ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2006-08 > 1155288858
From: Adrian Gray <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] Re:Essex accents
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2006 10:34:18 +0100
I wonder whether it is a geography thing, Jacky. I get the imprerssion that,
because so much of Suffolk is still VERY rural and served by minor roads, that a
lot of people don't travel a great deal. It is very noticeable if you travel
from the Sampfords through Haverhill and the Thurlows to the Bradleys that the
countryside is utterly different, and that it is far more isolated. I suspect
that it creates a small-town mindset of either get out fast or stay forever.
Those who stay, like the thatcher, pick up the local accent from their elders.
I cannot remember who said that only the coming of the railways saved Suffolk
from a tidal wave of incest. It's not an easy thing to Google! I think they were
exaggerating somewhat, but it was noticeable on my one trip to Bury St Edmunds
to investigate my Suffolk ancestors that there were few surnames in some places,
and many people married others with the same surname. I also found someone
marrying their deceased wife's sister - illegal until the 1880s, I think,- and
it's so far the only part of my family tree where the same people appear in two
different generations. There was certainly a different social structure there,
despite it only being about ten miles away as the crow flies.
Of course (incoming caveat alert!) this is just one small corner of the county,
generalisations drawn from that could be wildly inacurrate!
> It always puzzles me (I think we discussed this once before on the list)
> that Essex accents are becoming pretty rare, but over the Suffolk border
> (only a few miles from NW Essex) you can still commonly hear young people
> with a Suffolk accent - is it just distance from London or what?