Oh Won’t you write me .. a letter from Aspatria: A

  • Oh Won’t you write me .. a letter from Aspatria.
    The first thing to learn is the pronunciation: ASPEYTREEUH.
    It is the only place I know in the world with 3 A’s and all pronounced differently.
    The first A is pronounced as in Bath (the short guttural Northern version please).
    … The second A is like the A in Cake.
    The third A is an uh .. a sort of grunt.
    Ok you got it Aspeytreeuh – ASPATRIA. Repeat after me – ASPATRIA.
    It gets complex now. The locals drop the first A…..more like move it to replace the e in Spey… move the Y in front of the moved A to make SPYAT (not SPY AT but SPYAT (like SPLAT) but with a YU. You then have to drop the last A and pronounce the I as EE. So? if you are still with me . SPYATREE.
    BUT .. just in case you are getting comfortable with this. If you mention SPYATREE to any West Cumbrian, the conversation assumes some sort of Pavlovian call and response.
    Where’s th’ frae?
    Spyatree.
    Spyatree? LowpOot?
    Aye. LowpOotI have this cunning plan to replace the Aspatria signs with Spyatree LowpOot. I’ll sponsor the making of them (I have a friend in Wukintun with a sign making business) I just need some help under cover of darkness for the realisation of this fantasy.
    LowpOot dates back to the 1860’s when the railway guard informed the third class passengers that ‘the train had now arrived at Aspatria station.. would the Third Class passengers care to disembark’, by shouting ‘SPYATREE – LOWPOOT’
    Next letter from Aspatria, I will attempt to teach all of you to pronounce Torpenhow, Baggrow, Workington, Broughton, Moota and Blindcraig. I also have a cunning plan to replace all their road signs too.

About brian

engineer; musician; artist; plumber; vine grower; wine maker
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