News and Activities

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.
Reed Neet Tickets - see Newsletter for 2023 details

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.

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 was published until 1997, the year of 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 website.

Publications and Other Projects include "Meyk an' Moas", Roland Bibby’s dialect version of the classic children's tale (£2), Christmas greetings cards and 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). (Limited edition SOLD OUT, but copies are in the public libraries run by Northumberland County Council. We hope ultimately to make it available online to Society members.). A shorter Northumbrian-English and English-Northumbrian dictionary is in preparation. T-shirts featuring local dialect words are available in various sizes.

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' (£8), 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”.

The Iron Press published our co-production Fred Reed's poetry book 'The Northumborman', (£8) 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 £2 postage) from the Treasurer, John Davidson (see Contact Us section )


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Annual Lecture
October 2023

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