John Youngman was a
whelk fisherman from Wells-next-the-Sea on the northwest Norfolk coast.
He was born in 1914, eldest son of Bob and Florence Youngman, who lived near
the Quay in Wells. His father was a jovial sort and often hosted parties and
had Billy and Emma Cooper to stay. The Coopers and Youngmans were close
until Billy died in 1962. John and Kath lived all their lives down on the
quayside and he was a regular in the Shipwright’s Arms, just a stone’s throw
from their house, where he enjoyed the banter and also sometimes played
dulcimer, accordion and piano. According to Kath, John loved life down by
the Quay and hardly ever went ‘up the town’.
He had a dulcimer earlier on in life, which he sold to an American
serviceman just after the Second World War.
Billy Cooper found him another, from Kelling, which was beautifully
decorated – reputedly
Billy Cooper himself did this – or possibly only the stars, which are
actually the least notable part of the decoration. John died in 1977 and his
dulcimer was sold on a few years later.
Click on a
thumbnail to see a larger picture
Main photo: Main photo: John Youngman and
a. John Youngman's dulcimer front
b. John Youngman's dulcimer detail (JH)
c. John Youngman's dulcimer stand)
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