Listen to England 11, a woman in her 50s from southeast of the Fens, Norfolk, in eastern England. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.
DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 1940s
PLACE OF BIRTH: Norfolk
OCCUPATION: agricultural worker
AREA(S) OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:
The subject lived a little south and east of the Fens.
OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH: N/A
RECORDED BY: Paul Meier
DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 2000
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:
Father had these cows, and we had a big old bull, and he bought it off a Scotch farmer ’round here. He lived, comes from Scotland. That was, what, an Ayrshire bull? Ayrshire bull, that’s called, Ayrshire. Great old big bull, and me father, he, oh he was a tough ‘un, and he said,* Anyhow that had a ring in its nose and a chain on, which was the law. And it used to sleep in a box at night and go out with the cows on the meadow in the mornings, and then* come home with the cows at night. Well this was when, the time of the year they was cutting the sugar-beet out, so it would be sort of w… spring time, Bob? Anyhow, so my Bob, he’s sit here smoking now, he, ha’ smoked all his life! Anyhow, he had Woodbines them days, and ‘course I was in this thing; I joined the Land Army because I was wearing so many clothes up, and my father only gave me two fifty, two pounds fifty, a week, and he kept me and paid the self-employed stamp. Well then, I joined the Land Army to get the clothes, you see. Then he had to pay me a proper wage, which he didn’t like. That wasn’t very dear, because I was working seven days a week after these cows. Well, anyhow, this here old bull, we turned him out. Great big thing he was: huge, brown and white. Turned him out in the morning with the cows and off he used to go. And I said to my father one day, I said: “That old bull’d, he had got hung up,” if you know what that is: caught up in the shed, and pulled the ring out of his nose, so he’d got no ring and chain. So my father used to say: “Well, he’s all right,” he say, “he’s quiet as a dog.” He said: “He’s all right.” And so he was. Well, anyhow, I used to put him out mornings and that. Well, anyhow, this particular night we’d been working – ten, ten minutes saved my life, ten minutes, that’s all. That was twenty past four, and the men what do the contracting work wasn’t so busy then: they was cutting the sugar-beet out on the field. So Bob said to me: “Have, ha’ your father got any cigarettes about anywhere?” I said: “I’ll have a look.” So I had to sneak indoors. This happened, this happened very often. I got two cigarettes. I pinched ’em. So up the field I go to get the cows home. They left off in ten minutes, but I had a load o’ cows. ‘Cause I used to ha’ to lead the horse in the hoe all day, up and down all day, *with the chap walking behind, hoeing the beet, you see. You know, horse-hoeing ’em. I used to ha’ to lead the horse. Walking all day, up and down, and I got bad legs now. Can you wonder at it? Well, anyhow, I went to [unclear] lead [unclear] so I shouted him and put the two cigarettes on the gate post. Well, I had to walk the rest of that meadow and into the other meadow. And anyhow, that was sort of an old boggy meadow, wet. So I went into this other meadow, and* I sort of only had my dungarees on and a blouse and that, and a little pair of boots. So, anyhow, I said to the old cows: “Come on, home you come.” And they used to turn and come home. And this bull stood and he looked at me. He was about, what, ten yards off me, and he looked. And he didn’t turn, to go home. And I’d always heard, you know: “Beware of bulls: never turn your back on ’em.” So I stepped backwards. Well, he come and he knocked me down. Mind, I was only about, what, 17, 18 then. Eighteen I’d be. So I scrapped up and I thought: “I’ll run.” And I shouted: “Help, help.” Screamed and shouted “help.” Well, they was a mea… a field and a half off me, these men were, hoeing. So, anyhow, I started to run. Well, he come behind me. He hit me in me back and knocked me up in the air, oh I dunno, about ten feet, twelve feet, I suppose. I come down, splash, into an old bog, muddy. I thought, I dunno. I got up again. I never did faint. I got up again, I thought: “I’ll run to the hedge”. And my father hadn’t had the farm overlong, and the hedges were overgrown, ever so wide, and the meadow was long and the field above, and I thought perhaps I can crawl through a hole. But in the meantime the men heard me screaming, and Bob was one of ’em, heard me screaming, and Bob said: “That old bull is at that gal.” So him and the men, some of ’em, some of ’em were older, but him and another chap started to run, and they had to run a meadow and a half. Anyhow, I ran to the hedge in the meantime. Just before I got to the hedge he tossed me into these thorns, and he rolled me up and down these thorns so many yards. And then I remember landin’ in it, and I tried to pick up a piece of wood up what lay there, and I hadn’t got the strength to hit him, because he’d got no ring. So, anyhow, he drove his horn at me and sort of hit me in me chest. Then he hit me top of me eye. And that started to bleed a little: not me eye, but just above me eye. Still got a little [unclear] scar. Anyhow, it started to bleed and he got ever so angry, and he was tossing me up and down these thorns. Anyhow, Bob and this other chap were running. They were the younger ones. And the other chap got a hoe; he brought his hoe. He went after the old bull. And Bob come to me and he say, “Are you all right?” And I say, “Yes, thank goodness you’re here.”
[* = vocal pause]
TRANSCRIBED BY: Kevin Flynn
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 2005
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
The subject has a very strong dialect. She tells a very animated story of being tossed by a bull when she was a girl. This is a useful example of East Anglian dialects generally and a possible model for Fenland study, though she lives a little south and east of the Fens. This subject does not read the lexical sets passage.
COMMENTARY BY: Paul Meier
DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 2000
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