Freda Palmer was born in, and lived most of her younger life in, Leafield, Oxfordshire. Later, she mover to nearby Witney, where these recordings were made. From the age of eleven, she was employed as a glover - making gloves, together with her mother at times, but mostly with her Aunt Annie, and it was from her that she learnt most of her songs, as they sat across the table together, sewing their gloves.
She had a phenomenal memory ... while raising six children she probably didn't have too much spare time for singing, and it was only in her later years that she was encouraged to visit folk clubs and festivals as a performer. But to have a repertoire of sixty or so songs, and to sing 35 of them off the cuff in one day when Alison McMorland visited her was quite an achievement - not to mention reciting the 19 eight-line verses of Murphy's Little Girl without a stumble.
Everyone who knew her commented on her delightful, friendly personality - and the account of her life found in these pages shows that she was an almost unbelievably hard-working woman. The don't make 'em like Freda any more!