Craig Fees, “Christmas Mumming in a North Cotswold Town: With Special Reference to Tourism, Urbanisation and Immigration-Related Social Change“, PhD., Institute of Dialect and Folklife Studies, School of English, University of Leeds, England (1988).
IV.l: Inter-War Years, Sources
1. Griggs mentioned his book of Campden drawings in a letter to R.G. Alexander as early as 26.11.1917. He was asking Alexander to take notes for the book as early as 17.11.1923. In the event, the book was published after Griggs’ death as a collection of his Campden etchings with an Introduction by Alexander: F.L. Griggs and Russell Alexander, Campden, Shakespeare Head Press, Oxford, 1940. Griggs’ letters to Alexander are held in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford; all references to their letters are references to those in the Ashmolean collection.
2. Letter F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander, 29.1.1925.
3. Manuscript in the possession of Mrs. Nina Griggs, untitled, undated. I am grateful to Col. Geoffrey Powell of Chipping Campden for sharing this with me. The second working of the text is so bleak and indeed depressed that it must date from one of his darker periods, and it must be about ten years after a period when he had reason to sound optimistic. Compare: “It ha(s)d escaped to a large degree the fate which (has) transformed the once beautiful towns in such a manner that the (deepest) first sentiments they arouse are those of regret for the Past.” “If Campden ha(s)d come to be regarded as the most beautiful of the small towns of the Cotswolds…” “thankfulness (is) was a glowing sentiment as we (behold) beheld ancient Campden in the historic shape and structure for which it (is) was so much praised.”
The same past tense occurs in a letter from F.L. Griggs to C.R. Ashbee dated 1.9.1936, Ashbee Journals 1936/40: “I am not thinking of what we have lost as what Campden has lost…What it has lost recalls old days, the old days of our earliest acquaintance with the little paradise…”
If the original paper was prepared as a talk to the Campden Society, then it could not date from earlier than 1924/25, and is not likely to be later than late 1926 or early 1927. On 3.3.1927 he wrote to Russell Alexander, “I’ve finally chucked the Campden Society…” and on 1.4.1927. “I am no longer even an ordinary member…Apparently they accepted my resignation, and dismissed me as a well meaning but futile person.”
4. Manuscript referred to in fn 3.
5. T. Hannam-Clark, Drama in Gloucestershire, Simpkin Marshall, London, 1928, p.144.
6. Observer 4.1.1931,7. Relocated by Derek Schofleld; see “John Fletcher and the Observer”. Roomer 2:4 (1982),1.
7. For the cottage, see letter from H.J. Massingham to C.A. Siepmann, 18.1.1931, in BBC Written Archives file “910. H.J. Massingham. Talks. 1926-1951”. The letterhead of this letter bears Massingham’a London address, and is clearly written from London. An earlier letter to the same man, 21.3.1930, speaks of a weekend “in the Cotswolds”. Taking the two letters together, I have Inferred that Massingham used the Cotswold cottage as a kind of second residence and research base, rather than as a home as such. For his report of the stay, see H.J. Massingham, Wold Without End, Cobden Sanderson, London, 1932, pp.24-28.
8. H.J. Massingham, “Mummers’ Play”, Saturday Review, vol. 152, 26.12.1931, p.809.
9. H.J. Massingham, Shepherd’s Country, Chapman and Hall, London 1938. pp. 144-145.
10. H.J. Massingham, “The Mummers’ Play”, Out-of-Doors 13:9 (December 1951), 27-30. 11. The Programme-as-Broadcast is available at the BBC’s Written Archives Centre at Caversham, near Reading. For lack of surviving documents, see letter Margaret J. Cox, BBC Secretariat, to Craig Fees, 3.8.1984.
12. Radio Times. 12.10.1934, listing for Wednesday, October 17.
13. “Hilarious Broadcast”, News Chronicle (London), l8.10.1934, 11; for “B in the BBC”, see below.
14. M.C. “The Programme from Chipping Campden”. Manchester Guardian 18.10.1934, 10.
15. “Chipping Campden Tells Its Story”, EvJ 20.10.1934, 16.
16. EvJ 29.12.1934,5.
17. J.C. Kingzett, “Reminiscences of an Old Campdonian”, EvJ 13.7.1935,2.
18. EvJ 28.9.1935.15.
19. EvJ 16.1.1937,16; 23.1.1937,13.
20. Chipping Campden Parochial Magazine, January 1937.
21. H.J. Massingham, Shepherd’s Country, op cit., pp. 144-145. Phyllis Crawford, In England Still. Arrowsmith, London, 1938, p.215.
22. Chipping Campden Parochial Magazine, December 1938.
23. Margaret Westerling, Country Contentments, Constable, London, 1939, p. 223,224.
24. Percy Dewey, Campden and Neighbourhood: A History and Guide, with an introduction by H. J. Massingham, Ed. J. Burrow, Cheltenham and London, 1939, p.22.
25. EvJ 16.12.1939,13.
26. Letter Christopher Whitfield to Dr. E.C. Cawte 11.8.1962, Cawte Collection: and accompanying manuscript. “The Christmas Mummers”, see Appendix G. I am grateful to Dr. Cawte for sharing these with me.
27. Chipping Campden Parochial Magazine, December 1939.
28. EvJ 23.12.1939,9.
29. TocH Newsletter no. 4, January 1940. I am grateful to Allan Warmington of Campden, who drew my attention to these newsletters and allowed me to make copies of the complete run but one in his possession.
30. The Evesham Journal photographs held in the Evesham, Worcestershire, Public Library, have not yet been catalogued, and the system of identification is that used by the Journal photographers themselves. “Campden Broadcast” is a 6-1/8″ x 7 glass negative in box B34.
31. Box E76 December  “School Play”; two 4″ x 5″ glass negatives. 32. According to Annette Melville (compiler), Special Collections in the Library of Congress, The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 1980, p. 57. Carpenter prepared 223 discs from the cylinders he made in England, which the Library of Congress has re-recorded onto tape. The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library of the English Folk Dance and Song Society has a copy of the tapes, on which the Chipping Campden mummers do not appear. Nor does Chipping Campden appear in the indexes to the collection; but as Gerald Parsons, Reference Librarian in the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress remarked in a letter of 21.7.1986, “This is not to say that such a recording does not exist; our indexes for this collection were compiled by Mr. Carpenter himself, and are really only useful to someone who is already familiar with the recordings.”
33. BBC Record no. 10029F 20.12.1946, my transcription. Harrop, The Performance of English Folk Plays, op cit., gives a version which differs from mine, pp.185-186, and which is to be used with caution. Alex Helm made a summary: in the Ordish Collection, vol. IV, p.37, copy held in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
34. He was born 1909. Conversation 19.12.1982, recorded in fieldnotes.
35. Letter Christopher Whitfield to Dr. E.C. Cawte 11.8.1962. For the date of his arrival in Campden, see IV.3, footnote 5.
36. Mrs. Dorrie Ellis, various conversations: e.g„ recorded interview 24.12.1987[?] cas 215. For Superintendent Bunker’s retirement, see EvJ 13.8.1932,2.
37. Fred Coldicott, recorded interview 4.10.1985 cas. 122.
38. Letter Col. A.C. Noel to Craig Fees, 6.12.1982.
39. Fred Benfield, recorded interview 9.6.1982 cas 23b-24a.
40. See her obituary, EvJ 14.1.1988,13.
41. Conversation, Mrs. Nina Griggs 7.8.1984, recorded in fieldnotes.
42. Conversation, Mrs. Agnes Buckland, 28.1.1983, recorded in fieldnotes.
43. George Greenall, recorded interview 9.6.1982 cas 24.
44. Charlie Blake, recorded interview 29.12.1981 cas. 3-4a.
45. Jack and Phyllis Horne, recorded interview 8.6.1982 cas 22b-23a.
46. Mrs. Norah Howell, recorded interview, 15.5.1985 cas. 109-110.
47. Charlie Blake, recorded interview 29.12.1981 cas 3-4a. Mrs. Agnes Buckland, conversation 10.1.1987 recorded in fieldnotes. speaking of the men Ernest Buckland got for the 1946 broadcast: “There were old ones”, i.e., old mummers, among whom was Charlie Wright. See also Jack Tomes, conversation 17.2.1988, recorded in fieldnotes cas 225. Wright is called a former mummer in his obituary, EvJ 28.2.1974,2.
48. Charlie Blake, recorded interview 29.12.1981 cas 3-4a.
49. Christopher Whitfield, A History of Chipping Campden, op cit., p.245 says that Griggs “came to Campden in 1904…” Francis Adams Comstock, A Gothic Vision: F.L. Griggs and His Work, Boston Public Libraries/Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1966, p. 9 writes “late in 1903, he came to Campden…”
50. Christopher Whitfield. A History of Chipping Campden. op cit., p. 246.
51. Ashbee Memoirs, vol. VII, part 1, p. 342.
52. Letter F.L. Griggs to C.R. Ashbee, 16.2.1919, Ashbee Journals 1919/154: “although I so seldom have had the pleasure of seeing you, I am one who realises that Campden ought to have valued you.” Letter F.L. Griggs to C.R. Ashbee 1.9.1936 in Ashbee Journals 1936/40: “I have become very contrite in thinking of my own behaviour then. I must have been a very unpleasant person in your view. For all that I’m so sorry, – for after all I did glean a lot from your own ideals and enthusiasms…”
53. Letter F.L. Griggs to C.R. Ashbee 1.9.1936, Ashbee Journals 1936/38.
54. Letter, C.R. Ashbee to F.L. Griggs, 10.1.1924 in possession of Mrs. Nina Griggs.
55. Letter F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander 13.2.1912.
56. Griggs’ letters to Alexander are held at the Ashmolean Museum in the Department of Western Art, Oxford. I am grateful to the Keeper of the Department for allowing me to study them and to Ian Lowe, then Assistant Keeper in the museum, for making this possible and for his helpfulness at every stage.
57. See F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander, 12.2.1924: “Whichever way we go we see inroads on the little beauty that’s left, and it’s very saddening. The last beauty to go was the lovely group of not tall elms at the bottom of the lane that leads up past the wood to our Hill. It’s very bare and desolate there now…”; 21.4.1924: “But my heart’s breaking to see the country going, going – it seems as if soon it will be gone. But I’m more nervous, and, yes, irritable about it than most people. A farmer recently told me he saw “no difference”.”; 27.1.1925: “An exhaustive list of the local flora compiled by old Julius Neve…They, too, are getting fewer each year. We have lost the nightingale, and we may live to see the cuckoo in memory only”; Easter Sunday 1925: “What is worrying me just now is that here is Spring – such a lovely sunny day, and the birds, and I can’t capture the old Joy. It comes from a feeling that today, if it could, would destroy even Spring; the birds of course are being steadily diminished. Our cheerful modern farmers wage war “to the knife” with them. When you and I walked over our Hill at evening, late, and returned to talk of the country and poetry and much else and loveliness it seemed that there was so much left, and fairly safely left, but now it seems so different. A villa is going up on our sacred Hill, and the view now includes a new factory chimney. Honestly, it keeps me awake at night, and makes me bitter all day”; 21.5.1926, “Almost every day there’s work (and hard work) and money to be spent in saving Campden. I’ve had to put my hand in my own pockets to save two windows. Still, somehow hope has somewhat revived, but not the hope of ever being able to peacefully and unanxiously enjoy Campden again”; and so on. See, for example, 31.5/1.6.1926; 3.9.1926; 18.10.1926; 27.11.1926; 23.12.1926; 3.1.1927; 23.6.1927; 1.7.1928; material in envelope 41 “Campden Trust”..
58. See “How the Society was first brought into being”, Campden Society Minutes, 11.12.1924, “Mr. Griggs was then asked to give his views, and he read the following paper”, and “the foreword Read to the General Meeting March 20th 1925 Written by F.L. Griggs”, and the minuted entry on the Council members for 1926. W.W. Blair-Fish wrote to Christopher Whitfield on 2.1.1959: “The original Campden Society was (started) by Eddie Richards-Orpen, not Fred Griggs. Fred fought shy of Eddie (disapproved of his work) and also…fought shy of committees, from bitter experience. Eddie was always afraid that Fred would be ‘unpractical’. So I had to act as catalyst…I’m pretty sure we elected him (Griggs) in absentia and by force majeure!” This is in Christopher Whitfield’s annotated copy of his History of Chipping Campden, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Record Office D212/1, p. 255.
59. See Griggs’ paper delivered 11.12.1924, cited in footnote 57; Chipping Campden Exhibition of Arts and Crafts, programme 19 July-16 August 1924, quoted in C. Whitfield, A History of Chipping Campden. op cit., p.255.
60. Letter C.R. Ashbee to his family 20.2.1930, Ashbee Journals 1930/Feb.2.
61. The Campden Society, Shakespeare Head Press, Stratford-upon-Avon, 1925, pp 6, 7-8. For Griggs’ authorship see pamphlet bound into Campden Society Minutes. GRO D2857 1/1, at AGM 11.2.1926.
62. “The foreword Read to the General Meeting March 20th 1925 Written by F.L. Griggs”, Campden Society Minutes, ibid.
63. Campden Society Minutes, 9.3.1926, ibid.
64. Quotation from letter F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander, 1.4.1927; on his having “chucked the Campden Society”, see letter F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander 3.3.1927.
65. Campden Society Minutes, op cit., 22.4.1929; 3.6.1929.
66. Letter F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander 1.7.1928. Cite Memorandum and Articles of Association, Campden Trust ltd; Registered 4.3.1929, in Griggs collection, Ashmolean Museum; C. Whitfield, A History of Chipping Campden. op cit., p.259.
67. C. Whitfield, A History of Chipping Campden, op cit., p.257: Comstock, A Gothic Vision, op cit., p. 24. Apart from those cited in the text, see letters F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander, end of April 1926; 18.5.1926; 30.5.1926; 31.5.1926; 27.11.1926; 9.2.1928; and those cited in footnote 57.
