One  0:00   

The dialect of Swallowfield in Berkshire, Mr. Stiff, a native aged 72, a decorator recorded by Michael Barry in March 1959.  


Mr. Stiff  0:12   

While I was working at the Duke of Wellingtons, some years ago, I was great interested in old-fashioned implements that they use for the cooking purposes. Also the old range that they had er in the kitchen, and also the–the large table that the cook had or the chef had to work on. And also erm when I had to go in working up in the bedroom or anywhere as that, what with the landings it was up to miss lead way, where are you going. And also, I said to the ladies maid when I was there one day I said “I’ve completely lost myself”. She said, “that’s no trouble in this place”. She said “people are always losing themselves ((in this old place))”. So she said “that all yous got to do is just go down on the left and go down (( )). You’ll be alright where you want to get to ((  ))”. But er there was so many rooms there. Of course, you could ((see then)) the doors and that were all painted the same you can ((  )) way, you know, you used to lose yourself very often. Now, I–I was going to say there’s something about the old duke, the old duke of wellington when he was there of course the lady, she dare not had any work done on the hall not erm when he was about so she used to send to my employer (( )) And er he used to have to send me when the duke was gone to London or some other time to the day. But if he happen to come back in the meantime, I had to hide myself {LG} But still it always used to work out all right. He didn’t ((s)) — He like–He liked to see the work when it was done, I think but he didn’t like to have the men about ((him )) I don’t think ((would you?)). I worked at the ((my fathers)) castle. Also erm that’s an old fashioned place {NS} which ((Orfords)) I think lived there at the time and they were — they were very funny. (( )) I–I–I was working one day, and the lady came around, she wants to ask me something about what she wanted done and she had one of those ear trumpets {LG} so I {BR} put it up to my ear and–and–and now put it to mine so I could speak through her phone and er {NS} I had a mate working with me and when she said when I said something she couldn’t ((quite catch it )) {LG} and my friend he started laughing and I–an–all and I–I he had to finish telling him what she wanted to know because its {NS} quite funny you know isn’t it?  


One  3:10   



Mr. Stiff  3:10   

and er I er I remember the old boy saying to one of the one of the men that was working outside er he said “Are you married?” (( d-d-d )) “Yes, sir.” He says “have any children?” He said “no.” So anything anyway, when when my employer come along, the old chap, this old gentleman he said to the man I was working for erm did er he said “that ((couldn’t)) very good.” He said “oh do you have to leave ((what)) time with working outside?” So he said “yes.” So he said “that that wasn’t very good was it?”. He said ” ((we’d have)) to lose time as there was a man who said he’d got fifteen children.” He said “oh no, I didn’t sir” he said {LG} (()) (( I have four)) {LG}