Bishop Auckland Flower Show Hornpipe

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BISHOP AUCKLAND FLOWER SHOW HORNPIPE. English, Hornpipe. E Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Composed by violinist W.B. Laybourn, who was originally English, and moved from the south to North Shields in the North of England, before removing to Edinburgh later in life. Laybourn was the editor of Köhlers’ Violin Repository, who is identified in the frontspiece only by the anonymous title "A Professional Player." Laybourn died around 1886, soon after the volumes were published. Bishop Auckland is an ancient and busy market town in South West Durham, called "The Gateway to Weardale" (as it is located on high ground overlooking a bend in the River Wear).

The Flower Show was an annual event from 1852 through 1881, which became one of the premier events of not only the county, but the entire North country. A Flower Show poster of 1874 describes the event as a gigantic and unrivalled floral fete and music festival. The music was provided by brass bands, beginning with the old Durham Brass Band. In other years the band of the Royal Artillery and the bands of the 2nd Life Guards and the Queen’s Bays were featured. Eventually, the finest bands in England were assembled in London and transported by special train to the Flower Show, which had become known as ‘The Annual Gala of the North’, with crowds eceeding 20,000 in size. However, in 1881 five consecutive days of inclement weather washed out the event, and with it the resources of the committee that sponsored it. In addition, it appears that the railroads engaged in some price-gouging transporting the public to the event, which provoked an outcry. A painting called "The Flower Show in Auckland Castle Park" (1859) by J. W. Carmichael depicts the event in its hey-day.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Köhlers’ Violin Repository, Book 1, 1881-1885; p. 61.

Recorded sources:

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