a look at the Friends of Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse (FoG)
DIALECT LETTER, 1848
sent to the Editor of the Eastern Daily Press and forwarded
to Keith Skipper who has presented it here for lovers of the
dialect everywhere to read and enjoy.
a perookial elector I should like to says a few wuds about
the Perish Counsels Act. I spose we all on us ha bin
a-studdyin its warious perwisions. Im not a-goin to
go into the missa-lanous dooties witch will dewolve on the
new boddies when they are duly gotten into wurreken order,
but I may obsarve how-ever that the wuckhousen will go on
as afore. Therell still be gargins elected only on a
demma cratic princerpill. Now there are gargins by wirtue
of thar offus as magistrats called or known in offishal suckles
as Eggs of fish, E.O.. Well I was a-readin
claws 20 last night & the only thing I could arrive at
of fish E.O. gargins ha got the sack, or thar will het.
(Nothin eggstenuate nor set down a horse in malice)
The westries will be transferred to the councils (eggscept
clasyasticle effairs). Then therell be the school rooms
used by the perish, an a lot o' other things done, wizz, overseers
appinted, land acquired, lotments hired, money borrered, futpaths
and roads repaired, an setra, an setra. The best on it is
the meetins ha got to be held arter sicks oclock pee.
m., so that dye see we labourers can take a prommernant
part in manidgment of our perookial bisness.
STREET, KINGS LYNN 1905
ever sin I was a buoy I ha hankered arter a perish appintment,
but the wust on it of late years I ha had to fight agin
my wifes horsetillity. She seem to me to be allas a-tryin
to damp my perookial arder. Wot for I cant think. Theres
one thing if I was made a perish councillor I could dror up
any perookial dockerment in strict non-conformity wi
law. Thas moren many on em could dew. The differs
twixt me and the lawers is I kerry all my legal frizzyolergy
in my hid. The lawers git thars out o books. O I forgot
to say I might ha been nomernated perish constable once,
but I wooden het; I doon call that a honner at all. Theres
a lot on em a-holdin that offus that cany nayther
reed nor rite, nor never could from their embryo upwards.
(Nothin eggstenuate nor set down a horse in malice.)
But as I was a-sayin my wife seem to me to abor the
wery princypills that I am so much dewoted tew, whiz, the
princypills of perookial pollytix. Theres no gittin
out ont, shes ded nuts agin my becoming a perish
ont het, John, say she, rayther pashanetly to
me arter we had beeb a-argerin the matter the tother night;
I ont het, and she repeted the eggspression
3 several times (thas a fack).
nut? sez I.
John baw, sez she (and I thought I see a sartin eggspression
on her face as she say it), John baw, youll het
a go to skule agin afore you kin think o mixin your self up
in perish affairs.
a-zackly wot Im agoin to dew, Mary me dear, says
I, in as gentle a tone of woice as I could onder the suckumstances
command, for were agoin to hold our ann-yule local
perookial perish council meetins in the school room.
the skule room? eggsclaims she. Never! I ont
het, John, so I tell ye. I shall woot agin it, Ire done
the cleanin o that ere skule rume for the last
7 year, an dye think Im going to ha yew
an all the rest on em a slouchen about the bilden wi
hobbledy butes, a-pullen the desks & things about, and
creaton a stive an an uproar? Taint so likely. The plairce
wornt bilt fot, an I ont het John, so I tell ye.
talked as if the bilden was hern, which is proprosterous.
Well we diden say no more to each other arter that till this
mornin, when we continered the argerment, in the course o
which I happened to say that every man should take a part
in the mal-aministration of his own affairs.
doon know about that, sez she.
bless me, Mary, jackerlated I (this time rayther wehemently,
for I begun to feel werry wexed at har eggstreme purwersity).
