‘the last of Old England’ – a celebration of life
This is a celebration of life, but far more important, it is the celebration of Natural Life – the life that was honed by man himself from time immemorial and handed down to us. Just what this is, and what it means to us today I have explained in a separate booklet inside which I feel is important to those who wish to take stock of what modern man has mentally deprived himself of in a world now dominated by artificial devices, literate parameters and media control.
This is of people entertaining one another in the manner of their inheritance and you will find nothing pretentious, and no modern recreation or nostalgic revival here. This is the real thing.
On this unique DVD you will see the pony and traps arrive, the horses unharnessed, fed and watered whilst their owners imbibe some good Suffolk Ale, followed by chat, banter and storytelling, followed by stepdance and song before lighting the lamps for the journey home. These are the people who arrive every week not as onlookers but participators in the all important ‘company’. Kenny Hambling tells stories from his life and of Tony Harvey and how he brought Bonny, and then later sings for us.
Percy West, born, as were his 16 brothers and sisters in a gipsy Reading Wagon tells tales of life on the road and pays much respect to his Father Frank whose magnificent traditional voice sings us out in true gipsy style with ‘Bold Drunkards’. His voice furthermore can be heard from an archive recording from 1956 telling of the seven steps of stepdancing throughout the country that he travelled. Billy Heffer tells of the musicians Walter Read, Harkey Nesling, Font Whatling, Steve Matthews and other local legends.
The inserted photograph is of Dusty Smith in his particular horseman’s suit that he normally wears every Sunday. This much prided suit is always bespoke made to each horseman’s own requirements, but mostly with vandyke yoke and pocks, raised seams, three rows of stitching and horseshoe buttons. Suffolk people have maintained their traditions and what you see and hear here is but a sample of that simplicity, truth and natural cultural beauty. Thanks go to Theresa and landlady, all participants – most of whom we have tried to name, Steve Matthews for photos and for making arrangements and the late Peter Kennedy for the recording of Percy’s Father.
Time: 51 minutes approx. Produced: April 2014
Product Code: NLDVD83