BBC Voices

Conversation in Talbot Green about accent, dialect and attitudes to language.

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Talbot Green, Rhondda Cynon Taf

  • Interviewees

    Evans, Philip Guy, 1958 Aug. 11- (speaker, male, travelling showman), Hill, Jason, 1972 July 10- (speaker, male, Scarrott, Rebecca, 1926 June 15- (speaker, female, retired travelling showperson), Scarrott, Shadrack, 1925 June 26- (speaker, male, retired travelling showman), Whayman, Mark, 1970 Aug. 22- (speaker, male

  • Interviewers

    Morgan, Anita, 1932 August 06- (speaker, female)

  • Producers

    Radio Wales

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves, describe their family involvement in travelling fairgrounds, mention where they were born/have travelled/have lived. Anecdote about girl in Isleworth, Middlesex recognising her speech as Welsh. Story of his birth and blessing in caravan.[00:10:08] Discussion about showmens language, its links with other dialects/languages, how it varies across United Kingdom, where they learnt it, examples of words/phrases they use, how it has changed over time, reasons for using it. Description of differences between his grandchildrens speech as a result of their different upbringing.[00:20:54] Discussion about their own accent, regret at being unable to speak Welsh, other peoples reactions to their accent. Anecdote about Welshman thinking he was English. Discussion about picking up accent/vocabulary from different areas they have travelled to, different words used in different places, nicknames for people from different areas.[00:26:55] Discussion about whether regional accents could disappear, how Welsh language varies across Wales, how their children speak.[00:29:25] Discussion about their own accent, how they feel about their accent being from no particular location, showmans accent. Anecdote about being recognised by his voice in Disneyworld. Discussion about being recognised as showmen by other showmen and recognising other showmen by their speech/clothes, close supportive bond between showmen across United Kingdom. Mention help sent from across the country to showmen affected by recent flooding in Carlisle.[00:36:38] Discussion about attitudes towards regional accents, people being judgemental about accents, use of swear words and attitudes towards swearing, influence of television. Discussion about how their children speak, how they pick up speech from around the country as they grow up.[00:41:20] Discussion about showmens way of life, how showmens children learn manners within family, eating meals together, close showmen families, children influenced by parents, calling older people aunt/uncle even when not related to be polite. Anecdote about being inundated with friends saying they were his sisters when he was in hospital. Discussion about changes in way of life for both showmen and their customers, being able to converse with many different types of people about many different types of things as show-people because talking and listening to people is part of their business.[00:50:17] Description of the Showmens Guild, their involvement with it, attending recent central council meeting in London where they talked to a number of Members of Parliament over lunch. Comment that knowledge and skills are passed down through showmen families, they are mostly self-taught. Anecdote about fateful aspect to Rebecca and Shadracks marriage. Speakers re-introduce themselves. Remark that they hope showmen in the future are still doing the same things as them.

  • Description

    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 five interviewees are all travelling showmen and women. Shadrack and Rebecca Scarrot have made Talbot Green their winter home for the last 50 years. They have been travelling showpeople all their lives, but are now in their 80s and have retired. The three other interviewees, all members of the Showman's Guild, come from old travelling families and continue with that life themselves.

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