I’ve been interested in the life and songs of Winterton fisherman Sam Larner for a great many years, so was very pleased to come across this weblog about old Sam and his community, and which describes so clearly how singing and step dancing were an important and respected aspect of life.
Sam was an outstanding singer and raconteur, as these YouTubes show: Sweet Lives and Lawless Billows and Two Norfolk Singers: Sam Larner and Harry Cox.
It’s longish (for weblog) but interesting and informative, and strongly recommended if you have any interest in the old times.
There must have been great times in Winterton’s pubs, for almost more than any other activities, singing and dancing together generally strengthen a commonity’s sense of belonging.
It seems clear too that there were quite a few other singers of note in the area, and it is perhaps a shame that recordings of them are not currently available as far as it can tell. Certainly, I have been able to hear them so far.
For more on Sam Larner on this weblog, click here, and for another article on this topic, click here.
Sam Larner (1878 – 1965) was a fisherman who lived at Winterton who late in life became legendary for the quality of his singing of old songs, and his extensive repertoire.
This pair of award winning CDs of recordings made by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger of his songs and reminiscences is a gem that includes 65 songs and fragments, plus some illuminating spoken passages.
At 149 minutes, the collection is said to amount to pretty well all of old Sam’s recorded repertoire, and gives a powerful impression of his life and times, and of course his character and the way of speaking on the East Coast in years gone by – for when I hear him speak, it could be my East Coast grandparents talking.
Look what I’ve found! YouTubes in which Sam Larner, who spent his working life aboard drifters fishing for herring off the East Coast of Scotland and England, talks about his life and work, and sings the old songs. That particular fishery largely died out in the late 50s, so stand by to be fascinated, I say…
I love to listen to him, for his way of speaking reminds me strongly of my grandparents, who were also Eastern counties folk. For more posts mentioning Sam Larner, click here.
There’s also a bit of film of steam drifters under way and at work here: