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Appeal for memories of Julia Clifford

It is just over 20 years since Julia Clifford, one of the great Irish fiddle players from the Sliabh Luachra tradition, died. Although brought up in Co. Kerry, Julia lived in England for all her adult life: in London from the early 1940s to the late 1970s, and then in Thetford, Norfolk. With her Stroh phonofiddle, she was a memorable figure on the English folk scene for many years.

Talking about Julia’s music with others who also knew her, I began to think about how we could celebrate her life and legacy here in the UK. We are planning a commemorative event in spring 2019, I Looked East And I Looked West, and I am currently trying to collate as much information, memories, photographs and private recordings as possible in the coming months in order to mount an exhibition.

I’d like to ask TLT readers to share their memories and help paint a fuller picture of the life of this influential musician. Every memory, however small, is a tiny piece of the whole jigsaw – even if you only vaguely remember seeing her play somewhere, the location and the year would be a helpful bit of information.

Please get in touch via my website,, where there is a downloadable questionnaire on the ‘Projects’ section. Information about the forthcoming event will also be posted on the website, so again, please do get in touch to find out more about that.

Katie Howson