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  1. 6 points
    VID-20200612-WA0001.mp4
  2. 3 points
    West Bedlington Town Council 2019 - Autum Newsletter - https://westbedlington.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/3.-Autumn-2019-Residents-Newsletter-FINAL.pdf gave info on a Sun Dial for the Bedlington Market Place. Today - John Krzyzanowski posted this photo, and comment, on the Facebook group - Bygone Bedlington John Krzyzanowski Admin · 18 hrs I know this isn't historical yet but for those of you who no longer live in Bedlington I thought I would show you this new sundial on Bedlington Front street. designed and made by a Bedlington man. I think it's a fantastic piece of art that I would definitely stop and look at if in another town on holiday. Apparently Mr Moss spent 4 years on it. Photo courtesy of John Fox.
  3. 3 points
    I was a cub from 1954 at the age of 5 until I left as a Queens scout at the age of 17 when those things that wear skirts became more interesting! During my time there the building went from a wooden hut to a brick building with the work beginning around 1964-5. The building was built by Phillipson builders who were based behind Bridge Terrace at the station. The plumbing and heating works were carried out by Henderson Plumbers who had their yard behind Jubilee Terrace. A gas boiler was installed with radiators throughout. Much better than the paraffin fuelled portable heaters with a circular wick that were used. A ladies toilet was added and a new kitchen complete with running hot water. I cannot remember the name of the electrical company at this time but may have had a shop where Sonia's is now. An electrician called Brian Metcalf may have worked on the building. I think the new building was built down to a price. The workmanship was good but the bricks used were not the best or near the best though all other materials were good quality. Money for the new building was raised via jumble sales, beetle drives, bob-a-job, raffles, carol singing at xmas and any other way possible. The only 'ghostly noises' I can think of were creaking sounds in the wooden hut when the wind blew hard. Perhaps others felt differently but I'm like eggy as regards the paranormal and I'm not frightened in the dark. That branch of the scouts was officially designated The 1st Bedlington Station, 15th Bedlingtonshire troop. Blue and yellow neckerchief's were worn as part of the uniform. Walter Gregg was chairman or president. Here's a story. On one of the weekly Friday evening meetings in the wooden hut one of the those portable paraffin heaters suddenly flared up with flames going up 3ft. One of the scouts(no names, no pack drill) grabbed a bucket of water and threw it on the heater. This is , of course, absolutely the wrong thing to do. The flame immediately went from 3ft up to the ceiling and turned along the ceiling in every direction. The ceiling was painted with gloss paint so very quickly the hall filled with black acrid choking smoke. The scouts were soon evacuating though the windows as well as the main door. The scout master grabbed a fire extinguisher and bravely got the flames under control. I don't know how he managed to withstand the conditions. The whole place stunk for months. One of the sign boards on the outside wall indicates it is still a cub/scout meeting place so must be a shared venue. My time spent in either building brings back happy memories.
  4. 2 points
    At last the upgrades to the front of the West Lea Cemetery have started. This is a jointly funded project between West Bedlington Town Council and myself. After being contacted by residents who asked about getting this path line and hedging sorted out because it was an eye sore and at times impassable, the Town Council agreed to help me fund it. Many thanks to them on another joint project in my ward. The first phase is nearing completion with the installation of a new metal fence designed to match the existing ones at the entrance. The second phase will be to plant mature hedging in all of the gaps in the existing hedge line. This will be carried out when the time for planting is suitable.
  5. 2 points
    Visitors to my garden during isolation: Harry, the gardener. doing a great job on the dandelions, and, unfortunately, the daisies!
