Queensbury dialect preserved
QUEENSBURY is proud of 83-year-old Mrs. Zilpha Tempest. of 133, Holgate Place, and her niece. 70-year old Mrs. Emma Hardy, of 124, West End – they have preserved the Queensbury dialect for posterity.
At Castle Museum, York, their voices have been taken on a tape recording which is to be kept as the exhibit of the typical dialect of this area.
Already nearly 300,000 people have heard the recording at the museum-including special parties from Queensbury-but Mrs. Tempest and Mrs. Hardy seem quite unmoved by their sudden rise to prominence.
The story of how Mrs. Tempest and Mrs. Hardy were selected for the preservation of a fast-dying dialect goes back a number of years to a time when a dialect student, Miss Pamela Ambler, of Fagley Road, Bradford, arrived in the village in search of genuine material.
She was immediately sent to Mrs. Tempest and Mrs. Hardy-and so began a weekly series of visits during which Miss Ambler gained; much valuable information, “We gave her about 3,000 words”, says Mrs. Hardy.
Later Miss Ambler appeared with a Mr. Stanley Ellis, who recorded their voices for his collection. Next came the B.B.C., who wanted a sample of Queensbury dialect. “I heard a bit on Children’s Hour once.” says Mrs. Hardy. Lastly came the recording for posterity at York.
Both Mrs. Tempest and Mrs. Hardy were born in Queensbury and have never spoken anything else but the local dialect.
Both think that dialect should be spoken to save it from dying out altogether:
People make a habit of calling on them for explanations of dialect words.