Tyne Folk. Masks, Faces and Shadows. 1896


Cat No.:   GB1112:

By Joeseph Parker Minister of the City Temple, London. Published 1896.

"My business is mainly with a few Tyneside peasants. I know well many of the poor and middle classes and can speak with knowledge of their habits."

Joeseph Parker preached in all the villages in South Northumberland to struggling farmers, colliers and peasants. He values his congregation, "From a literary point of view they were uneducated but from the point of view of experience their minds were penetrating and appreciative."

In this book he describes the characters of The Oxleys of Horsefield, Nathan Oxley, Miss Black, John Morra, Jonas and his Church, Richy Hymers and Mary, Jimmy, Ralph Culver and Arthur Boyce, frequently using their own words. It's a great insight into the lives and characters of the Tyne before 1896.

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Parker describes the churches, homes and habits of these Tyne folk in a lively and engaging way.

First paragraph from the chapter on Nathan Oxeley; " Nathan Oxley and his forerunners had farmed the great duke's land for quite a hundred years. Nathan was a quaint old man when I knew him, and so very silent that one's breathing made an objectionable noise when he was the only other member of the company. But Nathan talked with his eyes.

There was one day a week Nathan called the Sabb'day and that day he marked in many ways, most notably by never shaving upon it and never wearing a topcoat or putting up an umbrella within the rising and setting of it's sun. It was useless to reason with Nathan's habit, he got them from Nathan senior."