WOR MUSEUM: a Geordie poem


A poem printed in the Shields Gazette, 3.11.1880

(I’m still working on finding out who the author was!)

Aw wand ye’ve seen, in Ocean Road,

Wor wonderful collection

Of a’ that’s curious, aad an’ rare:

By gocks, its worth inspection!

For frev a’ dust,

An’ grime an’ rust,

The objects he’ been dragg’d, sor;

An’ now they stan’,

A’ spec an’ span,

Thor nyems upon them clagg’d, sor.

An’ forst, thor’s buits,

An’ Sunday suits

Of China-man an’ Dutch-man ;

Wi’ Zulu rigs,

An’ lawyer’s wigs,*

The last aw wadn’t touch man.

Thor’s bits o’ styens†

An’ rotten byens

Of horses, dog, an’ sheep, sor;

Wi’ broken mulls,

An’ grinnin skulls

That makes wor flesh to creep, sor.

Thor’s weshin-tubs, ‡  

An’ Indian clubs,

Wi’ idols great an’ sma’, sor;

An’ pots and pans,

An’aad tin cans,

An’ boodies fre the sa’, sor.

Frev ocean’s spells

Thor’s cockle shells,

An’ lobsters in a row, sor;

An’ not a few

Reed-herrins too,

Which make a stunnin show, sor.

Frev some dim hole,

Beyond the Pole,

We hae the biggest wonder,

A bit sea-weed

A’ gyen to seed,

It’s nyem’d Artaxia Conda! ⸶

Thor’s aad pan-tiles,

And crocodiles,

Wi’ sorpents live an’ dead, sor;

An’ fossil trees,

An’ butter flees,

An’ a mummy’s wither’d head, sor.

An’ kangaroo,

Repose in gilded cases,

Wi painted grass

Mirrored in glass,

An’ a’ things i’ thor places.

Wor taxadormists will forgae

  One who is but a gruff ‘un –

But when they set thor subjects up,

  They ought to hide the stuffin.

An’ then we’ve got a statty of

  A lady peelin’ taties;

“REGINA LIBERTA,” it says,


But stop, that’s Latin, so aw’ll gae

  A runnin free translation;

It’s better far that a’ should knaa

  What tends to edecation:-

“Barates,” that’s the husband’s nyem,

  A’ Palmyrene by nation,

“Erects this statty tiv his wife,”

  “In lovin admiration,”

“An’ hopes this stone will serve to show”

  “A future generation,”

“How ancient matrons neer dispised”

   “A humble occupation!”

The statty, as ye knaa, is frev

  Wor famous Roman Station.

But mem’ry fails

      To gae details

O’ aall in case an’ shelf, sor;

      So, if ye can,

      Tell every man –

“Examine for yourself, sor! “

*A short while ago the late Mr Ingham’s wig found a resting place, somewhat incongruously, on the head of a large idol which stands in the centre of the room.

†See remarks made in the Council, July 3rd, 1879, and again May 6th, 1880, touching the Roman stones at the Lawe.

‡A wash-tub does duty as a stand for a Roman Amphora.

⸶A pickle-bottle containing sea-weed has a label literally running thus:- “Artaxia Conda, a curious specimen of rare sea-weed from beyond the North Pole!”

From a newspaper clipping collected in the Scrapbook of Robert Blair, compiled by South Shields historian and librarian Amy Flagg and now held at The Word in South Shields.