  6. 2 points
    Photos fro Simon Williams
  7. 2 points
    . How many milk teeth does a child normally get? Answer = 20 2. Which number comes next: 61, 122, 183, 244? Answer = 305 3. The first pop video was used to promote which single that first topped the charts in 1975? Answer = Don’t know which one but one of these :- 11 January "Lonely This Christmas" Mud 18 January "Down Down" Status Quo 25 January "Ms Grace" The Tymes 1 February "January" Pilot 22 February "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel 8 March "If" Telly Savalas 22 March "Bye Bye Baby" Bay City Rollers 3 May "Oh Boy!" Mud 17 May "Stand By Your Man" Tammy Wynette 7 June "Whispering Grass" Don Estelle & Windsor Davies 28 June "I'm Not in Love" 10cc 12 July "Tears On My Pillow" Johnny Nash 19 July "Give a Little Love" Bay City Rollers 9 August "Barbados" Typically Tropical 16 August "I Can't Give You Anything (But My Love)" The Stylistics 6 September "Sailing" Rod Stewart 4 October "Hold Me Close" David Essex 25 October "I Only Have Eyes for You" Art Garfunkel 8 November "Space Oddity" David Bowie 22 November "D.I.V.O.R.C.E." Billy Connolly 29 November "Bohemian Rhapsody" Queen 4. Which US president was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth? Answer = Abraham Lincoln Did you know that President Lincoln was shot in the head at Ford's Theatre in Washington AND an attempt to shoot President Ford was outside a theatre whilst getting into a Lincoln. 5. What is the SI unit of work or energy, named after a British physicist? Answer = Joule Joule, unit of work or energy in the International System of Units (SI); it is equal to the work done by a force of one newton acting through one metre. Named in honour of the English physicist James Prescott Joule, it equals 107 ergs, or approximately 0.7377 foot-pounds. 6. Which dish normally consists of cooked rice, flaked fish and hard boiled eggs? Answer = Kedgeree 7. What is a hornbeam? Answer = tree 8. Who was the younger brother of Cain and Abel? Answer = Seth 9. Who starred as Detective Superintendent Charles Wycliffe in TV’s Wycliffe? Answer = Jack Shepherd 10. In the RAF how many squadrons make up a wing? Answer = 3 Most flying squadrons are commanded by a wing commander who oversees around 200 personnel and between 12 and 16 aircraft. A squadron is further divided into flights, under the command of a squadron leader. A squadron usually consists of three flights. 11. Linonophobia is the fear of what? Answer = string A piece of string walks into a bar A piece of string walks into a bar and walks up to the counter. The bartender says, "Sorry mate, we don't serve pieces of string in here, get lost." Upset, the piece of string walks out the door. A sudden thought strikes him. He ties himself in a knot and messes his hair up. He walks back into the bar and approaches the counter. The bartender says, "Oi, aren't you that piece of string from before...?" "No," says the piece of string, "I'm a frayed knot." 12. Which symbol denotes a battlefield on an Ordnance Survey map? Answer = crossed swords I’ll bet you didn’t know …. Reuters, now one of the world’s biggest new agencies, began in 1850 – using pigeons. Answer = Coo I never knew that. -------- My homing pigeon died. I’m worried it will come back to haunt me.
  8. 2 points
    Wouldn't mind one of those in my garden! Love it! The whole design just screams BEDLINGTON, from the terrier to the winding gear!
  9. 2 points
    Tuesday - June 16th 2020 :- Why did Cinderella get kicked off the football team? ...........................................Because she kept running from the ball! What did the janitor say when he jumped out of the closet?................................“Supplies!” You know what the loudest pet you can get is?..............................................................................................A trumpet. Why shouldn’t you write with a broken pencil?..............................................................Because it’s pointless! Why did the scarecrow win an award?.........................................................................He was outstanding in his field. What did the buffalo say when his son left?................................................................ Bison!
  10. 2 points
    Sorry it's a bit late! Answers to last week's quiz: 1. Prostitute. At 85 yo she was the oldest prostitute in the UK, possibly in the world. 2. As 3. Pudding Lane 4. Keith Moon 5. The Ulna nerve 6. Thelma 7. General Pinochet 8. Binnacle 9. A tree 10. Queen Mary 11. 16 or 7 both are acceptable. Each cow has 4 stomachs –or one stomach with four compartments (depending on which line of thinking you follow. Each horse has one stomach 12. 2001 New quiz tomorrow!
  11. 2 points
    The Holy Mount today. I found no holly but there is evidence of a Ford in the river.
