May 10, 2009

Northumberland poetry. Ode to North Tyne by A. Charlton, (1946),

Bill Charlton had a newspaper cutting of this poem for may years, and found it again in 2009. A hand-written note on the bottom of the cutting said, "returned to Westmorland House, Wark-on-Tyne, 14.6.46".

It looks as if the author must have returned from his home address of "Hyde, Wareham" (printed with his name at the bottom of the poem), to visit his birthplace at Wark-on-Tyne. The poem has clearly been an emotional response to his visit (probably his last). There is no information on who A. Charlton was. The poem is copied as printed with no verses.

Bill says there was a Charlton who lived in the Black Bull at Wark called William Charlton 1873  but moved to Farm the Battlesteads  in1889. He also owned Sutty Row Colliery as Charlton Collieries Ltd.    Perhaps this A. Charlton was maybe an Albert, but who knows.  This information came from.  "Bellingham North Tyne and Redesdale" By Ian Roberts and  Moira West.

Oh! North Tyne, dear North Tyne, the home of my heart
Thy memory will never away from my heart,
The home of the dauntless, the fair and the free,
Whose deeds are recorded on land and on sea.
Thy scenes are enchanting through moorland and lea,
From Peel Fell to Hexham on the way to the sea.
Other dales may be fairer, but none can compare
With the expanse of beauty, romantic and rare.
A portion of nature, not other can share, nor compare
With kind hearts, still beating there.
From Falstone to Reedsmouth, and down to the Clint,
Of beauty and grandeur there’s never a stint.
By Lea Hall and Houxty, Chipchase, Houghton and Wall,
The scene of my young days sweet memories recall.
And where’er I may go, or whate’re may betide,
There’s no place to me like my bonny Tyneside.
It was at Wark village I first saw the light
That has spluttered and flickered through the passage of life
And has shown, through those years of pleasure and strife,
That the forces of might still overrule right.
It’s some consolation we certainly know
That whate’er might betide, where’er we may go
With all our errors, or favours we’ve won
We’ll just leave this world as rich as we come.
Old schoolmates have gone, some now far away
In far distant countries our Flag to display,
With sons of the Empire they march hand-in-hand,
To uphold traditions of the dear Motherland.
Some days we shall meet them, and welcome them back
(Those dauntless defenders of the old Union Jack,
To the home of the childhood, where we oft used to play;
In woodland or meadow by the Bonny Brae.
Oh! Bonnie North Tyne, I hope to see thee once more,
Tho’ miles lie between me and thy happy shore,
I dwell among strangers far from my old home,
Through scruples of others, no fault of my own.
I wish all folk in thy valley, all good things that be,
And that fair winds may guide them on life’s troubled sea
To a haven of happiness, unfettered and free,
To list to thy murmurings in “Sweet Liberty”.
At Birtley my loved ones are sleeping their lane,
They never won fortune or craved for fame.
Without fear or favour they’d nought to reflect,
They lived out their lives without blemish or shame.
Till God called them to join Him elect,
By His will they shall sleep and be ever at rest
On the land of their childhood, the dearest and best.
There I hope to join them and lie by their side.
Mid’st flowers of the forest, and sweet scented pine,
No thought of the morrow, of time or of tide,
When God chooses to call me from Bonnie North Tyne.


  1. Ode to North Tyne was written by Anthony Charlton while he was living in excile at Hyde. a village near Wareham, Dorset. Anthony returned to his beloved North Tyne in 1946, living in Westmorland House. at rhe old brewery. Anthony was an accomplished piper of the small pipes,and in earlier days ran the drift mine "charlton Collieries" at Sutty Row, Birtley.


  2. Anthony Charlton lived at Westmorland House Wark untill his death in 1948. He was survived by his son Bill Charlton who ran the Church Lane garage with light engineering, school taxis and bus and filling station.Sadly Bill passed away last year.

  3. I don"t think the Black Bull Charltons were related to Anthony Charlton,one time exile in Dorset,colliery owner,piper and true Northumbrian. Mrs(mother)Walton ne.Charlton,landlady of The Black Bull told me she had come to Wark from Allendale aged 3yrs in 1893.

  4. I was wrong re,my information of the Charltons who kept the Blaqck Bull at Wark, the earlier Charlton family were indeed the Charltons who moved to the Battlesteads and opperated Sutty Row colliery near Birtley. A little confusing they were followed into The Black Bull Hotel by the Charlton familly from Allendale around 1890, their daughter Leagh marrying a Mr Walton, who after the death of her husband held the license there untill her death in I think 1975.

  5. Leah Charlton was born in Allendale in 1887 to John and Mary Charlton she married Thomas Walton a Butcher who was from Fellside Hexham in 1910, Thomas was my Great Uncle, the Walton's took over the Black Bull after the death of Aunt Leah's parents Thomas died in 1934 from complications from wounds received in WW1.

    Leah continued to hold the licence until she died in February 1975 the couple had three daughters Peggy, Minnie and Bessie, over the years the Black Bull was run as a family concern until it was finaly sold in the early 1980's. David Walton