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James (1850-1930) and Bertram 'Bertie' (1895-1983) Hines


James Hines was born on 12th May 1850 in Brockdish, near Harleston on the River Waveney which forms the border between Suffolk and Norfolk.

James’ family worked on the land and initially he worked as a farm labourer too. In 1878 he married Anna Aldridge and the first six of their children were all born in Syleham, where he worked as a mechanic in the drabbett mill in Syleham, living virtually next door to the mill. Drabbett was a coarse, unbleached linen, used to make working smocks. In about 1892 the family moved back to Brockdish, with James working as a carpenter from their home in Common Lane, where Maisie Martin remembered him playing and making dulcimers in the early 1920s. A dulcimer made by him is still in the Hines family and was handed down through his son Bertie Hines, who also played, to Bertie’s son, John Hines, who said that his grandfather, James, used to play ‘down by the river’.

James Hines died on 31st March 1930.

Bertram ‘Bertie’ Hines was born on 14th April 1895, in Brockdish. He was the son of James Hines, from whom he inherited a dulcimer that his father had made.

His oldest brother James became a miller, but he and his other brothers were all working on local farms in 1911.
Bertie died in 1983 and left the dulcimer to his sons, Bertie and John.


Bertie Hines' dulcimer inherited from James Hines

     a      b






Click on a thumbnail to see a larger picture

Dimensions of this dulcimer



Photo descriptions & sources

Main photo: James Hines (from the family)

a. James Hines' dulcimer front  (John Howson)

b. James Hines' dulcimer back  (JH)


c. James Hines' dulcimer bridges (JH)

d. James Hines' dulcimer sound hole (JH)


e. James Hines' dulcimer stand (JH)

f. James Hines' dulcimer beaters /tuning key (JH)



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