68. Letters F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander, 8.8.1928; 12.10.1928; 4.12.1928.
69. Comstock, A Gothic Vision, op cit., p. 25.
70. Ibid, p. 28. Janet Ashbee commented of Griggs, “he gradually became obsessed with architectural grandimania and got deeply into debt, and died leaving a gigantic unfinished Cotswold stone Gothic type house* leaving also a wife and family. *costing £16.000”; in Red Leather photo album, “JEF” in possession of Felicity Ashbee.
71. Comstock, A Gothic Vision, op cit., p. 27.
72. Ibid. p. 29.
73. Ibid. p. 30.
74. Letter F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander 22.12.1925: “…the man whose views and opinions nobody wants – and that’s what I’ve become!”; 4.6.1926; 15.6.1926 “There’s opposition too” [to Dovers’ Hill]; 23.12.1926.
75. Comstock, A Gothic Vision, op cit.. p.29. See letter Norman Jewson to F.L. Griggs August 1936, envelope 44, Griggs Collection, Ashmolean Museum.
76. The EvJ 15.1.1927,5, reported that on New Year’s Eve nine bellringers had been entertained at the Lygon Arms as the guests of F.L. Griggs, after which they went to the belltower and rang a muffled peal goodbye and an open peal hello to the New Year. Letter, F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander 30.12.1928: “Tomorrow is the Ringers’ Dinner at the Lygon Arms – how I wish you were to be there. It almost induces me to add an extra toast – “absent friends” – but toasts are awkwardly taken by the assembly as a rule.” See also Christopher Whitfield, “The Bellringers’ Dinner”, Gloucestershire Countryside 3:6 (January 1939), 399-400.
77. Comstock, A Gothic Vision, op cit., p.14.
78. In F.L. Griggs and Russell Alexander, Campden. op cit., pp. 8-9.
79. T. Hannam-Clark, Drama in Gloucestershire, op cit., p.xiv.
81. See EvJ 12.12.1925,16; Hannam-Clark played the role of John Perry. Campden Society Minutes, op cit., Council Meeting 6.12.1925, “a hearty vote of thanks be sent to Mr. Hannam Clark and his friends for the entertainment they gave us on Dec. 3rd…”
82. T. Hannam-Clark, Drama in Gloucestershire, op cit., p. xlv.
83. There was only one Miss Griffiths in Campden. See Letters F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander 17.11.1923, “Josephine Griffiths has just been to tea, and has told us such lots of interesting lore of Old Campden”; 21.11.1923.
84. Chipping Campden Parochial Magazine, January 1950.
85. EvJ 31.12.1949,2.
86. Letter Josephine Griffiths to Mr. Hockaday, 30.5.1923, GLLHC, RQ 66.7.
87. The Ecclesiastical Records of Campden, by Josephine Griffiths, vol. II, p.134, Muniment Room, St. James’ Church, Chipping Campden; see also pp. 67, 135, 136.
88. A Book of Remembrance 1914-1918, by Josephine Griffiths, Muniment Room, St. James’ Church, Chipping Campden.
89. The Parish Church, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, by JDGG [Josephine Dora Griffiths Griffiths].
Campden Parish Church, Society for the Promotion of Christian Churches, Notes on Famous Churches and Abbeys no. 40, nd. We know of her authorship because of a letter from Josephine Griffiths to E.A.B. Barnard 6.7.1931, in E.A.B. Barnard Old Days In and Around Evesham opposite to 365; Barnard Collection, Evesham, Worcestershire, Public Library. Barnard mistakenly refers to this as a publication of the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, EvJ 15.8.1931,11.
See Chipping Campden Parochial Magazine, July 1943 for a reference to a “leaflet written by Miss G- four years ago” about the church; and to the Chipping Campden Parochial Magazine of May 1944 in which it is noted that the leaflet was published in March 1939 by Chamberlains of Campden, and that it was written at the request of the vicar, the Rev. Bryan O’Loughlin.
90. Chipping Campden Today and Yesterday by J.G.; T. Elsley, Chipping Campden, 1931.
91. Letter Josephine Griffiths to E.A.B. Barnard 6.7.1931, op cit.
92. Letters Josephine Griffiths to E.A.B. Barnard 6.7.1931; 15.8.1931; 17.8.1931: 13.5.1937; 22.7.1941; Barnard Collection, Evesham, Worcestershire, Public Library. See also Old Days In and Around Evesham 777-813, p. 54 for a contribution from Miss Griffiths, Barnard Collection, Evesham, Worcestershire, Public Library.
93. See footnote 83.
94. “Extracts from Ms by Miss Josephine Griffiths, Campden (Notes by Russell Alexander) Nov. 14.1938”, GRO 2909/8.
95. F.L. Griggs and Russell Alexander, Campden. op cit., p.9. Christopher Whitfield made extracts, which are included in the annotated version of his History of Chipping Campden, op cit., at the pages given (parenthetical numbers refer to pages where the comparable material appears in the GRO/Alexander transcript): facing plate 28 (25), 198 (26), 199 (28), opposite plate 31 (11), facing page 228 (8,9), 245 (27), unpaginated back of the book (2,3,4,5,6). Whitfield notes at the beginning of the last sequence: “Notes on 19th c. Almshouse inmates by Miss Jose Griffiths 1938”, which indicates that Whitfield was working from a manuscript and not directly from notes sent to him by Miss Griffiths. In any event he does not seem to have been aware of the material (at least he did not use it in his book) before the book was published in 1958, by which time Miss Griffiths had been dead for some time. The other alternatives are that he had access to Miss Griffiths’ original manuscript, to that made by Alexander, or to an unattested third.
The material in Whitfield (which is typed) is both abridged and compressed in comparison to the Alexander transcript. It tends to replace names with pronouns once the subject has been introduced, and favours compound sentences connected by “and”. There are also differences in wording: where Alexander has “a charming wife” (25), Whitfield has “a pretty wife” (facing plate 28); where Alexander has “a small stout pony” (11), Whitfield has “a stout cob” (opposite plate 31). One of the more significant differences is in Whitfield’s extract facing page 228: “Up to the 1890’s the men of Campden wore meadow mowing posies” which, in Alexander p. 8 is “The men wore what we called “meadow-morning posies”. Compare also the transcription of dialogue in the Noah Beales story, Whitfield unpaginated end of the book; Alexander p.3-4.
The use of language in Alexander (note the “we” in the “meadow-morning” story) suggests direct and fairly faithful copying from Miss Griffiths’ original. The language in Whitfield suggests that they were his own notes about an original, but not a direct copy: notes made for his own use, rather than a transcription. The phrase “Up to the 1890’s” does raise the question of whether Whitfield had access to a copy of the manuscript which Miss Griffiths herself had annotated, whether that was before or after the publication of his History of Chipping Campden in 1958, or whether he was filling in information from his own knowledge and recollection of stories which Miss Griffiths had told while alive.
96. Letter Percy Rushen to E.A.B. Barnard 1.10.1952, in E.A.B. Barnard, Old Days in and Around Evesham vol. XX, pp. 1101-1127, Barnard Collection, Evesham, Worcestershire, Public Library.
Rushen and Charles J. Lucas were contemporary in Campden and knew each other. A letter in the Gloucestershire Record Office, D3006 “Clients-Griffiths”, from Charles J. Lucas to Messrs. Byrch Cox and Sons 27.10.1910, says “It must be borne in mind that Mr. Rushen in his searches for material for his Campden History has acquired more knowledge of the ancient identity of Campden property than anyone else possesses.” As discussed in the footnote above, Christopher Whitfield made notes, perhaps in the 1950s or early 1960s, arguably from the original manuscript.
97. Fred, Algernon and Thomas Hathaway all did the Morris before the First World War, under the direction of Dennis Hathaway, their older brother. Bert Hathaway was in both the Jazz Band after the Great War, and the 1930s revived side. Thanks to Keith Chandler for this information.
98. This is almost axiomatic. Mrs. Agnes Buckland, though her husband was involved in the Mummers at least forty years, saw it only once before 1983, when she worked in a local hotel. This is fairly typical. Conversation, Mrs. Agnes Buckland 10.1.1987.,recorded in fieldnotes.
99. Biographical details from H.J. Massingham, Remembrance, B.T. Batsford, London. 1941.
100. For “two years”, see letter from H.J. Massingham to C.A. Siepmann 22.9.1928, in BBC Written Archives file “910. H.J. Massingham. Talks. 1926-1951”.
101. Massingham, Remembrance, op cit., p. 54
102. H.J. Massingham, Downland Man, Jonathan Cape, London, 1926, introduction.
103. H.J. Massingham, Remembrance, op cit., p. 62.
105. Ibid., p. 64.
106. Ibid., p.9.
107. H.J. Massingham, A Countryman’s Journal, Chapman and Hall, London, 1939, p.1.
108. Ibid., pp.42-43.
109. Ibid., p. 150.
110. See fn 6, above.
111. H.J. Massingham, Wold Without End, op cit., p.25.
112. Ibid., p. 24.
113. Ibid., pp. 24-25.
114. Ibid., pp.25-26.
115. Massingham mentions, ibid., p. 26, Longborough, Icomb, Salperton, Weston Subedge, Ilmington, Leafield, Shipton-under-Wychwood, and Great Wolford, each of which, with the exception of ‘Salperton’, is represented in Reginald Tiddy’s The Mummers Play, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1923. I am assuming that “Salperton” is a misprint for Tiddy’s “Sapperton”. Although there is a Salperton in the Cotswolds, there is no listing for a “Salperton” in E.C. Cawte, Alex Helm and Norman Peacock, English Ritual Drama, The Folklore Society, London, 1967, nor in subsequent amendments to English Ritual Drama by E.C. Cawte (see Roomer 1:5 (1981); 2:2 (1982); 5:2 (1985)), which cover all readily available sources. It is unlikely – certainly he does not mention it himself – that Massingham was collecting independently at the time, and thereby acquired on his own a text or knowledge of a text from Salperton which is otherwise unattested. It was after Campden that he began to pay attention to other mummers’ plays (see his “The Mummers’ Play” in Out-of-Doors. op cit.. p. 28).
Tiddy was Massingham’s tutor at Oxford, and Massingham will almost certainly have acquired The Mummers’ Play when it appeared posthumously in 1923. He certainly knew of it by 1941; see Remembrance, op cit., p.17.
116. H.J. Massingham, Wold Without End, op cit., p. 26.
117. R. Tiddy, The Mummers’ Play, op cit.: Sapperton, Glos., p. 173. The Longborough, Glos., play (p.180) does note that all the characters besides Prince George and Turkey Champion had “ribbons in front”.
118. Ibid., Weston Subedge, Glos., play, pp. 163-168.
119. Ibid. Longborough, Glos. (p. 181); Ilmington, Glos. (p. 227): Great Wolford. Warks.(p. 229).
120. The exception is Leafield, Oxon., ibid. p. 216.
121. H.J. Massingham, Wold Without End, op cit., p.26.
122. Ibid., pp. 27-28.
123. Ibid., p. 28.
124. Ibid., p. 27.
125. H.J. Massingham, “The Mummers’ Play”, Out-of-Doors, op cit., pp.27-28: “I entered the taproom where a large company was assembled, many of them cronies of mine and all of them as deeply dyed Cotswold men as Shakespeare’s Will Squele and Christopher Sly. In the middle of the room stood an enormous brass cauldron, the kind of thing you read about in Celtic Mythology rather than ever see in real life and never see in the unreal life of today. This archaic-looking vessel was half-full of a steaming liquid of a rich brown colour that looked more potent than a charge of dynamite, and the landlord was going to and fro from the cauldron to the cellar and back again and emptying into this witch’s brew whole bottles of whisky, brandy, home-made wines and what not. As the ceremony proceeded the talk stopped as a new bottle appeared and the eyes of the company gleamed as its contents were poured into the smoking magic cauldron. Then a full tankard was handed to every guest, and I remember to this day how the first sip ran like fire through the veins. It was a punch to be sipped, not drunk, and, when we were half way through that first potful, enter the Campden Mummers, Father Christmas, King George, Bold Slasher, Dr. Jack Vinney, Beelzebub and all.
“In comes I, Old Beelzebub,
On my shoulder I carry my club,
In my hand my dripping pan,
Don’t you think I’m a jolly old man?”
We were not disposed to be too critical of the performance – the punch saw to that.”
126. H.J. Massingham, Wold Without End, op cit., p.23-24.
127. Letter from H.J. Massingham to C.A. Siepmann 18.1.1931, in BBC Written Archive file “910. H.J. Massingham. Talks. 1926-1951”.
128. Massingham, Wold Without End, op cit., p.8.
129. Percy Dewey, who was talented in chemistry, brewed all of the beer at the Noel Arms for many years, according to Fred Coldicott 24.4.1986, recorded interview cas 153b. He may very well have been aware of the coming of the mummers because of this connection, and therefore been able to tell Massingham when the mummers were expected. In this case, the general knowledge of the mummers’ coming may not have been as great as the text suggests. It would imply, however, that the mummers made arrangements beforehand, formally or informally, to perform in the hotel.
130. Inquiries to his publishers, B.T.Batsford; his alma mater, Queen’s College, Oxford; and his father’s biographer, A.F. Havighurst of Amherst, Massachusetts, who agreed to refer my question to Massingham’s widow (letter 3.2.1984), have yielded neither notes nor papers.
131. In “If Thee True Gloucestershire Would Know”, broadcast by the BBC Midland Region Service on 1.10.1949.
132. This is the phrase used by H.J. Massingham in a letter to CA. Siepmann, 18.1.1931 (op cit.).
133. James Madison Carpenter Collection, op cit., p. 1217.
134. St. James Girls School logbook, 5.12.1904; St. James Boys School logbook, 3.10.1904.
135. H.J. Massingham, Wold Without End, op cit., p.8.
136. “Introduction”, in Percy Dewey, Campden and Neighbourhood, op cit., p.7.
137. In C.H. Gardiner’s “Motor Cars or Hosses?”, broadcast 18.3.1936, Percy Dewey was paid the highest rate of 4 guineas; most of the performers were paid 3 guineas. In “Pump and Circumstance”, broadcast 5.9.1938, he was among the highest paid, at 6 guineas. In “Coronation Chimes”, broadcast 13.8.1939, he played the hero, Harry Gubbins, and at £7-17-6 was among the highest paid. In “The Fatal Step”, which was co-authored by R.E. Grice-Hutchinson and C.H. Gardiner and broadcast 13.11.1936, of thirteen performers, Dewey was one of two paid the highest rate of 6 guineas; the rest were paid 4 guineas. See appropriate entries in the BBC’s Programme-as-Broadcast.
