Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

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paulinebutler66
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Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

Post by paulinebutler66 » Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:37 pm

Hi I am researching an ancestor, the above-named Thomas Grey who lived between 1864 and 1928. He was an engine driver with at first the NBR and NER in the Tweedmouth region.
He was a prolific writer contributing to local newspapers and the NER worker's magazine. He was a published poet and I believe wrote poetry for the newspapers.
I am looking for any information relating to him and in particular where I may find copies of the magazine and his writings in them.
I also understand that he was a representative for the local pensioner's society in Tweedmouth and wonder where I would find information about that too.

Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

Thanks

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Re: Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

Post by 52D » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:46 pm

An engineman who followed the same route as my late Grandfather Thomas "Tucker" Derry At NBR Berwick shed till 1924 when the shed shut due to the rebuilding of Berwick station and transferring across the river to the enemy at NER Tweedmouth. I have seen a few of his poems and seen an obituary in the British Newspaper Library site. Unfortunatly another man who would have remembered him Jock Evans has recently passed away. Thomas Grey was famous both for classical poetry and poetry of a more frivolous type. I have somewhere a copy of one of his frivolous works regarding a toilet at Tweed Dock which i will look out for you and see if i can re find the obit.

George 52D
Edit - Obit appears on page 5 of The Berwickshire News 21st of August 1928. Looking in my collection for more info.
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Re: Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

Post by 52D » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:13 pm

Advert from The Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday May 22nd 1906
Thomas Grey2.jpg
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Re: Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

Post by 52D » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:22 pm

From a little research on my fb page i came up with one of Mr Greys more frivolous works. I hasten to add that his normal stuff was well known at the time and highly regarded, but its nice to see he had a more satirical side as well.

Something completely off the wall tonight but railway related as a 52D driver wrote it. The old hands among us will remember the toilet in the dock that hung out over the Tweed. Driver Thomas Grey relates the story.
Early in the 20th Century a mishap occurred at a public toilet on Tweedmouth Docks. The victim was a man called Gardiner. His unfortunate experience was recorded in verse by an Engine Driver by the name of Thomas Grey who was a well known local Rhymster. Mr G.D.Bryson President of the Berwick Amateur Rowing Club says the poem was once a favourite recitation at their annual dinner.

THE SHIT HOUSE ON THE QUAY
There was a man called Gardiner
At the hour of 10 o’ clock.
On the night of the 1st of November
He went across to the Dock
He went to the old tin Shit House
And boldly entered in.
He dropped his nedder garments
And sat down to begin
Alas a gale was blowing
Upon the fateful day.
It blew the old tin Shit house
And poor old Bob away.
I went across to Tweedmouth Dock,
And saw this total wreck.
And there sat old Bob Gardiner,
With the Shit house round his neck.
A lady who was passing by
Made this exclamation:
“Have they tried to blend the Shit house
With the art of aviation?”
Now he vows they’ll have to build him,
A hut more firm and strong.
Before he’ll cease from singing.
This most delightful song.
Farewell, Farewell my little hut,
No more I’ll shit in thee.
For little did I think That night.
That you would Shit on me.
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Re: Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

Post by 52H » Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:05 pm

Hi all
That poem is a little gem, I'm still laughing. Well done on the find.

52H

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Re: Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

Post by 52D » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:03 pm

As well as being a keen poet, Mr Grey did a lot of good local work being one of the trustees and major fund raiser for the Tweedmouth war memorial as well as being a keen member of the Co-op movement and several other local organisations.
In his early years he fired to Driver Thomas Douglas in particular on the Wooler, Cornhill & Tweedmouth line.
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Re: Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

Post by johnsontom » Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:36 pm

Thomas was the elder brother of my grandfather Henry Grey (1872-1936), also a driver at Tweedmouth. I have researched the family history and quite happy to share information.

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Re: Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

Post by paulinebutler66 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:21 am

Well thank you everyone. The poem is definitely one of his lighter ones!!!
I know that Thomas was also involved with the Tweedside Co-op: the ratepayers association, the railway pensions and officiated at quite a few local celebrations when he would write poetry to order! Quite a talented man, it is such a shame that there is so little about him in the public domain. I think he also wrote a poem for Queen Alexandra.
I would be interested to know why he had to retire from the railway so early around 1900 I think.

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Re: Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

Post by johnsontom » Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:40 pm

Pauline, there is now a Wikipedia entry for him if you enter Thomas Grey poet which you might find interesting. Also a book of his poems was published by a great granddaughter last year called Poems on the Great War ISBN 978-09931869-0-5. He retired early in his forties, think it may have been diabetes.

