‘Completely Lanky’ – A Halliwell Postscript

A message to all true Lancastrians and followers of the Red Rose. Your bookcase is not fulfilled unless you have a copy of Dave Dutton’s ‘Completely Lanky’ nestling proudly alongside your Encyclopaedia, Dictionary and the Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

Described as a comic guide to the Lancashire Lingo, it is, in my opinion, one of the funniest books around and one to which we can all readily relate.

As you have probably noticed, the Lancashire dialect is dying out and more of our younger generation seem to be speaking with a sort of Australian accent due, no doubt, to the influx of Antipodean ‘soaps’ on our T.V. screens. All very sad. However, all is not yet lost, one can still hear snatches of the old ‘Lanky Twang’ although the true dialect is very hard to find these days.

With this in mind and notebook in hand, I have recently jotted down some remarks I overheard in a certain large supermarket built on the site of a former Halliwell cotton mill complex on a road from Bolton to Chorley. (Enough clues?)

A humble offering, I’m afraid, for set alongside Dave Dutton’s jottings these must inevitably pale by comparison or as some old Boltonian would probably say ‘Thaaz not fit ter likizz boots’.

For those who may have a little difficulty I have included some sort of interpretation to let you know what was going on, so with my apologies to Dave here goes.

‘PURRIT ON THI YED’ (To a child who had dropped his hat on the floor)

‘YERLL AVFERT KEEPER INIT’ I think the baby would be betteroff left in the pram)

‘AAH COULDN’T GERROWERT ROAD FERT PIGGIN TRAFFIC’ (I shouldhave used the pedestrian crossing)

‘INTITOTINEER?’ (I think that there may be a problem with the air conditioning)

‘PURRIT INT WHATSIT’ * (Use the waste disposal bin)

*Please note that THINGY has been heard as a substitute for this word

‘AVYER TOOK THAROFF?’ (I think that this is a buy one get one free offer)

And finally this absolute gem from a mother threatening baldness to a child who wouldn’t stop crying – ‘SHURRUP OR AAL PULL YERREROUT’ Subtle, eh?

It’s so gratifying to know that old-fashioned charm and courtesy are still with us!

By Peter Nightingale