Collection date: Apr 1908
Mr Laker at Newbuildings, Shipley, West Sussex (1866-1922): 1 song ‘Gown of Green’ (FT1659) on 21 April 1908: Sharp wrote ‘Mr’ Laker, which usually meant a person of some standing. This is probably Mr Raymond Laker, farm bailiff at Trawler’s Farm which was very near to Newbuildings Place. The latter was the home of the poet Wilfred Blunt, whose son-in-law Neville Lytton was a keen supporter of the folk revival.
Raymond Laker was baptised on 27/5/1866, eldest of 8 children of Michael Laker, gamekeeper and his wife Mary of West Grinstead. Raymond married widow Rose Kensett on 26/7/1891 at West Croydon Christchurch. She brought 4 children to the marriage and they had 3 more children together, settling in Shipley. Raymond was ‘foreman’ on the farm in 1901 (RG13/948 f23 p14) and ‘bailiff’ by 1911. He died January qr 1922 (Horsham 2b 496) aged 55.