Mitford Family Albums

As this blog is very much a work in progress I’m using this page to keep track of a number of things related to our albums.  Firstly I’m trying to track down all our various albums, album covers, & track listings, so I’m documenting here the ones I’ve found as I’ve found them.  Eventually you’ll be able to access all of the recordings for each album.  Secondly I’m hoping to track down the various different recordings of each song as I’m sure there will be multiples.  Thirdly I’m trying to keep track of where older recordings were re-used in compilations.   This is a labour of love to document both the songs of my Dad, Wilf Mitford, but also our recording & performing career.

We began to record albums in response to demand would you believe.  People would see us perform and ask if we had a recording they could buy.  So eventually Dad got us into the studio to put some of his original songs and our traditional repertoire down on tape. Once we committed to this of course it meant that wherever we went we carried our case of cassettes to sell to any audience members who were interested.  We sold albums at festivals, record shops & gigs.  We were particularly popular with the older generations as many of the traditional songs evoked childhood memories for them, and even some of Dad’s originals sparked memories from years gone by.

I have vivid memories in our early recording days of putting stickers onto the cassettes by hand and loading the cases with the cassettes & covers.  At some stage I’m sure Dad used to use a master recording to run off additional copies, but I’ll have to check with him on that.  In the later years, as a teenager, I was our sales rep, visiting the music stores in Newcastle with my case of cassettes and invoices, restocking the shelves on a ‘sale or return’ basis.

Dad was pretty savvy with set lists for our gigs and albums.  He could adapt our repertoire list to suit a particular crowd, occasionally making changes when we were on stage as he read the room.  He was also really big on promoting the talents of my sister and I as young musicians and you’ll note the inclusion of traditional tunes as well as his original material.  At our live gigs we even started to incorporate our broader folk influences from Scotland and Ireland, including our Irish Dancing.

You’ll note there’s a bit of a theme to the album covers – we’re always in front of the Tyne Bridge.  We have a bit of a style about us as well – Pamela & I are always in our denims.  You’ll see the quality of the covers improve with time, and I have a feeling  Dad also develops his marketing skills beyond his previous forte of press releases for local papers.  Initial album covers were fairly simple but in the later albums he’s including some ‘blurb’ – our back story and career highlights.

An asterisk * denotes original compositions by Wilf Mitford with words & music by Wilf.  Other songs are traditional, unless otherwise stated.

MM01 That’s Northumbria

  1. That’s Northumbria*
  2. The Great North Run*
  3. The Lads of North Tyne / The Keel Row
  4. The Cramlington Village Fair*
  5. Devil Among the Tailors / The Fairy Dance
  6. Pamela’s Song*
  7. Tall Ships on the Tyne*
  8. The Blaydon Races
  9. The Jarrow Marchers*
  10. Proudlock’s Hornpipe
  11. The Hoppings Song*
  12. Davy Davy Knick Knack / Rakes of Marrow
  13. Goodbye Killingworth Towers*
  14. Byker Hill and Walker Shore

Credits: Recorded & produced by Martin Hoile at Cluny Studios, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Oct ’87.  Thanks to Bob Fox, Chuck Flemming, Tony Corcoran and Maggie Mitford.   Julia Mitford – Vocals, Flute & Recorder; Pamela Mitford – Fiddle & Recorder; Wilf Mitford – Vocals & Guitar; Helen Robson – Flute; Granny Robson – Piano Accordion.  Front cover photograph by Maggie Mitford.


MM03 Grab a Granny Neet 1989

  1. Grab a Granny Neet*
  2. Julia’s Jig*
  3. The Pitman Poet*
  4. Billy Boy
  5. Maggie Mitford’s Reel*
  6. North Blyth*
  7. Hesleyside Reel / Because he was a bonny lad
  8. The Lass Doon on the Quay
  9. The Coast at Whitley Bay*
  10. Miss Thompson’s Hornpipe
  11. At the Oxford*
  12. Gooseburgh / Kathryn Tyrell
  13. Plessey Woods*
  14. Durham Rangers
  15. Keep Your Feet Still Geordie Hinney
  16. Dennis Murphy’s Polka

Credits : Recorded by J McGovern at Project Studios, Newcastle Upon Tyne 1st August 1989. Wilf Mitford – Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals; Pamela Mitford – Fiddle, Penny Whistle, Northumbrian Pipes, Recorder; Julia Mitford – Fiddle, Penny Whistle, Recorder, Vocals; Helen Robson – Flute, Recorder; Granny Robson – Piano Accordion.  Thanks to Tony Corcoran, Chuck Flemming, Bob Fox, Collin Ross for the Northumbrian Pipes, Mick Earls for the guitar and Maggie Mitford our roadie.

MM04 The Gateshead Garden Festival

  1. The Gateshead Garden Festival*
  2. The Felling Shore*
  3. Blyth Valley Waltz*
  4. Bobby Shaftoe / Lovatt’s Scouts
  5. Newcastle*
  6. Devil Among the Tailors / The Fair Dance
  7. Doon the Waggon Way*
  8. The Kielder Folk Festival*
  9. Horton Burn Hornpipe*
  10. Druridge Bay*
  11. Adam Buckham
  12. Proudlock’s Hornpipe
  13. The Trimdon Grange Explosion
  14. The Cramlington Single’s Club*
  15. The Lass O’Gourie / Far From Home
  16. Bats at the Blagdon*

The above album comprised seven new recordings (out of nine) from the morning session at Project UK Studios, Newcastle Upon Tyne on 7th April 1990 specifically for this Gateshead Garden Festival Album, plus nine tracks from a further fourteen tracks recorded at Projects UK Studios on 1st & 2nd August 1989 for the Grab a Granny Neet Album.  Wilf was not happy with the quality of the traditional Geordie Songs and his own Geordie Songs and Northumbrian instrumentals which were eventually rerecorded again during sessions for the next two albums (Back to Northumbria and Geordie Greats).  Although each of these albums only featured 16 tracks on each, these re-recordings were used on the compilation albums Geordie Greats Volumes Two (1992) and Three (1993).

