Singing to honour rescue anniversary

Andy Craig performing the song in Grace Darling's bedroom.
Andy Craig performing the song in Grace Darling's bedroom.

A Northumbrian musician, who has written a song about Grace Darling, performed the track in her bedroom to mark the 180th anniversary of her heroic rescue.

Andy Craig, from Christon Bank, penned the acoustic piece, Never Been Kissed (Grace Darling’s Story), a few years ago. He sings it regularly and it always goes down well.

Grace became a Northumberland and national heroine after she helped to rescue survivors from the shipwrecked Forfarshire in 1838.

The paddle steamer had run aground on the Farne Islands and Grace and her father William decided to row across from their home at Longstone Lighthouse to help save people’s lives.

Grace kept the coble steady while her father helped men and a woman into the boat.

The aftermath of the rescue spread the name of Grace Darling throughout the land and then beyond these shores.

Last Friday marked 180 years since the rescue, and even today, Grace’s story continues to inspire and amaze.

To help mark the milestone, Andy decided to visit Grace’s bedroom and play his song.

He went across with Seahouses boatman George Shiel last Thursday to record the track, which has since been uploaded onto YouTube (https://youtu.be/97H7IMqAclw).

Andy said: “It was a bit of a pilgrimage for me as I’ve been singing the song and telling visitors the story of Grace and her father for many years.

“The song tells Grace Darling’s story from the perspective of her ghost looking back at her life and her celebrity status at the time.”

Andy has a residency at the Holiday Property Bond site at Lucker Hall, where he shows his landscape photographs and plays music every Thursday night for guests. His Grace Darling song is always in the show.