Sounds of Devonshire

Devon 1836

An extract from the CD’s accompanying the book “Exmoor Oral History Archive” by Birdie Johnson. This track is an interview of David Ridd, sheep farmer. The Ridd name is widely known in the area (near Challacombe where the Ash family came from) and a sister of Jabez Ash married Humphrey Ridd. I included this not really for the content, though it is interesting to hear how a traditional way of life has survived, more for the sound of the accent. This would probably have been how Jabez Ash, my great great grandfather, spoke before he moved to London.

Sounds of Dorsetshire

Dorset 1830

This is an extract from The Dorset Dialect Poems of WIlliam Barnes. performed by Tim Laycock. As the CD booklet says: In 1801, the year of William Barnes’ birth, at least 90%of the population of the Blackmore Vale would have spoken in a dialect that now we would have difficulty in understanding… It was an entirely oral language… passed on over generations, perhaps, as Barnes maintained, from the time of King Alfred and the Anglo-Saxons.
Charles Warland was born in 1808 and came to London around 1830. Although he lived near Wimborne Minster, a few miles to the south, he doubtless spoke like this also, and must have had a hard time being understood by Londoners.