The Chris Holderness Archive

Chris Holderness with his archive, Spring 2021
Photo credit A Helsdon

In 2020, North Norfolk musician and collector of musical memories invited the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust to house his archive. With Chris’s permission we will be gradually digitising this vast and unique collection, making some of it accessible online with also the physical archive available to view in person in due course.

Over the next year, we will be gradually uploading articles, photographs, notes from visits, letters and sound/field recordings. Much of Chris’s research and articles have appeared on Rod Stradling’s Musical Traditions website. The retirement of Rod in December 2020 was one of the deciding factors for Chris to ensure his collection would be stored and shared.

We are launching this collection with a new article written by Chris during the winter 2020/2021 “Two Sides of the Same Coin – Collecting Musical Memories in Norfolk“.

Gradually this page will be added to, but first, in the 50th anniversary year of Harry Cox‘s death, Chris has added a new article to his archive called The Broads Bros which is an article about Harry and Fred Cox and we have uploaded it just in time for Harry’s 136th birthday (March 27th).


Articles written by Chris Holderness from 2021

A Hornpipe by Any Other Name – March 2021 with the link to a film created from this article.
A Vibrant Tradition – April 2021
The Best of the Bunch – a discography of Walter Pardon’s recordings – 25 years on – June 2021
The Broads Bros – March 2021
Two Sides of the Same Coin – collecting Musical Memories in Norfolk – February 2021
‘When I sing a song, my mind is on it’ – a discography of Harry Cox 50 years on – May 2021
Sam Larner – Discography – compiled in 2021 and uploaded to the EATMT website in Autumn 2023

Chris wrote several articles for the website “Musical Traditions” between 2006 and 2015. These following articles are linked to the Musical Traditions website with kind permission from Rod Stradling, site owner:

Sheringham Breakdown: traditional music making in this north Norfolk coastal town (2015)
The Dancing Davies: step dancing fishermen of Cromer (2014)
Hindringham: traditional music and dancing in this north Norfolk village (2013)
Sam Larner: the Winterton fisherman and his singing community (2013)
Tom Brown: Caister singer – in his own words (2012)
Walter Jeary: north Norfolk dulcimer player, singer and step dancer (2012)
Herbert Mallett: the life and times of a north Norfolk melodeon player (2010)
Haste to the Wedding: the melodeon playing of Walter Pardon (2010)
Briston and Melton Constable: traditional music making in two neighbouring Norfolk villages (2010)
Dick Hewitt: a true Norfolk man (2010)
Southrepps: singing and step dancing in a north Norfolk village (2009)
E J Moeran: collecting folk songs in east Norfolk – in his own words (2009)
Percy Brown: Aylsham melodeon player (2007)
Billy Cooper: the Hingham  dulcimer player remembered by his family (2007)
Billy Lown and Philip Hamond: two north Norfolk singers (2007)
Wells-next-the-Sea:  traditional  music making in  a Norfolk coastal town (2006)
Alfred Brown: the life and times of Shipdham’s other fiddler (2006)
Walter and Daisy Bulwer: recollections of the Shipdham musicians by members of their community (2006)
Walter Newstead: north Norfolk melodeon player (2006)
Herbert Smith: fiddling blacksmith of Blakeney (2006)

In addition, you can view the CD notes from Sam Larner’s cd – Cruising Round Yarmouth HERE (2014)


Chris’s archive contains 11 boxes and initially included on this website is a catalogue of each box and an overall index, added to the site from May 2021. Click on The Archive to access this page.