Conversation in Coalville about accent, dialect and attitudes to language.
I left a grammar school in the city (Leicester) to work at Snibston Colliery less than 20 miles away, and many words were unique to the Coalville area; 'nesh' referred to feeling the cold, 'geen' meant that the work was less demanding, a 'Gresser' was a great day weatherwise, 'stopping a doddy' was doing overtime underground. I had to swiftly learn the language! Hope this helps.
Posted by David King on 11/06/2016
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BBC Voices Recordings
Sankey, Horace, (speaker, male, ex-miner and councillor), Stirland, Peter, (speaker, male, ex-miner and co-ordinator of Pride charity), Unwin, Kevin John, (speaker, male, ex-miner and museum tour guide)
Hollis, Jo, 1969 Aug. 04- (speaker, female)
[00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves. Discussion about what being local means to them, local industry, how speech varies locally, explanation of local words. Discussion about their dialect, effect of local industry attracting workers from other parts of country on local dialect. Anecdote about local councillor’s reaction to his speech. Explanation of local words/phrases, pride in local dialect. [00:14:17] Discussion about local dialect, how relocation of miners to Leicestershire in 1960s affected local speech, pit talk, people who have left area not losing their accent, attitudes towards local accent, how speech varies locally, how migration of workers enriches society. Anecdote about his young grandchildren using local dialect, friend from Norfolk not understanding local dialect words. Mention local words used to greet people. How using local dialect aids integration for people migrating to area. [00:24:28] Anecdotes about working in local collieries. Discussion about how society and people’s lifestyle is changing over time, importance of coal industry in development of society, pride in where they come from. Approval of Dennis Skinner keeping his Derbyshire accent and therefore his identity, different ways to pronounce ‘bath’, various reactions to different dialects. [00:33:43] Discussion about local pronunciation of various words, parents correcting their children’s speech, women who worked in factories during Second World War, influence of television on children’s speech. Their desire to preserve local dialect, future of local dialect as society changes and mobility increases, mention dialect phrase. Discussion about importance of remembering major historical events and movements, pride in speaking local dialect, pride in coming from family of miners, how local industry has changed over time. Comment that it would be interesting to compare their conversation with speech in 25 years time and see how much the dialect has changed. [00:43:41] Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. [00:46:42] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Mention word used to mean ‘left-handed’. Discussion about how discipline of children has changed over time, what a copper was used for in past. [00:49:26] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Mention how he defines ‘rich’, miners talking about work in the pub, local pronunciation of various words. [00:55:15] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Anecdotes about outside toilets. Mention words/phrases used as greetings, area in which local dialect is spoken, how increase in education has affected dialect, how society has evolved/might change in future, change in people’s aspirations, having pride in your roots, family values. [01:07:26] Discussion about accents in media, how communities are represented in film/television, attitudes towards regional dialects, accent and politics, pride in England, family values. Anecdote about turning eighteen. Discussion about having respect for other people and their position in society. [01:15:10] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Mention how society changed in 1960s, words used to mean ‘main room of house’. Discussion about television, anecdotes about watching television for first time. [01:21:31] Discussion about local words/phrases/pronunciations including some coal mining vocabulary. Speakers re-introduce themselves, mention pride in their dialect.
Recording made for BBC Voices project of a conversation guided by a BBC interviewer. The conversation follows a loose structure based on eliciting opinions about accents, dialects, the words we use and people's attitude to language. The three interviewees are all former miners.
User notes for this item
I left a grammar school in the city (Leicester) to work at Snibston Colliery less than 20 miles away, and many words were unique to the Coalville area; 'nesh' referred to feeling the cold, 'geen' meant that the work was less demanding, a 'Gresser' was a great day weatherwise, 'stopping a doddy' was doing overtime underground. I had to swiftly learn the language! Hope this helps. Dave King
Posted by David King, ex miner, Snibston Pit on 11/06/2016 23:02:00