A Family with Military Tradition – and Music.

This piece has been inspired by the fact that I have just rendered an arrangement of one of Tom Bulch’s military descriptive fantasias – The Young Recruit – in Sibelius software, a recording from which will be featured in this post. It had me reflecting upon how important the military tradition was within the Bulch…

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Covid Times – The Jubilee March

It’s hard to believe that the last time that we heard anything new in person from our collection of George Allan and Tom Bulch music was back in August 2018 when we had our first concert at Ushaw College. A second concert we had planned, in partnership, was to have happened in April this year…

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How did an ill-paid blacksmith from Shildon open a Music Shop?

As a researcher into Tom Bulch, I’ve been (very gratefully I might add) receiving some help from the Patron of our group, Tom’s grandson, Eric Tomkins. Eric has some very early first-hand memories of his grandfather and started looking into his grandfather’s story long before it came to the attention of this group, and as…

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Looking Out During The Lockdown – The Power of Data

There can be no doubt that these are unprecedented times for us all, wherever we happen to be. The breakout of a global pandemic has wreaked havoc on our day to day lives and brought suffering and uncertainty to so many. As with many countries around the world, the British Government has ordered a lockdown…

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James Scarff, Unmasked.

What’s this? Two posts in one day you say. Just happens to be a rather bountiful day and this is another research discovery I couldn’t let go without documenting. As you’ll know if you have been following the Long Story, Thomas Bulch didn’t leave Shildon alone for Australia. He had three travelling companions with him,…

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Revealing who Thomas Bulch wasn’t (Part 3)

This will be my third, and probably final, piece explaining another explainable misunderstanding in the musical identity of Thomas Edward Bulch, who as we, and others, have said elsewhere DID frequently compose under pseudonyms, but not necessarily all of the ones that have been associated with him. It is my belief now that Thomas Edward…

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Lessons in Presumption

When you’re researching something from history you need to be a little bit careful. Usually you’re dealing with scraps of information almost as if you’re trying to interpret events from what appear to be punctuation marks in the life of your subject with all of the sentences in between missing. Occasionally whoever created that information…

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Revealing who Thomas Bulch wasn’t (Part 2)

T E Bulch was not Charles Le Thiere. As with Carl Volti, Charles Le Thiere is a composer’s pseudonym, but on this occasion we find it was for a Mr. Thomas Wilby Tomkins. This was initially revealed to me via a Wikipedia entry, but as Wikipedia also claims T. E Bulch to be Charles Le…

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Revealing who Thomas Edward Bulch wasn’t? (Part 1)

One of the fascinating things about researching a subject in significant depth is that you sometimes happen across something that may well not have been apparent previously. When this happens you need to make sure to a reasonable degree of comfort that you are correct, and then comes the uncomfortable job of challenging ‘common knowledge’…

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Sidetracked #3 – John Malthouse, Summoner of The Typhoon

I enjoyed looking into Sam Lewins so much that I felt another ‘sidetracked’ piece was in order, about another interesting supporting character in the story of how New Shildon’s bandsmen influenced the Victorian brass scene. This time I want to look a little closer at the man without whom the story could have been so…

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