Posts Tagged ‘Saltburn’

Saltburn and slavery

June 7, 2020


UCL have produced a map of the addresses of slaveowners claiming compensation after slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1834 .   There are not many in Yorkshire, but of these two are rather close to Saltburn.

The Hon. George Heneage Lawrence Dundas of Upleatham Hall, Upleatham, who claimed £4,818 0s 6d as compensation for his freed slaves, also appears to have provided some support for UCL itself in its very early years…

Hmmmmmm not that surprising I suppose. Will not be able to walk on Dundas St without remembering this.

Actually, I was quite surprised since:

(i) you associate Saltburn with the Quakers, who were resolutely opposed to slavery. (But the development of Saltburn as we presently know it dates from 15 or 20 years after these slaveowner payouts, so this is not in fact relevant.);

(ii) there really weren’t that many of these claimants in Yorkshire or the NE–which makes sense, since there were lots of investment opportunities in mines and such closer to home.

In any case,  various things called Zetland (‘noble’ title of the Dundas family) are implicated:


Zetland Court, Dundas Street, Saltburn

The NYT Dialect Quiz and Me

February 18, 2019

reaction to First version

My first reaction to this was The NY Times dialect quiz  suggests I come from Middlesbrough or Carlisle–well I’ve been stuck at Carlisle station a few times…

And furthermore it’s a question of what age you acquire the characteristics of your speech, so for me you’ve got Teesside (ages 8-18 say) and possibly the Isle of Man (5-8 perhaps) but nothing for Sarf London (2-3 ish and 29-58).

But in summary–for my case–since even the existence of Teesside is only weakly acknowledged in Yorkshire and County Durham and hardly at all further afield, I find this seriously impressive!


Version 2

Of course, it also helps if you read what it says, which is The map shows places where answers most closely match your own, based on more than…respondents who said they were from Ireland or Britain.

My inititial view was that you acquire your accent/pronunciation from the other children you go to school with, but I don’t know whether that applies quite so definitively to vocabulary.  

The rubric, however, gives a more nuanced account:

The way that people speak — the particular words they use and how they sound — is deeply tied to their sense of identity. And it’s not just about geography. Education, gender, age, ethnicity and other social variables influence speech patterns, too.

These dialect markers are so ingrained into people’s sense of self that they tend to persist well after they move away from home. “Identity is what underlies most people’s retention of at least some of their local features,” said Clive Upton, professor emeritus of English language at the University of Leeds, “because ultimately what we say is who we are.”


Version 3

And you can always try again–I don’t think it shows you exactly the same 25 questions each time and you can change your mind about doubtful cases. I ended up with an overall conclusion of the North in general, the North-East in particular and specifically Teesside.