I’ve always got several things on the go, whether they are musical collaborations, pieces of historical research or events to organise.
For the past couple of years I have been very much absorbed by organising an event in memory of Julia Clifford, the great Sliabh Luachra fiddle player who lived a few miles away from me for the last twenty years of her life. The event – “I Looked East and I Looked West” took place in Suffolk in April 2019 and the next step is to deal with the large amount of documents and photographs amassed for the temporary exhibition. My research pages includes more details about Julia Clifford.
You can follow the drop-down menu on this section of the website for an idea of my other research interests, which are mostly to do with traditional music and currently include the activities of early twentieth century folksong collectors in the eastern counties, the history of dulcimer playing and making, stepdancing competitions across the southern half of the UK, early 19th century stage dancer Esther Gayton and the barrel-organ taken on Sir William Edward Parry’s Polar explorations 1819-1825 … I don’t get time to get bored!
I have developed a range of research skills since completing an advanced diploma with Cambridge University in the 1990s with a dissertation on cultural history. These include genealogical investigations, community research and oral testimony, with a robust methodology and a fine attention to detail.
I am open to suggestions about how these skills can be put to use, and have recently carried out research for ‘Taking Steps (history of Dartmoor stepdancing), a US enquiry about a previously unknown Oxfordshire musician and the Northern Irish singer, Robert Cinnamond. By all means contact me if you have a task you think I could help you with.