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Charles Benfield was the main informant for the Bledington tunes, most of which were noted by Cecil Sharp at Benfield’s house at Bould (Oxon), a hamlet about a mile from Bledington (Glos).
CJ Sharp wrote, 2 September 1909
“Ch. Benfield was fiddler to the Bledington Morris till it lapsed about 15-20 years ago. He afterwards taught some younger men but could not induce them to continue. He is an agricultural labourer and a keen morris dancer. His fiddle was bridge-less and bow-less so he half hummed and half whistled this & following 2 tunes.”
In 1923 R. Kenworthy-Schofield visited Bledington with the Travelling Morrice and noted some tunes from Charles Benfield. They were published in JEFDSS Vol 1, no. 3 p 147-151, Dec 1934. The second version here “was obtained by Dr. A. F. Richards and later verified by the writer [RKS], but was not recognised by [Richard Bond of Idbury & John Hitchman, who both played the first version]. It may have originated because Benfield’s old fingers found certain intervals on his fiddle easier than others, but be that as it may, the tune has somehow slipped into a very unusual mode, and for this reason alone is worth recording, although the first version is certainly nearer the original.” (RKS)