  12. 2 points
    Tuesday Night - Joke Night - it's the turn of the Swedes Why don't Scandinavians need sugar? Because they already have artificial Swedeners. What’s the difference between a smart Swede and a unicorn? Nothing, they're both fictional characters Why wasn't Jesus born in Sweden? He couldn't find 3 wise men or a virgin. I asked my Swedish friend "Who are the dumbest Scandinavians? He said "Norway am I going to answer that question." Why do Swedes always drink their milk in the store? Because on the box it says "oppnas har". A Swede was reading the phonebook, "Forsberg... Forsberg... Forsberg... It's incredible how many phone numbers that guy has." A blonde Swede was sitting on a bus reading the newspaper when all of a sudden she starts to cry. The Spanish guy sitting next to her asks what's wrong and she replies that 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed in a drug bust. The Spanish man agrees that the news is very sad. After a while the Swedish blonde asks, "How many is a Brazilian?"
  13. 2 points
    1. What was the profession of Sheila Vogel Coupe? Answer = prostitute Sheila Vogel-Coupe is the oldest prostitute in the United Kingdom. Some reports from 2014 have stated that as she was 85 at the time, and she could be the oldest prostitute in the world. Twice widowed Vogel-Coupe started escorting in 2010 at the age of 81. 2. What is the chemical symbol for arsenic? Answer = As Arsenic is a chemical element with the symbol As and atomic number 33. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in combination with sulphur and metals, but also as a pure elemental crystal. Arsenic is a metalloid Atomic number: 33 Atomic mass: 74.9216 u Electron configuration: [Ar] 3d¹⁰4s²4p³ Melting point: 816.8 °C Boiling point: 613 °C Discoverer: Albertus Magnus 3. In which street did the Fire of London start? Answer = Pudding Lane The Great Fire of London started on Sunday, 2 September 1666 in a baker's shop on Pudding Lane belonging to Thomas Farynor. Although he claimed to have extinguished the fire, three hours later at 1am, his house was a blazing inferno. 4. Which drummer with The Who was renowned for dumping Rolls Royces in swimming pools? Answer = Keith Moon Moon never had a driving licence. Rolls-Royce, which has just released a Wraith "Inspired by Music" edition has revisited various rock star tales. It calls Moon's an "over blown conflation of two stories". In the first, Moon failed to put on his handbrake, resulting in his parked Rolls-Royce rolling into a half-constructed (and empty) swimming pool. 5. What is the proper name of the funny bone? Answer = ulna bone 6. In the TV series The Likely Lads what was Bob’s girlfriend called? Answer Thelma 7. Which former Chilean dictator was arrested at a west London clinic in October 1998? Answer = General Augusto Pinochet 8. What is the name of the box in which a ship’s compass is stored? Answer = Binnacle 9. What is a Honey Locust? Answer = tree The honey locust, also known as the thorny locust or thorny honeylocust, is a deciduous tree in the family Fabaceae, native to central North America 10. What was the Queen Elizabeth’s sister ship? Answer = HMS Prince of Wales 11. How many stomachs have 3 cows and 4 horses? Answer = 7 Cows technically only have one stomach, but it has four distinct compartments made up of Rumen, Reticulum, Omasum and Abomasum. 12. Which year did the terror attack on World trade Centre take place? Answer = 2001 On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center became the target of a massive terrorist attack that took the lives of nearly 3,000 people. I’ll bet you didn’t know …. Ducks only lay eggs in the morning I didn’t – good job it wasn’t a question, I would have had to duck that one. I never knew they nearly always lay at the quack of dawn.
  14. 2 points
    Answers to last week's quiz: 1. 37 2. Christopher Robin 3. Recto 4. A Midsummer Night’s Dream 5. Pope John Paul II 6. Martin Luther King 7. Hamilton 8. Three 9. A Rusty Nail 10. Vulpine 11. Mary Ann Nichols 12. England and Australia New quiz tomorrow!
