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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Speaking out for local dialect

THIS item came to me from a Canadian friend whose great-grandfather, Joseph Pattinson, is the author.

She found it among letters passed on to her by her mother. It was a piece from The Whitehaven News of January 30, 1947 about “J.P.” frae Drigg.

Your recent report of the golden wedding anniversary of Mr and Mrs Anthony Pattinson reminded me that I had in my possession for some time the manuscripts and news cuttings of Mr. Pattinson’s father, J.P. He was a Drigg farmer and one of the most prolific dialect writers who ever wielded a pen. For upwards of 20 years poems and articles in dialect by J.P. were published in the newspapers.

Great though the output J.P. eventually saw in print was, it was nothing compared to what he had in manuscript and which is now safely back in the keeping of the Pattinson family at Ravenglass.

Out of the great mass of writing done by “J.P.”, I have selected the following, wondering if the factory at Drigg has had any adverse effect on “Drigg Orgins” or if the toads still croak at oat-sowing time.

Joseph Pattinson was born at Low Mill in about 1839. His father, William Pattinson, was a farmer but I don’t know whether he occupied the present Low Mill Farm.

By 1855 Joseph had moved with his parents, William and Hannah, and his siblings Hannah, William, Isaac, Elizabeth and Ann to Coat Close in the parish of St John Beckermet. I cannot trace this house but the Pattinsons farmed there.

Joseph’s sister Hannah had married a Mr Pearson and had a son called Isaac. Joseph married Elizabeth Russell of Crossfield Farm at Cleator in June 1864. By 1881 Joseph had moved to Hill and was a tenant farmer in his own right.

With Joseph at this time at Hill were his wife, Elizabeth, and their children William, Anthony, Hannah, Joseph James, Dora Russell, Ada Iredale, Emma and Isaac Henry. Joseph’s daughter Ada Iredale Pattinson was for a while an assistant schoolmistress at Drigg school.

Eventually Ada followed two of her brothers Isaac and Charles to Canada where she met and married Ernest James. Their granddaughter Donna, and several more descendants still live there.

Joseph Pattinson died at Groundy Croft, Drigg, in 1899. His wife Elizabeth had died in May 1892, the year in which Joseph wrote about ‘Drigg Orgins’.

Between 1892 and his death in 1899, Joseph married for a second time. His new wife was also called Elizabeth. She died in 1923 at Denton Terrace, Gosforth.

If any readers can provide any further information about these families or their dwellings, or if any relatives of Joseph Pattinson still live in the area I would love to hear from them and would forward all information to Donna in Canada, who sent me this lovely dialect story and poem. I can be contacted on BlandTree@aol.com or at Airton Cottage, Airton, Skipton BD23 4AE.

Drigg Orgins - by Joseph Pattinson, 1892

IT’S GITTEN on fast till 25 ’ear sen a fella com to liv in Drigg parish ’at nivver lieved in it before. Efter he hed been in t’ neighbourhood o’t’ school two or three weeks, or as lang as to satisfy hissel ’at Drigg Church stood correctly east and west (’cos he lost his reckoning when he fust com) he went yham to see his relations and friends.

An’ yan o’ his oald friends ’at knew summat aboot Drigg sed, “Well, an’ hoo does thoo like Drigg tattiepots?” “Oh, fairly weel,” sed this fella, “bit gaily weel when I git any good uns.”

“Aye, than hes ta iver heard Drigg Orgins yit?” “Drigg Orgins! What mack o’ things is them?” “Wey teadds, teadds!”

“What paddocks?” “Aye, paddocks or teadds, aider thoo hes a mind, they’re beath alike.”

“Wey, no. I cannot say I hev; bit what du they caw Drigg paddocks Drigg Orgins for?” “Nay, I doon’t know; mebby becos they croak an’ sing in t’ ponds in t’ neets in t’ spring o’ t’ ’ear aboot haver sowing time. Drigg fwoak likes to hear them, cos than t’ wedders fine an’ they say, ’ T’ wedder’s settlin noo! Lissen, yonder’s Drigg Orgin’s playin’.’

“ Noo oot o’ this laal bit o’ simple conversation may be extracted two rayder strange things, an’ t’ first on them is: It does seem a good bit strange ’at Drigg fwoak should hev seah many “orgins” playin’ for seah many generations t’ ootside of Drigg Church an’ nivver to hev yan playin’ in t’ inside on ’t unto this day. This strange curiousity may mebby be accounted for in this natural mack of a way. T’ orgins they hev is a deal cheaper mack ner t’at they hev n’t an’ Drigg fwoak likes as much for their money as ivver they can git; an’ if they got yan o’ t’ dear mack in till t’ church it’s ten till yan it would act like a wedderglass.

