Frederick Hamer


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A keen morris and country dancer and an active member of the English Folk Dance and Song Society and the Morris Ring, from the 1930s, and he made several important contributions on morris traditions in Northamptonshire. He later came to folk song collecting and, despite becoming totally blind in 1952, started tape-recording singers in Bedfordshire, Lancashire, Shropshire, and elsewhere, and compiled a valuable collection from areas not well covered by others. Examples of his recordings were issued on Garners Gay (EFDSS LP 1006, 1971), and The Leaves of Life (Vaughan Williams Library Cassette No. VWML 003, 1989). His tape-recordings are now lodged at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.

Hamer's main publications are ‘The Hinton and Brackley Morris’, JEFDSS 7:4 (1955), 205–17; ‘May Songs of Bedfordshire’, JEFDSS 9:2 (1961), 81–90; ‘Thoughts of a Folk Song Collector’, ED&S 31:3 (1969), 88–9; ‘A Song Seeker Found’, ED&S 28:1 (1966), 19–24; Garners Gay: English Folk Songs Collected by Fred Hamer (1967); Green Groves: More English Folk Songs Collected by Fred Hamer (1973).

Obituary by Kenneth Loveless: FMJ 2:1 (1970), 71–2.

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