Wednesday, January 09, 2008

ABC Wednesday - Y is for Yorkshire

This map is reproduced by permission from the website of the Yorkshire Ridings Society (link now defunct).

Known as God's own Country the boundaries of Yorkshire as shown above were established in the ninth century.

When Local Government was reorganised in 1974 some people believed that the old counties no longer existed despite a Government Statement that
The new county boundaries are administrative areas, and will not alter the traditional boundaries of counties, nor is it intended that the loyalties of people living in them will change, despite the different names adopted by the new administrative counties.
Maps of the historical counties of Britain and more information can be found on the website of the Association of British Counties.

The ramparts of Skipton Castle.

I've been a Life member of the Yorkshire Dialect Society for about forty years now. Established in 1897, it is the world's oldest surviving dialect society. It holds four meetings a year around the county and publishes both an annual Transactions and a Summer Bulletin.

The former generally contains a number of scholarly articles such as (in the 2007 edition) LEXICAL EROSION AND INNOVATION IN NORTH-WEST DERBYSHIRE by Jon Fyne, which sounds a bit dry and tangential, but is actually a fascinating read. It also includes some excellent original poetry. The latter publication is generally the place for more popular contemporary writing and verse in dialect.

One of the strengths of the YDS is its ability to attract on the one hand, academics whose interests are primarly in language, linguistics or history, and on the other, creative writers and speakers of dialect. My deepest regret as a Council member is my inability to attend meetings these days.

The view from the top of Holme Moss.

My favourite Yorkshire Dialect poet was the late Fred Brown - read his poem Euclid's Childer.

There are several writers of haiku in Scots; one of the best is John McDonald, but so far as I know, I'm the only person to have written haiku in Yorkshire dialect. These SIX YORKSHIRE HAIKU were published in Summer Bulletin in 2002.

wooid stack'd
ahint t'shed
oe'er-ran wi' bahndweed

wheeir t'muck-stacks were
lush trees nah grow
on t'illside

hot efternooin
sheep on t'fells kip
bi a stoan

river agate —
ducks on t'igh bank
waddle i' a lahne

med blahnd
bi t'low Jan'ry sun
Paris ti Hades

ower t'M1
a breet-een'd kestrel

© Gerald England, 2002


  1. The dialect is really neat! Interesting Y post and beautiful pictures.

  2. I don't understand anything of your poetry! Maybe a word here and there...
    The landscape is beautiful.

  3. A very good one - I love York (after all we have been to Jorvick before...) and your presentation was very informative to me.

    Skipton castle is highly recommended. We visited in 2006. It was 35 degrees C on the parking lot. Inside, it was cool and very interesting.

  4. This was very interesting....I have read a lot about Yorkshire and it is nice to see it on a map! Love the ramparts!

  5. Great and interesting post. I learn new thing again from your ABC wednesday : )

  6. beautiful post, wonderful captures and colors

  7. Skipton Castle looks like a fine place to explore. If ever I'm up that neck of the woods I shall definitely be calling in.

  8. Great pics as usual, Gerald. The poetry though...need some time to think over it. Deep. very deep.

  9. Does this mean you are committed to speaking in this particular way? It is such an education to read your posts. I've never heard of a "dialect society." It lends authority to a native speech pattern.

  10. Hey Gerald......I wrote the very same...great minds think alike eh! eh by gum! LOL!

  11. Sorry the dialect was a struggle for me but I did enjoy it and have learned more about your country and Yorkshire. Terrific Y post.

  12. Understood all words - obviously the Scots influenced these Yorkshire Tykes!!

    Great Photos.

  13. Between you and Mrs. Nesbitt I REALLY want to visit Yorkshire.

  14. I have never been inside a castle before and your Skipton Castle seems like a wonderful place to visit. 40 years in a particular club sounds like a record. Perhaps with modern technology, they could tape the meetings so people around the world can enjoy them.

  15. Well, I tried reading it out loud, I think I got most of it right, but perhaps it doesn't sound quite right spoken by a maid from Devonshire!

  16. I always prefer the old Yorkshire Ridings, why do governments have to change things like that, when I was over in 2006, I found some of the old fingerposts that still had North Riding on them but looking worse for wear.

  17. I have a poetry book of poems in the lancashire dialect, which is much the same I suppose.
    What annoys me is how American inner city language, rap and hip hop, is being pushed down our throats by the powers that be. I think they want us to be as stupid as the performers of that rubbish look.

  18. I somehow missed your blog Wednesday. Sorry about that. Beautiful pictures and very interesting "Y" post.

  19. Thanks for stoping by my blog. Check out our new family member I posted today.

  20. Interesting post. I don't know how I missed it last week.
    Reminds me of a time when I had business dealings with three gentlemen - a German, a Frenchman and a Yorkshireman. Each one spoke with a thick accent, which I had to tune into to understand. It became quite chaotic when all three were speaking at a meeting - I would miss about 80% of what was said :)

  21. ship on't fells kip nia stoan...

    luvly stuff Gerald! thar's a gradely powit

    Gwilym (der Waliser)

  22. Haiku in dialect! How wondrous. I can read some of them too.