Arnold Woodley and English Fiddle
John decided he wanted to play fiddle to add a new dimension to their performance, and began a search for information about
traditional English fiddle playing. At the time there were no books, and it seemed at first, no traditional players either, but then John met up with
Arnold Woodley of the Bampton Morris side.
Arnold had learnt fiddle from Jinky wells, and Bampton and its musicians were the only morris side with an unbroken tradition except for a period during the war.
Arnold was an exceptionally patient teacher, and John learnt not just the tunes and style, but Arnold's bow strokes.
Realising that others might want to know how to play English fiddle, John started a tutorial book on the style, which the English Folk Dance & Song Society (EFDSS) published.
It was the first of it's kind and described in reviews as a 'definitive work'.
Many people still use the techniques described in the book even though it is long since out of print; and many players who once bought the book years ago have gone on to become very accomplished exponents who have developed the style beyond the original in a living tradition.