In order to raise awareness of the work we is doing, the Lancashire Society will be promoting a number of events. Find out about all our upcoming events, where they are, when they're on and what they're about.

A production about the Chorley Pals is being put on. Here are the details.

Chorley based 'Theatre in Education' company, Top Box Productions, are staging their play about the First World War to raise funds for our project. Entitled "A call to arms", it is based on the Chorley Pals – from them volunteering in 1914 to the aftermath of the battle of the Somme in 1916. Originally for High School students studying history at GCSE, the play has been adapted for a wider audience and lasts about an hour, being delivered in front of simple but ever-changing backcloths. The event is on Friday, 25th May at St. Michael's High School in Chorley, starting at 7.45 p.m. Tickets are priced at £6.00 for adults and £3.00 for senior citizens and students, and will be available from Wednesday, 2nd May at Malcolm's Musicland in Chapel Street, Chorley or by post using the attached booking form. Any unsold tickets will be made available at the door on the night but advanced booking is recommended. All proceeds will go towards engraving the names of the fallen from Chorley on the town's War Memorial in Astley Park.

NATIONAL DIALECT DAY - Some thoughts from the Chairman.

As most of you know, we in the Lancashire Society launched this as an afternoon of competitions at the Fylde Folk Festival 2009, in the spot traditionally occupied by the Lancashire Dialect competitions. As the old LD Society event was attracting fewer and fewer entries, we thought that throwing it open to ALL English Dialects might have some merit and gain more support. It was a resounding success with representatives from Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Cornwall, Lincolnshire, The Lake District, Durham and Lancashire appearing and an opening address by a professor of linguistics/phonetics, John Wells

I decided to move it away from Fylde in 2010 and make it a stand alone day, (the spot at Fylde becoming a Lancashire Society Concert.) Another great success, with Devon, and the Black Country joining in. A small grant from our local Council Arts Development Officer helped offset the costs, and a non competitive evening concert was added. Professor Paul Kerswill provided the opening address and aided judging this time. We ended up with the name "National Dialect Day" and I felt that, to be truly "National" it should perhaps travel around the Country, becoming an annual event celebrating the diversity of England's regional dialects and providing a promotional opportunity locally for the organising region.

And so last year we went to Louth as guests of the East Lincolnshire (Far Welter'd) Society. An excellent day which their Chairman, Alan, managed to tie in with the town's Victorian Fair on the Sunday, making a nice weekend in a lovely town. Alan lifted the "promotional opportunity" onto a higher plain by getting BBC local radio and television involved. To hear a BBC Look North presenter actually say the words "National Dialect Day" gave me a nice warm glow and I felt we'd really arrived - the preservation England's dialects was being taken seriously and the media loved it.

On the day the large room was comfortably full, Lincolnshire was out in force, Lancashire, Norfolk and Northumberland were there (this is beginning to sound like the guest list for Agincourt!) but from the rest of England - nothing. We had a great time but it could have been so much better. Just one representative from each area would have made all the difference.

This year we go to Northumberland, guests of the Northumbrian Language Society, Morpeth 20th October. You will be hearing from Kim Bibby-Wilson from the NLS as she gets the event publicity together. She already has plans to add a Friday evening traditional music concert to the proceedings to make a full weekend of it, with the competitions and dialect concert on Saturday.

The competitions, with trophies, are for WRITING in any English dialect; WRITING in the dialect of the host area (this time Northumberland); and PERFORMING in any English dialect (which enables competitors to bring old classics from their area). Poetry. prose or song, no more than 5 mins, are acceptable, presented "live" on the day before the judges. A final trophy is awarded for the most entertaining spot in the evening concert, made up of longer spots selected from the afternoon's entrants and judged by the audience!

So let's get behind this, Kim will be sending out leaflets in time for the summer festivals. Print them out and stick them in the hands of anyone you meet with an interest in England's dialects and send their contact details to Kim. Let's get the finest dialect writers and performers together on one great weekend every year. There are areas of this country where the local speech has all but gone (southeast anyone?), we just might be able to stop it happening anywhere else.

Next year (2013) we're convening in Devon and for 2014 I'll be looking for somewhere in the Midlands - any offers?

See you in Morpeth if not before...

Edwin Waugh Society

Some Edwin Waugh Society members recently visited Winter Hill Studios to record readings in the dialect. Our thanks to them for this. Below is a photo of the readers gathered for the recording.

Past events worthy of mention

Our Dialect Day was held on the 16th October 2010 at the Parish Community Centre in Euxton near Chorley.

This was the 2nd National Day that the Society has hosted and proved to be a great success building as it did on the first one at Fylde festival in September 2009.

There were three competitions and entrants came from as far afield as Durham and Devon to be a part of our day. The judging was led by Professor Paul Kerswill who also delivered the keynote speech on 'London's multicultural cockney: the new voice of the nation?'

After the competitions and tea the evening was given over to a concert of poetry and music bringing the day to a grand conclusion.

To read more about the detail of the day click HERE and see below for videos of the winning entries.

For "The Noise We Mek' events click here

Past triumphs we have organised...

National Dialect Day - 16th October 2010 - Euxton Community Centre

Three videos of the winning entries in the dialect competition. Dave Reader and two from Sid Calderbank - the Laycock and the Topping trophies. You can view them by clicking here to go to our Video page.

FYLDE DIALECT DAY - 6th September 2009

Based on a long standing event at the Fylde Folk Festival this year saw a great increase in enteries to the traditional competitions. The three trophies, Sam Layckock, Bill o Bowes and Topping were all keenly contested. A new venture was the keynote speech by visiting lecturer Professor John Wells from University College London and the attendees were treated to a most interesting talk on the verious aspects of accent and language which set the scene for a celebration of Englands regional dialects. The competitions for writing , one Lancashire only, one for any English dialect attracted quality enteries and the competition for performing English dialect pieces, with 13 enteries, stole the show. The judging panels, chaired by Prof. Wells, were made up from representatives from the visiting dialect societies. Here are some pictures showing the happy prize winners. If you click on their photo you can listen to their winning performance.