At Fylde Folk Festival in 2009, it's 37th year, a tune session was held that was devoted to the music from the Northwest of England. The first of a kind, the first of many we hope and better late than never. The following information was initially collated by Jenny Coxon in advance of that event and it is with her approval that it's replicated here.
Dave Middlehurst has spent much time researching the Fiddle and Dance and it's relationship to local Custom in the 19th Century Lancashire and it with his permission some of his hard work is published here. It certainly makes interesting reading.
I've some added additional information and if you know any of it to be inaccurate or incomplete then I'd be very pleased to amend it. Please contact me.

“As a rule of thumb I think of the Northwest as comprising those areas where the water drains off into the Irish Sea – a little bit of Shropshire, a little bit of Staffordshire, a little bit of Derbyshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, Cumberland and Westmorland – to use the old county names. For geographical and historical reasons, much of the music has more in common with that of Ireland and Southern Scotland than with southern English music. The reasons go back to the Dark Ages and beyond. The Celtic kingdoms of the far north-west, because of their remoteness and mountainous terrain, had been able to resist the Roman incursions into England more successfully than their neighbours to the south; so when the Romans left and the Anglo-Saxons came, Celtic society continued in the north-west while it rapidly collapsed in the rest of England. Subsequently it succumbed to later Norse invasions, but the result was a culture which differed from the southern English, and lasting effects of this difference can still be traced today in traditional music as in dialect, place-names, surnames and many other features.” Greg Stephens.

A Bibliography of some Collections of Music from Northern English Sources.

N.B. O/P = Out of print.

Date: Title: Author: Publisher: Comments:
1973 Down Back o' t' Shoddy. Bob Schofield & Julian Pilling. EFDSS. Tunes & Dances. possibly O/P.
1985 A First Collection of Yorkshire Dance Music. David Ashton & Chris Dyson. unknown Adapted from a collection in the V.W. Mem. Lib. dated 1752. It pre-dates and is not part of the Jackson collection.
1988 Northern Frisk. A Treasury of Tunes from North West England. Compiled by J.Knowles, P.Knowles and I.McGrady. Dragonfly Music. From NW collections compiled during the 17th, 18th & 19th centuries. O/P
1993 The Joseph Kershaw Manuscript. The Music of a 19th century Saddleworth Fiddle Player. J.Knowles. INWAC publishing. O/P. Original in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.
1994 One Too Many. 22 New Tunes. Ian Ball, Mossley. Ian Ball, Mossley. 20th century melodeon player and dance musician.
1994 Lawrence Leadley : The Fiddler of Helperby.The Life and Music of a Yorkshire Fiddler. James Merryweather & Matt Seattle. Dragonfly Music. ISBN 1-872277-18-7
1995 A Northern Lass. Traditional Dance Music of Northwest England. Compiled and edited by J.Knowles. Dave Mallinson Publications. ISBN 1-899512-16-0 O/P.
1997 The Plain Brown Tune Book. A Collection of Music from Saddleworth. Dr. A. Doyle. Plain Brown Publishing Co. Tunes from the Ellis Knowles MSS c.1847 Lancs., tunes from other sources, tunes in the repertoire of the Plain Brown Wrapper Band and tunes by band members.ISMN M-9002006-0-0
1997 The Joshua Gibbons Manuscript. Edited by Peter Sumner. Breakfast Publications. Tunes from a variety of sources collected in Tealby between 1823 and 1826 by Joshua Gibbons, a papermaker.
1997 The South Riding Tune Book. Compiled and edited by Paul Davenport. The South Riding Folk Network. ISBN 0-9529857-0-5
1997 The Second South Riding Tune Book. Compiled and edited by Paul Davenport. The South Riding Folk Network. ISBN 0-9529857-0-5
1998 Tunes, Songs and Dances from the 1798 manuscript of Joshua Jackson. Cornmiller and Musician. Bowen & Shepherd Yorkshire Dales Workshops. ISBN 1-897925-17-4
2000 The Urban Fiddler. Compiled and edited by Paul Davenport. The South Riding Folk Network.  
2000 Mr. Kynaston's Famous Dance. Andrew Shaw, with Paul Hutchinson & Paul Sartin. With CD/cassette.Altrincham. 12 Dance Tunes from The Nathaniel Kynaston Collection (1709-28) and The Beggar's Opera (1728) Accompanied by Andrew Shaw's Manual of the same name, containing dance steps & facsimiles and transcriptions of the music.
2002 Rattle and Roll. Brian Peters. Glossop. Tunes from the repertoire of a twentieth century traditional musician. Brian’s own compositions, plus traditional pieces from the north of England and some from Wales.
2000 Mr. Kynaston's Famous Dance.Vol. 2 Andrew Shaw, with Paul Hutchinson & Paul Sartin.    
2004 Furness Tradition Tune Book. Compiled by Mike Kermode. Ulverston.  
2006 Trip to Friezland. traditional Tunes from the Northwest of England arranged for ceilidh dancing. Paul Walker. Paul Walker. Traditional NW tunes arranged for dancing.
2007 Three Extraordinary Collections. Early 18th Century Dance Music for Those That Play Publick. Compiled and edited by Pete Stewart. Hornpipe Music, Pentcaitland. Thomas Marsden's Collection - 1705, Daniel Wright's Collection - c.1715 and John Walsh's Collection - c.1730.
2008 John of the Green, The Cheshire Way. The famous triple-time hornpipes of Northwest England with a selection of country dance tunes of the Baroque era. Compiled by John Offord. Green Man Music. (1st ed. 1985) ISBN 978-0-9556324-0-2
2008 The Great Northern Tune Book. William Vickers Collection of Dance Tunes AD1770. Edited by Matt Seattle. Published by EFDSS in association with the Northumbrian Piper's Society. ISBN 978-0-85418-201-5. Second edition. First edition published in three volumes 1986/1987.
2008 Edward Winder, His Tune Book, 1834. at Greenbank Wyresdale. Transcribed and researched by Chris Harvey Pollington & Lindsay Smith. Green Man Music. Published on enhanced CD. A microfilmed copy of the manuscript is in Liverpool University Library.
2011 Tunes, Songs and Dances from the 1798 manuscript of Joshua Jackson. Cornmiller and Musician. Vol. 2 Robin & Rosalind Shepherd Robin & Rosalind Shepherd Buy your copy here!
2011 The Thomas Watts Manuscript. Peak District.     Soon to be published by INWAC.




Northwest Music Sessions

These are where English music is welcome and played for some or all of the night. NB. Many of these venues are friendly CAMRA pubs with lots of character.

Mondays

Old Bridge Inn, Priest Lane, Ripponden, HX6 4DF Tel: 01422 822595. Weekly.
The Royal Hotel, Main Road, Dungworth, Bradfield, Sheffield S6 6HF. Tel: 0114 285 1479. 2nd Monday.
The Black Bull, 167-169 Bolton Road, Edgworth, Bolton BL7 0AF Tel: 01204 852811. 3rd Monday.

