|Born in Hampshire in 1951, I am very proud to be a 'Hampshire Hog'. A name given to those born in Hampshire. (I think that the 'hog', contrary to a strongly held popular belief, has nothing to do with pigs but is a corruption of 'hogget' the name given to a yearling sheep. The rolling Hampshire Downs were and still are grazed by vast numbers of sheep and the Hampshire Downs breed is famous the world over. Weyhill Fair [as mentioned in Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge] was for many hundreds of years the largest sheep fair in England).|
Where I live in the Itchen Valley is just a few miles from where I was born and within a dozen or so miles radius of where both sides of my family have lived for many, many generations.
I am proud to be treading familiar ground in the footsteps of my forebears.
I have worked in the printing trade since 1967 when I was apprenticed as a compositor, (typesetting by hand) to a jobbing printer back in the days of hot metal. Nowadays, of course, the work is all done on computer.
I have always had an interest in and love of music, probably because the wireless was always on in our house. The popular artistes of the day when I was a boy, such as Lonnie Donegan, Frankie Laine, The Everly Brothers and Elvis sat easily alongside the folksongs of Robin Hall and Jimmie MaGregor and the Clancy brothers. There was also Uncle Mac's Childrens Favourites on the wireless each Saturday morning. Here I heard Woody Guthrie and Burl Ives, international music, Skiffle hits and early country songs as well as the songs from early 'Pop' charts.
My father's musical tastes ranged from military bands to Mantovani and the house was never silent. In the late 1950s and early 1960s we used to gather on Boxing Day at my Aunt's where 'Uncle' Hal would play popular songs on the upright piano in the front room. Thanks to this exposure and varied musical education I am interested in all genres of music, particularly folk, country and old timey.