A doughty champion of his local culture.(Poet Tom Hubbard)Your performance at the city hall was soooooooooo good! Christoph thought it was excellent! (Carolyn)


Walk On, Tom Bewick

Stride Circus Lane 
and chip your signature 
on the pavement of scrapes and kisses.
Pass the Forth
and skirt 
its pleasure gardens;
throw your darts in the archery field.
Skim the bowling green
and walk on water, 
doff your hat to Mrs Waldie;
cut along 
old scars of lanes 
to the bloody gush of Westgate Street;
whistle with birds
in a vicar’s garden,
let warm thoughts fly in Tyneside sun
to bless this Geordie day.
And greet 
the morning hours,
Aunt Blackett and Gilbert Gray,
sing to free the world,
the Black Boy;
harmonise your mind
in a churchyard of melancholy.
Dance over the Lort Burn,
the sun in your eyes,
flooding your workshop
with a light fantastic.
Your shoulders so proud
rub with the building girls
and lady barbers
along Sandhill;
the boats of your dreams
bridge the aching Tyne,
ships groaning
in the tender daylight,
longing for the healing moon;
a keelman’s fantasies
of quayside flesh
and the seething sea.
You trip along 
searching for electricity and magnetism 
in the inns,
winging it
with the bird catchers and canary breeders,
the dirty colliers and the harping whalers.
Walk on Tom,
a portrait
of a hanging man;
let your strong heart
swell with the complex passion
of common folk.



whitley bay by the sea!


Here I come
through Bay Fog,
gold ring glinting
in the Park Road dark.
Seeking a North Sea fortune,
looking for a tuneful lass
to make my aching skin sing
of Wooden Dollies
and Spanish Galleons,
sailing across the old fairground
to sunnier climbs.
There’s this guy in the Rockcliffe
and he looks like a ghost.
He’s as pale as the weather
amd mist drips from his nose.
He’s an Old Waltzer,
my young Uncle Walter,
and his eyes are all talk of the War.
He did his strong courting
in an Old Spanish City
and the rose he seduced
was a Cullercoats’ flame.
Now those cold bones are ready
for the warm Crematorium:
a Memoriam to seconds flown by;
the joy of the candyfloss,
the hum of the summer,
the simmer of hamburgers,
and the hot suck of kisses dashed off.
And I am the dome of your past,
the breast of the future,
and I will hug your treasured snaps,
stick your faces in my locket
and spin you down my blouse.
For I have given you joy.
I have thrown you lifelines 
and bobbing girls and boys.
And my Bay Wheel
keeps on turning.
My Big Heart
goes on burning.
My Sweet,
my sweet Streets,
my Catalon Whitley,
kiss me.
Kiss me.

JOSEPH SKIPSEY (1832-1903)

The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, Neville Hall, WestgateRoad, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE. Tel: 0191 232 2201.


Saturday 17th March from 7 – 9pm in the Library.

2012 provides several anniversaries of mining disasters so, to re-balance this a little, we’ll be holding an event celebrating the 180th anniversary of the birth of Joseph Skipsey, the Tyneside Pitman Poet.The event includes Keith Armstrong, Gary Miller (Whisky Priests), Chris Harrison with Skipsey songs, the Sawdust Jacks and pipe player Chris Ormston, with readings from Skipsey’s poetry and an account of his life. During the evening, the annual Northern Voices Joseph Skipsey Award will be presented to a deserving local writer.


the search for the perfect pub



Keith Armstrong & Freunde


am 28. März 2012
Start: 20.00 Uhr
Eintritt: 5,- Euro
im Club Voltaire
Club Voltaire : Haaggasse 26b : 72070 Tübingen

Mit: Keith Armstrong aus Durham (UK) Tübingens Partnerstadt,
Harry Kienzler, Klaus F. Schneider, Tibor Schneider, Eva C. Zeller
& Musik von Gary Miller von den “Whisky Priests” 
der Folk-Rock Band aus Durham (UK).


old scarlett

the jingling geordie

My photo
whitley bay, tyne and wear, United Kingdom
poet and raconteur