In search of Tishy Gallowa

I’m on a quest.

Back in the 1920s, a racehorse called Tishy hit the news for coming last in the Cesarewitch in two consecutive years, 1921 and 1922.

She was a success for sporting artist Tom Webster in the Daily Mail, though, because he began to do a series of cartoons based on Tishy and her alleged unusual action, which made him the highest paid cartoonist on Fleet Street for a while.

He also created an animated cartoon, said to be the first fully animated cartoon to be produced in Britain.

Here’s a clip of the 1921 race, with a possibly trotting Tishy at the back

You can read more about Tom Webster here:

There are also lots of Tishy cartoons on the same site:

And this reel contains some Tishy animation, about 10 minutes 30 seconds in:

My quest is this: when I was growing up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, my mother told me that there had been a cartoon called “Tishy Gallowa” in the newspapers in the north east. This isn’t surprising, since the term “Gallowa'” was (and still is) a general term for a horse in north east England, and it derives from the old Galloway breed/type of horse that were the running horses who formed a major part of the foundation stock of the Thoroughbred.

I assumed, therefore, that “Tishy Gallowa” had been a syndicated north eastern version of the famous cartoon.

However, although I’ve contacted many of the cartoon archives, I’ve drawn a complete blank. No syndication, apparently, and no-one else recalls Tishy Gallowa.

Anyone else recall their parents or grandparents in the north east talking about Tishy Gallowa?

7 thoughts on “In search of Tishy Gallowa

  1. I have heard of Tishy, I remember my mum telling me how she would cross her legs if she didn’t want to run! But that’s as much as I know

  2. In the 70s my toddlers were given a wooden pull along horse which my mam named Tishy. She remembered that Tishy was a racehorse who did very badly but never mentioned the cartoons but I do know her family wouldn’t buy the Daily Mail because of it’s support for Hitler.
    We’re from Sunderland; I’ve never heard a horse being called a gallowa so I’m guessing that’s more of a Tyneside thing.

    • Hi – thanks for the comment! I was starting to wonder whether anyone else remembered Tishy. I do know people from Sunderland who use the term “gallowa'”. It’s also used in Cumbria. The main people who use it these days are former miners, hill farmers, Fell and Dales pony breeders, and travelling people. The term was once widely used by coal miners who described their ponies as “pit gallowas”, and a lot of them were actually Shetland ponies shipped down to Seaham Harbour to work in the mines in Co. Durham. Basically the term gallowa’ can be applied to anything from a Shetland to a Shire, but the fact it was in fact once a famous landrace of small, fast horses has mostly been forgotten. Do you still have the little wooden horse?

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