“Thass the middle of Febry and um sitten here tryun ter git warm. Our bin out and yew know the sorta day that is. When the wind is enow ter fleer yer aloive and the rearn cum at yer horizontal. That int gitten loight proper even thow that shud be staying early learter by now...”

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So starts Valentine’s Night, written by Ann Reeve, from Martham, winner of the 2012 Trosher short story competition run by the Friends of Norfolk Dialect (FOND).

The winner was announced on Sunday just before FOND staged its annual pantomime in Norfolk dialect – Dick Whittington and His Ow’ Cat, by Norfolk bor’ Colin Burleigh, from Dereham – which this year took place at the Lincoln Hall in Hingham, near Wymondham.

FOND secretary Rosemary Cooper, from Dereham, said: “We had nearly 200 people in the hall and they all seemed to have a great time. The panto was a lot of fun and the stories were really well written. The judges said the standard of entries was very high. We hope to publish them in a book.”

In second place was Lyn Fountain, from Ashwellthorpe, for Lookun’ fer Mr Roight’un; in third was Heather Smith, from Great Yarmouth, for There’s Nothing Like a Good Mardle.

All three won cash prizes and a copy each of the book Norfolk Dialect and its Friends.

This year, FOND also ran a trial Junior Trosher contest with two Norfolk schools – Diss High and Harleston Primary. The winners of the senior category are still to be decided, but the junior category winners were: Abigail Davidson, Paris Dexter, Pippa Gatherhill, Marie Homer, Samiah Robinson and William Vincent, who each received book tokens.

The panto used to be held at North Elmham, but seats were in such demand last time that they ended up having to borrow more out of the church down the road, so this year they moved to larger premises.

Talking about the work of FOND, Mrs Cooper added: “Some people say the Norfolk dialect is dying, but no dialect really dies; it just changes over time. We realise we can’t keep it the same forever, but we do want to make sure it’s not forgotten, which is why we’re making recordings of people speaking it. And it would be nice to keep at least some words in use, like ‘bishy barnaby’.

“It’s not a deadly serious organisation; we want to make dialect fun.”

1 comment

  • Where is the boundary between "dialect" and slovenly speech? Doc Martin would love it in these paaarts.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, January 20, 2013

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