  15. 1 point
    Answers to last week's quiz: 1. Ikea 2. Nothing compares 2 U 3. Blackthorn 4. All Saints Day 5. Brazil 6. Baron Frankenstein 7. K 8. Poult 9. Ice Skating 10. Nunatak 11. Bona fide 12. Larry Grayson
  16. 1 point
    Sounds like the folding stuff and coins are the last thing our local taverns will take..........contactless seems to be the preferred option.....
  17. 1 point
    So true Eggy but thats just the tip of the iceberg ! BTW we sometimes skip July.
  18. 1 point
    Tuesday - one line joke night - Canada's turn - Vic's probably know these :- What do urine samples and Canadian beer have in common? ....................................................................... The taste! What are the 2 seasons in Canada? ........................................................... Winter and July! What do Canadians sing when they get excited .............................................................. Who let the sled dogs out! What is the difference between a Canadian and a canoe? ......................................................................................A canoe tips. How does a Canadian hold up their hair? ...................................................... With moose. How do you know Adam was a Canadian? .............................................................................. Who else could stand beside a naked woman and be tempted by a fruit?
  19. 1 point
    Three years and one month on since I started this thread and what has progressed in the intervening period? Of course COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works everywhere but it would be nice if the InvestingInBedlington.co.uk site was updated at least quarterly but yet again months upon months of silence. In February we were a couple of weeks away from a "final" planning decision. Whats more now the "Contact Us" page doesn't work and the email address bounces. Any ideas whether a) the redevelopment is still going ahead or if Aldi have thought twice and pulled the plug and b) assuming it is still going ahead... when are we going to see the first brick laid? Slightly annoying driving through Amble and seeing their shiny new Morrisons complete with Petrol Station that took around 12 months to approve, build and open while we are sat 5 years on from Arch acquiring the land in Bedlington with absolutely nothing to show for it.
  20. 1 point
    1. Which furniture chain was founded in 1950 in Sweden by Ingvar Kamprad? Answer – IKEA 2. Which Sinead O’Connor single topped the charts in 1990? Answer = Nothing compares 2 U 3. Sloes are the fruit of which shrub? Answer = Blackthorn or if you ask wor Simon, who goes out and gathers them, - Prunus spinosa 4. By what name is November 1st known? Answer – All saints day - also known as All Hallows' Day, Hallowmas, the Feast of All Saints, or Solemnity of All Saints. 5. Which was the first country to win football’s World Cup four times? Answer - Uraguay 6. Which screen role connects Peter Cushing, Boris Karloff, Sting and Kenneth Branagh? Answer = Frankenstein 7. Which is the only letter worth five points in a game of Scrabble? Answer = K In Words With Friends both the K & V are worth 5 points. 8. What is a young turkey called? Answer = poult From the late 16th century, thousands of geese and turkeys were walked the hundred miles from Norfolk to Leadenhall market in London each year. The journey would take three months and the birds wore special leather boots to protect their feet. Geese wouldn’t allow themselves to be shod (hence the contemporary phrase “to shoe a goose” for something difficult), so their feet were dipped in tar and covered with sand. 9. Brian Orser was a world champion in which sport? Answer = Ice Skating Brian Ernest Orser, OC (born 18 December 1961) is a Canadian former competitive and professional figure skater. He is the 1984 and 1988 Olympic silver medallist, 1987 World champion and eight-time (1981–88) Canadian national champion. 10. What name is given to an isolated mountain peak protruding through an ice sheet? Answer = Nunatak Nunatak, isolated mountain peak that once projected through a continental ice sheet or an Alpine-type ice cap. Because they usually occur near the margin of an ice sheet, nunataks were thought to be glacial refuges for vegetation and centres for subsequent reoccupation of the land. 11. Which well known Latin phrase means ‘in good faith’? Answer = Bona fides 12. Whose catchphrase was “Shut that door!”? Answer = Larry Grayson Or as my wife would tell you – me. My kids know what happens when you leave the door open from the South facing warm sitting room into the colder hall way where the thermostat is fitted ie. the warm air rushes into the hall, rises and ups the thermostat level = central heating switches off. I’ll bet you didn’t know …. Al Capone’s business card gave his profession as ‘secondhand furniture dealer’. Answer = I didn’t
  21. 1 point
    I'll have to find something else to keep me out of mischief on a Thursday and Friday afternoon/night then. Gardening and feeding the wildlife is morning work. Last quiz, now that Britain is going to the pub on a Friday again: 1. Which furniture chain was founded in 1950 in Sweden by Ingvar Kamprad? 2. Which Sinead O’Connor single topped the charts in 1990? 3. Sloes are the fruit of which shrub? 4. By what name is November 1st known? 5. Which was the first country to win football’s World Cup four times? 6. Which screen role connects Peter Cushing, Boris Karloff, Sting and Kenneth Branagh? 7. Which is the only letter worth five points in a game of Scrabble? 8. What is a young turkey called? 9. Brian Orser was a world champion in which sport? 10. What name is given to an isolated mountain peak protruding through an ice sheet? 11. Which well known Latin phrase means ‘in good faith’? 12. Whose catchphrase was “Shut that door!”? I’ll bet you didn’t know …. Al Capone’s business card gave his profession as ‘secondhand furniture dealer’.
