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Yorkshire Dialect: Grave Matters

There's humour aplenty in Yorkshire's Colne Valley, even when it comes to the serious subject of a grave stone inscription, as Mike Shaw's exuberant dialect tale reveals.

"Ah see poor owd Johnny Armitage's popped 'is clogs," Jack Bamforth sed wen we were in t' club t' other neet.

"Yus, it musta been a bit quick an awl, cos Ah wer nobbut talkin' to 'im a week last Setdy," Ah replahd. "But 'e'd 'ad a gooid innings, Ah reckon. 'E wer turned 80 an' nivver ailed much ser far as Ah know."

Jack put daan 'is pahnt an' sed, "Well, Ah nooaticed 'at 'e musta stuck to 'is word abat bein' buried asteead a' cremated. 'E used ter jooak abaat that, tha nooas. 'E reckoned ther wer a better view fra t' cemetery ner t' crematorium. An' 'e sed 'e'd nooa intention o' bein' put unda t' graand i' Uddersfield afta livin' in t' valley awl 'is lahfe."

Ah 'ad a little chuckle at that an' sed, "That wer Johnny awl ovver. 'E allis saw t' funy sahde o' things, even wen it came ter talkin' abaat 'is own funeral.

"'E once telled me wat 'e reckoned wer a true story abaat a chap called Harry Stead 'at lived up in t' land at Powl Moor.

"Johnny sed 'at wen Harry's missus passed away 'e asked fer a raither unusual few words ter be put on 'er gravestooan. 'E went ter Aquilla Wodhead's spot 'at used ter be near Manchester Rooad an' telled t' boss ter carve "She Was Thine" on t' stooan.

"A week or sooa afta t' funeral 'e went ter t' cemetery an' blew 'is top wen 'e saw they'd put "She Was Thin" on th' owd lass's stooan. Onnyrooad, 'e rang Woodhead's up an' telled 'em ther wer an E missin' an' they'd better put it reight afooar 'e went up ageean at t' weekend.

"T' boss apologahsed an' sed 'is apprentice 'ad done it an' 'e wer nooan varry braht at t' best o' tahmes. But 'e promised ter get t' lad ter put it reight straightaway.

"Harry waited a few days afooar 'e went up ter t' cemetery ageean. An', dosta know, wen 'e looked at t' wahfe's grave they'd altered th' inscription awlreight, but this tahme it sed, "E, She Was Thin!"


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