North East Connected

National centre keeps North East traditions alive

AN EXHIBITION which celebrates the individuality of the North East is adding two new displays, to mark the region’s long-standing traditions.

The Lost Dialect exhibition at The Word, The National Centre for the Written Word at South Shields was introduced to highlight the language spoken everywhere from schools to shipyards, much of which is no longer in everyday use.

Sponsored by Port of Tyne, the exhibition is now being extended, with the addition of two new attractions.

The centre has just introduced its nod to the region’s food history, with a video recreating some of the North East’s most popular dishes.

Filmed at South Shields Museum to give it a traditional feel, visitors to The Word can now watch a cook preparing singin’ hinnies – a griddled cooked scone, along with two versions of panackelty.

Variations of the stew can be found across the region, with the video showcasing the dish being prepared as it would have been eaten in Sunderland made with corned beef and a variety made with bacon which was popular in Northumberland.

Finally, viewers will also be able to see the preparation of one of the UK’s oldest dishes – pease pudding.

On 22 November The Lost Dialect exhibition will also unveil a new video, showcasing the childhood game of skipping and the rhymes that young people in years gone by recited.

The film was made during the summer at Bents Park by local film makers, Unified Media, and also includes pupils from the town’s Stanhope School chanting some of the popular skipping songs, along with a new version which has been created by local writer, Tom Kelly.

“My research shows skipping rhymes started in the twentieth century in the UK and New Zealand,” he said.

“The rhymes made reference to well-known people and in the new verses I’ve put together for this exhibition I’ve tried to reflect that, so references to places and people from South Tyneside are prominent in the rhyme.

“This work has been important to capture the dialect that women and girls would use on an everyday basis and that is slowly fading from use.”

Tania Robinson, Head of Marketing and Culture for The Word: National Centre for the Written Word said the Lost Dialect exhibition had proved hugely popular.

“It’s been really well received by everyone who has visited it and the fact that we’ve asked people to participate and share their lost words has just added another layer of interest,” she said.

“The cookery aspect is already proving very popular and we can’t wait to unveil the skipping video as we’re sure it will provoke even more memories and highlight a time when simple pleasures like this were part of everyday life.”

The Lost Dialect exhibition will be running until Easter 2018.

For more information about The Word, call 0191 427 1818 email or

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