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THIS ARTICLE was 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.


Deer Sir,

Bein 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. I’m 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. There’ll 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 wuz these.

Eggs 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 there’ll 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 o’clock pee. m., so that d’ye see we labourers can take a prommernant part in manidgment of our perookial bisness.

King's Lynn  

Now 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 wife’s horsetillity. She seem to me to be allas a-tryin’ to damp my perookial arder. Wot for I can’t think. There’s one thing if I was made a perish councillor I could dror up any perookial dockerment in strict non-conformity wi’ law. Thas more’n 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. There’s a lot on em a-holdin’ that offus that can’y 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. There’s no gittin’ out on’t, she’s ded nuts agin my becoming a perish orficer.

I ’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).

“Why nut?” sez I.

“Why, John baw,” sez she (and I thought I see a sartin eggspression on her face as she say it), “John baw, you’ll het a go to skule agin afore you kin think o mixin your self up in perish affairs.”

“Thats a-zackly wot I’m agoin to dew, Mary me dear,” says I, in as gentle a tone of woice as I could onder the suckumstances command, “for we’re agoin to hold our ann-yule local perookial perish council meetins in the school room.”

In the skule room?” eggsclaims she. “Never! I ’ont het, John, so I tell ye. I shall woot agin it, I’re done the cleanin’ o’ that ere skule rume for the last 7 year, an d’ye think I’m 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 worn’t bilt fot, an’ I ont het John, so I tell ye.”

She talked as if the bilden was her’n, 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.

“I doon know about that,” sez she.

Gaw 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.”

“A wot?” say she, “a funny wot? I doona wot you’re talkin about. Isset about the funny prince I’re heeard talk on, hew took metal pills to bild up his constertution? Hey?”

And she actually bust out larfin; thas a fact.

Now 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.

O, there’s one thing I forgot to pint out, and thas this. If you’ll look at the Act (Air & Spottywood, 91/2) you’ll 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 don’t 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’. I’re heerd talk of Ann Nommiley, but, bless me, she’d a-bin no-where wit!

One wud more, an I’re 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.

An 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.

Yours respectively,


Lynn 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.

Poetry winner

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

Prose winner


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

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