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Canterbury Cathedral

Welcome to the Canterbury Catch Club website...

Those dignified gentlemen in the picture above (click on it for a better view) are gathered for a meeting of the Canterbury Catch Club, an august body dedicated to the enjoyment of music - accompanied by ale and tobacco, and the occasional dinner - which was formed in 1779 and became a significant part of Canterbury's cultural life for eighty-odd years.  The faint dedication records that this splendid print (only 3 copies of which survive) was presented to the President, Charles Delmar, and the Club in 1828 - undoubtedly its heyday, as the number of members and the size of the orchestra on the raised dais at the back of the room would testify.

This website brings together words, images and music from this fascinating slice of Canterbury's cultural and social history, much of which has been out of the public domain for almost 150 years.  It seems, however, that the material has simply been patiently waiting to be brought more clearly to light: City and Cathedral Librarians, fellow-musicians, and enthusiastic researchers have catalogued, transcribed and performed it every so often over the years. Here you will find digital images (pages from the Club's Minute-books, and from the music volumes themselves); transcripts of pieces for modern performance; notes on the music, the people, and on the history of the Club in general; and specially-recorded performances of some of the catches and glees which have caught our fancy in the course of our research thus far.  It is, inevitably, a work in progress - so we hope you will come back for further investigation in the months to come.

Using the database

If you would like some guidance with how to use the database, click here. All files are free to download for personal viewing, but are not to be resold in any way. To contact us about usage of any of the files, click here.