Gomm, Albert

Dancer

Collection date: May 1921

Area: Oxfordshire


Mr Albert Edward Gomm(e) of Wheatley morris (1856-1929): All records show ‘Gomm’ (without an ‘e’, which was what Sharp wrote). Wheatley is 5 miles E of Oxford (Sharp said ‘West’):

Albert Gomm was born in Wheatley in January qr 1856, youngest of 4 children of Robert Gomm, stone mason and his wife Martha. Albert was married to Amy Wing, domestic servant, at Stanton St John church on 6/10/1879 and they had 11 children, of whom 5 died young. Albert was a stone mason like his father and he left Wheatley village in 1883, moving to Horton-cum-Studley which is where Sharp met him. The 1901 census ref is RG13/1378 f109 p7.

Sharp met Gomm twice – on 21 May 1921, when Sharp took down 5 morris tunes (FT4814-18) and noted that Gomm, 67, ‘has a good memory, is agile for his years and remembers the tunes which he sang or whistled to me’. This may be because Albert’s father Robert (1803-91) was the pipe and tabor player for the side. The Wheatley side 'always danced at Whitsuntide and were once invited up to London but didn’t go because the young men couldn’t afford to buy suitable clothes' (Folk Dance Notes 4/80-84). The side began to wind down its dancing in the early 1880s.

The second time Albert met Sharp was on 13 Sept 1923 (Folk Dance Notes 4/129). Sharp eventually published the Wheatley processional dance in Morris Book 3 (2nd ed 1924 p117).

Albert Gomm died in January qr 1929 (3a 1995).

There is currently no Wheatley morris side but there was a revived side commencing in 1975, winding up in the 1990s https://www.wheatleyarchive.org.uk/images/files/0407-wheatley-morris-dancers-revival-v2.pdf

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