Fiddler in Thomas Hardy Drama Festival, Dorchester
At the Thomas Hardy Drama Festival in Dorchester, Dorset, Henry Bailey, the old fiddler, played the College Hornpipe in the play The Three Wayfarers. He was 75 years of age and one of the last of the old fiddlers who used to travel from one village to another playing at fairs and merrymakings. The famous old Corn Exchange saw the fourth production of a Hardy play acted by Thomas Hardys fellow townsmen, dramatised by the novelist himself. It was reported at the time that the men who were to play in The Three Wayfarers and The Distracted Preacher stood at their shop doors all afternoon, with fitful glances every now and then at The Corn Exchange clock, as if impatient for it to point to the hour of the dress rehearsal. The old Kings Head Hotel, which features in The Mayor of Casterbridge, had for days been filling up with visitors.
© Mary Evans Picture Library/The Pete Frost Collection