The Blaydon Races


You might well ask why the Blaydon Races are appearing here and the answer is simple; In 1962, part of the Blaydon Races centenary celebrations were held at Blaydon Rugby Club, which of course, is located in Swalwell. (see video below)

I was there, and It was a grand affair with people dressed in period costumes, parades, shows, the horse races themselves of course and a fireworks finale the likes of which had never been seen outside of London. The massive parade started in Newcastle and after crossing the chain bridge at Scotswood, and proceeding to Blaydon, it split into two with some of the parade coming to Swalwell. Even though we still had the hoppings then, the races were more than comparable.

The photographs shown under were given to me by Billy (Cowboy) Rodgers who took most of the photos from his home in Park View next to the rugby club. Below the photographs are the Blaydon races lyrics.

The parade crossing the old Chain Bridge at Scotswood

Dray Horses and Carriage

The crowd starting to gather at Blaydon Rugby Club

The parade starts to arrive at the club.

One of the carriages turning into the club off Hexham Road.

The carriage again

And a close up view...!

Rugby Club playing field used for the races

One of the races in progress

Crowd watching the wrestling.

Real vintage stuff.

An interesting video about the Blaydon Races Centenary in 1962 - Swalwell events

can be seen in the latter part of the video



The Blaydon Races - Lyrics


I went to Blaydon races
Twas on the 9th of June
Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Two
On a summer's afternoon
I took the bus from Balmbras

And she was heavy laden
Away we went along Collingwood Street
That's on the road to Blaydon

Oh me lads, you should've seen us gannin
Passing the folks along the road
And all of them were stannin'
All the lads and lasses there
They all had smilin' faces
Gannin along the Scotswood Road
To see the Blaydon races

We flew past Armstrong's factory
And up to the Robin Adair
But gannin ower the Chain Bridge
The bus wheel flew off there
The lasses lost their crinolenes
And veils that hide their faces
I got two black eyes and a broken nose
In gannin to Blaydon races


Now when we got the wheel back on
Away we went again
But them that had their noses broke
They went back ower hyem
Some went to the dispensary
And some to Doctor Gibbs
And some to the infirmary
To mend their broken ribs

We flew across the Chain Bridge
Reet into Blaydon Toon
The bellman he was calling then
They called him Jackie Broon
I saw him talking to some chaps
And them he was persuadin'
To gan and see Geordie Ridley's show
At the Mechanics' Hall at Blaydon

Now when we got to Paradise
There were bonny games begun
There were four and twenty on the bus
And how we danced and sung
They called on me to sing a song
So I sang 'em 'Paddy Fagan'
I danced a jig and I swung me twig
The day I went to Blaydon

The rain it poured down all the day
And made the ground quite muddy
Coffee Johnny had a white hat on
The old wife stole a cuddy
There were spice stalls and monkey shows
And old wives selling ciders
And the chap on the ha'penny roond-a-boot
Saying 'Any more lads for riders'.









Copyright 2001-2013 David Newton