See below for items relating to Isle of Wight dialect, folk song, legends and customs, also links to websites with similar material. THIS IS WORK IN PROGRESS, CONTRIBUTIONS WELCOME, see foot of page.
Sections: 1. Written information 2. Photographs 3. Recorded media 4. Books
Red type is a link to click to see a text or website, blue type highlights areas of interest.
Tales and Legends of the Isle of Wight with the adventures of the author in search of them by Abraham Elder, published 1839. Reprints are available. Stories and Legends Elder’s Tales
Text of ‘A Glossary of Words in use in The Isle of Wight (Original Glossary XXIII) compiled by Major Henry Smith RM with additions by C Roach Smith, published by the English Dialect Society in 1881. Reprints are available. This work was a major source for WH Long. Dialect words and examples of use in dialogue and poetry. Folk Songs sung on the Island, local Superstitions, Customs, Festivities, Sayings, Recreations. Isle of Wight Words A link to the copy of XXIII held by Cornell University Glossary XIII
WH Long’s Dictionary of the Isle of Wight Dialect, Subscribers’ Edition published 1886. Reprints are available. Major source of Dialect with examples, Folk Song, Mummers’, Customs. Long’s Dictionary
Website containing words, sheet music and recordings of a large number of Isle of Wight Folk Songs, also details of Country Dances, Legends, Stories, Festivities and Singing Games. isleofwightfolkarchive.co.uk
Miscellany, from a variety of sources, of Customs, Sayings, Festivities, Mummers’, Pastimes and Folk Songs The way we were
Recollections of childrens’ Singing Games and other games played on the Isle of Wight Games Remembered
Information about Mummers collected by Stephen Roud Roud collection
Article and photograph on early Folk Song Clubs by Mike Butler. Early Clubs
List of Folk Song Club venues, compiled by Mike Butler. Island Folk Venues
Article and photograph on Folk Song activity at the Sloop Inn, by Brian Reeves, originally published in ‘The Bridge’. Bridge Sloop item
Article on Morris Dancing, local records from 1595 to 2015, by Brian Reeves, originally published in ‘The Bridge’. Bridge Morris item
Article on St. Boniface and the Well by Richard Downing. Stories, Legends. StBonifaceWell
Customs and Legends from St Helens St Helens
Victorian Poetry: Poets of the Wight compiled by Charles John Arnell, published 1922. Includes Dialect poems by Sir Frederick Black, p 238-242 and Percy Goddard Stone p326 and Stories. Poets of Wight
The Vecta Garland by Albert Midlane published 1860. Poem about May Day Customs in Newport, p73. Stories p75, 78 and 86. Vecta Garland
Brief details of 107 paranormal sightings from Legends, Stories and recent reports. Paranormal records
Revival of the Custom of Beating the Bounds of the Fleming estate in 1910. Boundaries
University thesis in which James Rayner discusses Celtic influence on the Isle of Wight Dialect. Rayner’s thesis
Anglo-Saxon Isle of Wight Legends article. Anglo-Saxon legends
Isle of Wight Christmas Festivities article. Christmas traditions
Short piece about Dialect use in the 1980s. 1980s dialect
Photographs from the Stears family. Morris, Country Dances Bonchurch Stears
Postcard from 1913 about King Arwald
Morris dancers in Niton, 1926 Morris 1926
Possible harvest Custom Harvest
Photographs 1950 onwards
Men of Wight, Morris, early performance MOW 73
Folk Song Clubs Folk Clubs
Mummers, Morris Christmas now
School Dance Group Carisbrooke group
First dance of Whitgar Morris, Lilibulero, September 2015 Whitgar
‘Folk On Wight’ by Brian Reeves, describes the Isle of Wight folk scene from 1940s to 2000. Folk Songs, Festivities, Morris Dancing. In print, copies available from firstname.lastname@example.org, also a CD of the songs.
‘Legends and Lays of the Isle of Wight’, in Dialect, by Percy Goddard Stone published 1912. This does not seem to be available online but reprints are available.
‘Hampshire and Isle of Wight Folk Tales’ by Michael O’Leary, has fourteen Stories and Legends for the Island. In print.
The Dictionary of Isle of Wight Dialect by Jack Lavers, pub 1988. Out of print.
Do you have any additional material or suggestions for links to go on this page? Anything on Isle of Wight traditional culture and history – legends, folk tales, songs, tunes, dances, customs would be great. It is possible to add recordings and videos via a Youtube link. Please email: email@example.com
Thanks for contributions, ideas, help- Ian Anderson, Maurice Bower, Mike Butler, Sally Colegrove, Richard Downing, Graham Drudge, Keith Grist, Deborah Hollebon, Carole Holmberg, Tony Jones, Steve Love, Jo Palfrey, Alan Phillips, Brian Reeves, Dave and Anwyl Williams, Peter Yardley.