By Earsdon Church I saw one day
The story now was fading
And so I climbed aboard a ship
At this point there is a monalogue written by Tom Kelly
The miners marched along this road
By Earsdon Church I came again
Beside a silent stone
Click here to hear this song performed by the Steve Thompson band recorded live at the Customs House South Shields (UK)
The Silent Stone
The Story Behind This Song
Earsdon is a picturesque village in North Tyneside close to Whitley Bay. The church at Earsdon, St Albans creates a typically English scene of a church on a hilltop, surrounded by trees and is a sight that can be seen for miles around. (see above)
Tucked away behind the church, under a leafy canopy and surrounded by thorns and brambles, is a memorial to the 204 miners who lost their lives in the 1862 disaster at Hartley Pit. This is a very quiet place and the visit is made even more poignant when you notice that the youngest names on the monument are those of miners only 10 years old! There are others of 11 and 12 and many have the same name so possibly father and son(s) of many families were killed. I have heard that the funeral procession through Earson Village took many hours to pass. The pictures below may give you an indication of the atmosphere at this memorial.
I posted a web page with pictures about this and have since been contacted by many people who have some connection with the story. One man, Mike Kirkup had written a book about mining in which there was a journalist of the day’s account of teh 10 days of teh unfolding dister. This book became my “time machine” by which I travelled in order to write this song.
The “Time Machine”
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