Tuesdays

Ring O Bells Inn, Northwich Road, Lr. Stretton, Warrington, Ches. WA4 4NZ Tel: 01925 730556. 1st Tuesday.
Lakeland Fiddlers at Hawkshead Brewery, Staveley, Cumbria LA8 9LR Tel: 01539 822332. 2nd Tuesday.

Wednesdays

Bulls Head, Mill Lane, Mobberley, Cheshire WA16 7HX Tel: 01565 873134 1st & 3rd Wednesdays.
Ye Olde Vic, 1 Chatham St, Edgeley, Stockport, Ches. SK3 9ED Tel: 0161 480 2410. 2nd, 4th, & 5th Wednesdays

Thurdays

The Black Bull - Three Bs Brewery. At the corner of Broken Stone Road & Tockholes Road, Livesey, Blackburn BB3 0LL. Tel:01254 207686. The first Thursday of every month.
Swan Inn (the Top House), Square, Dobcross, Oldham, Lancashire, OL3 5AA. Tel: 01457 873451. Weekly.
The Star, Chester Road, Acton, Nantwich, CW5 8LD Tel: 01270 628 711. Thursday nights weekly.
The Gregson Centre, 33 Moorgate, Moor Lane, Lancaster LA1 3PY Tel: 01524 849959. In Olive Bar. Thursday nights weekly.

Fridays

Harrington Arms, Gawsworth, Macclesfield, Ches. SK11 9RR Gawsworth. Tel: 08721 077077. Weekly.

Sundays

The Crown, Worthington, Standish, Wigan, Lancs. WN1 2XF Tel: 0800 686678. 2nd Sunday 12.00 noon – 3.00pm.

Regular Sessions in South Lakeland

Storytelling

The Watermill at Ings, South Lakeland. First Tuesday each month. Good food, good beer - and great stories!

Lakeland Fiddlers Session.

Carolyn Francis and The Lakeland Fiddlers hold a session once a month (second Tuesday) at the Hawkshead Brewery Bar in the Mill Yard, Staveley

Music & song session

The Lamplighter, Windermere. Every Wednesday.

Furness Tradition Session

The Old Friends, Soutergate, Ulverston. Second Thursday in month - irregular so check first

Singing

Prince of Wales, Foxfield. Second and fourth Wednesday in month.
Black Dog, Dalton In Furness. Every Tuesday.

IMPORTANT: Always phone the venue before setting off to check it's still running!




English Tune Books for Session Players

Date: Title: Author: Publisher: Comments:
2008 Greenwich Traditional Musicians Co-operative Tune Book-2008. John Offord. G.T.M.C. products page A book of over two hundred popular tunes that have been played at the session over the past twelve years.
2007 Hardcore English. Barry callaghan. E.F.D.S.S. 300 tunes from manuscript, recorded and aural sources. Optional 2 cd set available.
? English Pub Session series. Dave Mallinson. Mally's Traditional Music Store. A selection of English session tune books for all abilities including some Easy Peasy Tunes too.
2006 English Fiddle Tunes. Pete Cooper. http://www.petecooper.com/englishfiddletunes.htm. This collection explores fiddle traditions from different parts of England, some of which have remained unbroken since the late 1700s.




A Select Discography of Music from Northern English Sources.

Compiled by Jenny Coxon.
Date: Artist/s Title: Comments:
1976 John Kirkpatrick & Sue Harris Among The Many Attractions. Topic LP 12TS295
1977 Various Artists. A re-creation of Joshua Jackson's 1798 manuscript book. Trip to Harrogate. Traditional Sound Recordings LP TSR 027
1977 Greg Stephens & Crookfinger Jack. Beggar Boy of the North. Fellside LP FE014
1978 Tom Shepley's Band. How Do You do? Traditional Sound Recordings LP TSR 031
1978 Harry Boardman. Golden Stream. Re-issued on Cassette 1991 Dene Records.
1980 Pat Knowles. Standard Settings. Fellside LP FE 024
1980 John Kirkpatrick & Sue Harris. Facing the Music. Topic LP 12TS408.
1981 Cock & Bull Band. All Buttoned Up. Topic LP 12TS421
1985 Cock & Bull Band. Eyes Closed and Rocking. Topic LP 12TS440.
1987 Cheshire Waits. Cheshire Waits. Cassette CW111
1989 Pete Coe. A Right Song and Dance. Backshift LP BASH43.
1989 Brian Peters. Fools of Fortune. Harbourtown Cassette HARC 005.
1992 Plain Brown Wrapper Band. It's in the post. Cassette.
1992 The York Waits. The Punk’s Delight. Cassette Huntsup C1.
1993 Band of the Rising Sun. Feeling Frisky. Cassette Frisk Music.
1994 Band of the Rising Sun. Tunes from the Joseph Kershaw Manuscript. Cassette Frisk Music.
1994 Brian Peters. Squeezing out Sparks. Pugwash Music cassette & CD PUG 001.
1995 The Old School Band. Take Away. Cassette.
1996 Band of the Rising Sun. Setting it Right. Folksound Records cassette & CD FS37.
1996 Brian Peters. Sharper than the Thorn. Pugwash Music Cass. & CD PUG 002.
1996 Brian Peters & Gordon Tyrrall. Clear the Road. Harbourtown cassette HARC 031.
1996 Belshazzar's Feast. One Too Many. Wildgoose Studios CD WGS 276 CD.
1997 Magnetic North. The Miller's Jig. Yorkshire Dales Workshops CD YDW CD 005.
1997 Old Friends Ceilidh Band. The Doubtful Shepherd. Cassette.
1998 Brian Peters. The Beast in the Box. Pugwash Music CD PUGCD 003.
1999 The Wrapper Band. Atticus. CD WB-004.
1999 The Old School Band. Fylde Away. CD Luke's Row Music 1.
1999 Various Artists. A re-creation of Joshua Jackson's 1798 manuscript book. Trip to Harrogate. Traditional Sound Recordings LP(1977) re-issued by Fellside CD FTSR2.
1999 The Fosbrooks. As Pants the Hart. Tidy House Music CD THM-01.
2000 New Victory Band. One More Dance and Then. (re-issue) Backshift BASH CD47.
2000 Belshazzar's Feast. Mr Kynaston's Famous Dance. Wildgoose Studios CD WGS 298 CD.
2001 Traditional Songs & Music from Cumberland. Pass The Jug Round. (Reynard Records LP RR002 1982) re-issued by Veteran VT142CD.
2001 Dave Shepherd & Becky Price. Ashburnham. Beautiful Jo Records CD BEJOCD-36.
2001 Brass Monkey. Going & Staying. Topic CD TSCD531.
2001 Brian Peters. Lines. Pugwash Music CD PUGCD 004.
2001 Mike Willoughby & Carolyn Francis. Tempestuous Day. ?
2001 Striding Edge. Striding Edge. EDGECD002.
2001 Fosbrooks Northern Frisk. The Next Step. Tidy House Music CD THM-02.
2002 The Boat Band. A Trip to the Lakes. Harbourtown HARCD039.
2002 Altar Native. Cumbrian Odyssey. Fellside FECD168.
2002 Belshazzar's Feast. Mr Kynaston's Famous Dance Vol 2. Wildgoose Studios CD WGS 310 CD.
2004 Bellowhead. e.p.onymous. Megaphone Records 111.
2005 Spiers & Boden. Tunes. Fellside FECD 192.
2006 Greg Stephens & Crookfinger Jack. Beggar Boy of the North. Re-issued in CD format by Harbourtown under licence from Fellside.
2006 Carolyn Francis. We’ll All Lye Together. CD.
2006 Pete Cooper & Richard Bolton. The Savage Hornpipe. Big Chain BC103.
2008 Neil Brookes & Tony Weatherall. The Whitchurch Hornpipe. Wildgoose WGS 350 CD.
2008 Old Friends Band. Bonny Westmorland. OFCD – 01.




