Collection date: Dec 1912
Area: Tyne & Wear
William Rainey of North Walbottle Rapper: North Walbottle is 6 miles NW of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Sharp collected this rapper dance on 21 Dec 1912. He gave no age for the informant of the dance and called him ‘Raine’. He said that Raine had come from Bedlington village and introduced their dance to the North Walbottle men. Furthermore Sharp indicated that Raine was then living at Birtley.
This information exactly matches that of William Rainey, a young miner who can be found in the 1911 Birtley census. He was born on 31/12/1881, the eldest of 9 children of James Rainey, coal miner and his wife Catherine of Red Row, Bedlington. He married Mary Pinkerton of Walbottle in January qr 1909 and they were living in Birtley village in 1911 (census ref RG14/30121). William died in January qr 1954 (1a 341).
Sharp’s notes for the North Walbottle dance were compiled with the clear assistance of George Butterworth (see GB/7d/32) and can be found in Sharp's Folk Dance Notes 2/209 and 2/223-231. He published all the figures and details in ‘Sword Dances of Northern England’ Book 3 (Novello 1913 pp103-115).