  22. 1 point
    Bates Colliery behind the offices around the wash plant area taken late 1950's
  23. 1 point
    Answers to last week's quiz: 1. Twenty 2. 305, Add 61 to each number 3. Bohemian Rhapsody 4. Abraham Lincoln 5. Joule 6. Kedgeree 7. A tree 8. Seth 9. Jack Shepherd 10. Three 11. String 12. Crossed swords New quiz being prepared for tomorrow.
  24. 1 point
    Copy and paste used to easy - must be me dexterity; it must be me dexterity.🙃
  25. 1 point
    It's Tuesday night - and that's not a joke 🐇 I’m thinking about removing my spine----------------------------------------------------- I feel like it’s only holding me back.🐦 Did you hear about the two thieves who stole a calendar? ---------------------------------------- They each got six months.🦔 I’m terrified of elevators….............................................................so I’m going to start taking steps to avoid them.🐰 I used to hate facial hair…............................................................................................... but then it grew on me.🐔 Did you hear about the two thieves who stole a calendar?............................They each got six months.🐿️ I’m terrified of elevators….......................................................... so I’m going to start taking steps to avoid them.🐍
  26. 1 point
    ... and say hello to the quintuplets! On their first outing today with no sign of an adult. They seem to have adopted me, accept nuts and climb all over me if I sit down beside them and they are hungry. I saw mum nest-building under the barn roof a few weeks ago so I think they've been born in there. Delightful little creatures!
  27. 1 point
    The cleaning squad. Fizzy the pheasant and his little helpers - the squirrels Nutkin. Keeping things spotless under the birdfeeders.
  28. 1 point
  29. 1 point
    Answers to last week's quiz: 1. Magna Carta 2. The Central Line 3. Ena Sharples 4. Pansy 5. Head to foot 6. Crimean War 7. Winston Churchill 8. Pancakes 9. Blood and Fire 10. Australian 11. An Electric guitar (Used by Jimi Hendrix) 12. Four New quiz tomorrow.
  30. 1 point
    Are you taking bookings Eggy? I've got a big party coming up next year!
  31. 1 point
    I was talking yesterday to a man who worked at the opencast at Westlea. This was on the right hand side of the road coming from Nedderton Village towards Bedlington. From that road you turned right into Netherton Lane towards Westlea. However he did say there was also an opencast on the left hand side of the road from Nedderton Village to Bedlington which went from the road side where you turned into Netherton Colliery and across the fields to Netherton Colliery . This would have been the 1960s. I said that it was Dr Milligan's car which had gone down into the opencast, however it was Doctor Stone and I think it was his son. Maybe in the mid 60s?
  32. 1 point
    @Canny lass - the construction of 'Big Geordie' - hope one of these links work :- http://www.yorkshirefilmarchive.com/film/big-geordie https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-big-geordie-1970-online
  33. 1 point
    That's great. Now I know the name, I might be able to find out something more about it. Thank you for all your help.
