Lakeland Dialect Society

Founded in 1939

Welcome to the Lakeland Dialect Society

Hows thu'all deun?

Mebbe whul git a laal bit ov wermth. Noo Myay is oot ahz hoping ahl git tu cast a cloot!

Be al'accounts crack wuz gud at'Merrie Mwornin' ower in Threlkeld t'other Weddensduh.

Divvent mislikken thut nixt up is oor Biennial Kirk Service in Crosby Ravensworth. Thu can Praise God in oor ahn myak of tark, und spend tyam in fellowship wid th'marras efterward.

Int'last updyat ah telt thu'thut we hed oor AGM ont'4th May ower ut' Lowther Parish Hall. As there were some big changes I'll switch to standard English.

Our President Tommy Coulthard has stepped down and we thank him for his service to our dialect and the society.

We welcome long standing member, and our former secretary Jean Scott-Smith, as the new President. A message from Jean is on our News page as she tells us about her time with the society and that, 'Dialect's summat weel worth presarvin', sea use it as oft as ye can, and tell yer fren's aboot t' society!'

I will start taking on Jean's role as Secretary. I've updated the contact details at foot of the page. You can email me or give me an alternative contact by filling in the form.

What We Do


News - 31st May 2024

There is a message from our new President Jean Scott-Smith

Featured - 10th May 2024

A tyale aboot mekking sur thu gits ther brossenful (or hafe croon wooth) wen thu hast t'hev fud ont'rooad.

Oor biennial Kirk service is ower at Crosby Ravensworth, so ah'thowt it wud be uh gud tu hear Ted Relph using oor mek ov tark.

Recipes - 12th April 2024

We've updated with the Easter Ledge Pudding.

When I update the website I'll put a note out @Workytown on Chunter (Twitter / X). Next update is due on 27th June.

How We Began

Formed in 1939, the Lakeland Dialect Society came about out of a series of "Merry Neets", entertaining get-togethers at which  town and country folk talk, sing and recite poetry, in the dialect of the Lakeland region: Cumberland, Westmorland and the Furness district of Lancashire, now all in the modern county of Cumbria in the English Lake District.

The first Lakeland Dialect Society committee met at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle on June 10, 1939.

Members agreed that the aims of the society would be to preserve and celebrate the ancient speech of the region.

Promoting, preserving and celebrating the dialect of Lakeland

From the outset the Society was dedicated to the academic study of the Cumbrian dialects and to fostering the dialect speech and writing.

The constitution states: The objects of the Society shall be to encourage interest in the writing of Dialect Verse, Prose and Drama; to stimulate the publication of Dialect Literature and the production of Dialect Plays; to study the origins and history of Dialect, Folk-lore, Folk Songs and Local Customs and Traditions. The Society shall endeavour to bring together lovers of dialect so as to develop interest therein. If possible it shall make tape recordings of the various dialects within the area. These remain our aims today.

Despite difficulties in the years following 1939, the Society got established and flourished. Membership is currently around 250. Members live not only in the Lake District but also throughout the UK, and the rest of the World—all united in a love of “oor mak o’ twoak”!

The Society meets at roughly quarterly intervals, on Saturday afternoons at venues throughout Cumbria. Prospective members or casual visitors are always warmly welcomed, and a good “crack” is always guaranteed! A church service conducted in dialect is held biennially and there are occasional public performances. A Journal, published annually, is free to all members.

To join, contact a member of the society at the email address below, or telephone.

What is the Lakeland Dialect Society?

I'll tell the'

We're nut stuck up er prood i't mooth

Fer t'main on us was bred in't fells,

We're nobbut wiet, yammly, fwoak

Off t'seeam switch as yersels.

An' like yersels, we clag tight tull

0't bits o'country ways an' looar;

We like ta hod a crack aboot

T'auld dale-fwoak' at hev gone afooar.

Mi fadder, (an' nea doot he's reet),

Sez t's main o't' fell fwoak er o't seame

They "Hawk tagidder" on a drag,

Till Foxy's brush is hung on t'beame.

He sez 'at t' interest (like t' auld Fox)

Is rousan 'noo fer thee an' me,

Soo join, yersels, an git yer kin

Ta join oor own Society.

From The Works of Lance Porter - Lakeland Treasury

Compiled and edited by Ted Relph and Published by the Society

See if ye can git alang tae yan uv oor meetens

​Have a look at our latest programme - we'll be meeting around the county from March until November and we'd love to see you there for some discussion and enjoyment of dialect and our rich heritage.

President: Mrs Jean Scott-Smith, Gale View, Main Street, Shap, Penrith, Cumbria CA10 3NH. Phone: 01931 716386


Journal Editor: Mrs Louise Green, Overdale, Ireby, Wigton, Cumbria CA7 1EQ. Phone: 01697371710


Secretary and Website: Phillip Gate, Workington

If you prefer to send a letter or speak by phone, please use our contact form and I'll get back to you.