The Felling Shore

by Wilf Mitford

Aa mind Sunday mornings doon by the Felling Shore
With me Father and me sisters when we would all explore
The place where he was born and bred, before the first world war
He would show us where he used to live, knocked down some years before

Though the people and the hooses were replaced by grass and trees
The Felling Shore was still alive in me Father’s memories

Aa mind we would have a drink at a pub known as The Ship
Where me Father would talk about the days when he was just a rip
On may a summer’s afternoon his school days he would skip
And swim around the River Tyne before it was a tip

He would tell us about the dwellings where he spend his early years
With the usual outside netty in a poor state of repair
An the only source of water was one tap in the square
In the middle of the dwellings which they all had to share

He told us about when he was caught in a farmers field
Eating some raw carrots which were the farmers yield
“Use the whip on him” the farmers young son squealed
But me Father did a runner before his fate was sealed

From The Mitford Family album ‘Geordie & Northumbrian’
Credits: Wilf Mitford, Vocals & Guitar; Pamela Mitford, Violin; Julia Mitford, Flute

This is a particular favourite of mine as it shows a real connection between by Dad and his.  Wilf’s dad was William Mitford (1911 – 1978), known as Billy.  He died the year I was born and so this is one of a few links I have with my paternal grandfather.  I’ve been researching the Mitford line of our family tree and we have relatives in Felling going back to the early 1800s.  I was most excited to find Keelmen and Watermen in the family tree as I was brought up singing the Keel Row, a real northern classic.  I’ll see if I can dig out a family photo of Billy to add to this.

*A word on pronunciation – the word ‘Father’ in this context is said in a traditional geordie way so there is no assumed ‘r’ sound as in ‘farther’ but rather a very flat short ‘father’.  ‘Aa mind’  is another Geordie-ism and can be translated as ‘I remember’

Picture courtesy of Norman Dunn’s East Gateshead Photo Website

Creative Commons License
The Felling Shore by Wilf Mitford is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at

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