Essex: Is the traditional accent dying out?

Halstead Gazette: Essex: Is the traditional accent dying out? Essex: Is the traditional accent dying out?

The traditional Essex accent is dying out and could soon be consigned to history.

For many who might associate an Essex accent with so-called Estuary English or even scenes from The Only Way is Essex television show, hearing the traditional Essex accent may come as quite a shock.

Recordings from the Essex sound archive show it was instead much more rural sounding and similar to those in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Sound and video archivist Martin Astell, who is based at the Essex Records Office in Chelmsford, spent hundreds of hours compiling a cd of Essex accents dating from the early 20th century.

The earliest recording dates back to 1906 and the cd features almost 150 people from across the entire county, who would have been born in the late 19th or early 20th century.

Some are also singing songs and ballads such as Mr Cutmore of Halstead who was recorded signing A Little Bit of Cucumber in the 1960s as an audio Christmas greeting.

See this week's Times for the full feature. 

Comments (7)

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6:01pm Mon 14 Jan 13

tcpsheldrake says...

Sad to see any accent go. To many East Enders spilt into Essex.
My birth town London, God alone knows what that accent is a mix of now.
Sad to see any accent go. To many East Enders spilt into Essex. My birth town London, God alone knows what that accent is a mix of now. tcpsheldrake

10:10pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Chelmforddave says...

Yeah sad to say that the accent is going the way of the dodo bird. In 10 years time the language spoken on the streets will be more like the streets of Brooklyn.

Init Bruv !!

I pity the language skills of the young in years to come.
Yeah sad to say that the accent is going the way of the dodo bird. In 10 years time the language spoken on the streets will be more like the streets of Brooklyn. Init Bruv !! I pity the language skills of the young in years to come. Chelmforddave

12:05am Tue 15 Jan 13

Keep Essex Green says...

I have been saying for a long time now that the London /Essex accent is changing, the youth of today think it is good to talk like they are from rough gangster loving black ghetto's.
In fact they just sound so stupid and brainless.
Is ma rite ta claim dole innit - pathetic!!!
I have been saying for a long time now that the London /Essex accent is changing, the youth of today think it is good to talk like they are from rough gangster loving black ghetto's. In fact they just sound so stupid and brainless. Is ma rite ta claim dole innit - pathetic!!! Keep Essex Green

8:18am Tue 15 Jan 13

Stephen Stares says...

Unfortunately people think the Essex accent is spoken like it is on TOWIE which couldn't be farther from the truth. I was raised in the Braintree district and now live in Halstead. The real accent is alive and kicking in Halstead and I'm holding onto my accent. "That's right boy I'm tellin ya"
Unfortunately people think the Essex accent is spoken like it is on TOWIE which couldn't be farther from the truth. I was raised in the Braintree district and now live in Halstead. The real accent is alive and kicking in Halstead and I'm holding onto my accent. "That's right boy I'm tellin ya" Stephen Stares

12:10pm Tue 15 Jan 13

keith_l says...

When will people stop associating TOWIE with Essex. TOWIE people come from the Romford area, which is LONDON borough of Havering.

There has always been a clear divide in accent between the East London fringes and "real" Essex, even before the borders chnaged in the 60's. If it is joined on to the built-up area of London, then people speak like London, and the rest of Essex is different. The exception is possibly the A13/A127 corridor as Thurrock and Basildon are basically overflow from East London anyway.
When will people stop associating TOWIE with Essex. TOWIE people come from the Romford area, which is LONDON borough of Havering. There has always been a clear divide in accent between the East London fringes and "real" Essex, even before the borders chnaged in the 60's. If it is joined on to the built-up area of London, then people speak like London, and the rest of Essex is different. The exception is possibly the A13/A127 corridor as Thurrock and Basildon are basically overflow from East London anyway. keith_l

3:32pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Stephen Stares says...

I suppose we'll stop associating it with Essex when they change the title from The Only Way is Essex. Just a thought.
I suppose we'll stop associating it with Essex when they change the title from The Only Way is Essex. Just a thought. Stephen Stares

12:15am Wed 16 Jan 13

Keep Essex Green says...

Unfortunately I don't have the answers, even the London accent I must admit is not the best if your looking for a decent job! My father, a true Londoner was always telling me off if I didn't pronounce my R's T's etc etc as a child, I'm so glad he did.
I have nothing against the London accent because it is from a certain area in England, what the kids speak today just sounds so ridiculous.

TOWIE...the sooner that's off the telly the better. Unfortunately the TV Companies can't wait to make another programme that just ridicules the poor Essex People.
Unfortunately I don't have the answers, even the London accent I must admit is not the best if your looking for a decent job! My father, a true Londoner was always telling me off if I didn't pronounce my R's T's etc etc as a child, I'm so glad he did. I have nothing against the London accent because it is from a certain area in England, what the kids speak today just sounds so ridiculous. TOWIE...the sooner that's off the telly the better. Unfortunately the TV Companies can't wait to make another programme that just ridicules the poor Essex People. Keep Essex Green

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