  34. 1 point
    Hi Alan Yes thanks I checked this site out a while ago very informative
  35. 1 point
    It is from the old-maps.co.uk site and labeled 1984-1993 but I have found their dating to be a little unreliable sometimes. I hope that this helps!
  36. 1 point
    1. Original copies of what can be found only in Salisbury Cathedral, Lincoln Cathedral and the British Museum? Answer = Magna Carta 2. On a London Underground map which line is coloured red? Answer = Central 3. Which Coronation Street character was played by Violet Carson? Answer = don’t care – refuse to look it up - 4. Which type of flower is sometimes known as heartsease? Answer = Viola Tricolor 5. What does cap a pie mean? Answer = head to Foot 6. Which war was fought 1853-1856? Answer - Crimea 7. Who said “When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite”? Answer = Winston Churchill 8. Which food item is used in an annual race at Olney, Buckingham shire? Answer = egg 9. What is the motto of the Salvation Army? Answer = Blood and Fire 10. What nationality has Wimbledon champion Rod Laver? Answer = Australian 11. What is a Gibson Flying V? Answer = Electric Guitar 12. Of how many islands does the Autonomous Region of Madeira consist? Answer = 3 (or it might be 8) Madeira Islands, Portuguese Arquipélago da Madeira, archipelago of volcanic origin in the North Atlantic Ocean, belonging to Portugal. It comprises two inhabited islands, Madeira and Porto Santo, and two uninhabited groups, the Desertas and the Selvagens. I’ll bet you didn’t know …. Nelson’s body was brought back to England for burial pickled in a barrel of brandy to stop it decomposing on the way home. Answer = I did - Stephen Fry told me on QI
  37. 1 point
  38. 1 point
    I hope 'no name' had his safety badge(s) unpicked from his sleeve
  39. 1 point
    I will have to start by saying I am a nonbeliever in the paranormal☺️. I did attend the cubs in the late 1950's early 60's at what was then the scout hut before you got to Waverley Drive and can't remember any stories about ghosts etc. I will have to check with my old mates to see if they are believers and have heard any stories about believers reporting ghostly noises/feelings and sightings. Am I right in saying that the hut I remember has been replaced with a new hut/building?
  40. 1 point
    Bringing us up to the present day ... The Anglo-Saxon word halig, meaning “of good augury” (a good sign/omen) or “inviolate” (free or safe from injury or bad health), was already in use in Old English and there is good evidence to support a theory that it adopted some religious significance during the Middle English period (1100-1450). We find this evidence very near to home – in Durham. William M Aird in his work, St Cuthbert and the Normans: The Church of Durham, 1071-1153 (1998), tells us of Cuthbert’s importance in defining the identity of those who lived in the “Liberty of Durham”, an area of private jurisdiction not directly administered by the king but by someone who enjoyed the same, or similar, rights – in this case the Bishop of Durham. Cuthbert, Aird says, became an important symbol of the autonomy of the area and because of this the people living there became known as the “Haliwerfolc”. Knowing what we know so far, it’s not too difficult to break that word down into its component parts: haliw-er-folc. Haliw is the OE word halig, the letter ‘g’ having been replaced by ‘w’ in an attempt to reproduce the ‘hockle’ sound which I discussed earlier. Er is a Middle English genitive implying a connection to (rather than ownership of) a thing or person and no prizes for guessing that folc means folk. From this we can see that at the beginning of the Middle English period the word halig has acquired a definite religious significance. There are some who believe there is a relationship between ‘whole’ and ‘holy’ and that the religious sense of holy may have developed from keeping believers spiritually whole. https://www.google.com/search?q=holy+etymology&rlz=1C1GGGE_svSE562SE627&oq=holy&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j35i39l2j0j46j0l2j46.8504j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 A quick peruse of the Oxford Concise Dictionary of English Etymology confirms that the roots of whole and holy are in fact the same – hal. In retrospect, “whole” and “free from injury” do have a lot in common. Barber, The English Language, a Historical Introduction (1997), notes that already at the beginning of the period, 1100 AD, a few other Anglo-Saxon words were being used in relation to Christianity, among them: eastre (Easter), derived by Bede from the name of a goddess whose feast was celebrated at the vernal equinox and hel (Hell), then meaning to cover or conceal. However, halig despite its transferred meaning is still being pronounced with the long vowel sound ‘a’, as in Harley (without the ‘r’). This pronunciation