The Blaydon Races, William Irving, 1903

Contributed by Shipley Art Gallery

This lively painting depicts the 19th century Tyneside event, the Blaydon Races. © Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

The song refers to a race meeting at Blaydon, Gateshead on 9 June 1862, describing the hazardous journey to the course.The annual Blaydon Races and Fair was a major event on Tyneside in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The attractions shown in this well-known and much loved painting include a large open carriage pulled by a team of white horses, men demonstrating acrobatics or boxing, and a sweet stall. The picture was painted by the Newcastle artist William Irving, who included many local characters in it. Towards the front of the picture, 'Gull Willie of Newburn' is being tricked by the card cheat, the 'Swalwell Cat'. Filled with boisterous activity and fascinating detail, the characters in the world famous Geordie anthem, 'The Blaydon Races' are brought to life in this unforgettable painting.

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Location
Culture
Period

1903

Theme
Size
H:
95cm
W:
140cm
Material

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