Pat’s mother, Winifred Shuldham-Shaw, had a significant impact on developing Pat’s musical interest and talent.

Winifred Shuldham-Shaw was a very close personal friend of Cecil Sharp.Winifred probably met Cecil Sharp, the founding father of the folklore revival in England, when Helen Kennedy was a pupil at Chelsea P.T. College where Sharp was training some of the students in folk dancing.

Winifred in the front row on the left taken at Stratford-upon-Avon with Cecil Sharp and Douglas Kennedy in the middle.
Photo taken in Stratford-upon-Avon c.1912 (by F. D. Spencer, Stratford-upon-Avon). Top row left to right: George Jerrald Wilkinson, George Butterworth, Marjorie Sinclair, Douglas Kennedy, Helen Kennedy North, Peggy Walsh, Helen Karpeles, W. Cox. Bottom row left to right. Winifred Holloway, Maud Karpeles, Cecil Sharp, May Hobbs, Elsie Avril.

Winifred was one of the most active figures in the folk-song and folk-dance revival in England. She was an early member of The English Folk Dance Society (EFDS) and was on the Executive Committee from 1918.

Following Cecil Sharp’s death in 1924 Winifred put her own successful career on hold to act as secretary to the Cecil Sharp Memorial Fund, set up to raise funds to build Cecil Sharp House in his memory,  to provide permanent headquarters for the English Folk Dance Society. She wrote a biography of Sharp and English Folk Dances as part of the campaign. She was also instrumental in getting his work as a music historian recognised. She possessed a genius for business, was a good organiser, very enthusiastic and energetic and was the main driving force in raising £30,000 for the building of The House during the country’s worst depression.

Cecil Sharp House was opened on 7th June, 1930 but Winifred was too ill to attend. However, her 12 year old son, Pat, was one of the London Team at the opening.

Shortly before her death, Winifred Shuldham-Shaw was awarded the EFDSS Gold Badge. The award recognises those “who have made unique or outstanding contributions to the art or science of folk dance, music or song, and/or those who have given exceptional support in furthering the aims of the Society.” (find out more

Pat Shaw was 12 years old when Winifred died on 14 August 1930. Following her death, The Winifred Shuldham-Shaw Memorial Fund was set up so that members of the English Folk Dance Society could express their gratitude and set up a permanent memorial “to the name of one whose life meant so much for English Folk Dance.” (EFDS News January 1931).

A memorial garden, known as the “Holly” garden, recalling the name by which Winifred was known to many of her friends, was built to the east side of Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent’s Park Road, London, UK and opened in opened in the Spring of 1932. Also, a large Arts and Crafts style bookcase was purchased for the library in her memory.