I must apologise for having tracked down a copy of this rare publication (at Cornell University Library in the USA) but now find there is also a copy a little closer, at the Old Jail in Hexham (Border History Museum). The book cover and several pages of the 126 page book (although not p59 where this poem can be found) are reproduced on FARNE.
It was clearly something we needed on this website and I have transcribed it in full below. Enjoy!
There’s lovely vales and villages
Upon the banks of Tyne,
There’s flowery denes and pleasant scenes,
Where grandeur seems to shine;
But still, ‘mid all their beauty,
There’s one excels them all,
And need I name, of rural fame,
Chorus — Heddon-on-the-Wall,
Bold, proud, and prominent
Old Heddon overlooks the Tyne,
The pride of all the North,
Whose sons of toil can truly boast
Of genius and of worth;
Her Hawthorns and her Stephensons,
Whose fame shall never fall,
Were reared amid the pleasant vales
Few villages can boast of such
Where ancient Britons met their foes
With scabbard, shield, and sword;
Proud Romans left their footprints there,
Quite visible to all,
In famous walls and ditches near,
Old Heddon banks with hearts are bless’d,
Congenial and kind,
Who sympathise with the distress’d,
When fortune is unkind,
I need not mention in those ranks
The hearts in Heddon Hall,
A mansion that adorns thy banks,
Does the poem refer to the Bates family or the occupier of the Hall after it was sold by them in 1895? The 1901 census shows William Robert Wilson (43) a Solicitor from Bolton, Lancashire in Heddon Hall.
He was born on 18th May 1857 in Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire and died on 23rd November 1903 in Heddon Hall. He had played cricket for Newcastle and Northumberland between 1879-80. His wife, Mary Fenwick Wilson (31, born Newcastle) and three children, Dorothy (9), Phylis (6) and William (3) in 1901 were looked after by 7 servants.
Incidentally, William, aged 3 in 1901, became Lieutenant Colonel William Wilson, and now occupies a Commonwealth War Grave at El Alamein, where he died on 25 July 1942.
There is more about Heddon Hall on this website.
James Anderson, was born in the village of Earsdon, in 1825. Following his father into the pits, Anderson held the position of lamp man at Elswick Colliery in Newcastle for over 20 years. His early songs gained merit in the Weekly Chronicle song competitions and the composer went on to have material published in 'Chater's Tyneside Comic Annuals' and other publications. The author was apparently as well known in his day as famous Tyneside composer Joe Wilson, although his popularity has not endured and he is not well known today.
His song, Aw wish pay Friday wad cum, was awarded first prize in the Weekly Chronicle song competition of 1870, beating some 176 competitors including Joe Wilson. The song records the distress caused by gambling wages away at the 'pitch and toss hoying skyeul'. After the publication of the song the author became known as 'Pay Friday Jim'.
There's information about a 2002 recording of the song, 'Heddon on the Wall', in the blog 'Canny Wylam'.