Dorfy always found something to say

OUR late dialect writer Dorfy hadn't to look far for material for her weekly Friday night column in the Gazette.

It was all around her, in the candid, homely speech of her fellow Shields folk.

Dorfy Always Finds Something To Say was written by Mrs Dorothy Samuelson-Sandvid more than 70 years ago, at a time when many families, locally, were going through the upheaval of being rehoused.

This is an extract – but print it out or cut it out of the paper if you wish to keep it.

THE other day a wife says tiv us: "How can you always be sure of having something to write about when Friday comes?"

An' for the forst time in me life it struck us hoo full jist an ord'nary life must be, when ivry day thor's summack y' kin set doon as a pleasant or humorous, or interestin' occorrence.

Tyek this week. Monda' wuz 'Speech' day. Not 'cass onnybody myed onny speeches but 'cass w' got worsel's interested in the art o' speech.

Aa wuz at a class i' the eftornyun when neglected 'i-n-g's' came up for discussion, an' it reminded us o' me skyuldays when me teacher uset t' mek us practice b' recitin' –

"Good morning, Mrs Harding.

I really beg your parding.

There's a kitting in the garding,

Sitting on a bobbiny,

Playing with a butting."

It larnt us alreet. In fact for years eftor Aa wud say 'ing' on the slightest provocashing.

An' ivry time Aa got proposed t' Aa wud simper: "This is so sudding!"

On Thorsda' a met a wife that had been shifted oot of a slum-clearance area, an' sh' wuz tellin' us watt a carry-on the' had afore the shiftin'.

The' had t' tyek the backs off thor pictures an' piannas an' things, an' the orthorities come roond an' scoited insec' pooda' aall ower.

"That's aall varry weel, " Aa says. " But watt aboot people that's superstitious? Aa knaa a lot o' folks that thinks beetles an' bugs is lucky."

"Oh, they're aalreet," sh' says. "The' put a few intiv a matchbox t' tyek up t' the new hoose."

On me way hyem Aa met a wife that begged us t' be an Injun at the Guild exhibition.

"We're depending on you," she' says. "Nobody else can do it."

"Rubbish. Thor's plenty folks as clivvor as me," Aa says modestly.

"Oh, it's not cleverness we chose you for. It's 'cos you're the only one little enough to fit the costume," sh' says.

Aa cudn't help feelin' that sh' might 'a' explained it mair tactfully.

But when y' live in Shields y' hev 't be prepared for candour. Me ondly consolation is that on Frida's the' let us be equally candid.

* The picture is of the clearance of Upper Thames Street and Salem Street, behind Mile End Road, in 1932.