Jump to content
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won



Canny lass last won the day on May 29

Canny lass had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

605 Excellent

About Canny lass

  • Rank
    Senior Bedlingtonian
  • Birthday 13/01/1947

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Where ever I lay my (incandescent, purple) hat

Recent Profile Visitors

9,220 profile views
  1. I must have missed this. An easy way to distinguish Netherton Infants School at Netherton Colliery from Nedderton Junior School at Nedderton Village is their different building materials. The colliery school was brick built while the village school was stone built (the older part facing the road) with a more modern annexe in green-painted corrugated iron at the rear. This is brick built but the window is not one I recognise - especially with a door to the right . Compare it to other photos in the gallery and they all show windows with four pains of glass in width. They also seem rather higher than I remember if that's an adult on the far left top row. On other photos the window sill is at chest height.
  2. Consider your wrists well and truly slapped! You've no idea how many times I popped in for a good laugh yesterday.
  3. Thank you AllanUK! There are two Hollymount Cottages taken up in the 1911 census, both small dwellings with only 2 rooms housing families of 3 and 4 persons. In both cases the enumerator gives the address simply as "Hollymount" as does one resident, George Gilroy. George notes under number of rooms: "Cottage: two rooms". The second resident, George's next door neighbour, Robert Todd, gives his address as "Hollymount Cottages". The cottages appear to be situated next to the main house. The first section of which now has dwellings of 2-4 rooms numbered 2 -12. The next 9 dwellings are given the address Hollymount House though some of the residents write Hollymount Hall. I think you are probably correct in assuming that they belonged to the house and I believe the first set of dwellings may have been situated in the rear part of the house while the second set were in the front part nearest the gardens.
  4. Here we go again! 1. How many compartments are there on a British roulette wheel? 2. What is the name of the boy who features in the Winnie the Pooh series? 3. What is the right-hand page of a book called? 4. Mustardseed is a character in which of William Shakespeare’s plays? 5. By which name was Karol Józef Wojtyla better known? 6. The song Happy Birthday by Stevie Wonder was a tribute to whom? 7. What is the capital of Bermuda? 8. How many horns did the dinosaur Triceratops have? 9. Scotch whisky and Drambuie make which cocktail? 10. If dogs are canine and horses are equine, what are foxes? 11. Who was the first victim of Jack the Ripper? 12. Which two countries play cricket for The Ashes? I’ll bet you didn’t know … There are more than 17 miles of corridor in the Pentagon!
  5. Answers to last week's quiz: 1. Bolton Wanderers 2. Megalomania 3. Stephen 4. St James’s Palace 5. Madagascar 6. 2 hours 7. Toad 8. Heroin 9. Wall Street 10. Lady in Red 11. Ava Gardner 12. Lead New quiz tomorrow!
  6. Peter Shilton, Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore, George O’Best and Jackie Milborn (Wor Jackie)! Never let it be said that women know nothing about football!
  7. Thanks Maggie! There are some conclusions to be drawn and a couple of questions arising from it. I'll get round to them a bit later. Then it's more research to find out when it came to Bedlington.
  8. Oddly enough, most of that was done in the garden! surrounded by nature The only real indoor work was in the library, which I did before the corona restrictions, and some bedtime reading. The isolation gave me the time to sort out my notes and write it up. Fortunately, apart from two snow days mid May we've had great weather - and still have! As for giving the brain a rest: Brains 'of a certain age' should not be put out to pasture. They should be exercised regularly, fed continuously with new things to do and 'rest' only while sleeping.
  9. 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 ….
  10. Correction: This should not read TO Holy Mount but FROM Holy Mount. Continuing ... Make a cuppa! Moving on into the next period of development, Middle English (ME) roughly 1100 – 1450 AD, England suffered a new invasion, this time from the French-speaking Normans. William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066 but it was many years before the effects of the invasion were seen in the language because, despite being in power for over 300 years, the French were never able to establish their language as the language of the nation. There appear to be two reasons for this. Firstly, unlike the Anglo-Saxon invaders, the French never quite managed to outnumber the Anglo-Saxon population so Anglo-Saxon English remained strong as Joe Bloggs continued to speak and write his Anglo-Saxon dialect. Secondly, the class division that came, and grew, with the invaders meant that the Normans, mostly aristocratic, and the Anglo-Saxon hoi polloi didn’t rub shoulders with each other to any great extent. The language barrier was certainly one reason but the class barrier was probably greater. While the language remained strong it developed neither unity nor standardization. In fact, the four dialects of