Rolf Gardiner

5 November 1902 – 26 November 1971

Henry Rolf Gardiner (5 November 1902 – 26 November 1971) was an English rural revivalist, helping to bring back folk dance styles including Morris dancing and sword dancing. He founded groups significant in the British history of organic farming. He was said to have sympathised with Nazism and participated in inter-war far right politics, but this was speculation based on his approval of the German Youth Movement’s aims of involving townspeople in country community life, such as helping with the harvest. He organised summer camps with music, dance and community aims across class and cultures. His forestry methods were far ahead of their time and he was a founder member of The Soil Association.

For an article which esteems him as follows click here:

While the present article is essentially concerned with his activities in youth and middle age, a future biographer will be able to show that as a thinker and man of action, Rolf Gardiner’s achievements in a variety of enterprises, to some degree facilitated by his youthful experience, substantially transcended what some would regard as the political naïvety of his earlier years. Drawing upon a variety of sources, including Gardiner’s own writings and the Gardiner Archive in Cambridge University Library, this article seeks to redefine the man as a passionate English patriot; all engaging, warm-hearted individual with an abundance of energy who genuinely craved a self-supporting rural England within a northern European confederation. It also examines in some detail just one of his many activities and enthusiasms thereby to illustrate the extent of his concern with the vital business of rural reconstruction.