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Parsons, Dick

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Gwilym and Carol Davies collected The Waysailing Bowl from Dick Parsons on 28 October 1979.On later occasions he also sang other songs including The Barley Mow, The German Clockmender, The Seven Joys of Mary and The Life of a Man.

Dick Parsons was probably born 12 September 1909 and lived in the Bentham/ Shurdington area south of Cheltenham. Little is known about his life save that he lived with his brother in a caravan in the countryside. When younger, Dick, his brother and others had gone around the area of Shurdington and Hatherley at Christmas time “waysailing”, taking the traditional wassail bowl with them. Dick and his friends used to sing at a regular singaround in Dog Lane, Birdlip, in a venue they named “The Rampant Cat”. He was also a regular at the Cheeserollers pub at Shurdington where he also sang. Dick was known for his rich Gloucestershire speech and resonant voice. He died about 1981 aged 71 in Cheltenham.

Note by Carol and Gwilym Davies November 2011