cropped IMG 1293

1988: Christmas Mumming in a North Cotswold Town: Acknowledgements

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).



A work like this is the product of many hands. I would like to acknowledge and thank some of those who have taken the time to teach me about Campden and fieldwork, and who have helped the research and writing come to fruition.

Financially, I must thank the Rotary Foundation, whose research award in 1981-1982 made it possible for me to come to England and to complete my first year at the University of Leeds; my mother, a source of many loans; my brother Paul and his wife Nancy for extraordinary gifts of money and equipment; the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals for an Overseas Research Students Award from 1982-1984;  the Folklore Society, whose Research Award in 1984-1985 encouraged a fruitful ‘digression’ in my research in Campden.

Thanks must go to various scholars and folklorists who have been extremely helpful – Alan Crawford, whose biography of C.R. Ashbee is a model of beautiful writing and intricate research, and whose criticism and helpfulness has been an inspiration; Paul Smith and Steve Roud, to whom all folklorists in Britain owe so much; and the ever-helpful Keith Chandler.

I must gratefully thank Mrs. Zena Lezdins, whose kindness made my year-by-year search through the Evesham Journal at the old Journal offices a pleasure; Mr. Hird and the librarians at the Evesham Public Library, for their help and willingness to let me lock myself away with their collection of the Evesham Journal and Journal photographic negatives; Dr. Michael Halls, modern archivist of King’s College, Cambridge, for help and advice, and for making work with the Ashbee Collection even more pleasant than it would have been; Ray Leigh and the Campden Trust for allowing me such free access to the Jesse Taylor Collection of photographs; the librarians at the Local History Collection in the Gloucester Public Library; Ian Lowe and the Ashmolean Museum for permitting me to consult the F.L. Griggs Collection; Mr. Smith, the County Archivist, Mrs. Courtenay, the Deputy Archivist, Mrs. Haslam and everyone at the Gloucester Record Office for their helpfulness, friendliness and willingness to trust me with photographs; Neil Somerville and the very helpful staff at the BBC’s Written Archives Centre at Caversham. I am grateful to Mr. Derek Owen-Jones, then curator of the St. James Church Muniment Room Archive, for his generosity and help.

I must thank my supervisor, Tony Green, for setting me off to Campden and for his valuable advice and interest at an extremely difficult time; Reg Ross, formerly of the University, for wisdom and the loan of a Uher tape-recorder (albeit one which would not recharge and recorded a buzz unless you kept your hand in the right place: try that holding a microphone and a cup of tea); and Peter Meredith, who has acted as supervisor in the final stages of the dissertation and made the completion seem almost easy.

I must thank in a special way Felicity Ashbee, who opened up her own research and considerable education to me, her collection of Guild and Ashbee material, her kindness and friendship, and has also been extremely generous in allowing me to use Ashbee material. Mrs. Nina Griggs kindly let me study her late husband’s manuscripts in her home.

To the people of Campden I must express my general thanks and hope that in some way I have given something back over the years and in this dissertation. I must thank the Twinberrows, who are written into every page. The children of St. James School and Mrs. Kate Thorpe, their teacher, who let me spend a year with them studying local history and folklore; and the headmaster of St. James’ School, Mr. Ian Jones, from whom I have learned many things.

Among those who have tried very hard to teach me something about Campden is Don Ellis, who faced an uphill task with kindness, generosity and humour. His brother, the late Lionel Ellis, also broke many spears on the armour of my ignorance. Dorrie Ellis and Fred and Nancy Coldicott have become friends as well as teachers. The Blake family, with Charlie at one end and young Hayley (not so young now!) at the other, and the late George Greenall set all of this going by welcoming me to Campden with my first interviews, and the Doran family, which has grown with the recent addition of Fionnghuala. I would like to express my thanks, too, to Mrs. Dyer (an artist in silver and needlework), to Allan Warmington, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Horne, Mrs. Amy Bennett, Jack Powell, the late Fred Benfield, the late George Plested, Col. Powell of the Historical Society, Sheila Woods, and all of those who have taken the time, at one time or another, to talk with me in Campden.

The final and special thanks, of course, must go to the mummers and their families, present and past: to Mrs. Agnes Buckland, to Mrs. Sue Tomes, but especially to Jack Tomes and his wife Mary, without whom this would not be here.