138. That they were the Campden Morris dancers is a deduction on my part. The BBC’s Programme-as-Broadcast listing of the programme, 7.10.1935, 8.22-8.57 p.m. notes payment of L. Potter for “use of Farm Building”, and among the performers, “Morris Dancers”, without saying who the Morris dancers were or where they were from. In H.J. Massingham’s Shepherd’s Country, op. cit., p.96, Massingham writes of “…Mr. Leonard Potter of Broad Campden…who, three years ago, revived the Harvest Home, extinct since 1910, and celebrated another this very year (1937). All the village that cares to come to the feast is invited and the Campden Morris Dancers lend beauty and tradition to the dance that follows.” Massingham was clearly writing in late 1937: the book was published in 1938. The year of the “Harvest Home” broadcast would have been three harvests, or three years, earlier. Inasmuch as Percy Dewey arranged the broadcast and was also Massingham’s friend and informant, and given the coincidence of Leonard Potter and Broad Campden in both the broadcast and in Massingham’s account, I think it is a safe conclusion that the “Morris Dancers” in the 1935 “Harvest Home” broadcast were the Campden team.
139. See Radio Times 4.10.1935, p 32: “October 7 8.20 – “Harvest Home” A Microphone impression from the Cotswolds, arranged by Percy Dewey and James Ludovici. Prod. by James Ludovici, with the aid of the mobile recording van, the revival of the old-time harvest home customs on a farm near Broad Campden will be presented.”
140. BBC Written Archives Centre, M27/2 Script: Title page, “‘Annually for Ever’ A Programme of Cotswold Charity.
Percy Dewey – collector and presenter
Robin Whitworth – arranger and producer
Midland 16.11.1938, 9.20-9.50 p.m.”
141. George Greenall, recorded interview 15.12.1982 cas 38a.
142. Biographical details from an interview between James Madison Carpenter and Alan Jabbour, 27.5.1972. AFS 14,762-14,765 LWO 6918. My thanks to Steve Roud for sharing a copy of the transcript with me, and to Alan Dundes for sharing a copy with Steve.
143. Ibid., pp.26-27.
144. James Madison Carpenter Collection, p. 1213.
146. Ibid., p 1217.
147 Christopher Whitfield’s obituary, EvJ 10.3.1967,2.
149. Letter Christopher Whitfield to E.C. Cawte 11.8.1962, Cawte Collection; and accompanying manuscript, “The Christmas Mummers”.
150. Harrop, op. cit., p. 185.
151. Ibid., p. 193.
152. C. Whitfield, “The Christmas Mummers”, manuscript, op cit., p. 180.
153. Harrop, The Performance of English Folk Plays, op cit., p. 183.
154. School text: “The Campden Mumming Play”, manuscript by Fred Benfield, 1938. The transcription of the 1946 broadcast which I have used is my own. Harrop presents a transcription in his The Performance of English Folk Plays, op cit., pp. 205-213. There is also a transcription made by Alex Helm in the Ordish Papers, vol. IV., pp. 32-35, held in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
155. C. Whitfield, “The Christmas Mummers”, op cit., p. 185.
156. For “thee” as contemptuous see C.H. Gardiner, EvJ 29.7.1960,8: “I’ve noticed over the years that the Cotswold countryman deliberately chooses the pronoun thee as a contemptuous substitute for the orthodox you.” June Lewis, Cotswold Characteristics, Estragon, London, 1971 (Countryside Publications, Chorley, Lancs. 1983), unpaginated (pp 29-30): “A relic of Saxon roots are the laws pertaining to Footnotes “thee” and “thou”. Among the men of the soil these are used to address each other, but never a superior. Particularly are “thee” and “thou” preserved to address a man of equal or inferior standing. If they should “have their differences” and animosity is roused, it is essential that “thee” and “thou” be retained for addressing the adversary. To drop them would be an acknowledgement of his superiority.”
157. For example, Charlie Blake, recorded interview 29.12.1981 cas 3a, reciting Father Christmas’ lines: “What, canst thee cure a dead mon? – ‘Mon’ they call him, not man, mon – Canst thee cure a dead mon…”
Fred Coldicott, recorded interview 20.1.1988 cas 220a, recited a part of the mummers play that his father had recited before the inter-war revival: “Here comes I as ain’t been it/ With my big yud – cause ‘yud’ is a local word for head, you see – With my big yud and little wit…” In a recorded interview of 9.4.1987 cas 202b, he said that the old working class locals had always said ‘yud’, they never referred to anyone’s ‘head’.
158. C. Fees, “Maypole Dance in the Twentieth Century”, op cit.
159. C. Whitfield, “The Christmas Mummers”, manuscript, op cit., p. 178.
160. Christopher Whitfield, “The Bell Ringers’ Dinner”, op. cit.
161. Harrop, The Performance of English Folk Plays, op cit., p. 193. Harrop quotes Jack Tomes to the effect that the man in question “was killed in 1939.” What Jack Tomes told him was “and of course he died during the war”, Harrop Tape 17, 4.12.1978. Harrop goes on to say, “The implication that Tom Benfield died on active service is belied by the fact that he was probably forty years old and unlikely to have been conscripted so early in the war…It seems more likely that a cousin, rather than an uncle of Earnest Buckland would have been performing at that time and lost his life in the war”(p.l93). Tom Benfield was 72 when he was killed in 1942 in a fall from a lorry in Campden. Harrop’s reasoning is not explained, but it is incorrect.
162. C. Whitfield, “The Christmas Mummers”, manuscript, op cit. p. 178.
163. Conversation with Mrs. Nina Griggs 7.8.1984. Mrs. Griggs remembered their gardener as “Benfield”, but could not give his first name. There were two Benfields, known to the children as “blue Benfield” and “brown Benfield”, because of the colours of the suits they wore. Their gardener lived in a cottage at the bottom, when they moved to Dover’s House, in Leaseborne. This is where Tom Benfield lived. According to Mrs. Griggs, it was this gardener who introduced them to the Mummers; see IV.3.
164. The query has been put to Don Ellis, Lionel Ellis, and Fred Coldicott. non-Mummers; Jack Tomes, Charlie Blake and George Greenall; and Henry Hart, leader of the bellringers when the query was made, and a bellringer at the time that Whitfield was writing (see EvJ 16.10.1937,10).
165. James and Thirza-Ann Barnes appear in St. James’ Church baptismal records for 30.10.1864; 20.5.1866; 27.9.1868 and 28.8.1870. James William Barnes of Stepney married Emily Herbert of Campden in 1894 (banns, 8.7.1894); Robert Christopher Barnes of Dursely married Evelyn May Smith in 1925 (banns, 28.7.1925).
166. Kelly’s Directory 1935, “Chipping Campden”, pp. 109-110; Kelly’s Directory 1939, “Chipping Campden”, p. 109-110; and indices in each edition for County as a whole under appropriate heading.
167. EvJ 16.10.1937,10.
168. Club swinging: EvJ 25.2.1933,3; 8.9.1934,4. Identification with Henry Richard Taylor by Fred Coldicott, reconfirmed 15.4.1988.
169. EvJ 19.1.1935,3; identification by Fred Coldicott, reconfirmed 15.4.1988.
170. Christopher Whitfield. “The Old Poacher”, in A World of One’s Own. Country Life, London, 1938, pp.141-144; “The Old Poacher”, Gloucestershire Countryside 4:4 (July/Sept. 1941), 94. Whitfield has his “Old Poacher” going away to bring back a gypsy wife, whereas Billy Buckland married a local girl. The possibility that it referred to Jack Tomes’ grandfather was emphasised when I showed it to Jack Tomes; he recognised his grandfather in it, and said he’d known there was an article written about him, but had never seen it before.
171. Letter from Paul Whitfield (Christopher Whitfield’s son), 29.1.1988: “Certainly, off the top of my head, I can confirm that the ‘settled gypsy’s son’ was Ernest Buckland, a dear friend and mentor of my childhood who taught me to count, to drink cold tea with bread, cheese and raw onion, and to set a mole trap. The coal merchant will certainly have been a member of the Keyte family, probably Garnett.”
Mr. Whitfield remembers “the (almost) annual visit of the Mummers to our house which at the time was at Broad Campden. As the furthest-flung venue for the performance, and with several other engagements and pubs to [visit] before us on the way, we were treated to an interpretation which was free, to say the least. The text in my father’s essay…brought it all back, although there is no mention of my favourite piece of ‘stage’ business which involved much use of a silver-painted pig’s bladder on the end of a stick!”
172. C. Whitfield, “The Christmas Mummers”, manuscript, op cit., p. 180.
Inter-War Years, Background
1. For description of the war memorial and its unveiling, see EvJ 15.1.1921,7. The implantation of trees at the end of the 19th century was probably more dramatic, but in terms of physical restructuring the only single competitors would be the addition of the porch to the town hall as a memorial to Queen Victoria in 1897/1898 (see Christopher Whitfield, A History of Chipping Campden, op cit., p.236; EvJ 23.4.1898,6; referred to by Ormonde Pleated below, IV.2.b.2); and the levelling of the Leaseborne end of High Street, complete with verge, granite kerbing and buttress along the lower side after the Second World War (EvJ 28.3.1953.12; see also V.2).
2. Josephine Griffiths, A Book of Remembrance 1914-1918, op cit.
3. EvJ 12.9.1914,11: Basil Hovenden Neve of the H.M.S. Pathfinder. He was the son of J.R. Neve (for whom see III.l: J.R. Neve was on the final war memorial committee).
4. EvJ 19.9.1914, 11, “Roll of Honour”; also EvJ 26.9.1914,10; 10.10.1914,12.
5. Josephine Griffiths, A Book of Remembrance 1914-1918, op cit., compiled in 1920, lists the names of 336 men and 1 woman who served, and 60 Campden men killed, plus two “who though, not actually Campden men, were drawn to this town through ties of relationship and daily occupation”, and in a postscript names two more who died in 1923 from effects of the war.
6. EvJ 31.10.1914,12.
7. National Reserve, EvJ 29.8.1914,3. Campden Relief Committee, EvJ 12.9.1914,2. Norton House, EvJ 22.8.1914,7; Josephine Griffiths, A Book of Remembrance 1914-1918. Red Cross and Emergency Committee, EvJ 22.8.1914,7. Special battalion in Kitchener’s army, EvJ 3.10.1914,7. Ladies’ Committee EvJ 17.10.1914,10. Suggested volunteer home defence force, EvJ 12.12.1914,11. Patriotic concert, EvJ 9.1.1915,10. Help for Belgian refugees, EvJ 21.11.1914,8; Ashbee Journals 1914/48,158,166,173,181; Parish Magazine Jan. 1915, March 1915, Oct. 1915.
8. EvJ 29.8.1911,3.
9. EvJ 5.9.1914,11 (Winchcombe), 12 (Broadway): 19.9.1914,8.
10. EvJ 29.5.1915,10. For revival of sports following the war see: EvJ 8.2.1919,7 (cricket); EvJ 31.1.1920,3, a proposal that the Comrades of the Great War “should try and revive all kinds of sports”.
11. EvJ 7.6.1919,6. But they played at a recruiting drive meeting in December, EvJ 12.12.1914,3.
12. EvJ 15.5.1915,10.
13. The Boy Scout group did not survive the war. The last published reference to the Boy Scouts of which I am aware is EvJ 3.10.1914,7, in which it is noted that Michael Pippet, the scoutleader, had already enlisted in the Public School Battalion. The Town Trust Minutes of 23.4.1915. GRO D5347, note: “Boy Scouts – A discussion took place as to the use of the small room for the Boy Scouts. Mr. Geo. Ebborn stated that in his opinion the Reading Room Committee had exceeded their rights in letting the room, and that the maintenance of order and the preservation of their property appeared to be precarious. Owing to the absence of the minute book the Trustees were unable to refer back to the decision arrived at the last meeting, and in consequence further discussion was deferred.” The St. James C of E Boys School logbook of 8.11.1916 noted: “First meeting of new Troop of Boy Scouts in the Infant School at 5.30 p.m.”, but there is no subsequent entry referring to the Scouts.
The Boys’ Brigade was under the patronage of the vicar, the Rev. Jacson, who left Campden in 1915 (see Ashbee Journals 20.6.1915/656; EvJ 10.7.1915,11). The last reference to the Boys Brigade in the Evesham Journal of which I am aware is 20.4.1912,8, when they had just returned from camp. Don Ellis, whose father was Colour-Sergeant and had helped to found the company, and who was just too young himself to join, said that the company disbanded at the start of the 1914-1918 war when a number of the members enlisted, recorded interview 15.12.1983 cas 49a. For other references to the Boys Brigade in Campden, see EvJ 29.5.1909,7; 5.6.1909,6; 3.7.1909,11; 25.9.1909,10; 12.2.1910,8; 16.4.1910,12; 7.5.1910,5; 28.5.1910,11; 25.6.1910,10; 22.10.1910,10; 29.10.1910,8; 7.11.1911,8; 26.8.1911,10; 16.9.1911,9; 4.11.1911,8; 20.4.1912,8. There has not yet been a proper study of the Campden Boys Brigade.
On the lack of young men: Janet Ashbee wrote to C.R. Ashbee on 30.4.1915, Ashbee Journals 1915/228, that Jim Pyment “is in very low water – mostly because he simply can’t get any labour to fulfill his contracts with.” See also interview with Mr. John Horne about his own experiences as a boy during the war, 8.6.82, Fees cas 22b-23a. Janet Ashbee to C.R. Ashbee, Ashbee Journals August 15 1915/926(70): “Here nothing changes – only there is a dearth of young men”.
