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Forster Charlton and Colin Caisley


Forster Charlton
Forster Charlton (Photograph Johnny Handle)

Forster Charlton was a traditional fiddler, who later took up the Northumbrian smallpipes as a result of his brother's acquaintance with Billy Pigg. He was involved in the folk music of Newcastle upon Tyne in the 1950s, and introduced Colin Ross to both the smallpipes and Billy Pigg. In the 1960s he was secretary of the Pipers Society for several years and was very keen to record many of the traditional musicians of the area. He played with the High Level Ranters in their early days, and appears on the 'Northumberland for Ever' recording, playing both fiddle and smallpipes.

On this recording we hear a set of tunes played by Forster Charlton and Colin Caisley - Lambshaws fancy, Noble Squire Dacre, Salmon tails, Herd on the hill, Sweet Hesleyside, Buttered peas and Proudlocks hornpipe. Forster and Colin played duets on the Northumbrian pipes throughout the 1950s and early 1960s. They attended a wide variety of bookings from concerts to folk festivals. These tunes are typical of the popular repertoire of the time, drawn from the pipers tune books and the Northumbrian Minstrelsy.

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