Champion of Suffolk dialect on CD

A HALESWORTH man with a passion for recording local dialects and memories on CD has produced the first of a new series, Suffolk Voices.The latest audio CD by Nicholas Jenkins revolves around the life story of one of the county's most colourful characters, Peggy Cole, who is proud to speak the undiluted accent of her native Suffolk.

A HALESWORTH man with a passion for recording local dialects and memories on CD has produced the first of a new series, Suffolk Voices.

The latest audio CD by Nicholas Jenkins revolves around the life story of one of the county's most colourful characters, Peggy Cole, who is proud to speak the undiluted accent of her native Suffolk.

Mr Jenkins, a former radio producer, said: 'Peggy Cole is a great character and speaks proper 'old Suffolk' but although she has written books, the way she talks is even more entertaining. So the CD is a document of a life, in her own words, talking naturally, a record of a particular Suffolk dialect that is rapidly dying out, and most important of all, it is a very entertaining listen.'

Mrs Cole was born in the 1930s and her father was an agricultural labourer. When he got Parkinson's disease and could no longer milk the cows she took over, but the farmer found out and the family was thrown out of the house.


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Later in life Mrs Cole moved to Charsfield, near Wickham Market, where she and her husband opened up the magnificent garden of their council house to the public, raising �75,000 for charity. She then was asked to appear in the well-known film Akenfield, which was written by Ronald Blythe who lived near the village, playing the role of 'The Mother', which opened the door to new experiences as a speaker, gardening expert, and writer on Suffolk life.

The CD is the first in the series Suffolk Voices, with plans for one episode to focus on Gordon Knowles, who has fed the birds on the 'chicken roundabout' in Ditchingham for more than 20 years.

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Mr Jenkins said: 'There are many people doing great work in local publishing. But a very interesting aspect of local history is the way we talk and that has been badly neglected. In East Anglia, the local accent, which has fascinated a great many writers, is dying out, or at least becoming more uniform.'

Although archives of recorded material exist, Mr Jenkins uses his skills not only to record East Anglian people, but also edit their words and put them with archive material to form entertaining audio programmes.

Last year Mr Jenkins produced Southwold: Our Town In Sound, which featured the voice of Michael Palin, who talked about his fond memories of the town.

Suffolk Voices costs �6.99 and is available from Mr Jenkins via www.soundingboardproductions.co.uk or 01986 872088, or from all Waterstones in Suffolk.

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