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Yorkshire Dialect: Jack’s Bird Imitation Makes the Feathers Fly

Jack's umpiring decision causes a flutter in Mike Shaw's dialect tale.

Ah wer aat fer a walk last week wi’ Jack Bamforth an’ Jooa Sykes wen we came across tuthri lads an’ lasses walkin’ daan t’ road. It wer hauf-past two I’ th’ afternooin, an’ Ah remarked ‘at Ah couldn’t weigh t’ young uns up these days.

"Tha nivver used ter see childer walkin' t' streets at this tahme o' day wen we wer lads," Ah sed.

One o' t' lads sed 'e'd be glad wen it wer Frahdy, 'cos they'd bi breykin' up fer six weeks. Awl three on us grooaned tergether wen we yerd that, an' Jooa sed it meant we could expect some bother onnytahme fra next Monday.

"Wen we were tha age we laiked cricket ivvery day it wer fahne i' th' 'olidays, asteead o' walkin' t' streets lahke yo lot do naah," Jack telled t' little lad.

This lad whispered summat to 'is mates an' sed they'd be laiken cricket on Satdy mornin'. "We're short of an umpahre an' awl if tha fancies comin' daan ter t' rec abaat ten o'clock," 'e sed ter Jack.

Jack looked a bit daatful abaat it, but Ah reckon 'e darn't turn 'em daan afta awl 'at 'ad bin sed, sooa 'e telled 'em 'e'd be theer if it wer fahne.

On Satdy mornin' it wer grand an' warm, an' Ah strolled daan ter t' rec ter see wat wer gooin' on. Sure enuf Jack wer theer, umpahrin' at one end wi' Willie Haigh at t' other.

"By gum, Jack, tha looks t' part," Ah called aat. "Ah thowt it wer Dickie Bird fer a minnit, wi' thi smart white cap on."

A few minnits at afta, t' batter gave t' ball a reight swipe an' they wer gooin' back fer a third run wen t' fielder chucked t' ball in an' 'it t' stumps. It wer a cloise do, but Jack put 'is finger up straight off, an' that caused a reight rumpus as t' fielders reckoned 'e wer aat but t' batter insisted 'e weren't.

Ah fair chuckled wen Jack disappeared fra seet amang 'em awl. "Nay, Jack, tha slipped up theer," Ah shaated. "Tha should a' done wat Dickie Bird did an' called for an action replay!"


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