appears to have changed early in the Middle English period in a series of vowel changes which included the previously mentioned munt to mount when some short vowel sounds were lengthened. Several scholars have described these changes, and among them is the transition of the Old English long vowel sound ‘a’, as in Harley, to a different vowel sounding like ‘aw’. Scholars usually compare it to the vowel sound in law but, having heard this sound during my studies, I prefer to liken it to the same vowel sound ‘aw’ in bought but with a heavy leaning towards the Geordie pronunciation of boat. This new sound was represented in spelling by the letter ‘o’ so that halig/haliw became holig and, like Hollen, it eventually lost its last consonant. These changes, I might add, only occurred in the north of England and the reason why is as yet unexplained. My own personal theory is related to influence from the Viking invasions. Southern England continued to use ‘a’ both in speech and writing and later, towards the end of the Middle English period, we find the first recorded evidence of holy in its present form, translated from the ecclesiastical Latin, sanctus spiritus meaning Holy Ghost in the Wycliffe Bible of 1382. A further change to some long vowel sounds occurred in the following period of Early Modern English (1450-1700) – but this time only in the south, more particularly in the London area. In a process which lasted at least two hundred years, and probably the biggest ever change in the pronunciation of English, The Great Vowel Shift, as it’s come to be known, changed the pronunciation of a special group of vowel sounds – those long vowel sounds which are formed at the back of the mouth, like the ‘a’ in halig. The result was vowel sounds which were formed at the front of the mouth, like the ‘o’ in holy which halig became. This was not, however, the same ‘o’ sound being used in the north. This was the result of a completely different process. The southern ‘o’ sound was the sound we now hear in what we call the Queen’s English, or ‘posh’ English as some call it, when the word ‘boat’ is said. So, for many years we had two different pronunciations of the word holy- one sounded like Queen Elizabeth II, the other like @High Pit Wilma. It’s not really known why this major change occurred. Several theories have been put forward. The redistribution of people due to the Black Plague causing changes in the vernacular of London is one such theory, while the hoi polloi’s struggle with pronunciation of the influx of French loanwords is another. A third is a wave of nationalism which swept over England when French rule finally ceased in the fifteenth century. No one really knows. What we do know is that it added to the confusion and irregularity of English spelling in a very big way causing pronunciation and spelling to diverge even further. Many other languages have undergone a similar ‘shift’: German, Spanish, Latin and French for example, but their nations have, through spelling reforms etc. tried to bring the written language nearer the spoken. In England, there is, traditionally, no regulating body for this sort of thing so the idiosyncrasies, irregularities and difficulties of English spelling remain. Thank heavens for that, I say! Without them we would not be able to see and feel the wings of history in our language. Even though the language is constantly changing, no major changes have occurred since The Great Vowel Shift and for this reason I don’t intend to research our words, Holly, holy and mount, any further. They have, to a great extent, arrived at their modern day form and pronunciation by the end of the Early Modern English period in 1700 AD but, it was some years later that the southern variant of pronunciation became the Standard English pronunciation. This is hardly surprising as the seat of power was London. London had always been part of the dominating dialect area: first on the southern border of Mercia, then included in the East Midland dialect area which was later accepted as the standard variant of English much thanks Caxton’s printing press. There’s a saying in linguistic circles that the difference between a dialect and a language is that a language has an army and a fleet of ships. It’s true! All over the world standard languages have arisen from the adoption of the dialect spoken in the areas of power, administration and finance – the capital cities. Time to move on to Bedlington now and a question: Does anybody know of any map of Bedlington before 1806? If you do I’d love to hear about it. To be continued ….
  41. 0 points
    @Malcolm Robinson - does this mean your having to put your hand in your own pocket?
  42. 0 points
    That is very interesting. What is also strange is that on the identical site, the identical map is labelled 1962 on my computer and 1961 on yours!
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