Sharp first visited Gloucestershire in March 1907, when his primary target was morris dances rather than folk songs. Only the main informants for dance are included here - 13 men contributing 127 morris and country dance tunes. Their average age was 65. Sharp was thus able to reconstruct the dances from 3 villages – Sherborne, Bledington and Longborough – and publish these in his instructional Morris Books. As a result these dances are still performed today. The Chipping Campden morris tradition is very much alive and the Oddington style endures too (thanks to Clive Carey).

Sharp returned again and again to the county for folk songs too. In total Sharp interviewed 39 singers in the county (24 men, 15 women), contributing 178 folk songs. Out of those singers whose ages were actually recorded, the average age was 71.1 yrs.

Overall, of the 35 men who stated their occupations, 16 were agricultural labourers and a further 6 worked on the land (2 shepherds, 1 each carter, charcoal burner, farm bailiff, threshing machine operative); other manual workers were 2 house painters, 1 each cloth worker, slater, mason, plasterer, builder, sawyer, basketmaker, shoemaker; others were musician, postman and a boarding house keeper. None of the women gave an occupation.

The website is a mine of information and Keith Chandler's publications are legendary.

Books by Author David Sutcliffe

Cecil Sharp and the Quest for Folk Song and Dance

A new biography of Cecil Sharp, written by David Sutcliffe

£20.00 + p&p

The Keys of Heaven - The Life of Revd Charles Marson

This is the first biography of the Revd Charles Marson.

£6.00 + p&p