John Fish B.Sc. Publishers of Tenby in Wales (UK)


Below the Landsker


Robert Scourfield and Keith Johnson

Tenby Observer: The mysteries of Tenby back-slang are among the quirks in the local dialect examined in a new book being launched this week.
Below the Landsker an introduction to the dialect, names, traditions and character of South Pembrokeshire, has been compiled by Pemrokeshire Coast National Park conservation officer Robert Scourfield and local journalist and writer Keith Johnson.
"We both felt that south Pembrokeshire's unique cultural heritage is under threat as never before," explained Robert. "So we compiled this book as a response to the slow decline of the local dialect and the steady erosion of local customs and traditional working places - to encourage people to take an interest in preserving and recording these things before it is too late."
Various lists of dialect words have been published in the past, but this is the first attempt to place the words in context, with chapters covering such topics as home and garden, working the land, health and sickness and the weather.
Changing times are reflected in chapters on 'forgotten' sports such as punt-gunning, street football and brandy, whilst the chapter on past industries includes a fascinating glossary of terms once used on the Pembrokeshire coalfield and in the limestone quarries.
Unusual place names and nicknames are recorded, and Robert has contributed an item on the mysterious Tenby back-slang which was once widely used in the town, but is now rarely heard.
And unlike more prudish writers in the past, the authors have included plenty of earthy words and phrases which have previously remained unrecorded.
With numerous illustrations from the collection of Saundersfoot historian Ken Daniels, Below the Landsker costs 10. It is being launched on Wednesday December 3 [2008] at the Cresselly Arms, Cresswell Quay, at about 6.30 pm.