Manuscript Sources.

Name: Date: Location: Accession No.: Comments:
Matthew Betham of Towcett MS - sometimes referred to as the Docker MS. 1816? - most likeley mid 1700s Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. AGG/2/148: Gilchrist Box 2 - Can be viewed online as part of the EFDSS'sTake Six Project if you can work out how to do it! Search for Docker or you won't find it. Matthew worked a thin seam of coal at Towcett, a hamlet close to Newby and 3 miles North by East of Shap. He married Sarah (nee Bland of Morland) and their daughter Jane married William Docker in 1775. She died in 1828. Their son, Rev. Joseph Docker, emigrated to Australia the same year.
John Rook MS 1840 On-line courtesy the University of Cambridge. No one knows! How can something so valuable be lost? John Rook was from Waverton (near Wigton) and wrote the selection for his own musical amusement.
Ellis Knowles MS. 1847 Greater Manchester County Records Office. Small Collections/Q158. Ellis lived at 109 Black Horse Street, Bolton. Very close to what is now Ashburner Street near the market. Not in Radcliffe as previously thought. He was born between 1825 and 1827 and worked initially as a cotton weaver. He was the son of James and Hannah Knowles and also had a brother James. It is most likely his brother's name which also appears in the manuscript. The majority of tunes have been published in The Plain Brown Tune Book in 1997 but the manuscript is generally in good condition and well worth a look if you have a spare moment.
Wm. Tildsley MS 1860-1865 Salford Museum and Art Gallery. Ref: U318 - I am pleased to say the manuscript book is no longer 'down the mines'! It can be accessed easily by speaking to the archivist in the Local History Library. Apparently it's now held 'in the safe' and quite right too. William decribes himself as a violin player and who are we to doubt it. It's a real gem with some great tunes. Wm. Tildsley was from Swinton now a suburb of Manchester.
James Taylor MS of Tottington. circa 1820-1845? Bury Museum & Archive service, Moss Street, Bury. Ref: Religious Organisations CNR/17/1 - With the archives from the New Road Independent(Congregational) Church. Generally in good condition. The first page is missing as are some in the centre of the book but there are around 60 tunes with a couple of comic glees thrown in for good measure. The book isn't dated but contains waltzes on the second page suggesting a date after 1815 and a number of polkas at the end of the MS which suggests a date after 1844. Looking at the hand it is likely the MS was added to on more than one occasion and over several years. More research is needed to date it more accurately.
Joseph Kershaw MS Details to be added soon.      
Winder Family MSs Details to be added soon. see also Jackson MS.    
Nuttal Family MSs Details to be added soon.      
H.Senhouse MSs Details to be added soon.      
William Irwin MS Details to be added soon.      
Brown Family MSs Details to be added soon.      
Carlisle MS Details to be added soon.      
Henry Stables MS Details to be added soon.      
Joseph Barnes MS Details to be added soon.      
Rev. Robert Harrison MS Details to be added soon.      
John Roose MS Details to be added soon.      
George Malecot MS Details to be added soon.      
Thomas Marsden MS Details to be added soon.      
Walsh MS Details to be added soon.      
Wright MS Details to be added soon.      
Francis Kidson Collection Details to be added soon.      




Fiddle and Dance in 19th Century Lancashire.

These extracts are taken from reports in the Preston Chronicle and include items from Preston and the surrounding Towns and Districts. There are references to inns and public houses in Preston Town and articles from the outlying areas often under the sub-heading of 'Local Intelligence' or 'District News'. These 'districts' lie approximately, in a ten mile radius of Preston and include the larger towns of Blackburn, Burnley, Wigan and Southport. The Preston Chronicle was a major newspaper in Lancashire at the beginning of the nineteenth century and reported detailed accounts of events in small towns and villages over a large area. The articles span a fifty year period starting in the 1830's.and show how the fiddle player was a part of the social life of Lancashire, either in the inns of the larger expanding towns or the rural areas of the county.


Preston 1st. June 1833
WHIT MONDAY - There was the customary parades of the Friendly Societies. "The afternoon and evening were spent in conviviality and friendship and at most of the places of meeting the lively strains of the several bands and of the more homely fiddle continued till a late hour. They put life and mettle into the hearts of dancers".

Tarleton June 10th 1837
In a report of the holiday entertainment at the Ram's head Inn "We fain would continue on the detail of the holiday proceedings, and tell of the dance and the song, the hilarity and the merriment, the music and the revelry". Entering the dancing room he observed. "There was an old woman, wrinkled in her brow, withered in her cheeks was dancing and capering with a brawny youth of twenty, the fiddle tuning up to the ‘Irish Washerwoman’.

Burnley June 16th 1838
SUICIDE - An inquest was held at the Swan Inn, in Burnley, on Thursday week, on the body of Robert Clough, who cut his throat with a pocket knife. It appeared from the evidence, that the deceased was a fiddler, and played at the Boat public-house, two nights in the week.

Mawdsley June 17th 1837
THE FARMERS' UNITED COW CLUB - (from our Mawdsley Correspondent) "On Monday last, Mawdsley was again the scene of feasting and festivity, a number of farmers and farmers' wives being convened at the Black Bull Inn in the village. After the meal, the song was sung, the fiddle played, and merry, friendly, country folks, tripped in the reel, the rigadoon and the hornpipe. Thus did the dance, the song and the laugh urge on the evening.