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Re: Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

Post by 52D » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:41 pm

Berwickshire News, 14th September 1915. These 3 men are sons of Thomas Grey, the "Footplate Poet". Sorry about the quality of these clippings. The first was about his sons who were serving in WW1 the second is information about his book being published.
thos Grey.jpg
Thomas Greya.jpg
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Re: Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

Post by scottelliot » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:28 pm

Hi, Just to let you know that I have an original (1906) copy of "Musings on the Footplate", a book of poems by your ancestor Thomas Grey. The poems are great and can make you laugh and cry at almost the same time!
Scott Elliot.

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Re: Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

Post by 52D » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:30 am

Hi people, especially 61070 and 52A ive just found a link from 1919 that links the guy that this threads about and a link we jointly researched a few years ago about William Stephenson and the Willington accident. I will transcribe Thomas Greys Letter to the Berwick Advertiser about meeting a railwayman who knew William Stephenson and addressing a meeting of striking NER Footplatemen about the state of his Headstone. The strikers gave what they could afford and the Headstone was repaired. The stone was also repaired in 1948. I should have the text up tomorrow. The paper is from 25th July 1919.
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Re: Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

Post by 52D » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:30 am

THOUGHTFUL GENEROSITY OF THE RAILWAY STRIKERS. Dear Sir, —Some time ago Mr Charles Scott, now a native Sunderland, but originally a native of Tweedmouth, called attention in your columns to a stone in Tweed mouth Churchyard, (not Cemetery;, which marks the last resting place one William Stephenson, engine driver, N.E.R., who ran the first passenger train from Berwick Newcastle after the opening the Royal Border Bridge, and who was later killed near Wallsend by his engine leaving the rails and rolling over the embankment. He wanted know in what state of preservation the stone was, and I had on several occasions seen and read the pathetic inscription the stone, I gave him the required information that time . It was suggested by him then that the railwaymen should something in the matter. I spoke a few, but few, if any, knew such a stone or of such a man, and the matter unfortunately lapsed. Mr Scott, hale and hearty 75, was in for holidays some 2 months ago, and called have a chat with me. We naturally spoke of the stone, also the man. with whom he was personally acquainted, and of whom he spoke in the most glowing term?, holding him up superman in his day. In conversation with the Vicar last week, the sarno subject was broached, the strike doubt being responsible for the introduction of the same. As result, the Vicar Sunday night last, while a large number of the strikers were waiting outside the St. Cuthbert’s Hall, explained the whole situation to the men. telling them the dilapidated state it was now in, and the need for renovating it, thus keeping green the memory of one of their own pioneers. The Vicar did not appeal in vain, every man, on. strike were, at once contributed his mite to the fund quicklv opened, and substantial sum was soon realised for the purpose of cleaning and making legible the inscription this interesting stone. trust Mr Scott will see what our have done, and that they also may pay the Churchyard a visit and see the stone, and road its sad story.—Yours etc., THOMAS GREY,
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Re: Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

Post by NorfolkGrey68 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:04 pm

52D
I don't have the means to contact my relative Tom Johnson who uses the username 'johnsontom' on this forum. Through registration, you have both my email address and that of Tom and in order for us to contact each other could you please forward my post below together with my email address to Tom.
Thanks in anticipation.
Dave

Dear Tom
By way of introduction, I am the grandson of James Grey and therefore great grandson of Thomas Grey, the Border Poet.
I read your entries on the LNER website with interest and noted that you are the grandson of Henry Grey, Thomas the Poet's brother. That would probably make you something like a 2nd cousin to my father Thomas Horace Grey!
If you and Suzy Brown (grand daughter of Arthur and therefore great grand daughter of Thomas the Poet) have been in touch then she may have given you quite a lot of information regarding the family tree with Thomas, the Poet, at it's head.
In November 2016, some of the descendants of two of Thomas's sons (James and Arthur) and of his daughter Jean, met at York at the invitation of Suzy who recently republished a version of Thomas's poems.
Jean's daughter, Doreen, also probably a 2nd cousin of yours and Jean's grand daughter attended.
I look forward to hearing more about the Grey tribe and I can give you more details of the Norfolk branch of the Greys!!
Best Wishes
David Grey

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Re: Thomas Grey The Border Poet Tweedmouth

Post by johnsontom » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:49 pm

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the post that George has informed me about. I have added you as a friend so hopefully you should now be able to contact me direct. Regards, Tom

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