Music in Suckley

Arthur Bancroft

Suckley's best known musician studied at the Royal Academy of Music and regularly conducts the Walter Wilson Orchestra (which once gave a concert in Suckley Church). There exists a B.B.C. video recorded in Chavanage House of Arthur playing the musical saw with Peter Pears looking over his shoulder. The video was made following a royal concert at Tetbury Church, in the presence of the Prince and Princess of Wales, at which Arthur was leading the Gloucester Philomusica. Arthur was violinist for the QE2's first voyage after the Falklands War. Here, Arthur plays Smilin' Through by Arthur A. Penn (from the film of the same name, of about 1918) on his musical saw. On this recording made at a concert in Suckley Church in 1988, Arthur is accompanied by Michael Moore.

Arthur Bancroft playing the violin
Arthur playing the violin in the Guildhall, Worcester. The pianist is Helen Cass. The leftmost of the three singers standing behind them is Henry Sandon. The photograph is supplied courtesy of Worcester Evening News.

Arthur remembers that until the outbreak of the second world war, there was a brass band in Suckley. Then there was Old Fiddler Dick (or Dick Harper), who was a real character. He used to live at Rough Leasow and he used to play Violin and Piano at The Nelson Inn during the summer, when the fruit pickers came. Another fiddle player used to live in the old cottage on the site of Arthur's house.

Arthur Bancroft playing the violin

Under instruction of Mr. Arthur Bancroft, Mrs. Ivy Larder, a member of Alfrick Women's Institute, tries her hand with the musical saw at the Institute's 21st birthday party held in the village hall in March 1968. The photograph is supplied courtesy of Worcester Evening News.

Do you recognise any of the ladies in the photograph? Many of them are from the Alfrick and Suckley areas. Touch the picture to see it in more detail.

Music in Suckley Church

Hear the Suckley Church bells - this excerpt was recorded on Sunday 29th June 1997 before the evening service. The bell ringers are, from left to right in the picture below, Ivor Bramich, Janet Craddock, Sandra Chambers, the tower captain Linda Taylor and her son Michael, and Steve Alwyn. They're ringing Grandsire Doubles and then rounds. More recordings of the Suckley bells.

Suckley Bellringers on 29th June 1997

Hear Suckley Church clock's Tennyson Chimes, recorded in 1996.

Hear the organ in Suckley Church - Michael Moore plays a Gavotte by Wesley, and then a song - Drake Goes West by Wilfred Sanderson, performed by Tony Eldridge (baritone) and Judy Eldridge (piano) recorded using the Suckley Church piano in 1988.

A World Première in Suckley!

The recordings on this page are Real Audio streams. If you don't have a player, you can download one from the Real Audio site. If you're experiencing difficulty listening to the streams above, try downloading the files instead: Church bells, Tennyson Chimes, Wesley's Gavotte, Drake Goes West and Smilin' Through.

Sounds of Suckley

Classical Concerts in Worcestershire

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