Leyland June 11th 1840
A MAN OF MANY TRADES - Who made the fiddles? In Leyland lived 'A Man of many Trades - "A correspondent informs us that there is a wonderful individual now residing in the good and pretty village of Leyland, who is proficient at all the following trades" He mentions twenty different skills including Fiddle manufacturer.




Preston June 5th 1841
WHITSUNTIDE FESTIVTIES - At most of the public houses in the town the lively strains of the violin accompanied the 'the tripping of the light fantastic toe', and until a late hour these rejoicings were kept up. In the thronged streets itinerant musicians,-from the blind fiddler, attended only by his dog, to a complete band of first rate performers.-were exerting themselves for the stray pence of the seekers of pleasure. In Chadwick's Orchard all the usual accompaniments of fairs, races, wakes, &c, were to be seen.

Wigan May 14th 1843 (Manchester Times)
WIGAN FAIR - "The Fair which, in days gone by, used to be attended by, used to be attended by thousands of workmen belonging to the town and neighbourhood, this year presented a melancholy and gloomy prospect; in place of thirty or forty shows and the continuous din of 'Walk up, walk up, ladies and gentlemen-just going to begin' there was only two booths, with a set of shabby-looking performers strutting in front and patronised by very slender audiences. A little old spirit of fair going was certainly here and there displayed-and the fiddle and bagpipe were heard to strike up 'their lilts so gaily', whilst the rosy cheeked lasses and the spring heeled lads, twirled it around in the merry dance".

In the same year on July 30th The Lamberhead Green Fair in Wigan is recorded thus: "On Monday last the annual fair took place at the above named village and the day been particularly fine, there were a goodly number of country lads and lasses in attendance. There was little doing in the shape of trade; the principal business being the walking of several friendly societies, which was, of course in this part of the country, followed up by the enlivening strains of the fiddle and the merry dance".

Leyland June 3rd 1843
LEYLAND FAIR - There is an article giving the description of a summer fair. "This fair was held on Monday last, and although it was said not to have been quite the equal to the fair of former years, yet there was enough of stir and gaiety to invest the delightful little village of Leyland with a holiday character of a very pleasing kind. A procession of members of the odd-fellows, with an excellent band, and headed by the banner of their order, paraded the streets of the village". It mentions also dancing in the village. "And now from three or four quarters at once, comes the sound of the mirth-inspiring fiddle. Then comes from the precisely the same quarters sounds of shuf:t1ing feet. Who does not know what that means? The light fantastic toe, eh? To be sure: the light fantastic toe. We, too, as well as a certain great writer, love quotations that are not hacknied. There they are tripping it merrily. Well, it is a pleasant site; and long may pretty little Leyland be undisturbed by sterner sounds".

Longton September 30th 1843
HARVEST HOME SUPPER - "The work of the Harvest ended, and most of the corn in Longton and vicinity being housed, three of the farmers of the village, Mr. James Cox of Thornton Barn, Mr. Wm. Wilkins and Mr Pye, generously invited their reapers and those who had assisted in securing their crops, to a shearing at the Golden Ball Inn, Longton." After the meal it says that "The cloth and dishes being removed, the nut brown ale was poured in copious streams, the fiddle played, the dance was set on foot, and the rustic Corydons displayed their rivalry in song and good humour. A number of appropriate toasts were proposed, the lists comprising amongst others, The Queen, the Lords of the manor, The Longton Farmers, Success to Agriculture and the next merry meeting. The custom of making merry at the termination of harvest deserves to be kept up, and it is much to be regretted that on many farms it is now omitted."




Goosnargh May 17th.1845
"For those unconnected with either society, there were the usual attractions of a well conducted village fair; and with theses the company heartily enjoyed themselves. In the evening the fiddles were called into requisition for the votaries of dancing. Polkas, Mazurkas, and Lancers found no favourites; country dances, jigs and reels were preferred, and the merry swains and pretty damsels of Goosnargh tript it gaily".

Leyland January 3rd. 1846
CHRISTMAS TREAT - "On Tuesday last, our worthy neighbours, J.N.Farington ESq. Worden, gave a treat to about 40 of his workmen employed in the improvement of his estate, together with several of his poorer neighbours. The Leyland hand-bell ringers attended on the occasion and contributed much to the entertainment of the company. An excellent supper was provided. Music and dancing was kept until a late hour on Wednesday morning.

Great Eccleston June 20th 1846
FESTIVITIES - "Members of the Oddfellows and the Roman Catholic United Brethren, walked in procession to Copp Chapel preceded by an 'excellent band from Fleetwood". After the service they went to their meeting houses to dine. "About two o’clock, upwards of 100 persons sat down to a capital dinner, served up in Mrs. Valiant's best style; and, in the evening, fiddles were called into requisition, for the votaries of dancing".

Preston August 9th 1845
CHEAP QUADRILLE DANCING - "Mrs. Kirby was charged with keeping a disorderly house in Turk's Head Yard. The place was a rendezvous for young ladies and gentlemen desirous of joining in fashionable amusement of quadrille dancing, and ‘sporting a leg’ in the courtly Polka. The information had been laid at the desire of the magistrates in consequence of certain rows and broils, which had occurred at the above ‘genteel’ place of entertainment. Mrs. Kirby said she deeply regretted that she had overtaken house. She had already dropped the quadrille parties, and meant as soon as possible to take a shop, and remove from the Turk's Head Yard and the blandishments of the visitors and fiddlers altogether.

Leyland August 1st. 1846
CLUB WALKS - "On Saturday morning last, the three clubs belonging to Leyland, named the Free Gardeners, Female Druids and Mechanics held their annual walks in that village" After processing around the village the Free Gardeners ate a meal prepared by Mr. Simpson of the Bay Horse and the rest went to the Royal George. "After the tables were cleared, the fiddles were called into requisition and dancing became the order of the day. The anniversary did not entirely break until an a late hour on Saturday night, when all adjourned, to prepare for the next day's devotions".

Croston October 3rd 1846
CROSTON WAKES - The annual festivities at the village of Croston, occupied the attention of the inhabitants of that place and neighbourhood, on Monday last. There was, as usual, clubs walking and dining, gingerbread stalls, fiddling and dancing, ogling and love-making; and all present appeared to be as happy as they possibly could be.




Longton Oct 17th 1846
ENTERTAINMENT - "On Monday week, Mr. Jonas Bradley, of the Black Bull Inn, Longton, entertained a select number of friends at Supper, on the occasion of entering on business at that house. While the elder guests, in quiet, enjoyed their pipe and pot and drank success to the new landlord's undertaking, the youthful part merrily shook their feet to the cheering strains of a couple of fiddles, till the grey morn reminded all that the time of separation was ahead"

Preston December 24th 1846
TEA PARTY - "On Saturday evening last, a tea party was held at Mr. Hood's Temperance Hotel, Lune Street" After the presentation "The fiddles were called into requisition, and dancing became the 'order of the evening'. "Mazourkas, waltzes, and the 'fascinating polka', seemed to find no favour in the eyes of the fair damsels, constituting the company, but gave place to 'Sir Roger de Coverley', 'Scotch reels', and quadrilles, which kept up with increasing spirit for some time.