An’ t’ second strange thing is this: What can t’ reet reason be ’at Drigg paddocks are cawt Drigg Orgins? Is it becos they play their orgins looder an’ better ner t’ paddocks in other parishes? We know teadds likes watter, an’ it may be just possible at theear mearr poinds an’ wet dyke gutters an’ swamps near or aboot Drigg roads between Holmrook and Drigg Station ner theear is aboot [illegible ] in general throo t’ country.

Anyhow, I think when yan’s in a fog like this t’ best way is to hev a chat wid somebody at’s consarned wid t’ matter yan wants to know. Seah in this case Ah thowte I wad git aw particulars by hevving a chat wid a Drigg paddock, an’ this is hoo t’questions were put an’ hoo they were answered yah neet last spring, when Mr Paddock was playin’ his evening tune.

CHAT WID A PADDOCK What’s aw that croaking noise I hear,

In that laal pond o’ watter thear?

A voice spack up an’ sed quite clear,

Drigg Orgins? Drigg Orgins! Aye, I see thoo’s reet;

I see thee noo thy heed’s in seet;

Is that wore thoo cries ivvery neet, Drigg Orgins.

I’ve often wondert wore you gang,

In winter time seah coald an’ lang;

An’ what protects fra harm an’ wrang. Drigg Orgins.

I lang hev thowte teadds war subject,

To many dangers an’ neglect; Theear nowt I know ’at does protect, Drigg Orgins.

You like that pond I hev neah doot;

You summer in ’t an’ winter oot;

Bit tell me summat aw aboot, Drigg Orgins.

Than Mr. Teadd spake up an’ sed;

This pond’s oour hoose, oour yham an’ bed,

An’ in this pond are born an’ bred, Drigg Orgins.

Fra t’ day poor paddocks hev their birth,

They’re nivver seaff to walk the earth,

For Drigg bad lads oft steaan to death, Drigg Orgins.

In winter time some ga’s till t’ farm,

An’ some till t’ Green Hoose, wore it’s warm,

Wor Mr. Patchet does n’t harm, Drigg Orgins.

We lang hev thowte, and think it still,

It really cannot be God’s will, For men an’ lads to kick an’ kill, Drigg Orgins.

What cruel sport, what empty gain,

To glory in a paddock slain;

Hoo laal they know how much they pain, Drigg Orgins.

You, high-born creature, man must know,

’Tis wicked you should treat us so,

Your fella creatures, poor an’ low; Drigg Orgins.

It’s nut my fault I’s born a teadd;

’Twad be a sin if I felt sad

An’ discontented ’cos God meadd Drigg Orgins.

That seamm Creator wo meadd man,

Meadd clay an’ ponds, sent rain an’ than

He meadd becos it was his plan, Drigg Orgins.

We du nowt wrang fra day to day;

We hev no sin, we needn’t pray;

In innocence we sport an’ play, Drigg Orgins.

Dear Mr. Teadd, thy speech is such

It tacks me doon an’ lifts thee much,

In some things I’m not fit to touch, Drigg Orgins.

Thy case is dootless sad an’ sore,

Bit mine is warse; I mun deplore

I feel behindt an’ nut before, Drigg Orgins.

I’ve olas thowte ’at teadds like thee

Worth neah notice by sech as me.

Bit throo a new leet noo I see, Drigg Orgins.

We hev in t’ church the best o’ preachers,

Likewise in t’ school the best o’ teachers,

I’ll see they plead for you poor creatures, Drigg Orgins.

Thank you sed Mr. Teadd, an’ than

I hope Drigg lads will let aleann,

An’ nivver mear to pelt an’ steann Drigg Orgins.

We like to loupe aboot an’ budge

Ower aw Drigg roads when they’re aw sludge;

If that’s a sin in mercy judge, Drigg Orgins.

You’re gan to drain Drigg roads, I hear

An’ mak t’ sludge an’ watter disappear,

Bit what care we, that will n’t fear, Drigg Orgins.

When it rains Drigg roads are in a swamp,

An’ fine for paddocks oot on tramp,

We know in Drigg we’ll olas camp, Drigg Orgins .

As lang as Drigg land lies on clay,

An’ t’ watter in t’ ponds can’t git away,

Seah lang will Drigg poor paddocks play, Drigg Orgins.

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