The Society was founded in 1983 to promote, preserve, research, publish and enjoy those rich dialects from Northumberland to NW Durham, including Tyneside.
Northumbria stretched all the way from the Humber in the south up to the Firth of Forth in the 6th century, before England or Scotland were created. The speech and language came down from earlier invaders, the Angles, and after the Viking invasions, followed by the creation of England, we claim to be the only place left where the original speech still survives, in part.
Since 1983, the Society has continued to maintain a centre of learning about the language and its origins, and continues to promote public events which provide entertainment and education, and works to promote pride in our dialect across the region.
The Society is a registered charity, run by an Executive Committee of volunteers. We welcome everyone, native speakers and aspiring dialect speakers from all avenues of life. We encourage all Northumbrians to become bilingual, using the language amongst family and friends, and using standard English if more appropriate. As society has become more globally connected there are more people turning to the distinct cultural and historical features of their local or adopted communities to establish an identity that gives a sense of belonging and value that is often absent in their public lives.
The Northumbrian language is uniquely placed to contribute to this trend. Its unbroken history stretches back more than fourteen hundred years. Although its use has declined in recent years, it maintains a long and vigorous literary tradition, both oral and written, which preserves its essential features. On the pages of this website you can discover the history of the region and language, listen to speakers from the last century, and watch and hear speakers of the present. There are reference works to clear up the meanings of some of the different words, and examples of present day writings. If you like what you see, why not consider joining? Click here for the subscription page.
Affiliated to the British Association for Local History