Gaw bless me, yew muss knew that thas a fundy-mentle
princypill of the British constertution.
wot? say she, a funny wot? I doona wot youre
talkin about. Isset about the funny prince Ire heeard
talk on, hew took metal pills to bild up his constertution?
she actually bust out larfin; thas a fact.
quarls are as common as dead leaves in ortum, bein the
chief incidents in the fammerly suckle of all grades of society,
so I shant say anything more about wot took plairce betwixt
us 2. To set 4th the fax would dew no good, and might serously
purjudice my persition in the perookial whirl of pollytix.
theres one thing I forgot to pint out, and thas this.
If youll look at the Act (Air & Spottywood, 91/2)
youll find that in order tew becum qualerfied for the
cheermanship of a perish or districk council or bawd of gargins
you muss not have received any yewnian or perookial relief
(widey claws 46). So you see thar dont mean to hev porpars
presidin or ockerpyin the chair. That wuz a wery good thowt
on the part of our parlourmentary legisletters, and no mistake.
My stars though, if that wital portion of the a-voresaid claws
had a-bin left out! In coorse o time we might ha
seen a perookial porpar a-sittin in the chair, and conductin
a yewnian bord meetin. Ire heerd talk of Ann Nommiley,
but, bless me, shed a-bin no-where wit!
wud more, an Ire done. I muss arnestly eggshort every
wooter to dew the wery best he kin to git the best men to
sarve on the board of gargins, twit, men who can plum
the bissmal depps of bumble dom, and gage the sinny-hossities
of the fishal conshance. Buy the buy, though, thar say as
how thass all a mith about wos abin goin on at a sartin
wuckhouse close by, I mean the innermannerties thar talk about,
and all the rest on it; a fabercation.
now I muss conclude with 3 chairs 56 & 57 Wick c 73! for,
despite all ob-stickels, and the nateral antippathy of my
wife, I am farmly conwinced that a day nut wery far distant
will see me the dewly elected chairman of the perookial council
of this ere wery perish.
Advertiser, Wisbech constitutional Gazette, And Norfolk &
Cambridgeshire Herald December 1, 1894.
Trosher competition 2016 winning entries
Each year we run a writing in dialect competition, there is a category for poems
and a category for stories. We also run a junior competition in local primary and high schools, if you are interested in finding out more about this please
contact our education officer.
Norfolk Threw and Threw
Oi wuz born and brought up in Norridge
a Tuckswood gal and proud
but mum and dad were Lononers
so em oi still allowed
ter call moiself a dumplin' ?
Oi dew hope thass tha case
'cuz apart frum a dabble in Cambridge
ah orlways lived in this place!
Ah fished at Harford Bridges,
picnicked at Dunston Com'n,
paddled alorng the custline
'n boo'ed inter Wroxham.
Oi wuz a school gal at Tuckswood Infants,
went from Harford to the Hurt, *
wuz an athlete for moi County
(tho' now oi coont bloomin' well dirt!)
Moi Sat'dy job wuz at Carrer Rud
sellin' hot dorgs tew tha crowd,
back when tha C'naries fust went up
and wunt we awl hully proud!
Then oi went ta study
and hat-ter move away.
Gort moi degree, come straight back hum,
that wuz a happy day!
Oi then become a teacher,
in a Norfolk School a course,
and larned all them little ole mawthers
(and put up with thar sauce)!
Now ah looked inta fam'ly histr'y
and found ter moi suproise
that m'ancestors they wunt Lononers
but born under Norfolk skoies!
In Kenninghall and in Fornc'tt
as oi did discover
not far frum where ah settled now
in sunny Dickleburgh.
