Dorphy   Dorphy

"Dorphy" whose real name was Dorothy Samuelson-Sandvid was South Shields most noted dialect writer . Every week , for many years , she contributed and article to the Shields Gazette . I admire her greatly , but could find little or no information about her until I came across two articles written by Janis Blower of the Shields Gazette . I am deeply indebted to her .

HER childhood in George Scott Street was set to the rhythm of games like Jack, Jack, Yor Biskits Is Bornin' and the lamplighter's nightly visits and his customary greeting, to the little girl sat on her doorstep, of "Hallow, hinny." Her first sweetheart was a little boy who daily laid slate pencils for her on that same doorstep, for use in school, with its horrible walls painted with lavatory-green distemper. It turned out the pencils were stolen from the corner shop and little Dorothy's father made her take them back. She would recall years later: "It was the boy's mother who opened the door. And when I told her what I'd come for she snatched the pencils out of my hand and shouted, 'If it wazn't for the likes o' ye, the likes o' him wadn't dee the likes o' this!' "And when I told my mother what she'd said, she said, 'Well, that from the likes o' hor'!" Dorfy absorbed the vernacular she came to love from the moment she was born. Years later, when she'd become established as a dialect writer, she'd give talks on being born into a Quaker family in Shields, to a mother who died when she was only eight, and of growing up in a town of close-packed terraced houses and gaslamps: where Peacock's farm still stood on the then-new Coast Road; and Cauldwell was country, and you could pick cowslips on Horsley Hill. . Written by Janis Blower of the Shields Gazette , all thanks and copyright to Janis Blower

COOKSON Country is a passionate supporter of the preservation of local dialects, as you know. And we're not alone. I was interested to read recently, for instance, that a deliberate attempt is being made to revive Cornish, with dual language road signs and the like as exist in Wales. Funnily enough, I'd just been reading our dialect writer Dorfy's views on what she called 'Wor Langwidge,' and the effect that would be created by having signs, posters phrased in it. First let me tell you, though, that Dorfy's essay is contained in a little book of her's that you increasingly rarely come across now. Plus it is autographed by the author. I'm very obliged to reader Reg Peel, of Gloucester Place in South Shields, for the loan of it. He came across A Basinful O' Geordie, as it's called, among second-hand books he found on sale. I'm not sure but I think this was the last of Dorfy's compilations to be published more than 30 years ago, when it cost six shillings (30p). It appears to have originally belonged to a lady in Prudhoe, who was given it as a signed Christmas present by Dorfy, or Mrs Dorothy Samuelson-Sandvid, to give her her proper name. These are Dorfy's thoughts on what she called "wor aan langwidge for public notices." She wrote: "Insteed o' Stick No Bills w' cud hev Clag Nee Pyeppor an' insteed o' that polite little notice in the parks aboot keepin' yor dog on a lead ye cud hev Keep A-Hadden Yor Dog. "Them pedestrian traffic lights that says Cross Now cud just hev a brief Howay! an' instead o' Keep Britain Tidy notices thor wud be Divvent Hoy Yor Muck Heor. "The shops, as weel, wud use propor langwidge. "The bakers would sell stotty cyeks, Sudden Deeth, and Penny Bosters. "The fruiterers would sell snadgers an' scallions an' pea swabs; an' at the drapers w' cud ax for sharts an' linin's an' semmits, an' ganzeys an' twilted twilts. "An' ivry hatter wawth the nyem wud sell duts. "Think hoo much mair interestin' menus an' tarrifs wud be if w' waar offered cups o' scad, shives o' chuck, gob-height samwiches, or ducks wi' veils on." But then she concluded: "On the other hand, us Geordies is such distinct porsonalities, w' daint need t' fash-on aboot bein' recognised as Geordies. "Us disn't need nee special tartans, nor emblems nor nowt. "Cass us is special folks - an' a gud product needs nee advortisin'."

Written by Janis Blower of the Shields Gazette , all thanks and copyright to Janis Blower

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