Lost Dialects

22 October 2016 – 6 June 2018

This free exhibition in the Caer Urfa Pod celebrated ‘lost words of the North East Dialect’ – words that are slowly disappearing from everyday conversations.

Language and words evolve, however, this exhibition looked to reignite an interest in the use of words that were used in local shipyards, mines, in street games and social gatherings and are at risk of being lost forever.

The exhibition celebrated ‘lost’ words linking to mining and the shipyards and was then refreshed to focus on the home and street games. The interactive screens included a nod to the region’s food history, with a video recreating some of the North East’s most popular dishes and a second video showcasing the childhood game of skipping and the rhymes that young people recited in years gone by.

As a part of the exhibition, visitors could donate their own favourite words to the word bank – with the aim of creating the biggest collection of dialect words in the country. As a result, over 2400 words were donated throughout the time of the exhibition.

Other interactive activities in the exhibition included:

  • A jukebox of North East songs performed by Benny Graham, accompanied by Chuck Fleming
  • A map of local shipyards with information, photographs and songs of workers, ships and the shipyards providing a reminder of how the yards were intrinsic to so many lives
  • A number of themed quizzes to test your knowledge and understanding of the North East Dialect

 Benny Graham – All Together Like The Folk of Shields

The Place We Love

The Place We Love was a project inspired by our Lost Dialects exhibition.

The effect of the exhibition on visitors with various stages of dementia was so profound that we commissioned the film to capture what the exhibition explored.

The aim was to prompt a memory for those people living with dementia and to encourage carers to ask questions which may bring memories back to life.

Titled, The Place We Love, the project was a collaboration between The Word, writer Tom Kelly and local filmmakers, Unified Films who worked closed with the Alzheimer’s Society as well as South Tyneside Libraries’ Living Well with Dementia group. It also used images from South Tyneside Libraries archives.