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VTDC12CD 'I thought I was the  only one!' - Dulcimer playing in East Anglia








Interest in the dulcimer was at its peak in East Anglia from around 1850 to 1930. The demand for instruments provided work for both skilled instrument makers and jobbing carpenters and also encouraged home-made creations.

On the CD we have nine players from Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, each with their own style of playing and level of skill, but all of whom were part of this vibrant living tradition, although some thought that they were the only one still playing-hence the title of this album.

The DVD features Billy Bennington playing dulcimer, talking and dancing his jig doll. The film which was made by Garland films for the English Folk Dance & Song Society in 1979.

CD Tracks
Billy Bennington (Barford, Norfolk) -
1. Dick Hewitt's Favourite Stepdance. (1981)
2. Turn Your Face Towards the Sun. (1981)
3. In & Out the Windows. (1985)
4. Dark Town Strutters’ Ball. (1985)
5. Sailor’s Hornpipe. (1985) 6. Down at the Old Bull and Bush /Daisy Belle /Dicky Bird /Peggy O'Neill /Come Round Any Old Time /I Belong to Glasgow. (1981)
Walter Jeary (Northrepps, Norfolk)
7. Sheringham Breakdown. (1958)
8. Sailor's Hompipe. (1958)
9. Heel and Toe Polka. (1958)
10. Yarmouth Hornpipe. (1958)
Jimmy Rodger (Norwich, Norfolk)
11. Unknown /Bluebells of Scotland. (1975)
12. Over the Rainbow. (1975) 13. Breakdown. (1975)
Mollie Whitaker (Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk)
14. Waltz. (1975)
15. Swanee River. (1987)
16. Stepdance. (1975)
Billy Cooper (Hingham, Norfolk)
17. Soldier's Joy /Girl I Left Behind Me /Breakdown. (1961)
18. Dulcie Bell. (1962)
19. Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms. (1961)
20. Isle of Innisfree. (1960)
21. Old Towler. (1962)
22. Perfect Cure. (1962)
23. Post Horn Gallop. (1962)
24. Hingham Waltz. (own composition) (1963)
Tommy Sparks (Rattlesden, Suffolk)
25. Soldier's Joy. (1963)
26. Jenny Lind. (1963)
Oswald Stammers (Saffron Walden, Essex)
27. Unidentified tune. (1970)
28. Sailor’s Hornpipe. (1970)
Charlie Philpot (Yoxford, Suffolk)
29. Waltz. (1962)
30. Breakdown. (1962)
Reg Reader (Knodishall, Suffolk)
31. Oscar Woods' Polka /Oh Joe the Boat's Going Over. (1998)
32. Oscar's Waltz. (1998)
33. Lazy Bones /Ain't Misbehaving. (1998)
34. Cat Among the Tails. (1998)
35. My Happiness /China Doll. (1998)
36. Devil Amongst the Tailors. (1998)
37. South of the Border. (1998)
38. The Palm Trees of Kerry /Two Lovely Black Eyes /Charlie Philpot's Waltz. (1998 )

Billy Bennington - Norfolk dulcimer player
On Parade :
Pony Trot Polka :
Chicken Reel :
Lovely Lucerne :
Dulcie Belle :
My Beloved Cornelia :
Riding Up To Derby :
Heel and Toe Polka :
Jig Doll - tune, Norfolk Breakdown (pre-recorded by Billy Bennington)



VT152CD 'The Barford Angel' - Norfolk dulcimer and dialect - Billy Bennington

Billy Bennington was given the name ‘The Barford Angel’ because he used to carry his dulcimer on his back while cycling and the shape of the dulcimer made him look as though he had angel's wings! In Britain the dulcimer has, over the years been popular as both a classical instrument and as an instrument for busking. As a folk instrument it was popular in East Anglia and was particularly widespread among village musicians in Norfolk. In fact between the wars it was noted that there were 25 players of the ‘dulcimore' (as it was known locally) within ten miles of one small parish near Norwich. The last of these great Norfolk players was Billy Bennington.



