Projects & Resources

We engage with hundreds of children of different backgrounds in art and music projects throughout the year, not just during the Festival fortnight. We send professional musicians, writers and artists into schools and community centres to work with and inspire young people, and we provide a platform for students' work by organising special concerts and exhibitions. Find out about our projects and download resources here.

Professor David Crystal talks to local farmer John Waggett

Professor David Crystal talks to local farmer John Waggett

In the 2019 Reeth Lecture, the celebrated linguist, academic and author Professor David Crystal talked about his book Sounds Appealing - an exploration of the endlessly fascinating topic of English accents. 

Despite being put on twice to cater for popularity, both events sold out lightening-quick, so we arranged a special conversation between Professor David Crystal and local farmer John Waggett to see what light they might shed on Dales dialect, and to share the material with a broader audience.

The Q&A took place in the Swaledale Festival office in Hudson House, Reeth, in June 2019. It was chaired by Marketing Coordinator Emily Rowe Rawlence, and included Artistic Director Malcolm Creese, Professor David Crystal and John Waggett.

Topics included the influences on Dales dialect, origins of local place names, the relationship between dialect and identity and whether or not the sound of the English language is perceived as beautiful (clue: it depends who you ask!). 

Here is the transcript of the wide-ranging conversation, along with three audio clips:


Clip 1 - Dales Dialect

Clip 2 -  The Norwegian influence, and accent 'accommodation'

Clip 3 - John Waggett reads a poem by dialect poet John Thwaite (1873-1941)

We were delighted that a group of Year 12 students from Richmond School attended one of the lectures, read about their experience here.

Categories: Projects
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