Collection date: Sept 1909
Mr (Thomas) Hands at Armscote (1849-1931): 7 country dances (description of figures FW2181-89) on 16 Sept 1909: Mr Hands was master of ceremonies for a convivial evening of country dancing at Mrs Stanton’s house in Armscote (see sep profile of Mrs Stanton). Presumably he called the dances and Sharp took down the figures. Sharp was already sufficiently familiar with both tunes and figures of country dances. He first collected from William Ford in Devon in April 1907 and was preparing to produce his first ‘Country Dance Book’ in 1909.
Thomas Hands was born at Shipston-on-Stour in October qr 1849 from a family of blacksmiths (grandfather and father both called John). Thomas was the first of at least 6 children of John and Sarah Hands. He trained as a blacksmith in his turn and in 1871 was working at Newbold village. He married Elizabeth Court at Quinton church on 31/12/1878. The couple had no children and became attached to the young vicar of Honington Rev Edward Boddington, serving as groom/gardener and as housekeeper over 3 decades. Honington is just 2 miles from Armscote.
Thomas Hands died in January qr 1931 aged 81 (ref 6d 306).