Chorley January 23rd 1847
TEA PARTY AND BALL- On the evening of yesterday week, a tea party and ball was held at the house of Mr. J. Waring, King's Arms Inn, ChorIey, in connection with a select dancing class, taught by Mr. Gorton. The room was tastefully decorated with evergreens, &c. Mr. Butterfield's quadrille band was in attendance. Dancing commenced at nine o'clock, when there were present about sixty-five ladies and gentlemen, and a little inconvenience was experienced, owing to the room being rather too small.

Preston February 20th 1847
TEA PARTY AND BALL - "On Tuesday evening, a tea-party and ball were held at the house of the Misses Stewart, The Old Cock Inn. About sixty couples sat down to tea, which was served up in a manner which did credit to the worthy caterers. As soon as the eatables were disposed of, dancing was commenced to the tunes of two or three merry fiddlers, who appeared to enjoy themselves almost equally with the rest. Dancing was kept up with great spirit until dawn the following morning, when all separated having had their fill of pleasure, and vowing should they be spared until another Shrove Tuesday, to meet again in the same place, and once more 'trip it on the light fantastic toe"

Preston January 15th 1848
TREATS TO WORKPEOPLE - "On Wednesday week, Messrs. Edward Tootal and Co. gave a treat, at the Mitre Inn, Fishergate, Preston, to the manager, principal clerks, and warehousemen, when twenty-two sat down to an excellent dinner". After the meal "Fiddler and dancing followed, and being alternated with toast, song and sentiment, the feast was kept up till an early hour in the morning.

Burnley June 10th 1848
A MERRY WEDDING - "On Thursday week, the inhabitants of Burnley were favoured with a relic of the olden times in the shape of dodger's wedding, at which the Anglo-Saxon custom of having music at the ceremony was kept in full style. After leaving church the company passed along the streets with two fiddlers leading the way playing in spirit, if not in reality some merry ditties to the tune of'-
"Fie! Let us a' to the wedding'
For there will be lilting there;
For Jack now is married to Jenny'
The lass with the golden hair"




Preston September 30th 1848
ANNIVERSARY- "On Saturday evening last, the anniversary of the 'Morning Star' lodge, of the honourable order of the Peaceful Dove, was held at the lodge house, Mr. John Cowell's, Barley Mow Inn, Lower Pitt Street". After a meal" the merry strains of Markland's Quadrille Band and Taylor's fiddle broke forth, and the company footed it gaily on the 'light fantastic toe', until mine host intimated that pleasures must have an end.

Woodpumpton November 11th. 1848
ODDFELLOW'S ANNIVERSARY - De Tabley Arms."Collinson's excellent quadrille band was in attendance, to the merry music of which a great number of young folks 'tript it on the light fantastic toe till a late hour.
'They reel'd, they set, 'twas joy the while, -
Eye glanced on eye and smile met smile;
They reel'd, they set, to favourite air,
Of 'Nix my Dolly' and 'Chipping Fair'.

Blackburn April 14th 1849
EASTER FAIR - "Nuts, oranges, sheep trotters, toffee, ginger-bread, and toy stalls, were likewise abundant, many of them fitted with false lottery boxes, wheels of fortune, and other contrivances to suit the tastes of a gullible multitude. Fiddles sent forth their squalling notes from the apertures of the public-houses and beer-shops, where fantastic-toed ladies and gentlemen delighted to luxuriate in the merry dance"

Chorley July 7th 1849
In article about The Annual Holiday, tells us about festivities at Alison Hall, Adington. " A poor blind fiddler, drew from a capacious pocket under his coat the neglected fiddle and after a few preliminary flourishes, to astonish his auditory, struck up 'The devil among the tailors' All around were infected with the satisfactory motion and from that moment the old fiddler was treated with the respect due to his rank and talents. A harvest of coppers was showered into his weather-beaten hat; and for years to come we trust he will he will live to remember with gratitude the festivities at Alison Hall. Whilst the old fiddler ruled the roost upon the greensward, High Life below stairs was being enacted in the spacious yard at the back of the hall. The domestics, with their friends and admirers, stood up for the Quadrille and the polka; and if there is any more recent fashionable dance, no doubt that was included".

Southport July 27th 1850
"The fashionable watering place is now very full of company, and at one time no beds were to be procured, so that some parties had to go to Lytham to sleep The town is enlivened by various kinds of music, amongst which are black serenaders, with a harp, &c. A theatre is also opened, in the Assembly-room, and a small exhibition of a similar kind, near the Union Hotel. Close to the farm once kept by old Harry Rimmer (who made a fortune by fiddling on the green, while the ladies and gentlemen danced).

Blackburn October 26th 1850
MARRIAGE EXTRAORDINARY - "On Monday last, at the Parish Church, Blackburn, Mr. Edward Vickers, to Miss Charlotte Chew. The bride was led to the altar by Miss Mary Fisher, Bar-maid of the Mitre Inn, Blackburn. On the party leaving the house of the bride, a procession was formed, composed of men and boys, carrying poles, on which were fastened handkerchiefs, cotton fents, &c as colours; the rear was brought up by a drum and cracked fiddle. In this order they proceeded to the church and attracted a large concourse of people".




Leyland May 31st 1851
ANNUAL FESTIVAL - "Towards evening large numbers of young people from the surrounding neighbourhood flocked into the village, and the merry strains of the fiddle began to stir the feet of the rustles, and, all, both old and young, seemed to have laid aside their cares, and come to enjoy at least one day's pleasure.

Chipping August 2nd 1851
QUADRILLE PARTY - "On Wednesday evening last, Mr. Lord's annual party took place in the large room of the Talbot Inn, of which Mr. Lund is the proprietor. The pupils showed great proficiency in the manner in which they went through the various hornpipes, quadrilles, schottisches, &c.; and the whole performance reflected much credit on the skill of the able preceptor. After the pupils had exhausted the programme, the parents and friends from Preston, Longridge, and the neighbourhood, joined in the merry dance, and enjoyed themselves in this rational manner till an early hour, when they separated for home, much gratified with their evening's entertainment".

Wigan February 28th 1852
ST. PATRICK'S TEA PARTY AND BALL - "This tea-party and ball was held in St.Patrick's School room, Scholes on Monday evening last. During the evening, Mr. G. Higham and his sons sung two or three glees with good effect; but it was the dance, the merry dance, that was 'all the go', particularly among the young ladies; for hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels, put life and metal in their heels until long after midnight, when they began to depart."

