February 2017 Updates

A new page added, “Minstrels’ Gallery” containing downloadable images of some of the pages of manuscript music in J W Fenwick’s collection.  New images will be added at intervals.

Typographical errors corrected on Minstrels’ Gallery page.

New page added, giving details of the Reid repertoire specifically described in Fenwick, and holding downloads of Fenwick’s collection. Listed under the Minstrels’ Gallery page.

January 2017 updates

Correction to the page about James Reid: it is now understood that the houses in Linskill Street to which James and Ann Reid moved in c.1851-2 may have had a water supply but did not have sewerage.

Added to the Source & References page: the recently published, detailed North Shields history “Shiels to Shields, The Life Story of a North Tyneside Town” by Danny Lawrence, published by Carnegie Publishing Ltd, Lancaster, 2016, ISBN 978-1-85936-228-0

A new page has been added about North Shields itself, setting a context for the content of this website.

A new page has been added, holding miscellaneous oddments and curious items.

December 2016 Updates

An additional comment on the James Reid page, linking his letter to Mr Kell of November 10th 1857 to his performance at Alnwick Castle on November 19th 1857.

September 2016 updates

Amendments and additions to “Who knew whom – when and where” page:

  • revised chronological chart
  • additional comment about Elizabeth Reid comment

Amendments and additions on “Thomas and Robert Bewick” page:

  • Typographical and grammatical errors corrected
  • Note added about spelling of Charles Dibdin’s name.
  • Possible identification of Halgarth, who supplied music for the young Robert Bewick.


August 2016 updates

Update to chronology chart on the the “Who knew whom – when and where?” page, to improve readability.

Amendment of the “Who knew whom – when and where?” page, to include the possibility that William Green and Robert Reid may have known each other in North Shields for up to 28 years.

Update to William Green notes in “North Shields Pipers” page, showing that he was not the landlord of the Seven Stars in 1827-9, nor in 1834, so possibly only settled in Morpeth after that.

Addition of a new page “Who knew whom – when and where?” suggesting   connections based on contemporaneity and proximity in North Shields, and considering the position of Elizabeth Reid, the first known female small-piper.

Minor amendments to other pages to reduce ambiguity or improve precision or clarity.

July 2016 updates

Typographical errors corrected, and some phraseology amended to avoid ambiguities or clarify information.

New information added about G. G. Armstrong, on the page “J W Fenwick and his Collection”.

Additional information added to the page “Thomas and Robert Bewick”.

Illustrations of source material added to several pages.


Please enjoy this evolving account of Northumberland small piping in North Shields over more than two centuries.

The website offers credible information about the history of small-piping and associated music in North Shields and Tynemouth, and about the J W Fenwick Manuscript. The content will be expanded, and amended if necessary, as research allows.

Navigate using the page links at the side of each page, or the drop-down menu at the top of the page.

Although a private research forum is under development, at present there is no facility for discussion of the content.

For further information, or to report broken links or other website issues, contact: