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Harcourt ‘Whistler’ Harmer (1872-1959)


Harcourt Murrell Harmer lived in and around the small villages of Stalham and Ingham, on the northern fringes of the Norfolk Broads. He was known as ‘Whistler’ because of his musical abilities on the tin whistle, harmonium, brass, piano accordion as well as the dulcimer. As well as playing at home, he is known to have played in the Swan in Ingham, and 50 years after it had last been played, the dulcimer still had the beer stains on to prove it!

The dulcimer was passed first to Whistler’s daughter Margaret and then to her daughter, Florence (née Page) who married Herbert Warnes, who, in 2005, showed us the dulcimer and told us about Whistler. The instrument was a shop-bought model, in a disastrous state of disrepair and unfortunately so riddled with  wood worm and rot, that it was unsalvageable.

   The Swan, Ingham c.1930



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