Harry Barling

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Harry Barling, singer from South Willesborough, Ashford, Kent, 1867 - 1947.

Francis Collinson collected two songs from him on 3rd December 1942:

Harry was baptised 30 Dec 1866 at St Mary Magdalene, Ruckinge. His parents were Mary (née Lonkhurst) and Francis (Frank) Barling. Frank was a brother of William Barling (1802-1884), the father of Charles Barling, from whom Cecil Sharp would collect a couple of songs in 1908. Thus Charles and Harry were cousins.

Frank was described on his son's baptism record as "labourer", but in the 1871 Census as "carrier" and by 1881, "Innkeeper & carrier" - running the Good Intent at Aldington Frith, about 3 miles from Ruckinge.

The 1891 Census has Frank as "Farmer carrier", living at Rose Cottage, Frith Road, Aldington. Harry (listed as "Henry") is 23 years old, married and described as "Farmers son". He had married Susannah Butcher at Aldington in April 1890. She died in 1897, and Harry remarried three years later, to Kate (actually Altheania Kate) Barth. In 1901 they were living at Bourne House, Aldington, and his occupation is given as "Carrier (general)". Subsequent censuses have him at Rock Cottages, Aldington Hythe, as "General workman labourer" (1911), "Engineers Labourer" (1921) and finally, in the 1939 Register as "Carpenter (Retired)". By that point he and Kate had moved from the Aldington area to 110 Gladstone Road, South Willesborough, which is where they were living when Francis Collinson collected songs from Harry in December 1942. A keen cyclist, he died at the age of 80 when, cycling to visit his sons in nearby villages, he was in a collision with a motor-cyclist (Obituary in Kentish Express, Friday 19th September 1947). His obituary describes him as a retire master carpenter, and states that he had been a member of the Aldington Brass Band for 45 years - he was bandmaster when he retired from the band in 1930.

Google map of places mentioned