Kirkham (Treales) December 31st 1853
TEMPERANCE BALL - "On Monday last, a temperance ball, which was very numerously attended, was held at Treales. The meeting took place in the joiner's shed of Mr. Hugh Cowperthwaite, which after a little 'titivation, trimming with rosettes,' &c, answered the purpose tolerably well. A number of speeches, songs and recitations were given; after which fiddles were put in tune, dancing commenced, which ceased at a seasonable hour"

Longton March 18th 1854
"On Monday last, the friends and the neighbours of Mr. Thomas Farren were invited to rejoice with him in the opening or house-warming of the Golden Ball Inn, which house he has lately taken possession of. It might truly be called an opening, for every door was thrown back for all corners; and as to be a warming part of the affair, a company of 250 men, women and children, at the tea-tables, could not fail to effectually perform this. The tea-tables cleared, the soul-stirring fiddle and merry dance failed not in their office to prepare the appetites of a still larger number for the substantial supper prepared for her numerous guests by the kind and gentle Mrs. Farren.

Chorley May 13th 1854
PETTY SESSIONS - "First proceedings under the Chorley Improvement Act.-Andrew Catterall of Chorley, who unites the occupation of collier and fiddler, was convicted in the penalty of 5s and costs for being drunk and disorderly".




Goosnargh June 10th 1854
CLUB DAY - "Another amongst the many festive gatherings which take place at Whitsuntide in the neighbourhood is that of the Amicable Friendly Society, which holds its anniversary on Whit-Tuesday, at the Grapes Inn in Goosnargh. Early in the morning the village assumed an appearance unwontedly gay, and well-clad lads and lasses continued to arrive from the surrounding till long after noon. The members of the club met at the usual hour and being formed in procession perambulated some of the beautiful lanes in the vicinity, preceded by the Chipping Brass Band and the flag of the society; after which the members of the club and a number of visitors attended 'the grey old church' where the Re. Mr. Wentworth of Kirkham Preached an excellent sermon. The members dined in the schoolroom adjoining, the repast being served by Mr. Standen of the Grapes Inn". After the meal he reports that" The remainder of the day was spent in festive enjoyment. On the green there were the usual concomitants of a village fair-stalls of sweetmeats, nuts,&c.; and the two inns of the place seemed to be doing good business, the large rooms of each being crowded to excess by rustic beaux and belles, who vigorously 'tripped it' to fife and fiddle and continued the enjoyment till a late hour."

Goosnargh June 2nd 1855
GOOSNARGH CLUB DAY - "At different inns, dancing was 'the order of the day', and to the strains of the violin, jigs and reels entered into with heartiness and enthusiasm, and 'all went merry as a marriage bell'.

Blackpool August 11th 1855
PLEASURE EXCURSION - On Saturday morning last, the hands employed at Messrs. Grundy's foundry, together with their wives and friends to the number of three hundred, proceeded to Blackpool, for the purpose of spending the day together. After perambulating the beach and neighbourhood, a party of about forty adjourned to the Talbot Inn, where an ample dinner had been prepared, for which the diners also were prepared. This discussed, the room was cleared and the services of a couple of fiddlers having been secured, dancing commenced, and was kept up with vigour until the time arrived for a retreat to the station.

Ormskirk September 1st 1855
FLAX GROWING - "Great quantities of flax have been grown in this neighbourhood to supply the flax mills in Lathom and Burscough. Before six in a morning crowds of Irish labourers have gone to pull up flax and have generally marched to their work accompanied by a fiddler, playing the national melodies of old Ireland."

Walton Le Dale August 8th 1857
MELANCHOLLY OCCURRENCE - In an article about two boys that sadly drowned in the River Ribble at Walton Bridge. One of the men who went in to rescue them was described as John Sheridan, a fiddle string maker of Walton.

Preston January 23rd 1858
FIDDLING AND FIGHTING - Thomas Westby, a well known furniture broker and fiddler, residing in Fylde Road, was charged with assaulting his wife on the 11th.instant.




Preston March 20th 1858
"John Salisbury, a fiddler at dancing parties, was charged with having assaulted Policeman Barton and tore his clothes. Salisbury has been exercising his professional skill at a 'bit of a dance' on the previous Sunday, "Braggart Sunday" and very possible the 'Braggart' of which he had partaken had disturbed his equilibrium".

Goosnargh Club May 29th 1858
"The annual clubday, at Goosnargh on Tuesday, passed off in the usual satisfactory manner, A procession of the club, a sermon, a dinner, lots of visitors the lads and lasses for miles around having apparently made it to their rendezvous, Thousands of Goosnargh cakes sold and in the evening fiddling, dancing and we believe courting. The weather was fine, indeed the finest day of the week; and altogether the proceedings were unmixed with any disagreeable incident.

Rivington July 10th 1858
ELECTION OF MAYOR OF RIVINGTON - "On Monday at the Town Hall, Little Bolton, a blind man named John Moor, from Rivington, was summoned for creating a disturbance in the village, about four o'clock on the morning of 24111 June. Mr. Charles James Darbishire, one of the magistrates, stated at the time named that he was disturbed by the sound of the fiddle and of several persons in a state of intoxication. On going down stairs, he found nine men, one of them with his face blacked, who had been elected to the dignity of Mayor, and whom the rest were carrying about on a shutter and asking for contributions to procure drink It was an old custom of the village, on the fair day, the 24th June, when the annual meeting of the Sick Society was held, to have a dance upon the green. In the evening a number met at the Black Boy, to complete the festivities and elect the Mayor. At the Inn, collections were made for drink, which was freely handed round and the first who got drunk was elected Mayor for the ensuing year. His worship then had his face blacked and was carried round the village on a shutter and contributions solicited to uphold the dignity and hospitality of the office. At times they have carried the ceremony to such an extent as to tumble the Mayor elect into the Mill Dam and a few years ago a man nearly lost his life in consequence. Mr.Darbishire thought it time to put down such a brutal custom and had summoned the defendant in the hope that it may be discontinue".

Goosnargh September 25th 1858
BROUGHTON AND GOOSNARGH AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY - "The dinner was served in the school room near the church, by Mr. C. Whalley of the Grapes Inn. A band composed of a harp, concertina and penny whistle, the same that gave so much satisfaction at Leyland, played during the repast, and at intervals between the speeches."

Garstang July 16th 1859
ORDER OF DRUIDS - "The members of the John Bright Lodge of this order met on Saturday last at the house of Matthew Helm, Barnacre near Garstang, to celebrate its opening. A tea party was held, when upwards of ninety partook of the refreshing beverage". After a number of speeches and songs including 'Dublin Bay' and 'Come whoam to thi childer and me', a number of the guests amused themselves by dancing. "Their gyrations being accompanied by the strains of a fiddle and a flute".

