The Edwardian song collectors had their separate territories and Sussex was the preserve of Vaughan Williams, who first collected from Mrs Harriet Verrall in May 1904. Later he met the prolific Henry Burstow, also at Horsham. Burstow had previously sung for Lucy Broadwood and her revision of her uncle's collection 'Sussex Songs' (edited by J.Fuller Maitland) had been produced in 1890. George Butterworth began collecting in Sussex in 1907. From 1901 Mary Neal had her country holiday base at Littlehampton on the coast and Clive Carey found songs and carols after 1911. Cecil Sharp just had one solitary song expedition into Sussex.

He first went down to West Sussex to give a lecture and demonstration of folk songs and dances on 20 July 1907. He was accompanied by Mattie Kay. It was at the invitation of Edward Burrows, HMInspector of schools. Burrows wrote to Sharp on 25 July to thank him as follows: 'Teachers who travelled on foot many miles through dust and heat write that it was the most delightful afternoon they ever spent and the songs are spreading like wildfire. We have started a Folk Music Association for West Sussex ... it ought to be linked to an Association for All England - is there any such?' File CJS1/12/2/16/1

Burrows hitched up with Mary Neal's Esperance Association initially but turned to Sharp later for advice too. At Easter 1908 Sharp perhaps had an invitation to stay at Shipley through the Lytton family - Neville Lytton was a keen supporter of the Folk Revival. Shipley is 7 miles S of Horsham. He took the opportunity to root out a few singers nearby.