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    Paula and her violin
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Paula’s fiddle


Paula with her violin

My name is Paula Fodor. I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. I’ve lived in St Annes for seven years with my husband, a Lancashire lad from Ansdell.

 My violin is my most treasured possession. It belonged to my father before me and it went everywhere with him. I have a photograph of him taken in England or France in 1944. He’s dressed in US Army uniform with helmet, a sleeping roll over his shoulder. He’s holding his violin bow in one hand and resting in the crook of his other arm is the violin case. He was a member of a US Army hospital unit that followed the Normandy landings to Paris. I have another photograph of Houghton Lodge in Stockbridge in Hampshire. There’s an inscription dated July 15 1944 on the back which reads “Your music was LOVELY”. My father died when I was 15 so I haven’t been able to ask him about the photographs. I can imagine that my father must have played at Houghton Lodge sometime before embarking on the USS Chester to cross the English Channel to Utah Beach in Normandy.

Captain Fodor

Houghton Lodge

 Before moving to England, my husband and I lived in Normandy just overlooking Utah Beach so it was exciting to find out that my father had been there before me – and with our violin.

 I’ve played the violin since I was 10 or 11. I have always played classical music and have been lucky enough to play in orchestras, quartets and various chamber music groups. I had to give up playing for a while because it hurt my neck and back.

 About three years ago, I heard about a group being set up called The Palatine Fiddlers. The group was for anyone interested in learning traditional English fiddling, particularly music from Lancashire and North West England – I joined up. The more relaxed style of folk fiddle playing has made it possible for me to start to enjoy playing my violin again. The instrument is happy to be played and is sounding good. I’m happy to be playing music again. I’m learning about the traditional music of Lancashire – my adopted home. And I’m keeping alive the link with my father. My violin is my most treasured possession – it has gone everywhere with me and it went everywhere with my father before me. It’s a pretty well travelled instrument!


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