Gatty, Mrs Florence

Collection date: Aug 1910

Area: Yorkshire


Mrs Florence Gatty of Hooton Roberts, South Yorks: Mrs Gatty was the intermediary who enabled Sharp to obtain the Grenoside sword dance in Aug 1910. Hooton Roberts is 5 miles NE of Rotherham:

Florence Veasey was baptised on 7/3/1852 at Huntingdon, eldest daughter of Arthur David Veasey, lawyer and his wife Emily. Florence's father died in 1857, aged only 32, and she was married on 11/9/1872 to Rev Reginald Gatty at St James Paddington. Reginald Gatty (1845-1914) had been brought up at Ecclesfield, 2 miles from Grenoside, where his father was the Rector for many years. He presumably knew all about the Grenoside Sword Dance, so much so that when he was appointed in 1888 as Rector of Hooton Roberts 12 miles away, he was able to continue to visit his father and support the dancing.

Florence and Reginald Gatty had 4 children, one of whom Nicholas (b1874) wished to become a composer and trained at the Royal College of Music. There he met and became good friends with Ralph Vaughan Williams, who used to stay at Hooton Roberts occasionally. It was Vaughan Williams who recommended Sharp to go and note the Grenoside dance.

Reginald Gatty had a younger sister Horatia*, who lived near Sharp in Hampstead, so introductions were easily made there and Florence Gatty promptly invited Sharp to visit them at Hooton Roberts. The Gattys then drove Sharp in their horse and carriage the twelve miles to Grenoside and the dance was collected on 27 August 1910. Sharp went directly on to Newcastle, where he collected the Swalwell, Earsdon and Winlaton rapper dances but wrote warmly to thank Florence Gatty for her hospitality: ‘I shall never forget your kindness in taking me in and assisting me to collect the Grenoside dance.’ (letter CJS1/8/1/5 dated 2 Sept 1910).

*See profile Mrs Horatia Eden

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