Lancashire Humour and Pathos

Home Up Site Search Main Index


 


――――♦――――
 

PREFACE.


I SHOULD not have deemed it necessary to apologise for, or explain why I have written this book in the Lancashire dialect, but I read a summary of a speech delivered to the scholars at a Bury school, at a prize-giving on Nov. 3rd, 1910, by Mr. George Harwood, M.A., the distinguished member of Parliament for Bolton. He is reported to have counselled his hearers to discard the use of the dialect because it was "ugly, ungrammatical, un-English, absolutely incorrect . . . . Pronouns all wrong, verbs all wrong, and the whole thing upside down. There was an English language that had been developed by hundreds of years of culture and education, and why should it be so mutilated and so disgracefully used as it was by Lancashire people?"

That is a strong indictment against a dialect that was protoplast of the English language — a dialect used by our forbears in their wooings and in transacting business; a tongue which probably most of the mothers of the boys whom Mr. Harwood was addressing used when soothing their offspring to sleep. Ugly! I deny it. Ungrammatical I admit; but inasmuch as it was a language long before a grammar was compiled, Lancashire folk never required the aid of such rules to enable one to understand another. Will Mr. Harwood give us examples of where the pronouns and verbs are all wrong; and also tell us how anything in use can be "upside down."

The builders of the "beautiful" English language appear to me to have been indifferent craftsmen, considering they have compiled over three million words, and there are very few of our best scholars who are familiar with a thousandth part of them. The Lancashire dialect comprises less than five hundred words, and those who converse in it know its whole dictionary, and furthermore, have made colossal fortunes for those who would contemn it. Is it not ungenerous, to say the least, to criticise the roughness of the timbers of the bridge over which one has crossed to the land of wealth? I am tempted to write much more had I the space.

I gratefully acknowledge the encouragement I have received in the production of this book from the Lancashire Authors' Association (to which I have the honour to belong), and must specially thank Mr. Jos. Crenshaw and Mr. Sam Fitton (both authors of repute) for their assistance as critics and "readers" of the contents herein. I must thank Mr. Sam Fitton, also, for the illustrations; he has interpreted my ideas very intelligently, and my readers will judge their merit.


THE AUTHOR.


Blackpool, February, 1911.

――――♦――――


CONTENTS.

APRIL FOO-DAY

BAITIN' A RAT

HIS DUG "MICK"

ANOTHER DUG TALE

GINGER'S CUSTOMER

SARSPRILLA


JIM ROGERS'S WART

SCARPOLOGY

TH' WOMAN FRO’ BURY

ABEAUT BLACKPOOL: AN' REAUND ABEAUT IT

A BLACKPOOL AUCTION, AN' WHAT COOM ON IT


SOME CHAPTERS CONSARNIN, A FAMILY CAWD SMITH

SOME FILOSOFY; AN' JOE SHORT'S FUST FEIGHT

HARD TIMES: REMEMBRANCES OF THE COTTON FAMINE

――――♦――――


Rhymes.

ON A MOTHER'S BIRTHDAY

HO! FOR A MERRY CHRISTMAS

EH, BILL! COME TO BLACKPOOL

ODE TO TH' VILLAGE PARSON

――――♦――――

 



[Home] [Up] [Site Search] [Main Index]

Correspondence should be sent to Webmaster@Gerald-Massey.org.uk