the Old English period, far from becoming a united English language, developed instead into ‘five’ dialects as the Mercian dialect area, expanded southwards and quickly developed two different dialects: West Midland- and East Midland. This happened because the language had developed in two different directions – the East under Danelaw and Viking Influence, the West under the rule and influence of King Alfred. With the French aristocracy now the new ruling class the key positions in many institutions went to Normans and this situation, with French dominating in positions of power, lasted for a couple of hundred years allowing the language of the aristocracy to also become the language of the corridors of power, the arts, the church, the military, law, medicine, the seats of learning, the royal court and anything else of importance. Eventually, with English no longer being the language of the upper class, culture and administration, the West Saxon dialect lost its footing in those domains. This resulted in there being no common standard in English and, having no standard, people spoke and wrote in the dialect of their own region. This is not to say that the Norman invasion did not have some influence on the development of the English language. Probably the most noticeable influence of the Normans, described by Crystal in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (1999) was the 10 000 French words which entered the language at that time, mostly within the domains outlined above: prison, army, music, grammar and sculpture, to mention just a few. They came in through the penthouse, as it were, and filtered down to us in the basement and most of them are still with us. On a more day to day note, the Normans even left a trace of their daily lifestyle with words such as: spice, salmon, tart (of the edible type), veal, venison and, at the other end of the alimentary process, excrement - the latter causing the relegation of the Anglo-Saxon scytel - pronounced sheetel - (s-h-i-t) to the ranks of the vulgar where it remains to this day. History reflected in language! Further French influence is seen in the changes to both spelling and pronunciation of the Anglo-Saxon’s Old English. And it’s here we can see some evidence of development in our words Holly, holy and mount. Spelling was already somewhat chaotic after the Roman scribes introduced the Latin alphabet, padded out with a few symbols from the runic alphabet to emulate all the sounds, but if you’re looking for the reason why English spelling can use the same ‘ou’ spelling for so many different sounds as in rough, cough, tough, though, thought and through then look no further! It’s here that many of the rules and oddities of modern English spelling have their beginnings - because the Normans had their own ideas about spelling the sounds of English. They removed the runic symbols and replaced them with Latin letters and spelling changes were slowly introduced to show the different pronunciations of long and short vowel sounds– that’s to say, the difference between the short sounds in spat, bet, fit, lock and pull compared to the long sounds of spa, beet, fight, look and pool. In Old English the letter representing these sounds would have been the same for each pair, (a, i, e, o and u respectively). Some earlier scribes had begun to represent the sound difference by placing a horizontal line above the vowel letter to indicate that the sound it represented was long but the Norman scribes introduced, very early, a new system of differentiation. Long vowels got an extra vowel letter while short vowels were followed by an extra consonant letter giving words like looc and locc (look and lock). This system, with some modification, is still in use. It is this change that is responsible for the double ‘l’ in Holly as the OE word, holegn, got an extra consonant letter, i n this case ‘l’ (hollegn) – to show that the ‘o’ was short. Later in the period, as the ‘hockle’ sound disappeared, the letter ‘g’ was no longer needed in the spelling, leaving the word hollen (or sometimes hollin). This alternative spelling shows us that the last vokal may already have been pronounced 'ee' as in' been'. Now we are beginning to see a better resemblance to the word Holly and we can see that the short vowel sound is retained throughout the transition from holegn through hollen to Holly. (CODEE) Even the OE munt (mount), probably pronounced with the same short vowel sound as in 'pull, seems to have been had some sort of revival possibly through the Norman French spelling, mont (OCDEE), bringing us nearer to its present day spelling. Scholars seem uncertain as to which of the two words went on to become ‘mount’. But Barber seems to err on the side of munt becoming mount as the Middle English spelling of the short ‘u’ sound of munt was often later spelled with ou or even ow , with the addition of a second vowel letter showing that the sound was clearly the same as it is today. However, the first recorded evidence of the present day spelling is from the sixteenth century. What happened to the Old English word halig? Was it at this time that it became holy? I’ll tell you about that in a day or two and then we can move on and apply what we know to Bedlington’s Hollymount.. To be continued …..
  11. Sorry Jammy! I posted this in the wrong topic but I've notedcyour response.
  • Create New...