Conversation in Knowle West about accent, dialect and attitudes to language.
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BBC Voices Recordings
Knowle West, Bristol
Dallimore, Pat, 1939 Nov. 04- (speaker, female), Harvey, Mary, 1934 Oct. 24- (speaker, female), Jackson, Lillian, 1935 March 23- (speaker, female), Murray, Rene, 1935 Sept. 16- (speaker, female), Richardson, Sheila, 1938 Feb. 17- (speaker, female), Smith, Edna, 1935 Jan. 29- (speaker, female)
Salvidge, Rob, 1957 Nov. 26- (speaker, male)
[00:00:00] Discussion about geography of Bristol, history of the development of the city, how Knowle West developed from the great slum clearance of Bristol, how the tobacco industry built local area. Description of working in tobacco factory with mother and two sisters.[00:05:22] Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Discussion about attitudes towards life, mention friends/relatives who are unwell.[00:08:32] Discussion about local community, necessity of street wardens, good provision of local services. Comment that the good things outweigh the bad in local area but you only ever hear about the bad. Mention pride in coming from Knowle West. Description of her parents, their upbringing, occupations and involvement with local community. Anecdote about mother initiating street party after end of Second World War. Mention patriotism of Knowle Westerners.[00:13:47] Discussion about Bristol speech, adding L to end of words, their own accents, talking to posh people. Anecdote about being told she sounds like a farmers wife, young girl in Birmingham being mesmerised by their Bristol accents, stopping herself correcting someones speech when first came to Bristol. Mention various Bristol phrases.[00:19:06] Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. Description of being bought new clothes once a year at Whitsun, being bought new clothes on credit.[00:23:09] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Mention words used to mean trousers/to throw/to play truant. Prosperity and community spirit of different areas of Bristol, how this has changed over time; being very poor in past in Sicily. Description of diddlum club, local scheme to save money for Christmas, anecdote about mothers experience of losing money to it. Discussion about local industry, mention shops/factories they worked in when young, comment that local companies have mostly gone now.[00:31:32] Discussion about local politics, going on protest, closure of community centres, lack of services for elderly/handicapped people. Anecdote about elderly neighbour not receiving enough help after coming out of hospital. Importance of being politically aware, how Bristol City Council has changed over time, local money being wasted, communists in Knowle West in past. Description of hearing communists speaking in Knowle Park on Sunday afternoons, the recruitment of young people to Communist youth clubs during Korean War.[00:38:56] Description of hard time in past when rent increased sharply during period of low employment at docks, difficulty of getting work on docks, how hard their fathers worked, father bringing home bananas. Anecdote about first time she ate a banana and being disappointed. Story of father bringing home curtain material while working on docks.[00:43:15] Discussion about racism in employment in Bristol docks and buses in past, racial mix of area in past, how this is changing. Description of local boxer who became champion before losing his sight.[00:47:19] Discussion about geography of Bristol, words they would use to describe going to various local places from Knowle West. Description of going to Knowle cinema. Anecdote about going to see film called Snowbound on a snowy night. Mention other local cinemas they used to go to in past, local bingo hall they still miss now ten years after its closure. Anecdotes about going to cinema, mention projectionist changing speed of film, watching films in school hall on Saturday mornings, sneaking into cinema through fire doors. Mention being moved into house in Southville because their house was bombed during Second World War. Anecdote about going on trip to Weston. Description of Clifton (area of Bristol), how its reputation has changed over time. Mention Clare Warren (former Lord Mayor of Bristol) who was brought up in Knowle West, lived in Clifton and said that Clifton was no different to Knowle West. Comment that they wouldnt move from Knowle West.[00:58:33] Discussion about their own accents, how they have changed over time, how their children speak, attitudes towards swearing. How she speaks when on the British Broadcasting Corporation, mention celebrities she spoke to when working there, what they might have thought of her. How she spoke when trade union representative. Discussion about local politicians they liked/disliked. Anecdotes about local politicians being very helpful to people in Bristol. Description of grandson with cerebral palsy.
All six interviewees are members of the Christ The King church social club in Knowle West, Bristol. 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.