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Wessex Film and Sound Archive

The Hampshire Craftspeople collection

The collection of sound recordings arose from a survey of surviving crafts in the county, carried out in the early 1970s by John Norwood, Keeper of Folk Life at the Museums Service. He interviewed 40 people on tapes which are now preserved in Wessex Film and Sound Archive. Listening copies of these are available in the Archive.

The crafts were chosen with the assumption that they were dying out, but many survive to this day, albeit using new technology in some cases. He also recorded examples of folk traditions like Morris Dancing, Mummers plays and Blessing the Plough.

The equipment was fairly basic: a domestic portable open reel tape recorder and separate microphone, and always used on location as the craftspeople worked or the events happened. As a result, sound quality varies, but the tapes remain as a valuable record of handmade crafts and what their practitioners felt about their work, leading to a fuller understanding and appreciation of their way of life.

Photographs were also taken, some reproduced here, and in a book produced by John Norwood: 'Craftsmen at Work' (London: John Baker, 1977).

Help playing recordings

The recordings are in wma, mp3 or real player formats.
You can play them on Windows Media Player or Real layer with closed captions or any other player supporting these formats but without captions. Windows Media Player or Real Player can be download free. The playback with synchronised closed captions has been tested on Internet Explorer.


John Norwood

He was Keeper of Folk Life for Hampshire Museums Service from 1969-1974, during which time he recorded 40 interviews with craftspeople. John went on to become Curator of Worthing Museum, before retiring in 1993. He died in January 2000.

John Norwood

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