The Song of Upper Wharfedale

By William Foster

This was written for the Coronation of Edward V11 (1902) and was sung at festivities by his cousin Alan Beresford (of the Langstroth String Band)

Though Langstrothdale Chase cannot boast of being long

It’s often been put into rhyme and song,

But I’ll not sing about 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;

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 holds 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;

Ottie’s a horse judge that all men can praise.

Turnbull is next and he keeps a shop,

Nothing he’s short of from needle to pop.

Granny is cosy just in the next street,

A nicer old lady no one can meet.

Look how Willie Thwaite can live at his ease

With winning such prizes for butter and cheese.

Margaret knits on in her neat little cot;

Chapman and Wylie make up a good lot.

Netherghyll come next, but no one lives there,

So, Frank minds the stock with very great care.

Swarthghyll is boony and cannot be dull.

They caught the big fish and tried to kill t’bull.

Cam Houses are yonder, up the hillside,

Sander and Alick and Bob there reside.

Beautiful Wharfedale, so sweet and so fair.

Nowhere in England can with thee compare.

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’s good bottle can often be seen.

Ottiwell’s gone over there to reside

And brought his fair wife to live by his side.

Grace Pawson’s the next – she keeps the George Inn –

Many a good Dalesman kens t’taste of her gin.

Hard by lives the Parson, he’s very good;

While Edmund Dixon’s snug under the wood.

Ben Lofthouse loves Cray and his White Lion Inn,

While his grand trotting horse the prizes do win.

Robinson’s out on his land near and far,

It’s there you’ll find Dick Hill, Lambert and Sahr.

Now back we return to Oughtershaw Hall.

Its fir trees, flowers and grand waterfall.

Look in at the school and you’ll see Mr Simm

Teaching balm songs, recitations and hymns.

Taken from “Beckermonds in Langstrothdale” by Florence Foster.

First published by the Craven Herald 1950, republished 2001 by the Wharfedale Family History Group.