So thar! – Oi em a dumplin'
Norfolk threw an' threw
and hare is where moi haart loies
and “diff'rent” oi shall “dew”
Zena Tinsley – noo member
FLOODS AT WELLS IN 1953
It wus a Satudey mornun, I wus about ten yar old and my fust job wus to chop some stiks for mi
muther so I cud arn some poket muney to go t tha Satudey matunee pictus. Me and mi meert
Goliper - that wus his nik nerm, (we all had nik nerms then, speshley the fishamen. My
Granfarthur wus Harbor Marster at that time, and his nik nerm wus Tander and his sar nerm wus
Smith). When we cum out arter weed bin to the flix, Gully, a boy we went t skool with say “yew
orta go down the harbor, the sea is fludin over the keey wall and old Scammy told me thas 3
hours till high tide yit, thas a lye” I sed. “ well if yew dont beleeve me git down thar and hav a
look fer yur self” . So cors we hatter go, yew now. So orf we went to hav a look. We went threw
the litle alley to Starthe Street, but had a job gittin down the street cus thar wus a norwesterly
blowen harder then I had nown it afore. Golipa got the wind up and sed “I arnt baterlin agernst
that! Im goern hum the top way to git suffin to eat, my stumuk think my gobs gone t sleep”. I
pulled myself down t the harbor holden on to the old granery wall, when I went rowned the
corner. Huw stod there nere the Fleece pub wus my Grandfarthur and all the old fishermen
keeping an eye on the boats and tide (them old boys wer hard as neerls, most of them had
sarved in the rowin lifeboat in tha twenties and thaties). It wus blowen wass than ever now, and
when Tander see me, he hollard to me “git yew on hum outa this!”, and wen you were told by
them to do sumthin you dun it else you got a ding round the lug or wass.
I lived at the bottum of Standid rud and wen I got hum, I nipped in to are out side larvatry, and
all of a suden my feet wus in warter up to my shoelerses. I went hellin in the house to tell my
muther. (She sat toastin a bit a bread for my bruthers tea on a fork in front of the fire, waiten to
check the futball pools at fyve aclock). I said to hur “Muther!” The warter wus over my shoos in
the lavatry and she sed i should har “pulled the charn” agin cos that old cistan wus overflowin.
-(we still larf about that).
Not long arter that, my farthur cum hum. We all sat ther. he sed “cum on togather, the warter`s
cummin in the back door!”, well blast, we all jumped up and went and got sum brums out of thar
coal shud. Years ago the howse wus a pub so it still had a cellar, so we all started sweepin the
warter down the cellar steps, but it soon filled up, as the warter wus gushin in my farther said
“we bettur git out o here”, so they took us boys up to Mrs Williumsuns who lived halfwey up Jolly
Saylors Yard, corse thay sed we wud be sarf up thar..
The next mornin we went and had a look at the howse, yew narver see nuthin like it! The floor
had 2 foot a mud over it. There wus a warter mark half way up the wall and all the farniture wus
ruwand. My perants lorst everything that niyt (they wunt insured or nuthen). Along the keey thar
wur boats washt up, our old scout boat, an old X navy M.T.B boat, wus washt up and wus leanin
on Frenchs fish and chip shop wall.
Later that mornin, we were told Tander and a cuple more blokes had seen a lyte flashun in
morse code down the beach near the lifeboat howse on the night of the storm. Thay rowed a
boat down the beach agin the tyde and wind. Harf way down the beach bank busted and that
washed them in tha pich dark ryte through to Holkum gap. They managed to git the bloke into
the boat. He tarned out to be a Customs Orficer who had bin in the the lookout shelter on the
beach . They lorst an ore wen thay were bein washed threw the gap, so thay had to scull the
boat with wun ore up to the harber; thay got up thar serfley (how they done it I don`t now?)
Tander wus awarded the B.E.M for brervary that nyte and a ‘cerstifacat for galentry’ from the
R.N.L.I . Now that ent no lie, that`s a trew yarn.
Thas bin nice talkin to yew but I got a go now, cus me and my meert Gilley are goin diggun lug
wams down the beach. We don`t weert for each other wen we go down there cos we got a good
idar. If I go down the beach rud fust, I put a chork crorse in the middul of the rud, if he go down
fust he rub it out. Now that could be a lye
Cheeerioo for now.
Young Tander Smith
leave your comments or any questions in the FOND
as wed like to hear from yew, tergether!