Bill Griffiths (1948 – 2007)
was a poet, scholar, small press publisher, musician, local historian, archivist and scholar of English dialect. In 1987, he obtained a Ph.D. in Old English from King’s College London. In the late 1980’s he moved to Seaham, where he became active in collecting and archiving materials associated with local dialects.
Beginning in 1996 and up until his death, Griffiths worked with Bill Lancaster at the Centre for Northern Studies at Northumbria University. He became a highly active assistant editor of Northern Review, a Journal of Regional and Cultural Affairs.
In 2005 the centre was awarded a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to continue dialect research, resulting in Northumbria University Press publishing three volumes of dialect studies.
Bill was instrumental in creating and running the Durham & Tyneside Dialect Group, which is now dormant. The current custodian of the group’s researches, Tom Richardson, has allowed the Society to re-use information gathered by the group.
Bill published over 80 volumes of poetry and other works. Those most relevant to our language include:
Report on the Durham-Tyneside Dialect Survey (2001)
A Dictionary of North East Dialect (2005)
A Dictionary of Old English (2005)
Pitmatic The Talk of the North East Coalfield (2007)
Fishing and Folk: Life and Dialect on the North Sea Coast (Wor Language) (2008)
Stotty ‘n’ Spice Cake: The Story of North East Cooking (2015)
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