14. EvJ 18.12.1915,6.
15. Josephine Griffiths, A Book of Remembrance 1914-1918; Ashbee Journals 1914/282, Oct. 29; 1915/228, 30 April; 1915/262, 27 April; 1915/199 (1235), 21 Oct; 1915/407 (1672): 1916/159 (305); 1916/58 (825); 1917/289 (309), 13 May. The last is a letter from Janet Ashbee in Campden to C.R. Ashbee in the Middle East, which the censor has cut, leaving this intriguing fragment: “Coventry where she is working at a wholesale grocers’ – she gives an awful picture of the place crammed with young munition workers – girls of 15 and 16 blind drunk rolling about the streets”. The Parish Magazine of June 1915 reminded “those who are unable to join the Army that they may serve their country in an equally useful manner by working in the munitions factories. H. Poulton, F. Farman [presumably the mummer] and Alfred Smith, have already left the parish to take up this work.”
16. Janet Ashbee wrote to C.R. Ashbee, Ashbee Journals 3.2.1916/100 (222), “I wonder if you heard of the Zepp. raid – they were all over Stratford and Brumm, and the exploding bombs plainly audible in Campden. The papers here of course make very light of it…” Almost two years later F.L. Griggs wrote to his friend Russell Alexander, 26.11.1917, “Not the least devilishness of the German air raid is the connection it has set up in our minds between themselves and a lovely moonlight night.” For action with lamps, see EvJ 12.2.1916,8; 19.2.1916,10.
17. Inflation: EvJ 8.8.1914,7 noted the sudden rise in prices: lump sugar from 2d to 5d or 6d, granulated from 1 3/4d to 4d, bacon 1s to 1s3d, cheese 8d to 10d.
In 1915 Julia Walsh and Josephine Griffiths prepared the report of the Belgian Refugee Committee, which said that the main burden of work and expense fell on a few people: “Many of these kind friends live out of Campden, and have been for the most part, not only crippled by increasing prices and taxation, but, also, through donations to other urgent charities, entailed by the war,” Parish Magazine Oct. 1915.
In 1916 Janet Ashbee accepted the bid by two local men on a walling job; their bid was half that tendered by the Evesham firm of Espley’s, and yet it was twice what she had anticipated on the basis of her pre-war experience, Ashbee Journals 20.3.1916/377.
A Parish Meeting was told in 1917 that parish charities – many of them fixed-sum bequests – were getting harder to distribute to peoples’ satisfaction because of the increased costs of everything, EvJ 31.3.1917,6. Janet Ashbee reported in 1918 that her household expenses were twice what they had been in 1916, Ashbee Journals 20.1.1918/101. Also in 1918, a little pig that would have cost 7/6 before the war was bought by Charlie Plunkett from fellow Guildsman George Hart for 48/-, Letter from Charlie Plunkett to C.R. Ashbee, Ashbee Journals 2.8.1918/118.
Shortages: Letter from Janet Ashbee to C.R. Ashbee, Ashbee Journals 19.3.1917/131: ” A great blow about our bread is, now the flour is diluted at source still further with bean and oat flour, it does not “rise” properly – and is I suppose now more like the German K bread – damp, dark and heavy”. In Ashbee Journals 20.1.1918/101 she reported “matches unprocurable”. She wrote to her husband, Ashbee Journals 18.2.1918/181, “It was extraordinary to go down Campden High Street at noon today and see nearly all the shops with shutters up – no meat – no fish – hardly any bread – Here we live on parsnips and potatoes, leeks and onions.” In Ashbee Journals 18.10.1918/265 Janet told CRA of the controls on coal: “It entirely alters our way of living – and we can have no cooking done after 3 p.m., and no hospitality – no hot baths, so have a cold supper (no soup or vegetables) and can only have the one (dining room) fire, no visitors bedrooms and no library fires, when stove is begun, not any fires – except nursery which is a necessity.”
18. Ashbee Journals 11.3.1918/216.
19. Discussed by North Cotswold Farmers’ Association, EvJ 3.3.1917,6. For subsequent correspondence see Jim Pyment, EvJ 10.3.1917,5: response, EvJ 17.3.1917,8; and Pyment, EvJ 24.3.1917,5.
See also EvJ 18.11.1917,8, report of petty sessions: six boys aged 9 to 12 had missed school, four of them specifically due to agricultural labour. James Keeley “said it was hard lines that his son could be employed by a farmer and yet not by himself, who had two acres of land”. Thomas Nobes said “that his son was very useful to him on his land; he had 3 sons serving in France”. Thomas Cross had four previous convictions and didn’t appear – he was consequently fined double the usual, or 10s.
20. Letter Will Hart to C.R. Ashbee, Ashbee Journals 28.2.1923/35.
21. EvJ 27.3.1915,12. In late 1915 the North Cotswold Farmers Association raised £40 2s 6d for distressed farmers in France, which prompted Ulric Stanley to say “very good for a society that was said to be dead and gone”, EvJ 30.10.1915,10.
22. EvJ 23.12.1916,2.
23- EvJ 3.6.1916,8.
25. EvJ 2.12.1916,8.
26. EvJ 3.6.1916,8.
29. EvJ 21.10.1916,7. Hobbs, EvJ 21.7.1917,6.
30. North Cotswold Farmers Association “has now ceased to exist”, according to EvJ 3.7.1920,8, which also reported that the Association had been moribund for the past two years. George Hart agreed to keep the books and papers of the old association. EvJ 31.7.1920,8.
U.C. Stanley obituary, EvJ 22.6.1918,7.
George Haines obituary, EvJ 27.3.1920,7.
Guild of Handicraft Trust: Ashbee Memoirs vol. V, p. 210, entry dated l4.6.1921: “and while in England I signed the transfer deed of the Guild of Handicraft, thus finally winding up the Trust”. C.R. Ashbee: Ashbee Journals Jan. 1919/111; 1919/197.
31. Comrades of the Great War: EvJ 13.12.1919,6.
British Legion: EvJ 29.10.1921,10; 13.5.1922,5.
National Farmers Union: EvJ 30.3.1918,8; 22.3.1919,2.
National Agricultural Labourers and Rural Workers Union: EvJ l4.12.1918,8. Labour Party: Evesham Journal 8.3.1919,7. The Labour Party fielded three candidates for the subsequent parish elections, EvJ 22.3.1919,2.
32. EvJ 6.12.1919,7.
33. EvJ 13.12.1919,6.
34. EvJ 17.1.1920,8.
35. EvJ 13.3.1920,7.
37. EvJ 27.3.1920,7.
38. EvJ 1.5.1920,8.
39. Don Ellis, recorded interview 23.1.1984 cas 54b, said that it was scooped out by Spud Benfield’s sister; in recorded interview 15.12.1983 cas 49a, he said that it was the sister of “one of the 1914-18 bods”.
40. EvJ 1.5.1920,8.
41. Don Ellis, recorded interview 15.12.1983 cas 49a; recorded interview 23.1.1984 cas 54b.
42. EvJ 1.5.1920,8.
43. See below, IV.2.b.l, where a new owner of Berrington Mill brought the wroth of central government down by complaining of the nuisance.
44. EvJ 8.5.1920,2.
45. EvJ 9.4.1921,3.
46. EvJ 23.4.1921,9.
47. George Plested, recorded interview 10.5.1984 cas 65a, said that he was one of them. Don Ellis, recorded interview 23.1.1984 cas 54b, characterised the men as “Old Comrades”, among whom was Spud (Fred) Benfield, the “chief instigator”; his brother, Michael Ellis was also among them, though he had not served in the war. Sue Tomes, in a conversation of 18.12.1983, said that her two brothers had helped to get rid of the gun.
48. George Plested, who had served in the final years of the war and was one of the men who removed the field gun, said in a recorded interview of 10.5.1984 cas 65a: “People had had their sons and husbands killed and they didn’t want to see a cannon that might have been the one that killed their people in the street.” He also said, in reply to a question about why the cannon came in the first place, “I don’t know. We didn’t have no say in that.” Don Ellis, recorded interview 23.1.1984 cas 54b, agreed that the men’s motive was that they weren’t “going to have a German gun that had killed British soldiers in Campden.” Sue Tomes, whose son Jack Tomes is current head of the mummers, said in a conversation of 18.12.1983 that the gun was an eyesore, and that they didn’t want a “German gun stuck here to remind us of what happened.”
49. EvJ l4.10.1916,8. As early as 1917, speaking of war memorial designs in general in a letter to his friend Russell Alexander (26.11.1917), F.L. Griggs wrote “the one I want is the Campden one”.
50. EvJ 15.12.1919,7.
51. EvJ 22.3.1919,8.
52. EvJ 29.3.1919,7.
53. EvJ 5.4.1919,8.
54. Nurses’ home: EvJ 11.10.1919,6.
Houses: The Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health for the Rural District Council of Campden, 1919, p. 12 noted “it has been arranged to build 20 new houses on a site which has been acquired in the Station road, and 6 at Broad Campden, making 26 in all.” The Annual Report for 1921, p. 9, said “The four houses at Campden erected under the Council scheme are now completed, but other two are only partially built, as the contract had been cancelled, and there was no new contract in July. Permission has been granted, after prolonged negotiations, by the Ministry, for a new contract for these two houses, so that they may be completed.” See also EvJ 13.8.1921,5; 28.1.1922,5; 24.6.1922,3.
55. Letter Alec Miller to C.R. Ashbee, Ashbee Journals Sept 1919/271, “I resigned off the first committee on condition that Woodroffe took my place…”
56. His children, or at least his son Don, was among the children in Janet Ashbee’s carol singing custom. One of his sons, Gordon, was in the Guild’s As You Like It in 1905, Ashbee Journals 1905/13, 20; and again in The Shoemakers’ Holiday in 1908, Ashbee Journals 1908/4 (programme); CRA S/47 in Ashbee Collection, King’s College, Cambridge. Another son, Roland, was in the Guild’s Fair Maid of the Golden West in 1909, CRA S/16 in Ashbee Collection, King’s College, Cambridge. Together, H.G. Ellis and Guildsman Jim Pyment founded the Boys’ Brigade which flourished from 1909 to the onset of World War I, EvJ 29.5.1909,7. Ellis and Guildsman Charlie Downer formed a performing horse in 1921, EvJ 21.5.1921,7.
57. Janet Ashbee noted in Journals 25.10.1908/10 of a meeting at the Coomaraswamy’s: “They had asked Campden people like the Hands, Haydon’s, Mrs. Dunn, Maye Bruce representing the County – ourselves, the Websters, Margaret Harwood – a farmer’s wife – Woodroffe’s glassman Mr. Phllipson and all the remaining guildsmen and their wives,” indicating a degree of congeniality and intersociability.
58. Letter F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander 8.6.1919, Ashmolean Museum, Department of Western Art, Oxford. According to “Campden War Memorial Committee Meetings” minutes, GRO D5347, the June committee consisted of Oliver New in the chair, Mrs. New, Dr. Dewhurst, J.R. Neve, Reg Hands, Harry Ellis, Paul Woodroffe, and Jim Pyment, with Mrs. Hankins, Miss Batchelor, F.L. Griggs and Mr. W. Stokes co-opted. After the Public Meeting on 20.6.1919 the committee consisted of Oliver New in the chair, Paul Woodroffe, W. Stokes, Matthew Cox, Mr. Stowe. George Ebborn. Reg Hands, F.T. Ellison, Sgt. Green, Dr. Dewhurst. J.R. Neve, F. Hathaway, Miss Batchelor, Mrs. Hitchcock, and Josephine Griffiths.
59. EvJ 28.6.1919,7.
60. Letter F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander 18.7.1919.
61. Letter F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander 20.9.1919.
62. A. Comstock, A Gothic Vision, op cit., p.18, said that “the local Council would actually have preferred an honest Protestant to do the job for them, and there was bitterness, resentment and much ill-feeling before they could agree to ask him to do the work.”
For the contempt with which the Ashbees viewed Oliver New, a fellow member of the Grammar School Board of Governors, see Ashbee Journals Feb 1915/81ff, a long tale involving headmaster Cox’s alleged philandering (which the Ashbees treated dismissively at the time, but which recent conversations with various older Campden people puts into a different light).
For the Ashbees’ sense of Cox – narrow-minded, shallow, perhaps even vulgar – see Journals 13.5.1913, 13.11.1913, 11.9.1915/1095, 22.2.1917/84(76). 13.5.1917/309 (quoted above, III.3.2 fn 51), 10.12.1917/175(648) – all of which, interestingly enough, involve letters from Janet Ashbee to her husband.
For a hint of Dr. Dewhurst’s feeling for the Ashbees, see EvJ 17.5.1913,8, at a testimonial meeting for departing Grammar School headmaster F.B. Osborne, where the Ashbees lie behind the barb in Dewhurst’s statement: “As they all knew Mr. Osborne was a man of strong views, and he did not care to be interfered with in his practical work, and for that they honoured him…They might look to that for the reason why they were losing him after nearly a quarter of a century’s useful work in Campden. He would not stand interference in his own particular sphere.” Janet Ashbee wrote to her husband, Journals 16.2.1917/54(51). “Two village babies are ill and the mothers are so stupid, and are aided by Dr. Dewhurst, who is a criminal lunatic!” Of another baby Janet wrote to Ashbee, Journals 9.3.1917/104(97). “It must be well-born this time – Dr. A. [from Broadway; as opposed to Campden’s Dr. Dewhurst] will be in charge of course.” Alec Miller wrote to C.R. Ashbee, Journals Sept 1919/267ff of a lecture in a private house about the Bolshevik Revolution, at which Miller responded to several people who “all agreed that they had no idea what Bolshevism was but it was the devil and the Russians were an uncivilised race of murderers, due said Stokes sapiently to the admixture of Tartar blood” by reminding them of Tolstoi, Turgeneff, Dostoievski, Gogol, Pushkin, the Russian ballet, “and this brought Dewhurst – curiously enough sitting beside me – to his feet in a fury and he denounced everybody who favoured a withdrawal from Russia as supporters of murder and rape and said that even in Campden there were some = it was a venomous attack and concluded by saying that all Russian culture had been destroyed by the people I was supporting – to which I replied I wasn’t supporting anybody – I was only anxious to remind people of our debt and said we knew so little of what was really happening in Russia…” Quoted with the kind permission of his daughter, Jane Wilgress, and family.
