Alston Flower Show hornpipe

Also known as The Alston Flower Show.

There are 4 recordings of a tune by this name.

Alston Flower Show has been added to 21 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: Alston Flower Show
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:dc|BdAd Ggfd|edef g2dc|Bg (3edc BGFG|Ad^cd A2d=c|
BdAd Ggfd|edef gedc|Bg (3edc BGAF|G2GF G2:|
|:cB|A<DEF GABc|(3BAG ce d<GBd|(3efg fa gf (3efg|fdd^c d2d=c|
BdAd Ggfd|edef gedc|Bg (3edc BGAF|G2GF G2:|
X: 2
T: Alston Flower Show
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:dc|BdAd Ggfd|edef g2dc|Bg (3edc BGFG|Ad^cd A2d=c|
BdAd Ggfd|edef g2dc|Bg (3edc BGAF|G4 G2:|
|:cB|ADEF GFGc|(3BAG ce dGBd|egfa gfed|fed^c d3=c|
BdAd Ggfd|edef g2dc|Bg (3edc BGAF|G4 G2:|
X: 3
T: Alston Flower Show
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|: ed | (3ced (3Bdc (3AcB (3 GBA | (3FdB (3Gec A2 (3cd^d | e^def e=dce | dcBA [B2G2] ed | ~

Thirteen comments

Alston Flower Show

One of my favourite hornpipes. I don’t think there are any other transcriptions of this on the net which is a shame because it’s a lovely tune that deserves to be played more. My setting is based on a recording of Joe Hutton.

Alston Flower Show

Another North-eastern cracker from Dow. Keepupthe good work!

This was Joe Hutton’s signature tune and piece with which he one more than one open championship on the Northumbrian Small-pipes. Alston is the highest town in England and is now in Cumbria. Its a fair way off Joe’s usual patch.

It makes a nice contrast with another North-eastern hornpipe, Little Jenny, and the two are often played together in sessions up here.
NoelJackson
Angels of the North

Setting from Joe Hutton

This version is from a recording:

|:dc|BdAd Ggfd|edef g2dc|Bg (3edc BGFG|Ad^cd A2d=c|
BdAd Ggfd|edef g2dc|Bg (3edc BGAF|G4 G2:|
|:cB|ADEF GFGc|(3BAG ce dGBd|egfa gfed|fed^c d3=c|
BdAd Ggfd|edef g2dc|Bg (3edc BGAF|G4 G2:|

Possible composer

From the Fiddler’s Companion:

"The tune is attributed to Robert Whinham (1814-1893), a musician, teacher, composer, dancing master and fiddler originally from Morpeth, Northumberland. Dixon (1995) says there is no direct evidence linking the tune to Whinham, but older Northumbrian musicians maintain that it is Whinham’s work. Supposedly Whinham composed it while staying at the farm of a man named Armstrong, at Slaggyford, south of Alston, when the annual Flower Show was in progress, says Dixon".

Alston: Northumberland once, Cumbria now, miles from anywhere always..

I think I’m right in saying that Alston was in Northumberland till after the 1715 Jacobite rebellion, when that particular area was assigned to Cumberland. James Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of Derwentwiter and a prominent Northumberland Jacobite, owned the profitable lead mining area round Alston and also mines in the Lake District: following his execution in 1716, the Crown took over these mineral rights and attached the Alston area to Cumberland for, I assume, administrative convenience.

Alston’s like nowhere else: isolated by high hills and long roads from anywhere else of any size at all, it seems to exist in some forgotten kingdom of its own rather than to belong to one or other of the main regions of the area. (They’re altogether too far away, down the valley or over the hills..)

Before climate change, the idea of Alston having a flower show was only a little less preposterous than the idea of Spitzbergen having one.(That’s a silly remark but I couldn’t help making it!..) If they had it at Slaggyford it would have made sense as that’s a bit further down the South Tyne valley and presumably a little more sheltered. But Slaggyford is North of Alston, not South, as a previous post suggests: South of Alston there is only the village of Garrigill and the high watershed of the South Tyne and its tributaries.

I misspelt the Earl’s title in the above post: it’s "Derwentwiter".

Got it wrong again! - it’s "Derwentwiter".

Something in my computer’s knackered up. 4th letter from end of name is "a", not "i".

Haha, it’s because the moderator doesn’t want you to say the word ‘tw@t" even if those letters come in that order in the middle of a completely harmless word.

“The Alston Flower Show” ~ attributed to Robert Whinham

Another transcription, with variations, courtesy of Matt Seattle, can be found here:

"Remember Me: The Fiddle Music of Robert Whinham"
Compiled and edited by Graham Dixon
Wallace Music, 1995
ISBN: 0-9511572-1-3

Page 64: "Alston Flower Show"

Here’s one short example of Matt’s variations as given in the book, a taster, the second time through the tune, A-part, bars 1-4 ~

K: A Major
|: ed | (3ced (3Bdc (3AcB (3 GBA | (3FdB (3Gec A2 (3cd^d | e^def e=dce | dcBA [B2G2] ed | ~

Whinham in Alston

Whinham was staying in Alston at the time of the 1891 census - lodging with someone called Elizabeth Tyndall in what might be Prout Street. (I can’t read the street name).