National Dialect Festival, Blackpool, 2018


The National Dialect Festival was held this year in The Savoy Hotel, Blackpool with visitors from as far afield as Northumberland and Cornwall! It is an informal annual gathering of dialect enthusiasts and will return to Blackpool one more time in 2019 then – off around the country again.
Details for this year are given below – SEE YOU THERE!


This year’s weekend will take place Friday 18th – Sunday 20th October 2019, will be hosted by The Lancashire Society and held as last year in:-

This means that all accommodation, meals and meetings can be held on the one site and we have arranged a group booking rate for the 2 nights at:-

£109 per person for bed & breakfast OR
£129 per person for dinner, bed & breakfast and Saturday buffet lunch.

Non-residents are also welcome both in the hotel and at our event and all meals can be purchased separately.

The hotel have offered us the free use of a function suite and have reserved us 16 single, 6 twin and 8 double rooms, with more if required. For this we have to pay in advance so please contact our treasurer, Nick Caffrey, to reserve your place. Please be aware that October weekends are classed as high season in Blackpool as the world famous illuminations (3 miles long and going right past the hotel door) are on at the same time so we need to book early!!

The Savoy was built around 1912 specifically as one of Blackpool’s luxury hotels and retains many of its original features and furniture, its dining room is modelled on that of the Titanic. It has 140 bedrooms and is fully equipped for access (please specify requirements on booking).
Having been constructed to accommodate the richest in the land (it was the first hotel in England to offer garage parking and servicing for guests motor cars), it once served the top delegates at political and trade union conferences and now makes its living from coach tours and group bookings. They have 60 car park spaces of their own with a large, 48hr reasonably priced pay & display municipal carpark adjacent. Blackpool is easily accessible by road or rail and the local buses and trams stop outside the hotel.

Please send your bookings to our treasurer, Nick Caffrey at or 01254 264407.
Draft Weekend Programme:

Reception from 1.00pm Friday for Tea, Coffee and drinks in the lounge and a chance to jump in your car or on a tram to ride through “Blackpool Lights”.
8.00pm – Dinner in the hotel – followed by:-
An evening of Lancashire entertainment provided by  Lancashire Society members.

Breakfast 8.00am – 10.00am
10.30am Opening Address & Key Note Speaker.
12.00 – Bill o’ Bowes trophy for WRITING in any English Dialect
1.00 – Lunch Break , pre-booked buffet or bar meals available.
2.00 – Sam Laycock Trophy for WRITING in the Lancashire dialect.
3.00 – Eric Topping Trophy for a PERFORMANCE of any dialect piece.

Pieces should be no more than 5 mins long, including introduction, but not including a round of applause (should you get one!) Entries for the writing classes need not be new but must be performed by the author. Song, poetry and prose are all acceptable.

4.00 ish break for coffee and judges deliberations
Followed by trophy presentation
8.00pm – Dinner in the hotel after which Saturday evening will be filled with our traditional social “Merry Neet” where representatives from each dialect region present are invited to perform their party pieces for the Far Weltered Trophy!

Breakfast 8.00 – 10.00am
Before you leave we are hoping to arrange a historically themed tour to one of Blackpool’s Edwardian attractions or just have a walk on t’sands if t’tides eawt.

Cracks from a Cobbler’s Seat



Written in the 1870’s by Robert Rowe, a cobbler from Chorley and set in Euxton and the surrounding area, “Cracks from a Cobbler’s Seat” are now 130 years old.

First published on 29th December 1887 by John Arkwright of the Olde Book Shoppe, Lune St, Preston and advertised in the Lancashire Evening Post for sixpence as “humorous tales in the Lancashire Dialect”, Cracks proved hugely popular, running to eight editions between 1887 and 1925.

 To celebrate this anniversary Lancashire dialect expert and Euxton resident Sid Calderbank has reprinted the book and recorded all eight tales and will be giving readings at three local venues:

Friday 29th December 2017,  2.00pm – 4.00pm at St Mary’s Social Centre, Wigan Rd, Euxton. PR7 6JW. Admission £3.00 (On the 130th anniversary of the book’s publication and on the site of the old Red Lion pub, where many of the tales are set)

 Saturday 13th January 2018, 2.00pm – 4.00pm at Brinscall Methodist Church, Parke Rd, Brinscall. PR6 8PU. Admission by donation. (In the village where the author, Robert Rowe, was born in 1832). 

Monday 5th February 2018  7.30pm – 9.30pm as guests of Leyland Historical Society at Leyland Civic Suite, West Paddock, Leyland PR25 1DH. (Several tales end up in Leyland after walking over the fields from Euxton!)

 Chorley Silver Band will be in attendance to add an authentic Victorian atmosphere and the book and double CD recording will be on sale at all of these venues. 

The Book and CD are £10 each or £15 for both

More information is available from Sid at or 07778933879

Another TV appearance!

These are links to the Youtube pages for Talk Lancashire, a local TV service for the Preston area and a little interview I had some time ago with Noemi De Luca. She said I can keep these. Cheers!




National Dialect Day at Rydal Hall, Cumbria

This is a link to an article that appeared in the Independent in November 2014.

It is a very well written article about that year’s National Dialect Day which took place at Rydal Hall and was organised by the Lakeland Society. There were originally some photographs and videos of performers in the article which seem to have been withdrawn.