North Yorkshire Libraries and two county museums are joining forces to encourage residents to discover and appreciate their community’s heritage during Local History Month in May.
Events will take place in county libraries while the Ryedale Folk Museum and the Dales Countryside Museum have dialect and language as their theme for the month. These events are part of a research project into the way we speak, carried out by the University of Leeds.
Chrys Mellor, Managing Director of Libraries, said: “North Yorkshire Libraries are really delighted to be working with the Ryedale Folk Museum and the Dales Countryside Museum to bring this University of Leeds project to libraries across the county.
“Dialect and language are synonymous with libraries and we look forward to celebrating our rich dialects across sites during Local and Community History Month in May. We plan to build on the foundations laid over the month to hold a series of follow-up events at a number of North Yorkshire libraries throughout the year and create a lasting legacy for the project.
“We are delighted to be able to work with North Yorkshire Libraries on the project,” says Claire Midgley, Project Engagement Manager based at the Ryedale Folk Museum. “The goal of the month is to increase awareness of local history and encourage community members to participate. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to bring research on the way we speak to the attention of library users.
In the 1950s and 1960s, researchers at the University of Leeds conducted a survey of English dialects, visiting people in over 300 locations to record their many ways of speaking. More than half a century later, university staff are working with museums across the country to find out what has changed and what has stayed the same.
As well as sharing the results, the collaboration with North Yorkshire Libraries will offer the public the opportunity to get involved in sharing their own dialect.
They will be able to join the Dialects and Heritage Project Officers at a series of dialect drop-in events. These will explore words from across the country recorded in the 1950s as part of the English Dialect Survey, along with word games and fun activities. Visitors will be able to contribute their words to researchers at the University of Leeds.
“Go to one of the events and stick your nose in it,” Chrys said, “or should it be beak, conk, cronk, hud, immy, sneck, snitch, snitcher, snotter, snout or trunk?”
The Dialect and Heritage Project drop-ins will take place at the following libraries:
- May 5, Stokesley, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- May 9, Catterick, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- May 9, Richmond, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- May 10, Bedale, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- May 10, Leyburn, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- May 11, Skipton, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- May 11, Gargrave, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- May 12, Pickering, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- May 19, Filey, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- May 24, Malton, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Pre-recorded online discussions will be shared via the North Yorkshire Libraries YouTube channel throughout May and a range of activities, including dialect crosswords, will be available at participating libraries. Watch the YouTube channel.
To complement the Dialect and Heritage Project Dialect host programs, North Yorkshire Libraries is running five contextual archive events with the County Record Office and funding talks with speakers from the Yorkshire Dialect Society, celebrating the Yorkshire dialect across stories, poems, history and humor. Events are free, with the exception of the poetry event in Scarborough. Dates and times may change, so check with your library before you go.
Contextual archive events:
- May 10, Great Ayton Library, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- May 11, Knaresborough Library, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- May 18, Scarborough Library, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- May 20, Malton Library, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- May 25, Northallerton Library, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- May 26, Scarborough Library, 6-7:30 p.m. Admission fees will apply, please reserve in advance.
Yorkshire Dialect Society lectures, free, please book in advance:
- Malton, Wednesday 4 May, 11 a.m.: Telling T’ Tale: Poems and Stories in Yorkshire Dialect
- Knaresborough, Thursday 5 May, 2.30 p.m.: Telling T’ Tale: Poems and Stories in Yorkshire Dialect
- Ripon, Thursday 5 May, 7:30 p.m.: A Yorkshire Dialect Treasure Trove: John Hartley
- Pickering, Tuesday May 10, 2 p.m.: Telling T’ Tale: Poems and Stories in Yorkshire Dialect
- Whitby, Tuesday 10 May, 5pm: Telling T’ Tale: Poems and Stories in Yorkshire Dialect
- Settle, Wednesday May 11, 2 p.m.: Tom Twisleton: Poems in the Craven Dialect
- Selby, Thursday 12 May, 2pm: Telling T’ Tale: Poems and Stories in Yorkshire Dialect
- Kirkbymoorside, Friday 13 May, 6.30 p.m.: Telling T’ Tale: Poems and Stories in Yorkshire Dialect
- Great Ayton, Tuesday 17 May, afternoon: Telling T’ Tale: Poems and Stories in Yorkshire Dialect
- Stokesley, Tuesday 17 May, evening: A Yorkshire Dialect Treasure Trove: John Hartley
- South Craven, Wednesday 18 May, 2 p.m.: A Yorkshire Dialect Treasure Trove: John Hartley
- Derwent Valley Bridge, Thursday 19 May, 3pm: Telling T’ Tale: Poems and Stories in Yorkshire Dialect
- Scarborough, Thursday May 19, 6 p.m.: Telling T’ Tale: Poems and Stories in Yorkshire Dialect
- Harrogate, Monday 23 May, 2 p.m.: Telling T’ Tale: Poems and Stories in Yorkshire Dialect
- Grassington, Thursday 26 May, 11 a.m.: Telling T’ Tale: Poems and Stories in Yorkshire Dialect
- Skipton, Thursday 26 May, 7 p.m.: A Treasure of the Yorkshire Dialect: John Hartley
For up-to-date information on Local and Community History Month events and activities, contact your library or check out their Facebook page.