Audio Archive: Oral History - Local Character of Ewyas Lacy
Extracts from a DVD published by the Longtown and District Historical Society in 2007 entitled “In the Shadow of the Black Mountains: Memories of Rural Life in South West Herefordshire”. The audio recordings are reproduced here with their kind permission, after adaptation by the Ewyas Lacy Study Group for website presentation.
The material consists of interviews with local residents designed to record an oral history of the parishes of Ewyas Lacy. The work was carried out by members of the LDHS Oral History Group between 2004 and 2006 as part of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The memories in this clip relate to the history of the local character of Ewyas Lacy, including manners of behaviour and speech. Ewyas Lacy is part of the borderlands between England and Wales which in Norman and Medieval times were occupied and fought over repeatedly. The result is a sometimes confusing amalgam of Welsh and English place names and manners of speaking. Dialects can vary considerably over relatively short distances. Communities are also relatively isolated in this part of the world, and local folk have often developed distinctive ways of behaving and attitudes to life.
The narrators in these tales reflect some of these local traits - including the ability to poke gentle fun at themselves - as they talk amongst other things of the renowned “cost-consciousness” of farmers, the legend of the “Holy Thorn” at Christmas and the caution with which strangers to the area and “city people” are approached.