Our Gateshead


A new local book 'Tommy Armstrong the Pitman Poet' has been published and launched.

Tommy’s famous songs include such classics as ‘Dorham Jail’, ‘Nanny’s A Maisor’ and ‘Trimdon Grange Explosion’.


What makes this book unique is that it has been written by Tommy’s grandson – Ray Tilly pictured below.


“Ray was born at Eighton Banks in 1934, he attended Chester-le-Street Grammar School then became a Police Cadet with Durham Constabulary for 18 months.  In 1952 he joined the Army and was stationed at Windsor for three years then on leaving the Army, he stayed in the south and joined the Police Service.  Ray spent many of his 30 years service in the Criminal Investigation Department and he rose to the rank of Chief Superintendent before retiring from Thames Valley Police in 1985.

He settled in Buckinghamshire, where he still lives, then worked as a Security Consultant until he retired in 2002.  Since then, he has been engaged with researching the family history of his wife’s and his own ancestors.”

Ray’s book is an attempt to ‘set the record straight’ about the life of his grandfather. Many things have been written and said about Tommy ­– and Ray separates fact from fiction.

Included in the book are thirty previously published works by Tommy and a further sixteen unpublished works.

Also included are the poems and story of Tommy’s son – William Hunter Armstrong – Ray’s father.

The book is published by Newcastle company Summerhill Books and is priced £9.99. The book has over 100 illustrations.

‘Tommy Armstrong – The Pitman Poet’ was launched at the Lamplight Centre, Stanley on Thursday 18th November at 11 o’clock. It was a huge success with hundreds in attendance clamouring to buy the book, each copy signed by the author.

For further information contact Andrew Clark on 07971 859 401

You can learn more about Tommy on our alternative website: www.sunnisidelocalhistorysociety.co.uk


Listed under

Other content by this organisation

Join OurGateshead

 - Recieve email updates when Items of interest are added

- Create a favourites page

- Create printable summary pages