Newcastle And Shields Railway

A Tyne river pilot anticipates the impact of steam boats and railways.

Suggested tune. see Music comments


Well many droll sights have I seen in my time,
In many a ship, Jack, in many a clime:
But old Shields metamorphosed, as she's been today,
Why, my old wig from brown, Jack, you see has turned grey.

Chorus: Derry down down,  Down derry down

Why, when I was a lad, Jack, and old mother you know
As women will do, Jack, a-gadding would go,
We talked on't a month, and then WALK'D up to town, [Note 273.1]
And JEM JOHNSON¹'S WHERRY¹ convoyed us all down. [Note 273.6]

When our skipper to custom house hurried, d'ye see,
Outside of a horse, like John Gilpin¹, got he:
And when weary of spurring and playing the thong
Took a tow of a coal cart to help him along.

Then coaches and steamboats and gigs¹ came in play,
And the hacks and the wherries were all done away;
But the sand banks by water, and high banks by land,
Brought our steamboats "up standing" and gigs to a stand. [Note 273.2]

Howsomever, you see, Jack, some Captains they tell
Sticking fast on a sand-bank as often befell, [Note 273.5]
RAIL'D so hard at the river, as I have heard say
That they got up a RAILROAD - it was opened today. [Note 273.3]

And like the ship's ways, Jack, it stretches among
The hills and the valleys, old Tyneside along;
And the ships lay in line, with a thing at their bow
Like a fiend from the pit, Jack, that took then in tow. [Note 273.4]

For it snorted and roared, and struggled and screamed,
Like the horrible shapes that mayhap we have dreamed;
Then another wild scream, Jack, another deep groan,
And like underground-thunder, the phantoms were gone!

They say it's all science - say it's all bam(1) -
For it either is witchcraft or else it's a sham,
To rush like a thundercloud up to the town;
I'm afeard it will end in their all rushing DOWN

Written for the PORT OF TYNE PILOT, which Journal is published every Friday evening at six o'clock, in the Boroughs of Tynemouth and South Shields. Subscribers names, Advertisements, &c, to be addressed to the Office, north Shields.