Bob & Jacqueline Patten English Folk Music Collection

Charley Williams interview, part 03

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  • Shelf mark

    1CDR0010881 (copy of C1033/86)

  • Recording date


  • Is part of (Collection)

    Bob and Jacqueline Patten Collection

  • Recording locations

    Bream, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England, UK

  • Interviewees

    Williams, Charley, 1909- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Patten, Bob (speaker, male)

  • Recordist

    Patten, Bob

  • Abstract

    Charley Williams talks about the Carolling tradition in the area. He was born in Brockweir and came to the Bream when he was twenty-nine, doesn’t remember much Carol singing in Bream. Each village had it’s own Carols. Wassailing was common sixty years ago, especially around Brockweir. Many of the traditions killed off by the War [World War 1]. He Wassailed with the Williams brothers, his Father, his brother-in-law Bill Bailey and Alfred Dibden. If you went Wassailing or Carol singing with the older singers you knew that you had to finish any song that you started, the youngsters preferred to only sing a verse or so. ‘You had to sing it properly at the door’. Colonel Hare who lived at St. Briavels ‘was always waiting for them on the lawn, for the Wassail, he always loved it’. Making ‘New Years Gifts’, three sticks and an apple, with rosemary and nuts on. These would be taken out on New Years Day to the houses and given in return for a 3d or 6d. A lot of ‘Big men’ lived in Brockweir, Crossfield the soap manufacturer, Hartleys of the jam firm, Flora Klickman the author, Sabbatini. His sisters live at Towen [?] opposite Aberystwyth. ‘New Years Gifts’ are said to last a year.

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