MM06 Back to Northumbria

  1. Dirty Back Lanes*
  2. Gazza the Geordie From Gateshead*
  3. Margaret’s Waltz*
  4. Have you seen wor Jimmy?
  5. What have they done to Gateshead?*
  6. Blaydon Bridge Hornpipe*
  7. Get yourself to Beamish*
  8. Warkworth Waltz*
  9. When trying to sell your house*
  10. The Sandgate Girl’s Lament
  11. Father Kelley’s Number One / St Anne’s Reel
  12. The Cambois Nudist Beach*
  13. Sally Gardens / Pigtown Fling
  14. Cushy Butterfield
  15. The Lambton Worm
  16. Back to Northumbria*

Recorded at the Red Nose Studios in May 1991

MM07 Geordie & Northumbrian

  1. Adam Buckham / Bobby Shaftoe
  2. Grab a Granny Neet*
  3. Billy Boy
  4. The Coast at Whitley Bay*
  5. The Keel Row
  6. At The Oxford*
  7. Blyth Valley Waltz*
  8. Plessey Woods*
  9. Julia’s Jig*
  10. Keep Your Feet Still Geordie Hinney
  11. The Lass Doon on the Quay
  12. North Blyth*
  13. Doon the Waggon Way
  14. Hesleyside Reel / Because He Was a Bonny Lad
  15. The Pitman Poet*
  16. The Trimdon Grange Explosion (Tommy Armstrong)
  17. Maggie Mitford’s Reel*
  18. The Felling Shore*
  19. Horton Burn Hornpipe*
  20. The Gateshead Garden Festival*

Credits : Julia Mitford, Vocals & Flute; Pamela Mitford, Fiddle, Northumbrian Pipes & Penny Whistle; Wilf Mitford, Vocals, Guitar & Mandolin.  “Thanks to Tony Corcoran and Maggie Mitford. Front cover photograph by Maggie Mitford.  This compilation Nov 1991.

MM08 Geordie Greats

Julia, Pamela, Wilf & Mick Sweeney at Cluny Studios 1992 (I think!)
  1. A Good Old Geordie Song*
  2. Newcastle on the Tyne is Home to Me*
  3. The Water of Tyne
  4. Carrying Coals to Newcastle*
  5. I Wish I Was Back in Newcastle*
  6. Ca Hawkie Through the Water
  7. The Sunday Morning Market on the Quay*
  8. Dance to Your Daddy
  9. Tall Ships on the Tyne*
  10. The Bonny Banks of Benwell*
  11. Part of Geordieland*
  12. The Herring’s Heed
  13. The Newcastle Hoppings Fair*
  14. Ower the Wall is Oot (Traditional with verses by W Mitford)
  15. Buy Broom Besoms
  16. Wor Geordie’s Lost His Penka

Credits : Recorded and Produced by Mick Sweeney at the Cluny Studio, Newcastle upon Tyne in April 1992.  Julia Mitford, Lead Vocals & Flute; Pamela Mitford, Fiddle, Penny Whistle & Vocals; Wilf Mitford, Guitar & Vocals.  Additional vocals by Maggie Mitford.  Front cover photograph by Maggie Mitford.IMG_0244

MM09 Geordie Greats Volume Two

  1. The Lambton Worm
  2. Have you Seen Wor Jimmy
  3. The Great North Run*
  4. Dirty Back Lanes*
  5. Gazza, the Geordie, from Gateshead*
  6. The Cramlington Village Fair*
  7. Cushy Butterfield
  8. The Keel Row
  9. When Trying to Sell Your Hoose*
  10. The Sandgate Girl’s Lament
  11. The Jarrow Marchers*
  12. The Cambois Nudist Beach*
  13. Goodbye Killingworth Towers*
  14. Byker Hills and Walker Shore
  15. The Hoppings Song*
  16. The Blaydon Races

Credits : Julia Mitford, Vocals & Flute; Pamela Mitford, Fiddle & Penny Whistle; Wilf Mitford, Guitar.  On tracks with Piano Accordion which is played by Granny Robson, the Flute is played by Helen Robson.  Many thanks to both.  Compilation 1992 from original recordings made in 1987 and 1991.  Front cover photograph by Maggie Mitford.

MM 10 Geordie Greats Volume Three

  1. Adam Buckham
  2. Grab a Granny Neet*
  3. Doon the Waggon Way
  4. At The Oxford*
  5. Bobby Shaftoe
  6. The Coast at Whitley Bay*
  7. What Have They Done to Gateshead*
  8. Billy Boy
  9. Tall Ships on the Tyne*
  10. Keep Your Feet Still Geordie Hinney
  11. The Felling Shore*
  12. Back to Northumbria*
  13. The Lass Doon on the Quay
  14. Plessey Woods*
  15. North Blyth*
  16. Get Yourself to Beamish*
  17. The Pitman Poet*
  18. That’s Northumbria*

Credits : Julia Mitford, Vocals & Flute; Pamela Mitford, Flute & Penny Whistle; Wilf Mitford, Guitar & Vocals.  This compilation 1993 from original recordings made from 1987 to 1991.  Front cover photograph by Maggie Mitford.