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Williams, Kathleen

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Cecil Sharp visited Kathleen Williams at Wigpool Common, Mitcheldean on 6 September 1921. She sang him Barbara Ellen, Bessie Watson or The Brisk Young Lover, Green Mossy Banks of the Lea, The Indian Lass, Jock of Hazeldean, Saddle My Horse, T for Thomas and When First to This Country a Stranger,

He saw her again at Puddlebrook near Drybrook on 9 September when she sang him The Crab Fish again, The Little Girl again, The Fat Buck or Thorneymoor Woods, The One Cow and Still Growing and again at Drybrook on 11 September 1921 when she sang him The Cuckoo, I’m 17 Come Sunday, The Unquiet Grave and The White Cockade,
He commented that ‘Mrs Williams is a gypsy – about 60 or more – living in a van on the edge of a hill covered in heathers and gorse by the roadside, living with her married son and his three children, Henry, Dolly and Rosie.’

Peter Kennedy said that Maud Karpeles had given him the name of a singer called Kathleen Williams at Much Marcle just over the border in Herefordshire but in 1952 he could find no one who had ever heard of her. If this was the same Kathleen Williams she would have been about 90 at the time.

Notes by Carol Davies March 2015