1. Rose Cottage (2.25)
2. On the Green (2.50)
3. Dulcie Bell 1 (4.51)
4. The Chicken Reel (1.54)
5. Schottische (3.09)
6. On Parade (2.56)
7. The Bells of St. Mary’s (2.16)
8. The Flowers of Edinburgh (2.17)
9. Schottische /Step Dance (1.53)
10. When Johnny Comes to Town (3.13)
11. Slow Stepdance (2.23)
12. Obidiah (1.14)
13. Lovely Lucerne (3.29)
14. Redwing (2.02)
15 Yarmouth Hornpipe /Sheringham Breakdown (2.40)
16. The Pony Trot Polka (2.27)
17. Dulcie Bell 2 (5.02)
18. Going to the Derby (1.14)
19. Herbert Sadd’s Schottische (2.25)
20. Gay Ladies Polka (2.12)
21. The Gunner’s March (3.21)
22. I Like to Say Good Morning (3.08)
23. The Sailor’s Hornpipe (1.11)
24. My Beloved Cornelia (2.29)



TSCD607 English Country Music


Billy Cooper (1883), Walter Bulwer (1888) and Daisy Bulwer (c.1892) were active musicians in rural Norfolk for over half a century. These recordings, made together with visiting friends in the Bulwers’ cottage in the village of Shipdham, capture the style, vitality and robustness of the music they played for dancing in pubs and at Saturday night hops and wedding parties. Earlier editions of English Country Music appeared in 1965 and 1976. This third edition is re-mastered and contains new notes and many additional recordings.


1 Jenny Lind / The Girl I Left Behind Me - fiddle, Billy Cooper dulcimer, melodeon, piano & drums
2 The Waltz Vienna - fiddle, Billy Cooper dulcimer, melodeon, piano & drums
3 Off She Goes - fiddle
4 Off She Goes - melodeon, mandolin-banjo, piano, drums & pipe-&-tabor
5 Red Wing - fiddle, Billy Cooper dulcimer, melodeon, piano, drums & pipe-&-tabor
6 Untitled Polka - fiddle
7 Dulcie Bell - Billy Cooper dulcimer
8 The Heel and Toe Polka - fiddle, concertina, melodeon & piano
9 The Sailor’s Hornpipe /The Shipdham Hornpipe /Untitled Polka /The White Cockade /Untitled Polka - fiddle & piano
10 Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms /Johnny’s So Long at the Fair /The Wild Colonial Boy - fiddle, melodeon, piano, drums & pipe-&-tabor
11 The Cliff Hornpipe - Billy Cooper dulcimer, fiddle & piano
12 The Bluebell Polka - fiddle, Billy Cooper dulcimer, melodeon, piano, drums & pipe-&-tabor
13 Shave the Donkey - fiddle
14 Shave the Donkey - two fiddles, piano & drums
15 Waltz Selection introducing The Sailor Cut Down in His Prime - fiddle, piano & banjo
16 The Yarmouth Hornpipe introducing The Four-Hand Reel & The Sailor’s Hornpipe - Billy Cooper dulcimer
17 The Helston Furry Dance - fiddle, Billy Cooper dulcimer, melodeon, piano, drums & pipe-&-tabor
18 The Irish Washerwoman / The Sprig of Shillelagh - fiddle
19 The Foggy Dew / The Sailor Cut Down in His Prime - fiddle, Billy Cooper dulcimer, melodeon, piano & drums
20 Peggy Wood / When There Isn’t a Girl About - melodeon, mandolin-banjo, piano & drums
21 Untitled Polka - fiddle
22 Wheels - dulcimer
23 In and Out the Windows - concertina, melodeon, fiddle & piano
24 Washing Day /Old Mrs Huddledee /The Keel Row (The Cat’s Got the Measles) - fiddle, Billy Cooper dulcimer, melodeon, piano, drums & pipe-&-tabor
25 Untitled Polka - fiddle & piano
26 The Irish Washerwoman /Garryowen /Rory O’ More /St. Patrick’s Day - Billy Cooper dulcimer
27 The Four-Hand Reel /Soldier’s Joy - fiddle, Billy Cooper dulcimer, melodeon, piano & drums



VT150CD Heel & Toe

East Anglia has been a hunting ground for folk music collectors for many years and Sam Steele, a Fenland school teacher, had a nose for the real thing. Between 1959 and 1962 he recorded  traditional singers, musicians, stepdancers and storytellers in remote villages and towns in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.

