Erected on stylobate of local stone. The square pedestal was of red peterhead granite. On its four sides were the tributes to the four dialect writers; Edwin Waugh, ...the inscriptions provided details of the place and dates of the birth and death of the four writers, and lines from their writings.
The extracts are from:
Lahee---"Left to his fate"
Trafford Clegg ---- "Lijah's Fortin"
Oliver Ormerod --- "Th' First and Second Visit to th' Greyt Eggshibhbn n London"
The idea of raising a memorial to honour the memory of local dialect writers had ben raised in the press on a number of occasions but the suggestions were not taken up until 1896. It was then that the subject was taken up in a more formal way. The scheme for a memorial found support. Extracts from the subscription book show that apart from a small number of £5 donations, the majority were small under £1. The Rochdale architect, Edward Sykes was commissioned to produce the memorial.He presented his design to the memorial committee in July 1899. The memorial was made by MESSRS RAWSON, monumental masons of Bury.
The memorial was placed in a central position on The Slopes, a recently landscaped area of Broadfield Park, overlooking the Esplanade and opposite the town's library. It was unveiled in 1900 by Archdeacon Wilson. Among the dialect writers attending were Sam Laycock and Allen Clarke. Predictably some expresed their feelings in verse. Allen Clarke, who had taken over the mantle of Waugh et al as one of the leading dialect writers. The final verse of his tribute held out the hope::
So Rachda's dialect quartette
(Wi' teicher Tim close by, yo' known),
Is livin, speikin, singin' yet, -
An' may its fame outlast the stone!
The memorial included no mention of Tim Bobbin, the most celebrated of the earliest dialect writiers. Born in Milnrow, near Rochdale, was widely associated with the town. His nearby grave was a place of pilgrimage to all overs of the dialect.
Dedicated to four Rochdale dialect writers: Oliver Ormerod (1811-1879), Edwin Waugh (1817-1890), Margaret Rebecca Lahee (1831-1895), John Trafford Clegg (1857-1895).
BORN ROCHDALE 27TH JANY 1817
DIED NEW BRIGHTON 30TH APRIL 1890
Ã¢â‚¬Å“COME WHOAM TO THI CHILDER AN ME."
IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF FOUR ROCHDALE WRITERS OF THE
LANCASHIRE DIALECT WHO HAVE PRESERVED
FOR OUR CHILDREN IN VERSE AND PROSE
THAT WILL NOT DIE, THE STRENGTH
AND TENDERNESS, THE GRAVITY AND
HUMOURS OF THE FOLK OF OUR DAY, IN
THE TONGUE AND TALK OF THE PEOPLE.
THIS MEMORIAL WAS ERECTED A.D. 1900.
Lower down on memorial on this side is inscribed:
1908 HARVEY KERSHAW M.B.E. 1986
Ã¢â‚¬Å“A MON WI' T' COMMON TOUCH"
rhs (west face)
BORN ROCHDALE 21ST JUNE 1811
DIED ROCHDALE 1ST NOVEMBER 1879
Ã¢â‚¬Å“AW SED AW'M O RACHDE FELLEY
MON UN WE'RE METERLY FAUSE
THEERE AWLL WARRUNT TE."
Ã¢â‚¬Å“OLIS LET O MON DOO THAT UTS REETE
UN E'S SARTIN SHURE FUR TO KOOME
EAWT TH BEST UT LAST OV O."
back (south side)
BORN CARLOW IRELAND 10TH MAY1831
MARGARET REBECCA LAHEE
DIED ROCHDALE 14TH JUNE 1895
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WHEN WE LAY DEAUN LIFE'S SHUTTLE
AN' STON BEFORE TH GREYT JUDGE, HE'LL
WONT TO KNOW WHAT SOOAT OF A PIECE
WE'N WOVEN, AN HOW MANY FLOATS THERE'S
IN IT, HE WINNOT CARE ABEAWT EAWR
HEE SEAUNDIN' NAMES AN' WORLDLY
POSSESSIONS. HE'LL AX US HOW WE GOT
EM AN WHAT WE DID WI' EM."
BORN MILNROW 22ND JANY 1857
JOHN TRAFFORD CLEGG
DIED BOURNEMOUTH 18TH MARCH 1895
Ã¢â‚¬Å“SAY NOWT AGAIN FOLK BEHIND THEIR
BACKS, SUP NOWT STHRONGER NOR WOM
BREWED, AN NOANE TOO MICH O THAT
KEEP LOW THOUGHTS EAUT THI MIND
BI FILLING IT WI THINGS BRODE AN HEE
FESTIN THI E'EN ON TH SKY ITS AS YEZZY
TO LOOK UP AS DEAWN, AN IT MAKES
A VAST DIFFERENCE IN A MON."
PMSA recording information