As a kid growing up in the 80's in Kidsgrove, every now and then something extraordinary would happen to my Dads accent. It would go from a normal everyday accent (well to a stokey at least) and miraculously changed when in the company of old friends into proper stokey, potteries dialect.
He'd been brought up in the heart of Burslem, the son of a local Miner and Pottery worker, and to him the potteries dialect was the norm. It wasn't until he was older, that he felt he needed to try and tone it down, because he had to work away from home alot, people couldn't understand him.
The other brush with the local dialect was with Dave Follows Me Un Mar Lady. For me grabbing a look at the cartoons in my Dads paper was always a treat for my brother and myself. We'd had no interest in page 3 back then, as little kids. The funnies were where out interests lay. Not that the Sentinel had a funnies page, just a little black and white box on the inside pages showing the cartoon strip me un mar lady. It would take roundabout 20 minutes of us trying to puzzle out what was being said and eventually reach the punchline. I've still got lots of fond memories of "Me" being put down by "Mar Lady", or "Mar Lady" having a natter over the fence with the next door neighbour.
I was a little shocked today whilst watching a interview with Dave Follows, that he never actually spoke with the potteries dialect, and that someone at the Sentinel translated Daves script into potteries (update: for the first 4 months, then as it says in the interview, he had to translate it himself). Hats of to Dave, he created an amazing cartoon series, that will stay a local treasure for a long time to come.
Anyway have a watch of the video, and visit the Dave follows website.
Dave Follows (October 3 1941 - October 17 2003)
More videos of Dave and his wok can be found here at