Howard Peach
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Howard Peach

For many years, to lighten the joys of teaching, I have escaped into dialect writing, and belong to both the East Riding and Yorkshire Dialect Societies.
Local history and an interest in people from different backgrounds - mining, academic, village life, local government officers and editors for instance - have sharpened my understanding of the quirks in all of us.
Some of these oddities have occasionally fed into my tales.
If someone hadn't already invented "nowt so queer as folk" I recon I might ha' done!


Ah Mun Just Tell Thee

Christmas? Nay, Gi'oer Wi' Thee!

Dear John

Diet Protest

Fuller Lives

Landlord Lays It On Line

Meeatin' New Neearbour

Utopia Niver Wor

Wanted - More Revs


Ah Mun Just Tell Thee by Howard Peach

Me granddad, once a good un, 'd sunk i stoddy ways,
His mind a-traipsin' back'ards, o' livin' in a haze
o' times hafe recollected, o' memories bejeweled - 
"Did Ah iver tell thee o' when Victoria ruled?"

On Mam's lined ruddy features a force nine frahn were cast.
"Nah Dad, eat up thi dinner Stop rakin' up the past.
We're listenin' to that wireless, sithee -comedy, tha'll know -
So gi' ower chunterin' on wi' caff o' cheap mead long ago".

Nah Mam's bewk's tonned a leaf else tew, an' Ah'm a grizzle-yed.
Hew's full o' folk an' follies o' fifty year that's sped.
Ivery history cue's ta'en up - her one-track panel game:
An' if Ah meks thray score an' ten - no daht Ah'll do the same!

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Christmas? Nay, Gi' Oer Wi' Thee! by Howard Peach

Them Christmas treats is due again - just when me cash flow's low.
From Halifax to Humber Bridge them cussed adverts flow.
Meantime, Ah tons me collar up to keep ert freezin' snow…
It's no good marthin' off as Scrooge were rayt!

Back wom theer's nuts an' oranges to stuff derntights an' socks;
Tha tater-scrapes, pens tew-thray cards an' wraps up pens an' clocks 
-But thi rnind'd rather settle for a nayt slumped front o't' box…
No wonder hen-pecked chaps 'll go to t' dogs.

Then dawns yon twenty-fifth wi' a scrate hafe ivery hour.
Shane's upskelled his prezzie sack an's scrabblin' theer on t' floor,
As Fran flicks on thi bedrewm layt, tha knows there'll be no more
Silent Nayt - wi'bairns an' boxes aboard thi bed.

Mid turkey-talk at dinner time tha tanks up tots be t' tayn.
Thi blinks draws long till… "Dad, wacken up, us is all tuned in to t' Quane".
For sup that soddin' turkey's back - that bod's become obscene:
An' guess what's in them samwiches tomorrer!

Onnyroad, be Boxin' Day us senses'll be nummer.
Beware, we mun, them TV ads as brings yon mincin' mummer -
Yon wench as wants thee nah to bewk for haldees come next summer…
Warm Springs, 'appen, dost tha think? -Else mebbe Wath on Deame?

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Dear John by Howard Peach

Hey-up wi' thee, John, tha gret slorm-pot!
Common sense's come rayt, nah Ah'm owder.
Theer's summat Ah've gor on me mind:
Tha might as well ha' it from showder.

Here's back thi love lines an' cheap ring -
Ah'm choked wi' thi sloth an' thi mytherin'.
Ah pines for adventure an' zip,
Cos courtin' twelve year's nobbut ditherin'.

Good luck wi' thi ferrets an' jig-saws;
Be time tha glegs this Ah'1I be gone
I' short, we mun go us own roads -nah
Ahs marryin' a normal chap, John!

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Diet Protest by Howard Peach

Nah then, Jack - aren't farmin'?
"Nay, lad - an' can tha beat it?
Mester salted yow as dayed
An' sets us dern ti eat it."

Well,waste not, sithee, want not!
No nayd for blinkin' barneys.
"Pig dayed, Mester salted 'im,
An' sarved 'im up i' sarnies".

But prime pork canna just be chucked;
An' champion snap is 'am.
"Yes'dee Mester's granma dayed
- Todee Ah'm stoppin' wom!"

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Fuller Lives by Howard Peach

Doctor shacks 'is wise owd yed
At Sam's idea o' gerrin' wed.

"A twenty year lass'll be thi death -
Viagra-crazed owd codger!
Nah, Sam -tha mun tak advice
An' get thissen a lodger".

