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Herbert Charles Remmington (1876-1960)



Herbert Remmington was born in early 1876 in Hainford, where in 1879 his father was the blacksmith, having taken over his father’s business whilst the latter had become a beer retailer. Herbert’s mother’s family (Spinks) were also in the licenced trade, her parents running the Goat Inn in Skeyton from about 1862 to 1892, taking over from her grandparents who had previously kept the other pub in Skeyton, the Black Horse.


By 1891, when Herbert was 15, his family had moved into Norwich and were in Albany Street; Charles was a carriage smith and Herbert a ‘photographer’s artist’. In 1901 Herbert, wife Margaret and two-year old daughter Alice were at Cock Street, Wymondham and he is listed as a self-employed photographer. Alice was born in Wymondham, so they had been there since at least 1899. By 1903, Herbert was also the landlord of a pub, the Papermaker’s Arms pub in Swanton Morley, but by August 1904 the licence had passed to someone else.

Swanton Morley Papermakers Arms - closed c.1987


By 1911, he was in Briston, Melton Constable, where he remained for the rest of his life. He was now working as a photographer from his home in Church Street and gave the address as ‘The Studio’.

In an article in a local paper, The Journal, from 8.9.1950, he described how as young lad in the 1890s he had tramped around the villages of Norfolk with his camera and portable dark room and that the first place he went had been Briston, where he decided to settle, when he decided to leave Norwich through ill health. The article also makes it clear that Herbert was a talented artist and local memories are of hand-painted backgrounds with an arched window used for his photographic studio portraits.



Herbert had learned to play the violin before taking up the dulcimer. He made his own dulcimer just after the 1914-18 war, ‘when Norwich was the home of the dulcimer’ and claimed to have played it in nearly every village hall and gentleman’s house in north Norfolk!

He also played the piano, taught others and tuned instruments. There are memories of him playing the fiddle for stepdancing in the Briston Chequers and popular song tunes in other pubs. Others recalled hearing him play the dulcimer in his house and he also went out and about with the local quoits team, taking his dulcimer or one-string fiddle with him.

Herbert Remmington died in 1960.

Link to Chris Holderness' article about traditional music in Briston & Melton Constable.



Click on a thumbnails to see a larger picture


Photo descriptions & sources

Main photo: Herbert Remmington taken from the 1950s newspaper article.




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