This is the third part in my series of posts about Dad (Wilf Mitford)’s achievements. It’s a summary of the impact of his work. All of the posts in this series are taken directly from an award nomination made by my Mum, Maggie, back in the late 1990s, which is an absolute gem in terms of the history of Dad’s folk music writing period. This is all of course just one part of his songwriting history. Before his venture into Geordie songs he wrote some great pop songs like ‘A Fool for You’ and ‘Sitting Here Thinking’, and in later life he wrote more about his own experiences in his album ‘Geordie on his Holidays in Spain’ and ‘A Northumbrian Geordie’.
This is the second part of an award nomination letter written by my Mum that outlines some of Dad’s achievements. It puts so much of his work into context and order and will be enormously useful for me in compiling Dad’s archives in a meaningful way.
“Achievements between 1st August 1992 and 31st August 1993
Wilf Mitford commenced the above year by releasing an album on cassette called ‘Geordie Greats‘, recorded by his family folk group The Mitford Family, on his own label ‘Mitford Music’ in August 1992. The sixteen tracks on the album included ten of Wilf’s original songs on the theme of Newcastle upon Tyne, together with six traditional songs associated with the area. Wilf wrote his new songs about the area to redress the balance after all of the bad publicity the area received following the Tyneside riots in September 1991.
When going through Dad’s things I found this award nomination that my Mum wrote, no doubt with some input from Dad. It’s an absolute gem of a piece of writing as it clearly outlines what he produced, when, and the reception it received. I couldn’t resist sharing it. I’ve left it pretty much as written, with only a few changes to formatting here and there, and I’ve added some photos from the time to bring it to life. I’m splitting it into 3 parts so come back again soon for part 2!.
“Wilf Mitford has been writing songs for the last thirty years. Influenced by the songwriting of John Lennon and Paul McCartney he wrote his first ‘pop’ song in 1963 when he was fourteen.
In the late 1960’s he started writing contemporary folk songs which he performed in local clubs in the North East area.
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.
When w’put wa hoose up for sale, w’got loads of nosey parkers Who would caall around at aawkward times, when you’re in the bath and starkers Y’knew they didn’t want to buy, they would aalways mek an excuse Oh the trials and tribulations when tryin’ to sell ya hoose
Get yourself to Beamish, the open air museum
‘The North of England’s heritage’ is its’ task and theme
Now Beamish has come of age since nineteen seventy
When it opened for the first time for all the world to see