Gardiner, sawyer and his wife Fanny. In the 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses the family was living at Avenis Green, part of Oakridge Lynch in Bisley parish. Fanny was listed several times as a ‘weaver’.
The Flemish Huguenot weavers had settled in the Chalford Valley area in the 17th and 18th century. Many weavers’ cottages were built clinging to the sides of the Cotswold hills. Donkeys were often used to transport woollen cloth and goods.
Charles became an agricultural labourer and married Harriet Hunt at Oakridge church on 19/1/1863. They settled in Oakridge and had 6 children, only 2 of whom achieved adulthood. Charles was shown as a woodcutter in 1891 and in 1901 (RG13/2437 f62 p21). In 1911 he was listed as a ‘woodcutter in woods and hedges’. Harriet died in July 1912 and Charles died at Oakridge 12/1/1913.