Dolly's Day

By dollydoug

Away we went 'lang Collin'wood Street

I headed for Gateshead this afternoon to join a heritage walk organised by the Newcastle City Guides. The theme was Geordie Ridley. (1835 – 1864 )  Geordie Ridley was the writer of the folk song   " The Blaydon Races."   The horse races  stopped  in 1916.

On the walk we  visited the places Geordie Ridley would have known and locations where the people he wrote songs about would have lived or worked. ( One thing I learned today was that singer Eric Burdon  - member of local band The Animals - is  great great nephew of Geordie Ridley.)

We started the walk in Gatehead High Street and then went down to the river, crossed over the High Level Bridge and ended up at Balmbras. 

Here is the first verse of the song and the chorus.

Aa went to Blaydon Races, 'twas on the ninth of Joon,
Eiteen hundred an' sixty-two, on a summer's efternoon;
Aa tyuk the 'bus frae Balmbra's, an' she wis heavy laden,
Away we went 'lang Collin'wood Street, that's on the road to Blaydon.


Ah me lads, ye shudda seen us gannin',

We pass'd the foaks alang the road just as they wor stannin';
Thor wis lots o' lads an' lassies there, aal wi' smiling faces,
Gannin' alang the Scotswood Road, to see the Blaydon Races.

Since 1981 Blaydon Harriers have organised a road race to take place every year on 9th June along the 5 mile route mentioned in the song.  Today they had 4,700 entrants.  My late husband and my son Neil have taken part a few times.

My blip shot is of Collingwood Street which is mentioned in the song   I have added a collage showing Balmbras Music Hall which was the starting point  on the journey to Blaydon  and a view of the Cloth Market which was on the route.  This area of Newcastle is a bit of a " dump " at the moment but is earmarked for regeneration in the near future.

Musical accompaniment  is THE BLAYDON RACES - of course.  The song is often sung at St James Park by Newcastle United supporters.

The weather was surprisingly nice today - no rain at all but dry with lots of sunshine.  So after the organised walk I had a bit of a wander around town before coming home.

Steps today - 10,718

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