The Kipper Family and Sid Kipper

The Kipper Family are Truncheons. In that they come from St Just near Trunch, near Trunch in Norfolk (UK). Trunch is not far from the glittering English seaside resort of Cromer, although Trunch does not have a pier, being five miles from the coast.

Two members of the Kipper Family were often seen in public: Sid Kipper and his Father Henry Kipper (as far as we know). Henry was one of the foremost regarded folk singers in the country, although he was not sure who the other three were, and with this son they sang great folk songs.. but not quite with the lyrics as you would know them. They would tell you “some of their old stories” and sing “some of there old songs”. The banter between the two was amazing.

Henry passed on a few years back and left Sid to prowl the old Kipper haunts alone. Seeing one of Sid’s shows you were treated to a few of his old songs and a few of his old stories. Not to mention the Trunch Blowpipes and the walnuts.

Henry and the other Kippers live on in the old recordings which you can buy via this site or elsewhere on the web. Sid was going stronger than ever with his recordings, books and gigs. However someone called Chris Sugden recently let Sid go as the drinks bill was too high. Sid is to spend more time with his ferrets.

Meanwhile this site is dedicated to spreading the word of Kippers, lest they should be forgotten.

Word of Kippers, therya

Chris Sugden and Dick Nudds

The Kipper Family who toured in the 1980’s were actually Chris Sugden (Sid) and Dick Nudds (Henry). Where Dick was made up to look older as Sid’s Father. Henry looked like a true folk singer, white beard and a string to hold up his trousers in lieu of a belt. Sid wore a sharp suit and a kipper tie, very much the spiv. When in public and performing their act they refused ever to come out of character, so much so that they would drink their own Kipper Punch from a demijohn of clear liquid that they bought along. Nothing would shake them from staying in character to the point where you really wondered if they really were a comedy duo, so convincing was the act. When they split as a double act Chris went on his own way as Sid Kipper and eventually had to announce the death of Henry in order to stop people asking if Henry would ever come back. It is rumored that Dick Nudds now lives as a woman. Will he/she ever make a posthumous comeback?! They were no frauds as far as the comedy variations on the folk songs were concerned. They could certainly sing and the lyrics have stood the test of time. If you want to sample the Kipper Family in full comic flow then the best CD is Fresh Yesterday recorded at Trunch village hall with banter between father and son between the songs.

Sid Kipper (Chris Sugden) was very successful after the duo split releasing many albums and books. His shows combined his unusual turns of folk songs, of which are genuine unique works of songwriting and comedy talent. You were treated to some readings from his many literary works not to mention music from a host of his unusual instruments, including the Trunch blowpipes and his not to be missed walnuts. Chris/Sid has now retired.

Chis and Dick are still alive, so please buy Kipper CD’s and Chris’ Books. They deserve the income!

About the webmaster & this website the four stages

No.1 Sid and Henry live: My name is Justin, I saw Sid and Henry live together only once, and I since found out it was probably the second performance by the Kipper Family. I used to go with my Mother and a friend of hers to the folk club in Thetford. It was the usual thing of listening to the same songs each week. One night there were two men who said they were the Kipper Family, they looked like any other visiting folk singers. It was apparent once they started to sing that they were a little bit more than that. I would say this was roughly 1982-3 and I would have been 12-13 years old. The folk club was never quite the same after that and I hoped in vain every week that Sid and Henry would be there again. I told a friend about them in 1989 and he said oh I have a recording by them! This turned out to be Fresh Yesterday (which I pirated, sorry Chris and Dick, I have since bought it properly!) but oh to hear the Kippers again!!

No.2 Sid and Henry live on telly: I saw them once more, live but on the telly. I used to watch a TV programme on Saturday morning called ‘Get Fresh’. They used to have a spaceship called the Millenium Dustbin which landed in places around the UK and they would do a show there. One week it landed in Trunch!! And who was there? Sid and Henry. When interviewed by the female presenter, they did all their patter, she was clearly mystified.

No.3 Sid live: For the next 2 decades I tried to follow up the Sid and Henry gig. I even went to Trunch to look for them! Finally first saw Sid again in 2002, which I followed up a few times since, and subscribed to the Trunch Trumpet mailing. Then I felt the need to create this site in November 2002 to spread the word further and unite all the Kipper links on the ‘net. I wrote to Chris Sugden (who ever he is) and asked if he had thought of putting the Trunch Trumpet online, he said about the internet:

“…I am waiting to see if it’s just a passing fad.”

No.4 this site: Chris is fully aware of the site and supplied several musings to be put on-line. Due to my starting this site and informing him of it he then decided the time had come to start up his own site which was at sidkipper.co.uk then at www.spineless.idps.co.uk (unfortunately it has now gone offline since he retired). Chris seems to have abandoned Sid now but is seen at the odd folk festival as himself (not performing). Dick is also aware of this website as, funny how things happen, I talked to Molly Barrett, his former wife, via the internet and then worked for her doing webdesign. I met Chris once at one of his shows and we talked of websites. I’ve not met Dick, or the vicar.

Take it away father

Somehow this website made me the Kippers number 1 fan. However, I would have closed this website if it were not for the fans of the Kippers. The FB Group proved to me the interest, so this website is by a fan for the fans. That is the only reason it still exists.

“My boy Sid”

A further note: back when I wrote to Chris Sugden in 2001/2 and told him I wanted to make a Kipper Family website he was a little bit on-guard. He was still doing shows as Sid Kipper and said that he was worried that the success as Sid Kipper should not be tarnished by the old act of the Kipper Family, I assured him of my intentions, which was to make a site about the Kipper Family that would also include a little about Sid. Once he realised I was not going to do anything silly he was very happy, but for me publishing copyright lyrics, and sent all the Kipper material he still had for me to use, and… some Sid Kipper material.

Since then he retired and has, it seems, abandoned Sid. While he was still performing I kept the Sid material to a minimum. Now, however, his old site has gone offline but can be got via the Waybackmachine. Now that both acts are part of history I am feeling the need to save more Sid material on this website.

Best fishes, Justin