George Geordie Ridley who wrote Blaydon Races – look I know there will be hundreds of people who can trace a connection to Geordie Ridley – well I’m one of them and mine. My Granma was not that impressed, nor was her Granma apparently – well I’m **bleeping impressed I can tell you – Swaggerino impressed. The family on that side – my Mother’s mother’s family were quite a contrast 2 sisters who looked remarkably similar in older age but who had very different lives. My Granma – the eldest was steadfast and steely her sister was quite an adventurer and enjoyed being different, but in older years they were very close – I would have loved to have known what they talked about. Blaydon Races – iconic – I’ve danced out on the Newcastle City Hall pavement in the snow to it at a legendary Lindisfarne Christmas concert aged 17 with my friend Dot Painter, wow, sung it as I ran in the Great North Run with me Dad.
My brother who has recently confirmed the family connection with his research has found that George Geordie Ridley was still living with his parents in Gateshead at the time of his accidental death at a very young age – he didn’t appear to gain any wealth from the most famous Geordie anthem in history that he performed in the local Mechanics Institutes. My Granma loved the theatre especially musical theatre so although she wasn’t that impressed by her connection there was something in the blood.
I love the painting of the Blaydon Races – that’s in the Shipley Art Gallery – click on the link at the top of this page for the image and information about the artist.