These are not professional performers but farmers, horsemen, cowmen, grave diggers, a bird catcher, a chimney sweep, a lorry driver and even a tailor, who have had their own local culture handed down to them, over the years, from their families and communities. These recordings give a remarkable snap-shot of times gone by.


1. Heel & Toe Polka - Percy Brown melodeon
2. Banks of the Sweet Dundee - Reg Bacon song
3. So Was I - Charlie Giddings, song
4. Yarmouth / Sailor’s /Yarmouth Hornpipes - Billy Cooper dulcimer, Walter Bulwer fiddle, Daisy Bulwer piano, Edna Wortley banjo
5. The Outlandish Knight - Hockey Feltwell, song
6. College Hornpipe - George Green, melodeon
7. Banks of the Clyde - Billy Rash, song
8. Unidentified Jig - Walter Bulwer fiddle, Daisy Bulwer piano
9. John Barleycorn - Reg Bacon song
10. Remember me to ...... - Alan Pate song with piano acc.
11. Bluebell Polka - Percy Brown melodeon with unknown stepdancer
12. The Bank of England - Charlie Giddings, song
13. Whistling Rufus - Billy Cooper dulcimer, Walter Bulwer fiddle, Daisy Bulwer piano, Edna Wortley banjo
14. Nothing to Do With Me - Reg Bacon, song
15. Four Hand Reel - George Green, melodeon
16. Dulcie Bell - Billy Cooper, dulcimer solo
17. Lamkin - Hockey Feltwell, song
18. Unidentified Polka - Billy Cooper dulcimer, Walter Bulwer fiddle, Daisy Bulwer piano, Edna Wortley banjo
19. The Barley Mow - Reg Bacon, song
20. Step Dance Medley - Percy Brown melodeon, Dick Hewitt stepdancing



OH1CD The Old Hat Concert Party

1. Oscar Wood's Polka /Old Joe the boat's going over /Redwing
2. Story /Fellas in Love
3. Cecil Pearl's Hornpipes
4. Abey my boy /Story /Stepdance to Albert Hewitt's Hornpipe
5. Marrowbones
6. In the shade of the old apple tree /Are we to part like this Bill? /There's a lovely lake in London
7. The wooden leg family
8. Story- 'playing for dancing' /Rig a Jig /Starry night for a ramble /Woodland flowers
9. Happy hours
10. Are you all livery?
11. Harry Cox's /Cromer Schottisches
12. Rattling old grey mare
13. Oscar's Waltz /Peggy O'Neill
14. Stepdance to Scotland the brave
15. Is Izzy azzy wozz?
16. Alf Peachey's Polka /B B's
17. Waiting for the wagon /Dennington Bell




OH2CD The Old Hat Dance Band

1. Babes in the Wood /I Looked East and I Looked West
2. Lemmie Brazil's /Leitrim Thrush
3. Marche St. Jean /Alexandrine March
4. Linehope Lope /William Durette's Clog
5. Hayes Favourite
6. The Carraroe /Spirit of the Dance
7. Ville de Quebec
8. Lucy Farr's /Centenary March
9. Marche du Verner
10. Church Street/St. Mary's
11. Silver Wings
12. The Flying Pieman /Ripple of the Teign /Gipping Jig
13. Marche des Cabrettaires
14. Duke of Marlborough /Barren Rocks of Aden



OH3CD Katie's Quartet

1. BB's /Gaspe Reel
2. Sally Sloane's Barn Dance
3. Rufus Guinchard's Country Waltz
4. Julia's Jigs
5. Shipdham Polka
6. Rosalie the Prairie Flower /Scan's Schottische
7. Ring the Banjo /The Dragon
8. On the Green /Ponytrot Polka
9. Reel a Quatre /Chez Nous
10. Ada Philpott's Waltzes
11. Cameron Men /Billy Harrison's Polka
12. Padraig O'Keefe's /John Clifford's
13. Cabri Waltz /Wells Waltz
14. Magic Slipper /little Diamond
15. Duke of Cornwall's Reel




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