When thray month on they met again
Sam were smirkin', that were plain.

"Well, Sam, how's things wockin' ert ?"
"A nappy event's ti befall!"
Doc stares "An' whar about lodger?"
"By heck, hew's expectin' an' all!"

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Landlord Lays It On Line by Howard Peach

Tha's all heard o' sea-side landladies:
O' landlords we glean nowt as much.
Compared wi' the missus some on us is cissies
We sartinly seem a soft touch.

We puts up wi' fearsome abuses:
Injustices rife's reg'lar done.
Cos some o' yow boarders is layt-fingered hoarders
An' blankets wi' fag-ends yow bon.

All weshin' o' smalls is forbidded.
It's a rule well-repeated an' oft:
But even some vicars has rinsed socks an' knickers
An' strung 'em to dry i' my loft.

Please dunna bring into yer chambers
No buckets, spades, pebbles nor sticks.
Kick off clarty shoes afore leapin' for loos
An' tha'll get nowt to eat after six.

Us canna bide noise i' this guest-'ouse.
Wet evenings tha welcome, but then
Just keep thi young sisters' hands off us transistors,
An' tha canna watch TV after ten.

Dunna dare lewk direct - but theer's missus
Wi' gobstopper- glare up above.
Ah'd better endear me - else t'owd bat'll hear me ~ 
"Be theer in a jiffy, ma love!"

Theer's one thing as Ah'll be confirmin',
It's part of us prayer ivery day.
We mun mek enough o' financial stuff
To keep us -Martinmas to May.

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Meeatin' New Neearbour by Howard Peach

Hest just got wed then, young missus?
Dost want a lend o' lump sugar?
Monny couples this road lives ower t' brush
- Like 'er, Nummer Thray - dotty beggar!

This chap o' thine, love wheer's he wockin?
Watch close whar he kapes in 'is pocket.
Rake off a bit by for thissen, nah sithee !
Proper hooskaypin' ploy: dunna knock it.

Mak sure as tha't none soon wi' child...
Tha't niver full-aproned aready?
Most men's that slap-tickle an' gormless
- Me sister's hed ten wi' that Freddie!

Ah's fair enjoyed this 'ere chin-wag,
But nah Ah mun fettle me-sen.
Ar mester's wom, wantin' 'is dinner;
Tonayt's pigeon racin' again.


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Utopia Niver Wor by Howard Peach

It's just nostalgic rammel ti lewk for Gowden Age;
When Granddad were a farm lad but tew quid were 'is wage.
Forelock tuggin', curtsies, bows - tha gen a deal o' deference;
Tha didna want ti gi' offence - new jobs'd want a reference.
Jill went from skewl to sarvice Jack lodged at manor farm;
Tied rent - five bob, a brewd o' bairns, an' monny a false alarm!
Remember all them eealments - croup, diphtheria, gout?
Gobful gulps o' castor oil, hot pooltices wi'ert...
Child mortality were a fact, an some gals dayed i' labour.

Petty stannin' dern that garth were shared be next door neearbour.
Wi' no mod-cons, hooswock were 'ard; an Gran were on her fayt
Drawin' watter from pump or well, else standpipes i' the strayt
Monday's wesh browt ert that medieval ponchin' tub
An laytin' copper. Heavy stains meant elbow graise an' scrub;
Dryin', starchin', ironin' - a sweaty steamy bother.
Full fire range (oven left, watter boiler on t'other)
Black-leaded wore each Friday morn, wi monny a scrape an' scour
Until at least the Thotties were no electric power,
Onnyhow, none rahnd ar road, though happen for folk dern sarth.
Like mooast famblies i' them tahmes, arn lived hand ti marth.
Though us helped each an t'other, an' compassion were inspired,
Me-sen, Ah's glad ti live for noo, i' comfort an retire


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Wanted - More Revs by Howard Peach

Tom's tractor'd conked So he bewts it.
"Tha blighter, Ah'11 tak thee apart!"
"Now then", says parson, just passin',
"Bad language wain't help it ti start".

"Would prayer ger her gooin', then, Reverend?"
Tom titters at fost, then he stares.
Rev nods "It's the spirit that quickens".
"Rayt - ger 'er fired up wi' some prayers".

Hands joined, eyes up, vicar whispers.
When, verily, t'owd engine brim-brammed.
Whahl Tommy confessed his-sen gob smacked
T'owd parson sharts, "Well Ah'11 be danged!"