The Reed Neet is held on or near 30th April. the birth date of the late Fred Reed, FNLS, internationally acclaimed dialect poet and the Society's first Vice-President, who did so much to bring the Northumbrian tongue to public attention. Preceded by the Society's annual meeting, the Reed Neet is a celebration of the life and work of Fred Reed, featuring the traditional pie & peas supper, the Muckle Stotty Cyek, formal toasts and informal entertainment.
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Merry Neets & daytime meets include the Yule Meet, the Society's Christmas get-together; themed events, involving music, poetry, stories and festive fare; and the annual Roland Bibby Memorial Lecture. commemorating the Society's founding chairman.
Branch Meetings are held in Newcastle and Hexham every month or so, with guest speakers and performers (details from the Hon. Secretary).
The Hot Trod Roadshow is an evening of songs, stories, history, music and verse, presented by Society volunteers, sometimes at the invitation of other organizations, to increase awareness of the language and recruit new members, besides providing an enjoyable entertainment. The Dialect Survey is an on-going study of the nature, origins and health of the features of the Northumbrian language and its local variations. Research is carried out by district volunteers -- more are always very welcome!
Competitions for dialect reciting, story telling and writing dialect poetry and prose, by adults and children, are run in conjunction with the annual Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering. Entries are heard at the Gathering Dialect Recital on the Saturday after Easter.
Northumbriana Magazine is currently awaiting
relaunching, production having lapsed following the death of
its founding editor, but in 50 editions from the 1970s
onwards it published the results of the Dialect Survey and
many entries to the Morpeth Gathering writing competitions.
It also features articles on the language, history, crafts,
music, folklore, landscape, buildings and people of
Northumberland. Back numbers of the magazine are available
from the Society, and the index of articles is on this
Publications and Other Projects include "Meyk an'
Moas", Roland Bibby’s dialect version of the classic
children's tale (£2), future production of booklets,
greetings cards and a schools' activity pack and after many
years in production, an edition, including facsimile pages,
of “The Mid-Northumbrian Dialect” by Thomas Moody (born in
1901 in Amble), a beautifully handwritten glossary of the
mid-Northumberland dialect together with detailed notes and
drawings in two colours, over 700 pages long and featuring
appendices on the history of the language, the literature of
Northumberland and children’s games (£35).
The Society is now the sole supplier of the books and
recordings of two of our founding members, Robert Allen of
Bellingham and Fred Reed of Ashington. Robert Allen’s book
'Canny Bit Verse' (£6), with illustrations by the late Henry
Brewis, contains the texts of all three of his original
recordings. These have now been reissued under the same
title in a double CD format with sleeve notes by Katrina
Porteous (£12). The 57 poems spoken by the author himself
include “The Kieldor Midgies”, “Spring I’ Redesdale” and “A
Lot of it Aboot”. Also available is the original third
cassette tape, 'The Lang Pack,' (£5) featuring his narrative
poem of the Bellingham legend of the same name and fifteen
The Iron Press have had warehousing difficulties, leading
to their no longer handling a number of titles, including
our co-production Fred Reed's poetry book 'The Northumborman',
(£7.99) and so stocks of that have passed to us. Our CD
recording 'Northumbrian Voice' (£10) is a re-mastered
version of Fred Reed's original LP from the 1970s, but with
extra tracks recorded recently by his son Raymond Reed - 35
tracks in all.
Our other co-production with Iron, the book/CD 'The Wund
an the Wetter', a collaboration between our President, poet
Katrina Porteous, and piper Chris Ormston, has gone into a
second edition (£10). This celebrates the fishing community
of Beadnell and Seahouses.
All our books and CDs are on sale at Society events,
various shows, or by mail (plus £1 postage except for the
Moody book which is £5 p&p) from Kim Bibby-Wilson at
Westgate House, Dogger Bank, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61
1RE (tel. 01670 513308).