Chipping October 8th 1859
CHIPPING FAIR - "The village was thronged throughout the day. In the street were numerous stalls, shooting galleries, and photographic establishments; while at the inns, the violin sent forth the lively strains of 'Chipping Fair' and other ancient tunes, as well as the modern ones which such dances as the polka, schottische, and waltz require, and until a late hour in the evening dancing was kept up with great spirit at each of the inns".




Garstang January 28th 1860
A JUVENILLE TEA PARTY - "On Saturday last, Mr. James Taylor, of the Wheatsheaf Inn, Garstang, made known that he was going to give a children’s treat, and thereby a sort of general invitation was given. Accordingly sixty-seven of the little folk assembled at his house, from two to seven or eight years old. All that came were liberally applied with tea, coffee, sweetmeats, &c. After tea the fiddler was called into the room, when bow and string were set in motion, and the little waltzers did not as may be supposed, need much inviting to have a hearty romp. All went home highly pleased with their kind benefactor's entertainment and giving him many hearty cheers for his liberality.

Tarleton May 12th 1860
AN EXTINCT MUNICIPAL INSTITUTION - "Tarleton Fair, held on the 23rd of April, the feast of St.George, the patron saint of Old England, has been devoted to the election of a mayor and other corporate officers, and the selling of gingerbread, toys and other articles to the young folks of the parish of Tarleton and a few neighbouring villages, who were wont to resort thither to this anniversary. It was customary for the 'corporation' of Tarleton- that is the invited guests, to assemble in the morning of St. Georges festival, at the Ram's Head Inn, to read a copy of the ancient charter and then, with flags fling and to the strains of a band of music, to perambulate the village. On the return of the' corporation', the company sat down to a banquet, to which in newspaper parlance, 'full justice was done' and then three candidates were nominated for the office of mayor, one by the retiring, one by the mayor of the preceding year, if present, and one by the 'oldest inhabitants of Tarleton'. Outside the corporation, a smaller attendance showed diminished interest in the fair, for the demand of nuts and gingerbread was slack beyond former precedent, and the old fiddler, in the evening, scraped in vain, for the lads and lasses could not get up a dance".

Penwortham June 5th 1861
CLUB DAY - "In the evening the strains of the violin invited the lads and lasses of the village to dance, and they went at it with a spirit and vigour unknown to the assemblies of the fashionable, apparently enjoying themselves as those best can, to whom such means of relaxation are infrequent".

Longridge August 14th 1861
LONGRIDGE GUILD - "The tenth of August is the day set apart by the good folks of Longridge for an annual jollification". After the procession around Longridge the members mustered at their various lodges for business or conviviality. At all the Inns, in the evening, the merry was called for and good old fashioned country dances, jigs and reels, were kept until close upon the time when the 'iron tongue of midnight' intimated that mine hosts had to stop the tap".

Slaidburn May 21 st 1864
WHITSUNTIDE - "On Monday last. the annual club day was celebrated at Slaidburn. The members of the Ancient Order of Forresters, The Independent Order of Oddfellows and the Slaidburn Female Benefit Society, assembled in the morning, and headed by flags and bands walked in procession to the Parish Church. After the service they extended their route to Dunnow and through the village. The Oddfellows and the members of the female club dined at Mrs.Townson’s, the Hark to Bounty Inn and the Oddfellows at Mr.Hargreaves, The Black Bull Inn. At both places the conviviality prevailed and in the evening the merry dance was 'all the go'.”




Wrea Green October 15th 1864
HARVEST HOME - "On Saturday last, T.L.Birley, Esq. with usual kindness and liberally, treated his workmen at Wrea Green Villa Farm to an entertainment, on the occasion of their finishing ban est. The treat took place at Mr. Henry Kirkham's The Grapes Inn, Wrea Green, where the good things of life were dispensed in abundance. A fiddler being provided, the workmen and their wives and a goodly sprinkling of youths and buxom damsels enjoyed the mazy dances to midnight, when at the instance of the foreman, Mr.Wells who presided with great ability, three hearty cheers were given for their worthy entertainer and family, who were deservedly very popular in the neighbourhood. From 30 to 40 persons engaged in the night's activities".

Accrington December 3rd 1864
AMALGAMATED SOCIETY OF ENGINEERS - "On Saturday evening, about fifty members of the Accrington branch of the above society, with their wives sat down to dinner at Mr. lames Crawshaw's Crown Hotel". After the formal business was completed "the dancing to the strains of a couple of fiddles was then commenced, which was broken by song and recitation, and a pleasant evening was spent".

Chipping October 5th 1867
CHIPPING FAIR - "The annual fair was held at Chipping last Wednesday, there was large show of sheep, and good sale for them; nearly all were sold, but several had to go home when extravagant prices were asked. A large number of people attended. The public houses were thronged, and the company seemed to spend their money freely, as towards their noises told the tale. The fiddle and dance were active. Stalls of nuts, gingerbread, toys, &c., were plentiful".

Goosnargh Club day June 6th 1868
"In the village high holiday was kept. At the nut and sweet stalls, brisk trade was done. There was as heretofore a great buying and demolition of Goosnargh cakes. At the Grapes, Bushell's Arms and Stock's House there were blithesome parties, who enjoyed themselves to their hearts content. Dancing was kept up with hilarious spirit. There was present the potent dispenser of rural bliss-the fiddler, throned on a strong, rush bottomed chair and sawing out music with authority to all the hilarious mortals below; but one almost regretted to see the gyrating spirit of town dancing had crept into the lads and lasses of Goosnargh. We like to see old dances- brisk heel and toe motions, vigorous shuffles and honest, buxome, foot- beating-kept up in quaint country places and have not much relish for the formal and sentimental meanderings of Parisian life, which have got into such mighty fashions amongst us. Give us back our good old dances and fine old songs at our jocund, country merry–makings and away with the whirling waltz and jilting polka".

Penwortham Club Day June 12th 1869
"The annual festival was held on Monday last. On each side of the road from the toll-gate past the Farrington Arms there were arranged stalls containing the usual commodities, such as edibles, sweets and drinks of different descriptions. A 'swing boat' had been erected in an adjoining lane and seemed to be pretty well patronised by the young folks. Dancing was indulged in pretty freely to the strains of fiddlers, whose performances seemed to be most appreciated".




Catforth October 26th 1872
PRESENTATION AT CATFORTH - "For a few weeks past the young people of Catforth have been amusing themselves by raising subscriptions for purchasing a white hat for the Mayor, whom they have recently made a choice of to preside over the coming year. The presentation was made at the house of Mr. Rigby, The Bay Horse Inn, who gave a splendid ball in the evening, in honour of the event. The Hat on being tried on, was said to be a splendid fit. Afterwards the ballroom was opened, when singing and dancing to the strains of one of the happiest of fiddlers, was kept up at a lively pace during the evening. The Mayor with his attendants constituting the 'Corporation' walked in procession through the principal lanes of the village on Sunday afternoon.

