Lakeland Dialect Society

Founded in 1939

Grasmere Dialect plays - Can you help?

Sue Wilkinson, studying with the University of Cumbria, is currently researching the Grasmere Dialect Plays. They were last produced in the 1930s and Sue would love to speak to people who have an interest in, or any information, about these plays. Do you have parents, grandparents or relatives that remember them or perhaps even took part?

If you email - I'll collate the replies and put you in touch with Sue. (If anyone has a copy of the script they could email, as a part time actor I'd be keen in seeing it too!).

While you're here: Divvent mislikken t'tek a deek at oor Diary page az we leuk forrat te getherin' up agin this 'ear.

That's right our Diary of 2024 events is published. Mebbe see thee thee'er eh?

Tid, Mid, Miserie, Carlin, Palm and Pache Egg Day

Az writing this just afore Fasten Eve und start ov Lent, wid Cannelmas (Calamas) just gone. Our Featured Page has a rhyme on Cannelmas and the predictions of the weather (At Wukkingtun Calamas dya wuz innything but fine and cear. Sah wheel git a BBQ summer eh?)

We'll lairn the on whet Tid, Mid, Miserie, Carlin, Palm und Pache Egg Day means un'all.

Furt nixt updyat (due afore 15th March) ah'll tell the how t'mek pache eggs und rules fur dumping thum.

What We Do


Featured - 10th February 2024

We tell you about Cannelmas and Lent.

News - 10th February 2024

Learn more about our Fyacebeuk (Facebook) Group and get involved. A chance to practice your Cumberland Twang.

Diary - 3rd January 2024

Our 2024 Diary of events is now out.

Recipes - 10th February 2024

The Tattie Pot and Cumberland Blackite Broonie from previous Featured pages are now in our Recipes Page with a Cumberland Grace to say before you get your brossenful.

When I update the website I'll put a note out @Workytown on Chunter (Twitter / X). Next update is due for the 15th March.

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.

Secretary: 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


Website: Phillip Gate