Songs, Dances and Romances of the Striding Dales

The Song of Upper Wharfedale (Foster)

Though Langstrothdale Chase cannot boast of being long
It's often been put into rhyme and to song.
But I'll not sing of the dale itself,
But about the good folks who in it do dwell.

Foremost and first of High Greenfield I'll tell,
Where you'll find Jeffrey and Ninian as well;
Jeff is renowned for the pigeons he's shot,
Ninian is known for the photos he's got.

Low Greenfield I'll sing with its grand shooting box,
Its weather cock swinging, I think it's a fox.
Albert is coachman and butler as well,
While Ned rears the stock for John Gill to sell.

Beckermonds comes next, in the valley so low,
There you'll find Foster and Beresford also.
Foster's a man with a heart for the grouse;
While Beresford sings a good song in Lodge House.

Let's call at George Beresford's, up at Cowside,
Hen keeping and making great pigs is his pride;
He owns the New House, but he doesn't there stay,
Nothing lives there but a ghost as folks say.....

Deepdale comes next at the foot of Sty Gill,
With Peacock and Rowland and Ottie and Will,
Peacock has fame for the lambs he could raise,
While Ottie's a horse judge that all men can praise.

At Yockenthwaite dwelling with pick and with spade,
Old George for a long time our good roads has made,
Beresford John with his gun he goes out,
While Lodge Tom and Anty are somewhere about.

Raisgill's the next stop just over the green,
Captain good bottle can often be seen.
Ottiewell's gone over there to reside,
And brought his wife to live by his side.

Grace Pawson is next, she keeps the George Inn,
There's Bob Lodge and Tom Lodge that loves to drop in.
And Parson is next and he's very good,
And you'll find Dixon just under the wood.

Ben Lofthouse is next, keeps the White Lion Inn,
The odd pair of trotting horses the prize for to win.
And Robinson's next, with his land near and far,
And with him live Dick Hill and Lambert and Sarh.

Then back we return you to Oughtershaw Hall,
You'll find his families there if you give him a call.
Next house you come to you'll find Mr. King
And he's a good parson when he learns folk to sing.

Old Turnbull comes next, and he keeps a small shop,
You can buy anything there from needles to pop.
And granny is next, just in the next street,
A grander old lady you can't wish to meet.....

Then Netherghyll's next, and no-one lives there,
But Frank minds the stock with very great care.
And Swarthgill is next, and it's rather dull,
It's where they caught Big Fish and tried to kill t'bull.

But Cam Houses is next, high up on the hillside,
Where Sander and Alick and Bob doth reside,
Oh Bob likes his nap and he likes a good call
And Alick does baking and washing and all.

And Willie Thwaite's next and he lives at his ease,
He's getting so many prizes for butter and cheese,
And Margaret is next in her snug little cot,
And Chapman and Wylie and we've put in the lot!



This song was written by William Foster of Beckermonds in 1900 for the coronation of Edward VII, and is derived in part from a recording made by Mr. Jack Foster, his nephew .In 1971 it became the catalyst for an ancestral research project organised by Trevor Sharpe and members of the Buttershaw Youth Centre in Bradford. This resulted in the publication of an interesting book exploring the history,traditions and folklore of the area.. The song itself is a virtual ‘who’s who’ of Langstrothdale at the dawn of the 20th century

Jim Jarratt. Mytholmroyd. 2006

Copyright Jim Jarratt. 2006