Somerset - West

West Somerset includes Minehead, Watchet, the villages on Exmoor and also the 'old' Williton Rural District:

Sharp initially went to Minehead in August 1904 as guest of Rev Frank Etherington, vicar of St Michael’s church. There was a good train connection from Taunton. Over several visits he was able to explore the area more thoroughly and met 39 singers in total. These included sailors like Robert Lewis, James Vickery and John Short but also the memorable gipsy singer Betsy Holland.

Sharp collected 216 songs (incl 4 dance tunes) from 41 informants (31 men, 10 women). Of the men, 12 were agricultural labourers, 2 were shepherds, 1 farmer; 5 manual workers; 1 publican; 5 crafts (2 blacksmiths, 2 carpenters, 1 toolmaker); 4 sailors. Of the women, 1 each dressmaker, cook, teacher, draper, domestic servant.

Map Illustration by Tom Jay.