Following the 1913 parish council election in which George Ebborn, F.T. Ellison and Dr. Dewhurst were elected against the opposition of the Home and Land League (following a poll demanded by Alec Miller and C.R. Ashbee, in which Oliver New lost the seat he had won in the first vote) Ashbee wrote a letter to the Evesham Journal 12.4.1913,7, in which he concluded: “You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, and as long as the people of Campden want this Parish Council elected on those lines it will continue to be ineffectual.” This can hardly have been judged to have endeared him to those opponents who won. For the election, see EvJ 22.3.1913,12; 29.3.1913,7; 5.4.1913,10; 12.4.1913,7; 12.5.1913,10; 19.5.1913,7: 26.4.1913,7.
As for Griggs’ war record, Comstock, A Gothic Vision, op cit., p. 15, says: “By the end of 1915, as the struggle grew more desperate, he made up his mind to join the armed forces in one capacity or another; and about the same time his age-group had begun to be drafted. His own applications and draft examinations always ended with the same verdict: his knee injury made him unfit for service”. Page 16: “Frustrated in his attempts to enlist, Griggs reluctantly resolved to take up some other form of war work. By the spring of 1917, he was working in a munitions factory, the Lacre works at Letchworth.” He was released from this job in June, with broken health, and “spent much of the following winter in bed under doctor’s orders, and was only able to resume it the following spring for a short while.”
A slightly different impression comes from reading Griggs’ letters to Russell Alexander. 27.3.1916: “I was passed fit for Garrison duty abroad – which means that one is sent home to wait until called for, and then one has to have a month’s notice.” 23.10.1916: “You will be surprised to hear from me here, but on my presenting myself at Cirencester last Friday my papers could not be found, and so I was given another fortnight.” 20.12.1916: “I am making arrangements for getting to work on munitions, as the lesser of two evils…” 10.1.1917: “In case you don’t know then; I was not properly called up, but it seemed to mean that I should have been if I had not been nominally working still at Letchworth. So here I am ready to go this afternoon and see about it, and start perhaps on Monday. That’s enough of all that – except that it has this selfish, grievous badness for me…” 16.12.1917: “I’ve been called up for Dec 31st and suppose it means clerical work of some description somewhere.”
63. Letter Alec Miller to C.R. Ashbee, Ashbee Journals Sept. 1919/267ff, quoted with the kind permission of Jane Wilgress and family. The meeting took place on October 1, so although placed in “September” in the Journals, the actual letter must have been written in early October.
64. EvJ 11.10.1919,6.
65. Letter Alec Miller to C.R. Ashbee, Ashbee Journals Sept 1919/267ff.
66. Ibid. The last entry in the “Campden War Memorial Committee Meetings” minutes, op cit., following 19.9.1919, reads “After this, a public meeting was held at the town hall on October 1, a new committee was elected to deal with the matter, and the old committee was dissolved.”
67. Letter F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander 9.10.1919.
68. Letter Wentworth Huyshe to Janet Ashbee, Ashbee Journals 15.10.1919/291.
69. Alec Miller was in the chair for the first public meeting of the Campden branch of the Labour Party, EvJ 20.12.1919,8. He was then a member of the parish council.
70. Letter Wentworth Huyshe to Janet Ashbee, Ashbee Journals 15.10.1919/291.
71. Ibid. A letter describing the progress of the memorial was published in EvJ 24.4.1920,8.
72. Letter F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander 4.9.1920.
73. Letter F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander September 1920 (?), item 27.
74. EvJ 8.10.1921,9; 15.10.1921,6.
75. EvJ 20.11.1920,2.
76. EvJ 19.11.1921,6.
77. Jim Pyment served on the parish council during the war, and in 1921 both he and Charlie Downer were directors of the gas company; his son Harold was the “energetic secretary”, EvJ 23.4.1921,9. George Hart was a director of the Farmers’ Co-Operative, and apparently secretary of the North Cotswold Farmers Association, though the latter was moribund, EvJ 31.7.1920,8. Will Hart returned from the war as a major and was the first president of the Campden branch of the British Legion, EvJ 19.11.1921,6; 13.5.1922,5. Standing as members of the Labour Party both Charlie Plunkett and Alec Miller were elected to the parish council in 1919, with Miller as its vice chairman, EvJ 22.3.1919,2; 19.4.1919,8. By 1922 Miller was a magistrate, EvJ 3.6.1922,8.
78. Obituary, EvJ 11.12.1920,12.
79. In a letter, Will Hart told C.R. Ashbee, Journals 28.2.1923/35, that Dr. Dewhurst had left Campden, without saying exactly when. Dr. Dewhurst was listed in the Kelly’s Directory for 1919, but not for 1923, which presumably was compiled in 1922.
80. EvJ 7.1.1922,6 (editorial);9.
81. Ibid; EvJ 8.10.1921,11.
82. EvJ 10.9.1921,3.
83. EvJ 8.10.1921,11.
84. EvJ 10.7.1920,7.
85. EvJ 10.7.1920,8.
86. EvJ 11.9.1920,8.
87. EvJ 7.1.1922,9.
88. EvJ 11.2.1922,6.
90. EvJ 10.6.1922,11.
91. Sentiment is apparent in the letter from a correspondent to the Evesham Journal printed 28.5.1887,3: “I have the prejudices of an old inhabitant regarding the Market Hall. We old people don’t like to see old things pulled about very much beyond putting in a new slate or stopping a hole in.” Samuel Harris, writing from Malvern about the town maces affair, said “as an old Campdonian I should like to say how much I appreciate the remarks of Mr. Elllson…Sentiment will always prevail, and to me the old town and all concerned with it is so dear to me…” EvJ 15.10.1921,6.
Given the town maces affair, an interesting letter appeared in the Evesham Journal in 1912 from a “Campdonian” – the name is theirs, not mine: “We welcome serious Americans who appreciate the place as much as we do ourselves, but millionaires had better go to the village of Broadway, and finally – Campden is not for sale”, EvJ 5.10.1912,5.
Thomas Carrington, who became Vicar in 1896, exchanging his city living with the popular Rev. Forster (who had recently made a very popular wedding with the daughter of a prominent Campden solicitor) made the infelicitous remark in the Parish Magazine that Mr. Forster’s “life will now be spent in the great world of men”, as if Campden were something else (quoted in EvJ 11.6.1896,6). He had a major row with his vestry in 1898, the details of which are complicated: the Vicar, however, is reported to have “characterised the objections as ‘only a little quibble got up purposely.’ He had heard about it in the parish. He was getting a nice insight into Campden ways”, to which Mr. Forster’s father-in-law replied (but not in that capacity) “that they were getting a nice insight into London ways. The Campden people had treated him well,” EvJ 16.4.1898,8. The last speaker practised law in London.
Frank Combes, Liberal agent for the district, tried the”Campden” tack on Sgt. Guy, instructor of the local Volunteers, over Sgt. Guy’s objections or queries concerning the recent parish elections: “Sir – There have been in times past persons come to Campden to reside who have taken us to be a somewhat ignorant lot, and have started to put us right, but somehow or other, after a little time, they have tumbled off their lofty pinnacles of conceit and descended to their proper level,” EvJ 16.3.1907.8. Guy’s response appeared in the next week’s paper: he pointed out that Combes himself had come from outside Campden: “Is he quoting a leaf from his own book regarding his remark about ignorant lot? (I myself find the Campden people far from ignorant)”. EvJ 23.3.1907,5.
In the fierce and bitter parish council elections of 1913 much of the convoluted alliances and animosities of local politics are laid bare. Combes, a fellow Home and Land League member with C.R. Ashbee (who soundly lost his race) attacked him in a letter to the Evesham Journal and also the fact that “four of the six League candidates are Mr. Ashbee’s importations!” EvJ 19.5.1913,7. I think a close study of this election – the last before the war – would make the affairs of the war memorial and the town maces far more comprehensible.
92. F.L. Griggs remarked in a letter to Russell Alexander 12.11.1917, “Campden reappears as a much-desired haven for many people and houses are in great demand. Oh the war!” War-time tourism is implicit in Charlie Plunkett’s letter to C.R. Ashbee, Ashbee Journals 14.9.1920/116: “I have been a bit off as the result of the trying time passed through during the war. It has taken a long time to get over it. But I think we can congratulate ourselves upon having been fairly successful. Polishing disappeared and Boots very nearly so./ But thanks to the Acre and Mrs. P’s success in catering for visitors we have managed to pull through”. Note a letter from a visitor to the parish council, EvJ 15.6.1918,2.
93. Letter Wentworth Huyshe to Janet Ashbee, Ashbee Journals 15.10.1919/291.
94. Letter Charlie Plunkett to C.R. Ashbee, Ashbee Journals 14.9.1920/116.
95. Letter Will Hart to C.R. Ashbee, Ashbee Journals 28.2.1923/35.
96. Letter Walter Edwards to C.R. Ashbee, Ashbee Journals 15.9.1923/195.
97. Letter C.R. Ashbee to Janet Ashbee, Ashbee Journals May 1924/69.
98. Letter C.R. Ashbee to Janet Ashbee, Ashbee Journals 11.1/1925/1.
99. Letter Martha Dunn to The Ashbees, Ashbee Journals 3.1.1928/6.
100. Paul Woodroffe protested to the parish council in 1916 “against the ruthless treatment the old Chesnut Tree in Leasebourne had undergone: the tree was badly maimed” in trimming, EvJ 13.5-1916,6. The parish council complained to the district council about the “untidy condition of Lower High Street”, EvJ 14.10.1916,8. A visitor in 1918 suggested watering the streets to keep down the dust, EvJ 15.6.1918,2.
101. GRO 2299-2985, Bruton Knowles Estate Agent’s Papers, relating to the sale of Cotswold House, 1924. Mr. Barr had sold the property to Mrs. Wallis and Miss Warden “for £4,000. In our opinion this is a very full price to have given, but it is no doubt explained by the fact that Chipping Campden and district are very popular for residential purposes, partly because the district is a good one for hunting and partly because of the many features of archaeological interest which Chipping Campden possesses in its fine church and old houses.” The capital value of the property was estimated at no more than £2,700, and the fee simple of the property in possession about £3,000.
In GRO 2299-3925 of Cherry Orchard Cottage, Broad Campden, written sometime during or after 1926, Bruton Knowles say “we understand that the price the owner is asking is 2,000 Guineas. This we regard as a very high figure. The Campden district is at the present time a favourite part of the Cotswolds and small properties in typical unspoiled Cotswold villages such as Broad Campden make considerable appeal to a certain class of purchasers, with the consequence that from such persons good prices are obtained, but even bearing this in mind we do not think the fee simple value of the property could be put at more than about £1,100.”
102. EvJ 7.7.1928,8. See footnote above.
103. EvJ 20.11.1920,2; half had already been started.
104. EvJ 9.11.1929,9.
105. Dr. Dewhurst brought the matter of a drop in the water supply before the parish council in 1915. The man responsible, Frank Combes, attempted to blame it on people washing their pavements. Dewhurst replied that he “was up and down the street a good deal and saw that only about half a dozen in the town did so. Were we going to discourage people keeping the place clean and tidy now that Campden had become a more residential place and consequently paid higher rates,” EvJ 16.10.1915,3. Note references throughout these arguments to putting the burden onto other people, and making things difficult for people who are less well off.
106. EvJ 23.2.1929,8.
107. EvJ 13.4.1929,3; 20.4.1929,5.
108. EvJ 20.4.1929,5.
109. EvJ 9.2.1929,5.
110. EvJ 20.4.1929,5.
111. After much hard work and aggravation. The first mains water came in 1905, see Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health for the Chipping Campden Rural District Council 1905 p. 20.
For a variety of reasons – one being the demand for water-cooled milk by the government during the war, still being sent to London “as they had no other market,” EvJ 8.10.1921,9 – Campden experienced a chronic summer water shortage in the post war years. See Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health…1921, p. 7; Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health…1922, p. 5-6; Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health…1923, p. 8: “The scheme was carried out during the summer and there is now a plentiful supply of water in Campden. The Ministry of Health approved of the scheme and the council was granted a loan of £2,000 with which to carry out the scheme.”
112. EvJ 5.9.1936,4.
113. EvJ 24.10.1936,9.
114. EvJ 20.8.1938,9.
115. The Campden Society, Shakespeare Head Press, Stratford-on-Avon, 1925, p.6.
116. Figures are based on membership and subscription lists in the Campden Society Minutes, pp. 200-206, which give the name, address, year of subscription, amount of subscription, and year of resignation (where appropriate); GRO D2857 1/1.
117. Re Campden Trust membership, see relevant documents in Griggs Collection, Ashmolean Museum. Campagnac and Russell both appear in a 1934 church census of Campden, held in the Muniment Room of St. James’ Church, though not in the Kelly’s Directories of the period. A Mrs. Barrows appears in the Kelly’s Directories, but not a Mr. Walter Barrows.
118. EvJ 30.4.1932,9.
119. EvJ 10.2.1934,4.
121. EvJ 24.2.1934,15.
122. EvJ 24.2.1934,15; 3.3.1934,14; 17.3.1934,9.
123. EvJ 3.3.1934,14.
124. EvJ 10.3.1934,3.
125. EvJ 24.3.1934,11.
128. Valene Smith, “Introduction”, in Valene Smith, ed. Hosts and Guests: The Anthropology of Tourism, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1978, p.2.
129. Compare Walter Edwards, however, in a letter to C.R. Ashbee, Ashbee Journals 1930/6-7: “…everything seems a sham and its now with its antique shops and tea parlours copying Broadway.”
130. The “old charities” seem to have been an object of interest as living anachronisms, in the age of government benefits. Interestingly enough, “Annually For Ever: A Programme of Cotswold Charity”, collected and presented by Campden resident Percy Dewey was broadcast by the BBC Midland Service on November 16,1938; it was a half hour programme and involved (among other things) a short statement by John Keen, a resident in the Campden almshouses. The charities became an issue following the Second World War, when Will Hart argued at a Parish Meeting that the parochial charities ought to be amalgamated and used: “There were a number of people who would defend them on the grounds of tradition and of their connection with the old town…but as one of those people who liked to look to the future…” He was right. George Hart proposed that the charities “should be left as they are and administered as in the past”, a motion which was carried, EvJ 27.3.1948,3.
