After initial success at Stillington and Kirkby Malzeard, Cecil Sharp was encouraged to further his investigations into the sword dance traditions of Yorkshire by Vaughan Williams, who used to visit his friends the Gatty family at the village of Hooton Roberts nr Rotherham. Sharp began all this collecting work in July 1910 and eventually published tunes and figures for Kirkby Malzeard, Grenoside, Flamborough, Sleights, Escrick, Askham Richard, Haxby, Handsworth and Ampleforth.

He visited other locations in Yorkshire and made notes there too (Helmsley, Poppleton, Goathland, Salton, Sowerby, Kirkbymoorside and North Skelton). For an in-depth discussion of Sharp's sword dance collecting, EC Cawte's article 'Watching Cecil Sharp at Work' is essential reading (Folk Music Journal vol8 no.3 2003 EFDSS pp282-313).

There were 23 dance informants, who contributed 23 tunes. Their average age was 60.9 yrs. Quite a spread of occupations - 1 agricultural labourer, 2 gardeners and 1 farmer; 2 each fishermen, shoemakers, coal miners, brick workers, roadmap, railwaymen; 1 each miller, publican, joiner, besom maker, iron moulder and plumber. 

He also collected from a singer and a musician at Goathland as well as one singer at Whitby. Total contribution 5 songs and 7 fiddle tunes. Their average age was 62.67 - 2 quarrymen and an agricultural labourer.

Yorkshire was considered the preserve of the great collector Frank Kidson. A helpful starting point for folk music in Yorkshire today may be http://www.folk-now.co.uk

This website focuses on the main informants interviewed and only lightly discusses the history or continuity of the various traditions.

Books by Author David Sutcliffe

Cecil Sharp and the Quest for Folk Song and Dance

A new biography of Cecil Sharp, written by David Sutcliffe

£20.00 + p&p

The Keys of Heaven - The Life of Revd Charles Marson

This is the first biography of the Revd Charles Marson.

£6.00 + p&p