Bob & Jacqueline Patten English Folk Music Collection
George Withers interview, part 09
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1CDR0013976 (copy of C1033/280)
Is part of (Collection)
Bob and Jacqueline Patten Collection
Wadebridge Festival, Wadebridge, Cornwall, England, UK
Upton, Eddie (speaker, male interviewee), Withers, George, 1924- (speaker, male)
Patten, Bob (speaker, male)
George Withers talks about his father. Dad joined the North Somerset Yeomanry [later The North Somerset Yeomanry/44th Royal Tank Regiment] before the First World War and was ‘one of the lads on the Somme’. He was an ‘excellent singer in his time’, he liked drawing room songs such as The Trumpeter, his favourite song was Friend of mine. Mother accompanied him on piano but didn’t like playing in public, she was delighted when one of her daughters (George’s eldest sister) took over from her, George’s sister used to accompany him as well but since her death he’s ‘had to learn to sing by myself’. Dad used to criticise his breathing. ‘He was a good singer and a good father and a source of a lot of songs’, he enjoyed a drop of cider in the evening. They had a couple of orchards on the farm. Cider making ‘is all activity for a bit, then you screw the press down and then you sit back quietly, wait for the cider to finish running before you go up and have another screw on the press, and have another go, and while your waiting for the cider to run you sit back with the old hurricane lantern going and stories and songs change hands then’. As a kid he remembers Dad and Jim Darbiton [?] another old soldier, singing The Soldiers song (Bungay Roger) [Roud Folk Song Index No. 1735].