Bartle February 7th 1874
HOW THEY ELECT THE MAYOR AT BARTLE - "Different towns and villages have different customs- strange notions peculiar to them. Without commenting at all on the facts we will simply show what notions the folk of Bartle have of the civic dignity of 'Mayor'. Something after the style of what we call a ball was held at the Red Lion, Woodplumpton, on Monday night, and was as might be imagined, kept up with 'spirit'. A number of the more 'spirited' thought they would have their fun out in another direction. Not being troubled, probably with gloves and ties, white or lavender, they laid there brawny arms to half a barrel of beer, purchased with good farmer's money, and rolled it, amidst shouts of delight, into a neighbouring house. Here the jolly swains who had just been doing the light fantastic with the rosy- cheeked damsels of thereabouts began, what in common parlance, is termed a carouse. From passing jokes, the company grew eloquent - talked big on points they knew nothing about, and dilated at great length on the 'lecshuneering' business. The members for North Lancashire, they said, were sure to have a walk over; well they didn't see why the Mayor shuld'nt have th' same privilege. Accordingly at six 0' clock on Tuesday morning, the bacchanalians turned out, and headed by the local fiddler and his fiddle. They walked in procession as far as the Tabley Arms to the tune of 'Girl I left behind me'. Stimulated by more of the 'nut brown', these worthy rustic councillors proceeded to the election of the Mayor, who as long as he did not resist himself, was not likely to meet with much opposition from them. Having settled on the man of their choice, the man who was to direct them in wisdom's ways, they bore him triumphantly, shoulder high. back to their old quarter, their faces besmeared with black and their fiddler leading them on with the inspiriting strains of 'Stanley for ever'.

Ribchester 31st 1875
THE ANUAL TREAT to the INMATES of RIBCHESTER WORKHOUSE - "The treat provided annually for the inmates of Ribchester workhouse was given on Tuesday. The fun was kept up with unabated spirit till 7.30. Strangers who visited the field indulged in the pleasure of the dance to the music of the band and the indispensable fiddle".




Preston July 8th 1876
WHITSUNTIDE MUSICIANS - "Robert Towers, described as a musician, sued William Charnley, landlord of the Waggon and Horses Inn, Preston, for 15s., for services rendered by him and an assistant on Whit-Monday.-Mr. Forshaw was for the defendant.- Towers stated that he and his friend were engaged by Mr. Charnley to play at his house on Whit-Monday from ten in the morning till closing time and on Whit- Tuesday from six in the evening till eleven. They were to receive for the two days playing £ 1, he performing on the violin and his friend on the violincello. It was also an understanding that they should make what they could and that the defendant should not allow any other music in the house during the time they were engaged. Mr. Charnley, it was alleged, broke this condition of the contract by admitting other fiddlers, hurdy-gurdyman and the like. Hence fiddling it had been a speculation, they did not go on the second day.

Preston September 22nd 1877
Nicholas Grimshaw (1758-1838) was the Mayor of Preston on seven occasions, including being the Guild Mayor in 1802 and 1822. He was also president of the Preston Musical Society and of the Preston Assembly and was involved in many social events in the town. The Preston Guardian printed various articles about his life and included the following story about him. "He was fond of the violin and one market day, while playing the instrument, there chanced to come along the street a countryman. The door of the house, or window of the room in which Mr.Grimshaw was playing, was open and the countryman knowing that fiddle-playing was no uncommon thing on a market day in a public place, fancied this was such a place; so in he went-walked right into room where Mr. Grimshaw was playing, took a seat and knocked on the table with his fist for the waiter to come and take his order. Mr. Grimshaw quietly walked towards him and asked what he wanted. 'A glass of ale', was the reply. Mr. Grimshaw good humouredly rang the bell and forthwith appeared a servant, who was requested to bring in a glass of ale. It was drawn and brought. 'What's to pay?' inquired the man. 'Nothing' answered Mr. Grimshaw, whereupon thanks were freely rendered, followed by 'Good Health' and the speedy supping of the ale. The man then got up and quietly walked out, having no idea that he had been in the private residence of one of the principal gentlemen of the town, but simply that he had encountered a generous 'publican' in his own 'hotel'".

Preston March 5th 1881
A PEST REMOVED - "Walter Collins, an old street fiddler, who had caused considerable annoyance, was charged with stealing a pipe, value 14s, from the shop of John Beaver, tobacconist, Fishergate, the previous evening".

Croston October 8th 1881
CROSTON WAKES - "On Monday and Tuesday the annual festival commonly by the name of 'The Wakes', commenced at Croston. and will be continued, though perhaps on a somewhat reduced scale, until the end of the week. Stalls had been erected in the principal thoroughfare, the proprietors of 'three sticks a penny', 'try your strength', and other contrivances mustered in force; donkeys from the sands at Southport had been brought over for the occasion, and seemed to be in great request; and blind fiddler and other itinerant musicians were in attendance to play in the streets during the day and for dancing in various public houses in the evening".




Preston Dec 10th 1881
ACCIDENT TO A BLIND MAN - "On Monday, a sad accident befell a blind fiddler named Woods, who is about 40 years of age and a resident in Syke Street. Some repairs were being made at the entrance to a cellar under the Cannon Street Tavern, to execute which the outside grating, had to be lifted; and whilst the workmen were away a minute or two Woods who was passing along the pavement, fell down the opening and rolled into the cellar. He was hurt about the face and back of his neck, but his injuries were not of a serious character and it is expected that he will be all right again soon".

Account of the Preston Farmers' Ball at the Public Hall, on January 23rd. 1909
(Preston Guardian)
"On Tuesday, Preston was the mecca for every farmer's son and daughter for miles around. The two-step, the old fashioned schottische and the valeta were very popular. In the olden days, dancing was taught in the country. There was formerly an old fiddler near Garstand who taught the schottische in a very curious fashion. This was his style;
'Neaw lads and lasses. Ger at it. On yer reet is t'cupboard door, on yer left an owd settee. Them's yer landmarks. Neaw altogether, one to th'cupboard shuffle shuffle, one to th'owd settee shuffle shuffle; one on, two on, three, four and so on.' And I am told that he made very good dancers."

The next article, although from just out of the area was published in the Preston Journal of January 2nd. 1807.
"A fiddler was returning home from a merry meeting, between Alston and Harwood in Teesdale. In the stormy night of the 20th December, took shelter in a low out-house on Alston Moor. It became so overblown with the snow that he could not get out, nor did any part of the house appear; and here he must have perished, had not some shepherds, who were seeking sleep, discovered him by the sound of his fiddle under the snow; his playing on which unquestionably was the means of saving his life".