May Eve saw the local Broadwood Morris men together with the Magog ladies celebrating down the White Horse at Maplehurst.
Later in the week the Morris also danced at another local hostelry The Plough at Lower Beeding and were joined by the Appalachian Clogging Hi Jinx dancers. As usual there was a splendid music and song session afterwards in the pub which was helped along by what must be the cheapest King and Barnes Sussex (£1.80 pint) in the country. The landlady and landlord (Brenda and Geoff) also look like proper publicans and I understand Geoff's home made pickle onions are out of this world!
John Dewdney, who is one of the founders of Broadwood, used to live in Mannings Heath and interestingly his Uncle (Fred Verrall) was the nephew of Harriet Verrall who lived at Monks Gate. In 1904 Ralph Vaughan Williams collected from her a version of the folksong "The Blacksmith" and subsequently adapted the tune for Bunyan's Pilgrim ("He who would valiant be"). Come back to this page sometime and I may get a recording of John singing it.
Ralph Vaughan Williams collected around 45 songs from Harriet and her husband Peter at the beginning of the last century. Does anyone know where they lived or were buried. Please let me know if you have any information.
Dave Toye 17th May 2001
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