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Tandy, Mr.

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Percy Grainger visited Mr Tandy, a former labourer, in Winchcombe Workhouse on 5 April 1908 when he sang The Farmer’s Lad, The Irish Girl, Nancy, Susan And Her Lovers, and There Was an Old Man (Green Broom). There were two George Tandys in Winchcombe Workhouse around this time but one George Tandy from Guiting Power was discharged from the Workhouse the day before Grainger’s visit on 5 April 1908 so George Tandy from Alderton must have been the person recorded by Grainger..

George Tandy was baptised on 17 October 1841 in Alderton, the son of George and Elizabeth Tandy. His father was a shoemaker and his mother, Elizabeth, was born in Charlton Cropthorne, Worcestershire. By 1851 his father had died but his mother was still living in Alderton with George’s two elder sisters, Rosana born about 1828 and Harriett born about 1831, both of whom were working as glove makers, and three brothers, Caleb baptised15 November 1835 (probably died in 1868), Edwin baptised 18 February 1838, (probably died in 1843), and Charles born about 1845. George also had two other sisters, Elizabeth born about 1826 and Helen/Ellen baptised 26 May 1833. All the children were born in Alderton and by 1851 George, Caleb, Edwin and Charles were all working as agricultural labourers.

By 1861 George Tandy had left home and was one of two lodgers in Bye Street, Ledbury in the house of James Hodges, a carpenter. Both lodgers were working as excavators. George moved around for his work and by 1871 he was one of seven railway labourers living in the Roman Road railway huts, Appleby, Crackenthorpe, Westmoreland with George Thomas, another railway labourer, and his family. It is difficult to follow George Tandy’s life after this date but there is a possible marriage of George Tandy to Fanny Stevens in Cheltenham on 26 December 1875 and the birth of a child, Albert T. Tandy to George and Fanny Tandy of Dumbleton on 14 January 1872 which may be related. George Tandy was in Winchcombe Workhouse by 1906 and remained there until his death when he was buried in Winchcombe on 14 September 1918. Life was not always easy there as is shown by a record of the Master of the Workhouse which stated in March 1906: ‘I also beg to report that on the 5th Instant inmates George Tandy No 2 and Edmund Skillern while employed digging in the garden quarrelled and that Tandy struck Skillern on the right eye (blind) which caused the eye to burst – this eye was taken out by Dr Cox at the Cottage Hospital on the 6th Instant and Tandy after being reprimanded twice was sentenced to 7 day imprisonment. I consider Skillern the aggressor.’

George Tandy’s sister, Rosana/Rosanna, married William Stevens and by 1861 was living in Cleeve with two daughters and working as an agricultural labourer. Rosanna and these two daughters subsequently became glovers and she and William had another three children.

Notes by Carol Davies May 2015