GEORGE EWART EVANS (1909-1989) was born the in the mining town of Abercynon, south Wales, where his parents ran a grocery business. He went to grammar school and later studied at Cardiff University, graduating during the Great Depression. With little opportunity for employment he migrated to England and started working at Sawston Village College, an experimental community school in Cambridgeshire. Here he met his wife, Florence Ellen, also a teacher. In 1941 he was called up and joined the RAF, but was consigned to routine duties because of poor hearing. In 1948 he settled in Blaxhall, Suffolk, where he set about recording the dialect and customs of his neighbours. These oral histories became the basis of his pioneering radio broadcasts and classic books about folk life, Ask the Fellows Who Cut the Hay (1956), The Horse and the Furrow (1960) and The Pattern Under the Plough (1966).
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