131. R.P. Beckinsale, Companion into Gloucestershire, Methuen, London, 1939, pp. 8-9.
132. EvJ 27.11.1937,3.
133. EvJ 27.5.1939,15.
134. EvJ 2.11.1935,7.
135. It is interesting that the phenomenon of the local reminiscence appeared at this time. H.G. Ellis gave a public lecture “Campden Sixty Years Ago” in 1932, EvJ 16.1.1932,4; Miss Griffiths followed in 1933 with a talk on “Old Campden” to the Women’s Institute, EvJ 18.3.1933,3.
136. EvJ 11.3.1933,11.
137. EvJ 30.12.1933,14.
138. EvJ 20.1.1934,4.
139. EvJ 29.12.1934,5.
140. EvJ 24.6.1933,5; 9.2.1935,16; shown in Campden at the end of 1936, EvJ 12.12.1936,9.
141. EvJ 27.4.1935,5.
142. See IV.l fn138.
143. EvJ 12.12.1936,9.
144. EvJ 2.1.1937,15.
145. EvJ 2.11.1935,7.
147. EvJ 15.5.1937,3.
148. The telephone exchange was installed in 1923 with eight subscribers and one call box, EvJ 3.3.1923,5. This was replaced by an automatic exchange in 1933, when there were seventy-four subscribers, EvJ 21.1.1933,14. Mains electricity became available in Campden in the Autumn of 1928, EvJ 26.5.1928,5. For broadcast media and automobile, see text.
149. EvJ 28.6.1924,9.
150. EvJ 18.10.1924,3.
151. EvJ 12.12.1925,16.
152. Ashbee Journals 24.12.1924/171.
153. See IV.l, fn49.
154. The parish council decided to ask the Automobile Club to erect caution boards at dangerous turns, due to the speed of cars, EvJ 15.10.1910,8; 18.2.1911,8. Councillor Frank Combes said, in 1914, “that a considerable number of motor cars passed through the town without giving any warning of their approach, and only recently an old man had been knocked down…” EvJ 18.7.1914,10. There had been a minor collision of outsiders’ motor cars at the Sheep Street corner, EvJ 2.5.1914,11. Councillor Walton “called attention to the need of finger-posts at Sheep Street corner and the Catholic Church for the guidance of motor cars, etc”, EvJ 12.6.1915,10.
155. Letter F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander 10.6.1923.
156. H.J. Massingham, A Countryman’s Journal, op cit., pp.42-43.
157. Fred Coldicott, Memories of an Old Campdonian, ms., p. 33. in Fees Collection.
158. EvJ 18.6.1938,13. Both men had failed to obtain wireless licenses.
159. Letter Martha Dunn to Ashbees, Ashbee Journals 3.1.1928/6.
160. Letter Martha Dunn to Janet Ashbee, Ashbee Journals 4.8.1928/26.
161. “The Cotswolds – A National Park”, The Listener 16.2.1938. p345, quoting Geoffrey Boumphey on “The Changing Midland Series”, Midlands Service, January 21, 1938: “There seems a strong case to be made for turning the whole area into a National Park, devoted only to agriculture and recreation.”
162. For Gloucestershire County Council Bye-law 18, promulgated in 1925, see Appendix F.
1927: EvJ 2.4.1927,6, Parish Meeting: “Mr. G.W. Dewey said as secretary to the Scuttlebrook Wake Committee, they had been informed that the bye-laws prohibiting the wake would be enforced this year. It had been held for many years and as the new Recreation Ground would not be ready this year he would propose that the County Council be requested to allow the wake to take place in Leysbourne another year, in view that in future it could be held in the Recreation Ground. If extra police were required the Wake Committee would pay them.” This was seconded by J.N. Horne and carried. In the event it was held in Leaseborne, although “It is proposed to hold the wake on the Recreation Ground next year”; EvJ 18.6.1927,2.
1934: Letter George Hart to E.A.B. Barnard 17.5.1934 and 16.6.1934 in E.A.B. Barnard, Notes and Queries vol. II, p. 12 opposite no. 23. 17.5.1934: “Now this old custom and countryside tradition is in jeopardy by the County Authorities trying to stop it, and they state that unless it has a charter it cannot be held…If we can produce the charter the thing can be carried on…it is only tonight that I hear the Police have stepped in to stay the thing unless we can produce the old charter…” 16.6.1934: “We got beaten on the question this year…but I hope to be able to get things going for next year again…I think the whole question is one of personal and unsympathetic feeling upon the part of our new and local Inspector of Police. All our previous Superintendants of Police have been alright, but the new man just promoted to Inspector is one of pure officiousness of his position…I was under the impression that custom of country was equal to any written law, and that we could claim rights of usage or custom, but in this I am not quite certain, and must find out.”
163. EvJ 26.3.1938,16; at the annual Parish Meeting, A.S. Pyment arguing for the parish council to take over responsibility for Campden Recreation Ground said “A lot of fields are being closed to children; farmers don’t want the children on their fields. The town recreation ground is an ideal place for the children to play.”
164. EvJ 26.2.1938,3; “Mr. G. Hart said that the whole countryside was a playing field for the children. He objected to forcing children onto one field.” Mrs. Agnes Buckland, conversation recorded in fieldnotes 28.1.1983: “Remember, everyone said ‘Oh, the Rec’s too far away, no one will ever use it.”
165. Letter Will Hart to Ashbees, Ashbee Journals 22.5.1940/102.
166. EvJ 2.4.1965,1. See also a letter from Janet Ashbee to F.L. Griggs, 19.2.[1919?], envelope 3. Griggs Collection, Ashmolean Museum: “…yes I wish we had met oftener – but we have both been busy in various ways and there is no common denominator of hospitality in Campden – and nobody ever asks one to meet anyone else – I never knew a place so mean – suspicious and cold-shouldery – But perhaps I speak from narrow personal experience and others may “know different”…”
Interwar Years, Discussion.
1. Simon Lichman, The Gardener’s Story and What Came Next: A Contextual Analysis of the Marshfield Paper Boys’ Mumming Play, PhD. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1981; Simon Lichman, “The Gardener’s Story: The Metafolklore of a Mumming Tradition”, Folklore 93:1(1982), 105-111.
2. See Paul Smith, Variation in the Manner of Adoption of Cultural Traditions: A Conceptual Framework and Application, PhD. dissertation, University of Sheffield, 1985, 147, who refers to A.W. Boyd, “The Mummers’ Play”, Notes and Queries 176 (21 January 1939), 44.
3. A Pershore correspondent at Christmas 1922, EvJ 30.12.1922,5, wrote: “During the Yuletide of war years, when the scarcity and value of the coin of the realm was not so noticeable, or the incongruity of lifting up the voice as to Peace and Goodwill, rather more so, juvenile carol singers lay dormant…but this season they broke out with a virulence never before known, householders in Pershore have been driven nearly to distraction, and one, who had not taken the precaution of providing himself with a dugout, felt compelled to enjoin the protection of the local constabulary. It is the accessories which this year have annihilated the patience of the victims. The vocalists have been accompanied on such woeful instruments as tin whistles, mouth organs, Jew’s harps, minstrel bones, tambourines, the strident melodion and the asthmatical concertina. It was useless of course to expect any display of discretion on the part of such performers, and so priests and sinners, publicans and temperance reformers, epicureans and vegetarians have each and all alike had vouchsafed to them the hope that they may be blessed with “a cellarful of beer and a good fat pig to serve them all the year.” When the time comes, as it assuredly must, in the interests of sanity, civilisation and good order, when local authorities are asked to deal with the scourge of juvenile carol singers, it is likely that such by-laws will be hastened through with considerably more alacrity than those were which have to do with the comfortable accomodation of hop, fruit, and vegetable pickers.” Note the call for a legal restructuring of the performative field. For a discussion of the suspension of sports and men’s group activities during the war, see IV.2.
4. Tradition: Jack Tomes, conversation 11.1.1983, recorded in fieldnotes; Ernest Buckland, 1946 BBC broadcast, op cit.: Mrs. Agnes Buckland, conversation 28.1.1983, recorded in fieldnotes: Fred Benfield, 9.6.1982, recorded interview cas 23-24.
Braithwaite House, purchased and reconstructed by the Earl of Harrowby for the purpose, was opened as the clubhouse of the Comrades of the Great War in 1920, EvJ 3.4.1920,6; EvJ 13.5.1922,5. The British Legion was established in Campden by 1921, see EvJ 19.11.1921,6, where they are called the British Legion Comrades, and made its headquarters in the Comrades’ Club, see EvJ 13.5.1922,5.
5. Letter C. Whitfield to E.C. Cawte, 11.8.1962, Cawte Collection. On 1924 as the year in which he came to Campden, see deposition dated 7.12.1965 concerning parish footpaths in GRO K596/33/4 “National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 Section 31 – Application to Quarter Sessions”, in which he said he had lived in the parish of Chipping Campden for 41 years; and notes of testimony in the same file, “Gloucestershire County Council vs. J.E. Liley and Campden Farm Estates ltd.,” In which he is reported to have said he had lived in the parish since 1924. This testimony, with the date, is reported in EvJ 14.1.1966,3. The implication of his 1962 letter to E.C. Cawte is that Christopher Whitfield knew the mumming very soon after coming to Campden, if not in 1924 itself, and oral reminiscence cited in IV.l.d indicates the existence of the mumming within a very few years of 1921.
6. Tom Benfield is not listed in Josephine Griffiths’ Book of Remembrance 1914-1918, St. James Church Muniment Room. The Volunteers, Territorials and home defence forces in Campden have not yet been studied, but I am not aware of any extant list of members, nor does Tom Benfield’s name appear in the lists of those who won prizes at annual Volunteer shooting contests, nor in a list of Campden men serving in the Boer War in EvJ 24.2.1900,7 (when, however, he may well have been in London still; see II.3). This absence of information tells us nothing about his possible membership or association with the Volunteers, for example.
7. Fred Coldicott, recorded interview 24.4.1986 cas 152b; unrecorded conversation, 5.3.1988 (date of footnote).
8. For Greenall as early mummer: recorded interview, Charlie Blake, 29.12.1981, saying Greenall was a mummer when Mr. Blake (b. 1909) was a “little ‘un”. He remembered George Greenall playing Father Christmas. George Greenall’s son, also named George Greenall, recalled in various conversations that his father was among the founders of the post-World War One mummers, e.g., George Greenall, recorded interview 29.12.1981, RR 2a. Quote in text is from latter source.
9. Mrs. Agnes Buckland, conversation 28.1.1983, recorded in fieldnotes.
10. EvJ 14.11.1936,4, notes that he had “served in the South African and Great War campaigns”. Named as a mummer by Fred Benfield, recorded interview 9.6.1982, cas 23-24.
11. For service, see Josephine Griffiths, The Book of Remembrance 1914-1918, op cit. For service and wounds, see EvJ 6.4.1918,5, where it reports that he had served from the beginning of the war, and had already been wounded once before being wounded again at La Basee. Named as an old mummer by George Greenall, conversation 15.12.1982, recorded in fieldnotes; Fred Coldicott, recorded interview, 4.10.1985, cas 122: he was “a mummer when I was a kid – one of the old mummers.”
12. Franklins: Josephine Griffiths, Book of Remembrance 1914-1918, op cit., lists Frederick and James, who both served in the Gloucestershire Regiment; William, in the Machine Gun Corps; Leonard, with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment; and G. Franklin, unspecified. George Greenall, conversation 15.12.1982, recorded in fieldnotes, gives “Franklins” as early mummers. For Norman Bennett’s service, see Josephine Griffiths, The Book of Remembrance 1914-1918 referred to above. C.R. Ashbee, Ashbee Journals 1914/45 reports Bennett’s call-up. His obituary, EvJ 3.1.1974,2, reports his service with the Gloucestershire Regiment and his wounding in France.
For Norman Bennett as an old mummer, see Fred Coldicott, recorded interview 4.10.1985 cas 122, saying Bennett was an old mummer just after World War I, although Mr. Coldicott never saw him. Bennett was among the men Ernest Buckland drew on from the pre-World War Two period for the revival in 1946; see V.l, V.3.
13. “Blanket Charity”, in Parochial Charities, St. James Church Muniment Room, Chipping Campden. On leaving Campden to find work, see his obituary, EvJ 3.1.1974,2.
14. EvJ 16.8.1924,2.
15. For Ben Benfield’s overall career, see his obituary, EvJ 10.12.1938,5. For war period, see EvJ 22.6.1918,2, where it is reported that he had been granted one month’s reprieve from call-up by the local tribunal.
16. Raised in parish council meeting, EvJ 6.1.1923,12: “Mr. Eden said Mr. Sharp should be written to and asked to have a better system of paying the unemployed, as Campden men had notice to attend on Friday at 10 am, and then they had to stand in the queue for three hours. Last week men from Campden were there at ten in the morning in a good position in the queue, and got in the office soon after eleven, and were then told to go back till two o’clock.”
George Plested, who served for the final two years of the First World War, said in a recorded interview 10.5.1984 cas 65a, “Course when we came back – we went to fight a war for a land fit for heroes to live in. And when we came back we had no work. We had to go and sign on…We used to have to go to Moreton and often you’d got to stand in a queue because there were so many, you see, and the man he run a coal business and a rug making and sheet making, and the clerk that was there [?] he was trying to get these unemployed through, and he [the owner of the business] kept coming in and telling him so and so, order so and so, and of course it taken his time, and well…I tell you what happened one time. Old Fred Smith…he walked from here up to the Baptist Chapel, and Mr. Braithwaite said to him, he was going up to Chipping Norton, he’d take him up there. So he went and he said, if you want to wait, he says, til I come back I’ll take you home. He did wait. He was still waiting in the queue when Mr. Braithwaite came back from Chipping Norton. So you can tell what it was like. And when you got there they, “Have you been looking for work, how far you been around?” And first of all they asked “are you married, any children”. You could only draw for one in any case. It was wicked.”
