Joseph Bell – Cumbrian


Visitors to this website may wonder if Joseph Bell spoke with a Cumbrian accent albeit with strong influences of the English borders and the North East?  We will never know for sure, but assume that he did so.

To help interested visitors understand and appreciate the ancient and rich Cumbrian dialect, we have, under the pseudonym of ‘William & Betsy Bell’, published a glossary of Cumbrian words and phrases titled ‘CUMBRIAN ENGLISH’ (link to book here)

William & Betsy Bell were my Grandparents, to whom this glossary is dedicated. William was born in Longtown in 1870. He started out in life working on a farm and subsequently migrated for work to West Cumberland first as an iron ore worker and then as a coal miner, reaching the position of Deputy. The Deputies, in the absence of the Back Overman, went to work two hours before the Coal Hewers and were responsible for the management of the district of the pit over which they were appointed.

The Deputies’ responsibilities included supporting the roof with props of wood, removing props from the old workings, changing the air currents when necessary, and clearing away any sudden eruption of gas or fall of stone that might impede the work of the Hewers.  My Grandfather I think was a hero too, he died on the 29th of November 1943, aged 72.

Cumbrian English can be obtained from the publisher from the link here: www.absonbooks.co.uk

William & Betsy Bell c.1941

2 Responses to “Joseph Bell – Cumbrian”

  1. Linda Robson Says:

    Excellent website, thank you.
    I have loads of Bells from Farlam and thereabouts with my family tree.
    Trying to find a connection to Joseph as my grandson is Titanic mad! He would be so excited if he had a connection.

  2. castlehead Says:

    Thanks Linda, Glad that you have found the site of interest. Do take a look at the Bell genealogy and maybe, amongst the many Bells to be to be found historically in Farlam, your grandson has a
    however slight, a connection to hero Joseph Bell.

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