2003 Northumbrian Gathering Ode to Blyth Power Station

Power On

Built in the 1950‘s the four huge towers of Cambois (Camus) Power Station towered over West Sleekburn for fifty years. On 7th December 2003 they tumbled to the ground. They left a huge gap in the sky-line. These are my memories of the event, written in “Geordie Pitmatic”


Fo-or maist wor lives, less or mair,
Te North o’ Blyth were chimley’s fower.
They framed the skys, an set the scene,
Like Giant’s Teeth wi gaps a-tween.

Below them muckle turbines spun,
Their fuel the coal wor miners won.
From nearby pits and NCB,
To heat wor hyems and industry.

Yon chimleys stood fower square an prood,
An frae each came a drifting clood.
Te guide us hyem wher’ere we’d be,
Frae Tyne to Tweed far oot te sea.

But times they change, wor mines hev gone,
Nee coals te mek yon turbines torn.
They said te Camus,ye did all-reet,
But yer time is up, yor obsolete!

Came one sunny Sunda morn
We joined the thrang doon at Sleekburn,
Explosions caaled death knells at noon,
Fower chimleys slowly coppled doon.

Nee langer de they catch wor eye,
We’ve wide blue yonders for a sky.
Yet somehow, Ah miss them, for ye see,
They’d been there that lang, theor part o me.

Ah stand an wonder, what’ll tek theor role?
We’re varnigh oot o’ gas, an coal.
Raas an raas o’ Windy-Mills
Alang wor shores, and up wor hills?

Perhaps needs must, pollution free,
Te cut the gas that warms the sea.
But where’s the jobs in coming years,
What’s for wor Bairns that will be theors?

Noo, two decades on, out of the “blue a bolt”
We open wor arms te welcome “BritishVolt.”
Time has moved on, but so must we,
To welcome a new technology!

A muckle gigaplant shall rise
Like the Phoenix , before wor very eyes.
To harness “Bly-Lithium” and much more
To power us batteries by the score!

New Skills that reverse the sad decline.
Careers for sons and daughter mine.
So we leave behind the dark of night
Too a future that is battery bright!


Glossary, Pitmatic is a localised Northumbrian dialect arising from the old North East coal mining area.Most is simply phonetic but here a few translations. Cambois, North Blyth (pronounced Camus) site of BritishVolt : Wor, Our : Chimley, Chimney : Muckle, Huge : Hyem, Home : Copple, Tumbled : Varnigh, very near : Bairns, Children