Jack Tomes, in a conversation recorded in fieldnotes 1.11.1983. told me, “It was hard times, before and during the [Second World] war. Before the war if a man was on the dole he had to walk to Moreton for his check, and they’d keep him waiting five hours and he’d have to walk back – and in case it didn’t sink in, he said think of it, walk to Moreton in winter through the snow. In those days it was patches on the knees and elbows and behinds; shoes wore out, they had to put brown paper to line the bottom – sit all day in school with wet feet, and he wasn’t the only one. His father on the dole, certainly in winter when the men were laid off…”
17. Quoted in II.1.
18. Sid Knight, Cotswold Lad, Phoenix House. London, 1960, p. 176-177.
19. Draft Minutes of the Campden Petty Sessions, GRO PS CA Ml/8, 15.3.1893 (the offence having taken place on 25.2.1893).
20. Quoted in the Campdonian, the Chipping Campden School Magazine, 1968.
21. Fred Coldicott, recorded interview 19.3.1988 cas 226.
22. Draft Minutes of the Campden Petty Sessions, GRO PS CA Ml/1 – Ml/15.
23. Ibid., GRO PS CA Ml/8, 1.11.1893.
24. Ibid., GRO PS CA Ml/6, 16.4.1890 (offence 3.1.1890). This was the Charles Brotheridge/Tom Benfield case referred to in the text above.
25. Ibid., GRO PS CA Ml/5, 1.12.1886.
26. The Campden Petty Session Minutes of 6.3.1918, GRO PS CA Ml/15 – the appeal against closure of six pubs in Campden – are quite revealing in this regard. The George and Dragon presented its trade figures for 1912-1917:
|Spirits and Wine|
|year||barrels||doz. pints||doz. 1/2 pints||gals.|
|1916||48 3/4||294||2||31 1/2|
|1917||45 3/4||140||0||31 1/2|
and noted “House rationed to half 1915 supply…” The Live and Let Live noted: “Licensee has been without beer weeks at a stretch last winter.” The Plough listed its sales from 1915:
The Rose and Crown, on the other hand, appears to have increased its business substantially:
27. Draft Minutes of the Campden Petty Sessions, GRO PS CA Ml/11, 19.7.1899.
28. In the case referred to in the footnote above, the defence asked if it were not true that the tree was known as the “Gospel Tree”. A Petty Sessions case noted EvJ 19.7.1873,7: the police “said the defendants were using the most blasphemous language on the Sunday evening during the time the Rev. H. Noel was holding open-air service under the Elm Tree”. The 1899 case noted in the footnote above revealed that, for example, the Salvation Army met beneath the tree. Union organisers met beneath it in the 1870s (e.g., EvJ 22.6.1872,5; 3.8.1872,5; 7.9.1872,5; 12.4.1873,7), and it was styled in a handbill of the time “The Union Tree” , EvJ 27.9.1873,8. An illustration accompanying J.H. Neve’s “The Ancient Town of Chipping Campden” in The Bristol Observer 18.5.1895,1, refers to it as “The Reformer’s Tree”. This use does not appear to have extended into the 20th century, although Ernest Buckland (quoted V.3) had been told of the many meetings held in its shade.
29. For example, from the first available year of the Boys School logbook, seven years after the 1870 Education Act: “Attendance not so good several boys having gone to work” (26.2.1877); “Attendance 64 in aft. in consequence of Moreton Races. Sent notes after absentees” (1.2.1877); “Attendance falling off in consequence of potato planting etc” (23.4.1877); “Attendance very low in afternoon in consequence of Monthly Fair” (30.5.1877); “Many boys kept at home while Mothers are out haymaking” (6.7.1877); “Attendance much lower harvest having begun” (24.8.1877); “Attendance very low Harvest not being yet finished. School attendance officer commenced work this week” (1.10.1877); “Attendance very low (32m 37a) more than half the school absent, a heavy gale of wind having strewed the roads with trees, branches etc. the boys were kept to gather wood for winter” (15.10.1877); “Kept boys till 1 p.m. in consequence of circus having come into town” (18.10.1877); “G.J.R. Pratt half an hour late reason given – ‘had to fetch some food for the fowls'” (20.11.1877); “Attendance very poor in the morning – boys away begging Christmas boxes” (21.12.1877).
From the Infants School logbook for 1868: “Elizabeth Haines entered the 3rd inst. left this morning because she was spoken to for want of cleanliness” (12.2.1868); “Campden Cattle Fair, causing 18 children to be absent out of 35” (23.4.1868); “An Exhibition of Waxwork in the town causing a less attendance than usual” (7.7.1868); “Sarah and Elizabeth Haines withdrawn from the School, because the latter was corrected for being disobedient – her mother came and used very abusive language” (20.7.1868); “Only half the number in attendance there was last week because the other schools are closed for the Harvest” (27.7.1868); “A very small attendance, being St. Thomas’ Day” (21.12.1868). The school broke up on Christmas Eve.
30. H.T. Osborn, in C. Fees, ed., A Child in Arcadia, op cit., p. 28-29, describes the event: “Lady Northwick was an elderly widow and an invalid at that time who went out very seldom. She was well liked around Blockley for her generosity and kindness. On December 21st all the children in the district were welcome to come to Northwick and most of us did. We gathered in the courtyard at a certain hour and Lady Northwick would be in her invalid chair at an upper window. We would each be presented with a shining new penny, an orange and what not by a servant as we passed in and felt ourselves guests in a way for a short period. It sounds kind of weak when put on paper, but to us it was a happy occasion. The walk to Blockley and back was enjoyable in itself. Northwick Park seemed very extensive. To be sure it was not free for all, which added to its dignity and beauty.”
31. For a notice of Lady Northwick’s death, see EvJ 1.6.1912,12: “She kept up the old Northwick custom of distributing pennies to all comers on St. Thomas’ Day; last year some five hundred pence were disposed of in this manner”. Campden people with whom I have spoken who were born before the war do not remember “Thomassing” on St. Thomas’ Day.
32. The Infants School logbook for 9.2.1900 notes that “Miss Groves visited to ask children to contribute towards the ‘Children’s War Fund’ to build homes for the ‘Sailors and Soldiers'”, but regular and continuous collecting appeared only after the First World War, and apparently under the influence of Miss Lavender who, apart from being an upper school teacher, was Captain of Campden’s Girls’ Friendly Society Company of Girl Guides (Parish Magazine April 1922). The Parish Magazine of February 1923 noted that a party of Girl Guides sang Christmas carols in the town under their leader Norah Keen, sending £1-8-4 to St. Dunstan’s. Miss Lavender took a group of schoolchildren carolling in 1924, collecting £1 “with which they bought a little Christmas parcel for each of the Almshouses and three other houses in the town” (Parish Magazine January 1925). This school custom was sustained annually until at least 1932, collecting as much as £7-10-0 in the latter year for Christmas parcels for the Almshouses and other aged and poor people. See the Parish Magazine for January 1927, 1928, and 1932; and the St. James’ upper school logbook for 17.12.1926, 21.12.1926, 19.12.1927, 20.12.1928, and 20.12.1929-2.1.1930. The school log for 18.12.1928 also notes: “Sent £1-5-7 to the National Institute for the Blind, the children’s Christmas gift.”
There were numerous Instances where the children collected for themselves as a group, or after the fashion of the Benefit Societies – “self-help”, as opposed to charity. See, for example, the Infants School log for 5.1.1900, “Afternoon to prepare for the tea party for children provided out of the funds collected at the concert given by the school children in December”; 12.10.1901, reporting the re-opening of the “shoe club”; and 19.12.1902, “At 4 o’clock, Gave toys to children. Toys sent by Misses Warner Seymour House, Watson’s Leeds and Sunlight Soap, Port Sunlight. The Soap Firm sent them in return for wrappers which I have collected from children and sent on to the firm.”
For a description of the penny bank set up in the schools, see H.T. Osborn, in C. Fees, ed., A Child in Arcadia, op cit., pp. 21-22.
33. This phase of charity appears to date from 1898 and lasted about three years. The Infant School logbook for 7.1.1898 notes that “Mrs. Carrington, Misses Freeman, Penrith, visited school in morning and gave the children a lunch of Bread and Butter and Milk.” On 28.6.1899 “Mrs. Carrington brought a basket of ripe strawberries for the children which they ate and enjoyed.” There are similar entries for 1.3.1900, 12.10.1900, 14.6.1901, and 10.10.1901.
34. Fred Coldieott was among them. He would have been eight in 1918, and went carol singing with a small group of his friends from about the age of 8 to the age of 11; recorded interview 29.1.1988 cas 222.
35. Letter, F.L. Griggs to Russell Alexander, 23.12.1926 “…to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…The wish is expressed in the same words the beggars at our doors used just now, but you’ll know the difference of meaning.”
36. Ashbee Journals 15.11.19l4/359ff; Memoirs IV, pp. 97-101.
Don Ellis, recorded interview 23.1.1984 cas 56a; Fred Coldicott, recorded interview 4.10.1985 cas 122a. According to Lionel Ellis, one of the Morris dancers, the jazz band raised £250 towards the war memorial fund, recorded interview, Ellis family tape “Dad (l)”b. The jazz band made its third appearance in aid of the War Memorial Fund for Scuttlebrook Wake in 1919. EvJ 21.6.1919,7.
37. See III.3.4 fn62.
38. EvJ 28.12.1895,3.
39. Ephemeral significations are the topical allusions, localised puns, injokes and so on that may or may not be obvious in a written text and may or may not be obvious to an outsider. They are the kinds of topical references which run through Aristophanes and make it so difficult for a modern audience to find his allusions funny. The way in which in-groups and out-groups can interpret the same text differently is illustrated in Jean-Paul Sartre’s discussion of the play “Bariona, or the Son of Thunder”, which he wrote and was performed while he was in a German prisoner of war camp: “What was important to me in this experiment was that as a prisoner I was going to be able to address my fellow prisoners and raise the problems we all shared. The script was full of allusions to the circumstances of the moment, which were perfectly clear to each of us. The envoy from Rome to Jerusalem was in our minds the German, Our guards saw him as the Englishman in his colonies!” Quoted in Michel Contat and Michel Rybalka, eds., Sartre on Theater, Pantheon Books, New York, 1976. p. 185.
Ephemeral significations can be overt, or they can be covert, as the example above shows. In overt signification, as in the Jacksdale Bullguisers play examined by Ian Russell, (“In Comes I, Brut King: Tradition and Modernity in the Drama of the Jacksdale Bullguisers”, Journal of American Folklore 94 (1981), 456-485), ephemeral significations are written into the play in the form of topical names and allusions taken from popular culture. This makes it relatively easy to at least recognise that there are such significations. In covert signification, the text as such presents no anomalous or intrusive elements to alert an outsider to the fact that the text bears meanings apart from those apparent on the text surface. Unless we become in some sense insiders, either being told by informants or immersing ourselves in the time, place and culture of the text, we will see nothing in the text except its surface.
40. For Big Houses, hotels and parties see Charlie and Bernard Blake, recorded interview 29.12.1981 cas 3-4.
41. Over 90 of the Campden men listed in Josephine Griffiths’ The Book of Remembrance 1914-1918, op cit., served in the Gloucestershire Regiment. For Campden Volunteers, see II.2 fn9.
42. No author, The Slashers, a New Short History of the Gloucestershire Regiment, 1694-1965, nd, np, p. 8-9. 43. Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health for the Chipping Campden Rural District Council, 1919, p. 11. In his Annual Report for 1917, p 4, the Medical Officer noted, “In our inspections we notice a deterioration in the general cleanliness of many cottages, especially among the older and smaller houses, due to the inability to get labour to carry out lime washing and repairs…if the population should, after the War, show any signs of increasing, some more cottages will probably be required, especially at Campden where some of the cottages at present in use are very old and small”.
44. In his Annual Report for 1918, p. 6, the Medical Officer advised 110 houses, “either new or entirely rebuilt are urgently needed in the District…” The Sanitary Inspector, on the same page, noted “Nothing has been done under the Housing Act owing to the scarcity of materials, but when these are available a lot of work will be necessary.”
45. “Weekenders”, EvJ 10.4.1920,6.
46. See: A Looker-On, “Land for Ex-Servicemen”, EvJ 20.3.1920,3: Live and Let Live (well-known old Campden pub sign, often used as a pseudonym in correspondence to the Evesham Journal), “The Housing Difficulty”, EvJ 3.4.1920,5; Fairplay, “The Housing Difficulty”, EvJ 10.4.1920,5 (which includes an entry from J. Willis on ejection proceedings against a war widow, though not in Campden).
47. Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health, etc. for 1919, p 12, reported “it has been arranged to build 20 new houses on a site which has been acquired in the Station Road, and 6 at Broad Campden, making 26 in all. There is also room for another 14 houses as required on the Campden site.” The Annual Report for 1921, p. 9. noted that four of the Council houses had been completed, two were in the works.
48. EvJ 6.5.1922,5. Later in the year the Rural District Council noted the receipt of a letter from the Campden Parish Council concerning empty houses, and agreed to help to find the owner of a cottage – “one that was occupied by the late Mrs. Henry Roberts, which was in a filthy condition and a danger to the public health”, EvJ 19.8.1922,3.
49. See Draft Minutes of the Campden Petty Sessions GRO PS CA Ml/15 8.1.1919; 2.11.1921.
50. In Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft, by Alec Miller, op cit., it is noted on page 59 “within the first three months all the members of the Guild and their families were housed. It was many years later that we learned that, quite unknown to CRA, and the Guild, some local labourers had been turned out by landlords so that their cottages might be let to Guildsmen at a higher rental. Thus, though the shopkeepers of the town welcomed us, there was some latent feeling of hostility among certain of the labourers towards our invasion of their little town.” In The Simple Life, op cit., p. 44, Fiona MacCarthy says “…it emerged a long time later, quite unknown to Ashbee, some local labourers had actually been evicted so that their cottages could be let more profitably to the Guildsmen”. Five cases, in fact, went all the way to ejection proceedings in 1902 – see Draft Minutes of the Campden Petty Sessions GRO PS CA Ml/12 5.2.1902 (three cases), 7.5.1902, 17.9.1902. The Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health for the Chipping Campden Rural District Council for 1902, p. 22, noted “At Campden, during our inspections we found considerable overcrowding in several cases, especially among the class of agricultural labourers. The matter has been brought before the Council and a committee has been appointed to consider the whole matter.” In other words, the impact of the coming of the Guild would have been immediately obvious to many people.
I would argue that C.R. Ashbee was either very naive, or that he was aware from the beginning or very soon after that labourers had been displaced by the Guildsman, and that he took this as a temporary cost of progress. A note by Janet in the Ashbee Journals 3.6.1902/133 underlines the magical ability of the Earl of Gainsborough’s agent, Louis Dease, to produce vacant housing for the Guildsmen: “His omnipotence is more than impressive. You say you want a certain house. “No, you can’t have it this week,” says Dease, “but on Monday, the occupant will die and you can take possession”.”
Ashbee describes the process involved quite clearly in his A Book of Cottages and Little Houses for Landlords, Architects, Builders and Others, Essex House Press, Campden/London 1906, p.2, in a passage on the relation between the building of labourers’ cottages and the rental derived from them, from which the landlord finds it impossible to get back a fair percentage of his investment in the rent that is chargeable: “Either the element of philanthropy enters, and he gives a portion of the value of his cottage away; or he must wait till he gets some other type of tenant, a tenant of a social status superior to that of the labourer for whom the cottage was first planned. This, in the former case, is what has actually happened on many of the great landed estates; in the latter, where bodies like the London County Council and, I believe, the Penshurst District Council have sought to build for one class and a superior class have availed themselves of the privileges. I do not say that it should not be done, but it is outside those considerations of finance usually imposed upon the architect…” In any event, the Guildsmen could not have remained ignorant of their impact beyond 1904, when, in a letter to the Evesham Journal printed 12.11.1904,5, George Haines remarked for Ashbee’s benefit, “I think if he asked the labourers they would not say they [the Guild] were a blessing. Many have had to turn out of their cottages or submit to a considerable rise in rent, which they can ill afford.”
Miller’s comment quoted above, about “some latent feeling of hostility among certain of the labourers” is particularly interesting given the argument of this chapter.
51. EvJ 7.6.1913,11.
52. All quotes from Draft Minutes of the Campden Petty Sessions GRO PS CA Ml/15, 6.3.1918. See also report in EvJ 9.3.1918,7. Three years later compensation was finally paid for the Swan, the Rose and Crown, and the Angel, EvJ 5.2.1921,8. The explicitly labouring class pubs were the Live and Let Live, Rose and Crown, Plough, and the Angel; the George and Dragon implicitly catered for “respectable” working men.
53. For mechanisation as a solution to war-time shortages of horses and men, see EvJ 26.9.1914,8, where motor ploughing is suggested in the absence of horses. The difficulties farmers faced is suggested in a local draft tribunal meeting to consider the appeal of a labourer of 39 working as a carter for George Haines, whose cowman and regular carter had already joined the army leaving him with three boys – 12,14 and 16 – to tend a 300 acre farm of which 120 acres was arable. “The two men he employed, aged 65 and 70, went with the threshing machine,” EvJ 10.6.1916,5. See also recorded interview with Jack Horne, 8.6.1982 cas 22b. A full study of the extent of mechanisation in Campden during the war would be welcome. For unemployment generally, see IV.3 fnl6, and text.
54. See EvJ 8.5.1920,2, for report of May Day Labour Party Public Meeting in town hall, chaired by Alec Miller, in which the speaker, Maude Royden, is quoted as saying: “Our aim should be to find work which all could enjoy rather than mere amusements for leisurely moments. If all of us were forced to take a share in disagreeable work, the necessity for much of it would disappear. Just as the wealthy woman, unable to get servants, and forced to do the dirty work herself, soon obtained labour-saving conveniences.”
55. Percy Rushen, The History and Antiquities of Chipping Campden, 1911, op cit., p. 166-167.
56. Algie Hathaway, a Morris dancer, wrote to his mother from the Dardanelles shortly before he was killed: “It is terrible hot out here. We dare not say where we are, but we are in the thick of it. I hope it will soon be over. I hope everything is going on all right at home. I am all right up to the time I post this, and I hope God will spare me to get through safe. I should not care for foreign life. Give me old England before any of it. Well, if I have the luck to return I shall be able to tell you something in form. There is such a lot of suffering with dysentery. I have had my share, but have not been laid up with it yet”, EvJ 11.9.1915,8.
Algernon Gissing, in Footpath Way in Gloucestershire, J.M. Dent, London, 1924, p. 210, remarked: “Do not let us forget with what emotion many of our soldiers in those ghastly trenches, and our sailors on the death-sown sea, read poems and songs and romances which breathed the spirit of their homeland, but which they had never thought of reading or feeling until torn away from it.”
57. Letter, Mrs. Muriel Horne to E.A.B. Barnard, 2.8.1948, in E.A.B. Barnard, Old Days In and Around Evesham vol. XIX, 1050-1100, held in Evesham Public Library.
58. The Territorial detachment that remained for a short time after the war was affiliated with the 8th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment, EvJ 19.11.1921,6; having appeared in the Armistice celebration in 1921, the local detachment did not appear in 1922, and very soon ceased to be headquartered in the old Armoury in the centre of town. Don Ellis 7.10.1986, recorded interview cas 169b said that he joined the Territorials in Campden after the war, but that they were attached to the Worcestershire Regiment, and being Gloucestershire men had no enthusiasm for it. It didn’t go for long.
59. See, e.g., John Bennett, ed.. The New Ethnicity: Perspectives from Ethnology: 1973 Proceedings of the American Ethnological Society, West Publishing Company, St. Paul, New York, etc., 1975; Marilyn Strathern, “The Social Meanings of Localism” in Marilyn Strathern. ed., Locality and Rurality, GEO Books, Norwich, 1984, 181-195.
60. According to various conversations with his son, George Greenall. Inasmuch as he performed in 1934 for the broadcast, and died before Christmas 1935, this is a safe statement; obituary, EvJ 28.9.1935,15. In a conversation recorded in my fieldnotes, 15.12.1982, George Greenall said that on one occasion – I took it to be one of the last, when he wasn’t well – his father said he wasn’t going out, so they came and got his stick, and got him up, gave him a couple of drops of whiskey and then he was alright.
61. I am assuming that Bill and Ben Benfield remained active until their deaths on the basis of the TocH Newsletters of December 1945 and January 1946, when their deaths are connected with the hope that the mummers will appear, and Tom Benfield on the basis of various conversations with Jack Tomes and his recollection that Ernest Buckland gathered the mummers’ things from Tom Benfield’s cottage after he died (see V.3).
62. In Ernest Buckland’s reminiscence for the BBC in 1946 he said he had started in the mummers 17 or 18 years earlier, or in 1928-1929. In his letter to the Evesham Journal in 1966 (quoted in V.l), he said he had been in the mummers for forty years.
63. George Greenall jr. reported that he went out with the mummers only once, either before his father’s death in 1935 or immediately after: after – fieldnotes 15.12.1982; before – recorded interview 9.6.1982 cas 24. On that one occasion, Charlie Blake fell through the drum and cut himself. Charlie Blake recalled falling through the drum and cutting himself, and that it was Garnet Keyte who picked him up; recorded interview, 29.12.1981 cas 3-4.
Jack Tomes, conversation recorded in fieldnotes 1.11.1983, said his father Edward Tomes moved to Campden in 1925, and recalled his father coming home from mumming when he was a small boy, when there were three children. Mr. Tomes was born in 1926. The third child, William, was baptised in 1930, and the fourth, Frederick, in 1932.
64. See footnote above.
65. Charlie Blake, conversation 18.12.1981, recorded in fieldnotes, said in his day it was old men vs. young men. Jack Tomes, conversation 1.11.1983 recorded in fieldnotes, indicated that they were thrown out in part because of their heavy drinking. Mrs. Buckland, conversation 28.1.1983, recorded in fieldnotes, indicated that the move from the Legion took place about two years after Ernest Buckland became a mummer, which was about two years after their marriage in 1930.
66. Mrs. Agnes Buckland, conversation 28.1.1983, recorded in fieldnotes.
67. Letter, Graham Greene to Craig Fees, 14.2.1984: “I have no memory of the mummers or only the vaguest memories of some folk dancing.”
68. Graham Greene lived in Campden from Spring 1931 to June 1933. The Harry Ransom Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin holds Graham Greene’s diaries for June 3, 1932 to August 13, 1933, which I have been able to examine and in which there is no mention of mummers (or folk dancers). I am still attempting to locate his diaries for 1931-1932.
69. EvJ 20.10.1934,16.
70. News Chronicle 18.10.1934,11: “The microphone was taken into an inn…”
71. The Daily Mall 18.10.1934,8; Sunday Dispatch, 21.10.1934,18.
72. George Greenall, recorded interview 29.12.1981, RR2a. In fact it was on the front page of the Evening Standard 18.10.1934, and the phrase “Put the ‘B’ in the BBC” occurred in the News Chronicle article of 26.10.1934,19.
73. Manchester Guardian 18.10.1934,10.
74. News Chronicle 18.10.1934,11.
75. Evening Standard 18.10.1934,1.
76. News Chronicle 19.10.1934,13. In the 1931 and the 1935 editions of Kelly’s Directory, the only two ‘inns’ in Campden with listed telephones were the Noel Arms and the Eight Bells.
77. The Daily Mail 19.10.1934,7.
78. Lionel Ellis, conversation 6.9.1985 recorded in fieldnotes. All productions after that, he said, were scripted. On the same occasion he said that the production of “The Campden Wonder”, broadcast by Midland Region 9.1.1935, was the last occasion on which an outside broadcast was sent out live, rather than taped.
79. News Chronicle 17.10.1934,19.
80. News Chronicle 26.10.1934,19.
81. News Chronicle 18.10.1934, 11.
82. Daily Mail 18.10.1934,8.
83. Sunday Dispatch 21.10.1934,18.
84. EvJ 20.10.1934,16; Evesham Standard 20.10.1934,2.
85. EvJ 20.10.1934,16.
86. EvJ 17.11.1934,9.
87. Joseph Eliot Hadley took up the engagement, and recorded the fact in St. James Upper School logbook 1.5.1934.
88. Ibid., 19 and 20.[12.]1934.
89. Ibid., 18 and 19.12.1935.
90. Ibid., 16 and 17.12.1936.
91. Ibid., 15.12.1937.
92. EvJ 18.12.1937,3. The negatives are in the Evesham Journal Collection housed by the Evesham Library, E76 December “School Play”.
93. EvJ 18.12.1937,3.
94. Fred Benfield, recorded interview, 9.6.1982, cas 23b-24a.
95. For Tom Benfield as source of information see Jack Tomes, recorded interview with Peter Harrop, 4.12.1978. For opposition of mummers see conversation with Jack Tomes 17.2.1988 recorded in fieldnotes tape, cas 225.
96. The ages are derived from birthdates in the St. James School Admissions Register.
97. Jack Tomes, conversation 17.2.1988, recorded in fieldnotes tape, cas 225, said that Tom Benfield agreed to help with the mumming and give the text only so long as his nephews – Jack Tomes and the two Benfield boys – were in the play. Higford Keyte’s father Garnet was also a mummer (see fn 63).
98. The fathers’ occupations taken from baptismal records of boys, St. James Church baptismal records, apart from Robert Phillips where the information is from a Church Census of 1929/1930 (in St. James Church Muniment Room), and Billy Wasley, where the specific reference as “cowman” comes from baptism of sister Jean in 1923.
99. Chipping Campden Parish Magazine, December 1939.
100. EvJ 23.12.1939,9.
101. J.B. Priestly subtitled his book English Journey, William Heinemann in association with Victor Gollancz, London 1934 (cheap edition 1937), “Being a Rambling But Truthful Account of What One Man Saw and Heard and Felt and Thought During a Journey Through England During the Autumn of the Year 1933”. It was in June 1933 that it was announced that Campden was “to figure in films” as “part of a series of ‘interest films’ of various parts of England…” by British Gaumont Films, EvJ 24.6.1933,5. The film appeared in Evesham in 1935, EvJ 9.2.1935,16. I am not aware of any other filming during this period, and this was apparently the first such film made. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the British Gaumont crew was that of which Priestly was told.
102. J.B. Priestly, English Journey, cited above, p. 54-55.
103. John Moore, The Cotswolds, Chapman and Hall, London, 1937, p 76.
104. EvJ 30.9.1960,6. Gardiner used a slightly different version of this anecdote, in which he did not name Chipping Campden, in a BBC broadcast of 1.10.1949 entitled “If Thee True Gloucestershire Would Know”, BBC Written Archives, Microfilms of Scripts: Gardiner, Charles. In this version, on page 2 of the script, the landlord says:” “Di’lect, d’ee say, master? Di’lect? I dunno about that.” Then he added firmly. “We all talks natchrul in yur”.”
105. The mummers came to Grammar School headmaster Alan Jones’ residence his first Christmas in Campden in 1951, and he had the distinct impression that – not realising that he was the son of a rural policeman, who was himself the son of an agricultural labourer, and assuming that he was middle class and urban – they played the countryman for his benefit, and talked to him about the mumming as if they were “very gently telling me the facts of life”. They came unexpectedly, gave no songs, and took no collection; A.L. Jones, recorded interview, 1.3.1983, cas. 47. Frank Nobes said the mummers after the Second World War used the broad Campden dialect to carry on a humourous subtext at the expense of the outsider hosts; fieldnotes 21.12.1982; recorded conversation, 20.12.1983 cas 52. In an article entitled “The Cotswolds on Television: The Image of Chipping Campden”, EvJ 22.1.1965,8, by “Woldsman”, he discusses the recent BBC television portrait of Campden: “Moreover, when urban investigators descend into the country in search of material, they seem automatically to have made up their minds that everyone they meet will be either queer or funny. One almost gets the impression of some interviews that they would dearly like to say to their victim “Go on! Say something daft into the microphone. That’s what we’re here for.” But this programme was not like that. It was not condescending.
“Of course, some countrymen, or “characters” as they are usually called, are funny, but this is more often than not a pose, which they adopt for their own and their neighbours’ private amusement. Or it could be to pull the wool over the eyes of visitors from the towns,. It should certainly not be taken too seriously.”