Saturday, 18 May 2013

Alfred Williams - Local Hero

It's a long(ish) story, but a few of The Magnificent AK47 have a bit of a thing about a chap called Alfred Williams, who is known as "The Hammerman Poet". Basically he is quite an inspiring example to us all who think we are a little bit "busy" and have a "tough life".  He not only managed to walk several miles to work and back each day, do a physically grueling job working in the GWR workshops, but somehow he taught himself several languages in his spare time and cycled all around the Upper Thames saving old folk songs.

Shamelessly quoting from the website of the Society dedicated to his memory "this summer sees the centenary of Alfred Williams's book about everyday rural life a century ago, called Villages of the White Horse.

The book is the story of a journey that the Wiltshire author took from Basset Down, near Wroughton, just south of Swindon, to Uffington White Horse, and he gives a detailed account of what he encountered on the way.  Alfred looks closely at the character of each town or village on the route, its folklore and peculiarities, reporting in his easy-to-read, natural writing style.

To mark the centenary, the Alfred Williams Heritage Society is putting on an event at the Thomas Hughes Memorial Hall, Uffington, on Sunday, May 19, from 2pm to 5pm.

It will include readings from the book about each of the locations featured in Alfred's books, often by people with special associations with the town or village concerned."

If you fancy a bit of true local culture about a top bloke then get yourself along and some of us might see you there.

And you might like to explore local musician John Cullimore's album about the life of Alfred and The Bailey Sisters.

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