“The fog on the Tyne is all mine,” sang Alan Hull. It was 1972 and Lindisfarne’s Fog on the Tyne was top of the UK album charts. This was the year Edward Heath’s government was preparing to take Britain into Europe for the first time. Naturally there was much argument. Pro-Europe Edward Heath managed to get a majority of his MPs to support him, though the Labour Party was opposed. This opposition led to the resignation of Labour’s deputy leader Roy Jenkins, who was in favour of supporting Heath’s efforts. The pro-Europe lobby managed to prevail through all this turmoil, and the European Communities Act was passed in October 1972. Britan entered the European Economic Community the following year.
Meanwhile Alan Hull was singing that the fog on the Tyne belonged to him. This of course was not meant to be taken seriously. The fog on the Tyne cannot really belong to anyone. But ironically, it is only something that belongs to no one in particular than can belong to everyone. With issues of nationalism and identity in the air, Alan Hull was making his statement about how a feeling of belonging can be combined with an open hearted view of the world. The Tyne was a place of trade, where different people came together to share what they have. Ships from overseas sit at the quayside on the charming album cover. It seems that people of all kinds might go there, and feel a sense that the Fog on the Tyne could belong to them.