I’m very sad to share the news that my Dad, Wilf, passed away on 20th September 2022. Whilst he didn’t get a chance to see all of his songs published (I’ve barely scratched the surface!), he was glad to know before his passing that this project was well underway, and that his streamed music has received over 12,000 listens.
This site has had over 700 visitors and I will continue to add Dad’s songs over the coming weeks and months, including any background information or related stories that I have. Eventually I hope to publish books of his songs as this was always his dream.
My sister and I are sorting through Dad’s possessions and have been delighted to find letters from newsreader Mike Neville MBE who had “thoroughly enjoyed” his music, Tony Jones from The Journal who often featured our family band in his Entertainment section, Boston radio broadcaster Andy Nagy who was “absolutely delighted with The Mitford Family albums” featuring them on his show in the US, Northumbria Police who used Dad’s ‘We all have to pay’ song in a crime prevention campaign, and some local folk who appreciated his music and took the time to write.
It’s heartening to know how much his music was appreciated, and my sister and I are grateful that we have his songs and recordings to remember him. Dad wrote some particularly special personal songs including “Pamela’s Song” which he wrote in the phone box when my sister was born and which has been my daughter’s bedtime song since she was a baby, and Seaton Sluice to Sydney which he wrote after I moved to Australia. Here are some recent video shorts of Dad singing. The first is from lockdown, taken outside his house (Wee’s the Geordie?), and the second is from August this year following a spell in hospital after a fall (Karaoke King of the Costa Del Sol).
Maybe in the not too distant future we could organise a gig featuring his songs performed by some fantastic local musicians?
Addendum on the word ‘Vale’
I’ve had a few questions about the word ‘Vale’. This is a word commonly used in Australia when someone has died. It is latin for goodbye. I had forgotten it was a term I was quite unfamiliar with when I first moved to Australia. It’s the equivalent of saying ‘Rest in Peace’ (RIP).
Evening Chronicle Announcement
Below is the announcement that we have published in this week’s Chronicle;
The family of Wilf Mitford, singer songwriter of South Beach Estate Blyth, are sad to announce that he has passed away at the age of 73. Much loved father to Pamela and Julia and grandfather to Keira, Erin and Xanthe. He will be remembered fondly by sister Margaret, Maggie and family, Val and family, and many friends.
Funeral: Wednesday 12th October 1:45pm at Blyth Cowpen Crematorium Chapel for a short service, followed by burial at Blyth Links Cemetery at 2:30pm. All welcome to celebrate Wilf’s life after the service at The Melton Constable, Seaton Sluice.
Family flowers only. Donations welcome in lieu of flowers to the Young Musician’s Fund www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pamela-mcgahon
Enquiries to: Co-op Funeralcare Manor Cottage, Forum Way, Cramlington, NE23 6YD Tel: 01670 712 886
You are welcome to share your memories of Wilf or his songs via the comments here on the blog, via the Funeral Notice, or via my <a rel=”noreferrer noopener” href=”http://<iframe src=”https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjulia.mitford%2Fposts%2Fpfbid02NRwm2ArT3gKt7kcsm9Ern9xBJ7umDtUajkvpEmq2NjNy9dGK6F1e93yzb79CZ4J7l&show_text=true&width=500″ width=”500″ height=”500″ style=”border:none;overflow:hidden” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”true” allow=”autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; picture-in-picture; web-share”>Facebook post </a rel>