Accents only come to life when you listen to them. Here are some examples.
Since the era of Dr Johnson, there has been a steady interest amongst historians and academics in the origins and evolution of language. On our own history pages we have provided a very brief overview of how Northumbrian originated, where its traits came from, and how it has evolved to what we have today.
- British Library recordings
- Simey Telfer, (b. 1889, male, shepherd)
Simey recounts the story of a murder of an old shopkeeper in Elsdon 150 years previously and of the subsequent pursuit and eventual hanging of the culprit. At the time of the recording the gallows still stood on the site of the execution. Elsdon is a village some distance northeast of Wark; Billsmoor is the moorland just north of Elsdon; Whitlees the woodland just to the east; The Ray is short for Raylees, a hill just south of Elsdon and Throckley is a village to the west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
George Sparks, (b.1898, male, lead miner and farmer)
- George discusses changes in the nature of farming locally. He explains how numerous former smallholdings under individual ownership have been merged into single farms, and he laments the subsequent loss of traditional practices, particularly the use of middens. Byerhope Farm is south of Allendale Common on the hills above Allenheads.
- W. Pitt, (b.1883, male, retired farmworker/baker/baker’s waggoner)
- Mr Pitt recalls the shipwreck of the Ballycotton on Embleton Rocks, notes the importance of the introduction of radar for shipping and refers with pride to a Craster speciality: Robson’s kippers.
- Whe’s Tellin Hoafies?
- A round of this amusing game is a popular item in some of the Society’s events
- if you enjoyed that – try the next one.
- And more hoafies here
- Raymond Reed
Reciting at the 50th Northumbrian gathering in 2017
- Peter Arnold
Reciting his hoafy tale at the Northumbrian Gathering in April 2017
How to make a cartwheel
Thomas Mosscrop, (b.1879, male, retired joiner)
Thomas describes in intricate detail the making of a cartwheel. The speaker’s grandchild enters and is addressed briefly during the course of the recording.
Neil Telfer, (b.1935/08/15, male, quarry manager)
Neil remembers the isolation of the family farm he grew up on in Uswayford on the fells above Alwinton. He describes how provisions were delivered to such a remote location and the measures taken to prepare for the possibility of being cut off in winter. He speaks admiringly of his mother cooking for such a large household. Windyhaugh is a hamlet in the Usway valley and Wooler a town to the northeast.
Our own Peter Arnold won a trophy in 2013 from the national dialect festival for this item, which was reported on ITV News.
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