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Festival keeps Lancashire dialect alive
IT could soon become a language of the past.
But proud Lancastrians are determined to preserve the special sayings and phrases unique to the county.
The end of a three-year project to record the Lancashire dialect culminates in a Dialect Festival on Saturday.
The Lancashire Society started its Mek Some Noise project, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, in a bid to record memories, accents and dialects for the North West Sound Archive.
The society used the Leeds-Liverpool Canal as its baseline and went from Burscough to Blackburn, stopping at Wigan and Chorley. Chairman Sid Calderbank was delighted with the end result.
He said: “It has been enjoyable.
“We have done a lot and found a lot out.
“It has been a great success and very rewarding.”
Mr Calderbank said the festival at Astley Hall Coach House in Chorley would be a drop-in event, from 11am to 5.30pm. As well as the recordings which can be played back, there will be clog dancing, songs from Lancashire and a dialect poetry workshop.
Mr Calderbank said the society wanted to preserve the Lancashire dialect.
He added: “We believe in a generation’s time there will be few, if any, people who will use the old dialect words and speech and we wanted to preserve these traits of linguistics for future generations to study.
“Many of the old dialect poems by the likes of Edwin Waugh, Samuel Laycock and William Billington will become impossible for people to read and another aspect of the project has been to record various people reciting these poems for preservation.”
Mr Calderbank said the society was now looking at extending the project further, perhaps extending it further through East Lancashire to the Yorkshire border.
Darwen dialect poet Jim Atherton said: “We should definitely be preserving the old Lancashire dialect.
“It is part of our history and our heritage.
“Not a lot of people speak it now but that is irrelevant really.
“As part of Lancastrian history it should be retained and we want to get people trying to speak it again.”