CHAPTER 4: Dulcimers in the British Isles since 1800 > Dulcimers in East Anglia
People - 1 of 13
"The first dulcimer player I saw? Well... Will Lawrence and his cousin Herbert were both dulcimer-players: it ran in the family; Herbert lived at Triplow and in the Summer, I was told, they used to get together - because Will Lawrence was a builder's labourer, so he took a couple of weeks off if he felt like it - he and his cousin would go off on their push-bikes, with their dulcimers slung on their backs, and go round the village feasts, they would know the dates of the different feasts during the summer months, and they would make a round of them; and as long as they paid their way, all well and good.
"They'd play in the pubs, and they would play in the dancing-booths and if they didn't pay their way, well, Will wouldn't have minded selling his dulcimer for a couple of pounds if he could get someone to buy it, p'raps some gypsies, and then he'd make another one next minute. That would give him a spare-time occupation in the Winter, to knock down an old bit of furniture he didn't want and make a dulcimer out of it; his dulcimers were mainly made of second-hand furniture, because you really do need seasoned wood...
"This would have been before, and probably after, the First World War; the dancing booth was a tent, it belonged to the band. It was a travelling band that played for the dancing: Huntley's band was probably the best-known in Cambridge ... it consisted usually of a fiddle, concertina, drum and very often a harp. They were big harps, 5'6" or so high: I saw one in the cottage of one of the chaps who played formerly ...
"Golden Slippers ... that was the signature tune, as it were, of Will Lawrence; he called it 'chaff 'n' cuttings'".