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Yorkshire Dialect: Snow Joke

Mike Shaw's dialect tale concerns a spartan wartime diet.

Wen Jack Bamforth an' me wer aat fer a walk on t' tops t' other day Ah nentioned aah yar countrysahde's lahke little Switzerland.

"In yond bad winter o' 1947 Ah med missen a pair o' skis an' 'ad a real tahme wi' 'em fer two or three weeks," Ah telled 'im.

"Aye, but yar 'ills are just abaat big nough," Jack replahd. "Ah wouldn't want 'em onny bigger or we maht get avalanches lahke them they've 'ad in th' Alps."

Ah lit up mi pahpe an' sed Ah'd allis fancied a ski-in' 'oliday but nivver thowt it maht be dangerous. Yond 1947 snow wer a once in a lahfetahme freeze-up. An' even then we could get aat ter do some shoppin' an' fot some coke fra t' gasworks," Ah sed.

"Not lahke them fowk i' Austria last week. It must be a beggar wen tha's paid 'undreds o' quid ter gooa ski-in' and then fahnds thissen snowed up i' thi chalet."

Jack nodded an' sed th' ooanly experience 'e'd 'ad lahke that wer whahle 'e wer in th' Army in France durin' t' war.

"We wer snowed up i' th' Ardennes in t' middle o' winter," 'e sed. "T' Germans wer awl raand us an' they wer givin' us a reight 'ammerin' wi' ther tanks an' 'eavy artillery.

"We wer stuck theer lahke rats in a trap, an' afta a week or sooa we wer runnin' aat o' ivverythin'. Ah dooan't think Ah've ivver been as fed up i' mi lahfe.

"Ah remember yar commandin' officer callin' us awl tergether one mornin' an' sayin' 'e'd two bits o' news, one bad an' one good.

"The bad news is that we've no food or water, so it's a case of drinking melted show and eating grass," 'e telled us. "The good news is that there's bags of both."


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