Sussex

The Edwardian song collectors had their separate territories and Sussex was for a time the preserve of Vaughan Williams, who first collected from Mrs Harriet Verrall in May 1904. Later he met the prolific Henry Burstow at Horsham. Burstow had previously sung for Lucy Broadwood and her revision of her uncle's collection 'Sussex Songs' (with her own new material) had been produced back in 1889. George Butterworth began song collecting in Sussex in 1906 with his friend Francis Jekyll. From 1901 Mary Neal had her country holiday base at Littlehampton on the coast and Clive Carey found songs and carols after 1911. But Cecil Sharp had just the one solitary song expedition into Sussex. See Vic Gammon article 'Folk Song Collecting in Sussex and Surrey 1843-1914' in History Workshop Journal vol10 issue 1 1980. For current folk information in Sussex http://susfa.interfolk.co.uk/index.html

Sharp first went down to West Sussex to give a lecture and demonstration of folk songs and dances on 20 July 1907 under the aegis of the Esperance Club. He was accompanied by Mattie Kay. This 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. Burrows died unexpectedly in March 1910 aged 58.

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 meet with a few singers nearby. He collected 31 songs from 11 singers (11 men, 1 woman). Of the men, 6 were agricultural labourers, 1 shepherd, 1 farm bailiff, 1 blacksmith. Their average age was 59.25 yrs.