How to understand spoken English – Derbyshire Whaley Bridge

It is very strange to find my region in the headlines on the national and international news.  Whaley Bridge is a small town which is in the Peak District on the outskirts of Manchester.


I live in another Peak District town which is to the south-east of Whaley Bridge.  The Peak District is rural countryside with many beautiful old towns and villages scattered at the bottom of deep valleys. Rivers run through the Peaks, starting as mountain springs and running into the reservoirs and then running down into the rivers which flow into our cities.

As Derbyshire is now in the headline news I thought I would give you the opportunity to listen to the local regional accent.  I know when you hear the news in your countries the voices are dubbed into your own language and so you do not get to hear the regional accents.

This first sound file is a local resident talking to BBC Radio Manchester.

Whaley's such a tight knit community anyway, and for us to be evacuated you're thinking ....where's Sylvia from next door gone or Amanda at the end of the road.. where's she gone're hoping that everybody's got safe and they're not being silly and staying in their houses.   Because (coz) at the end of the day if that dam goes the whole village goes.  To be... to be ... perfectly frank it's life changing for us we all work in the village, we all live in the village, it would destroy all our lives.

This second sound file is a Derbyshire Fire Service Chief explaining how they are dealing with the situation.

Notice when listening to this how even though this is a semi-formal situation he uses contractions ALL the time.  The word BECAUSE is used in the reduced form COZ all the time.    This is perfectly normal spoken English.


Let me know how easy or difficult these local Derbyshire accents are to understand.


well it's a massive operation for the fire's a national response.  This is a really big incident for us. We've got  one hundred and fifty firefighters on scene in Derbyshire.  Fifty percent of those are from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service.  The rest are made up of Fire and Rescue Services from around the country, who've brought in ten high volume pumping appliances to get the water down in the dam and along with a number of specialist officers who operate those appliances and tactical advisors to help us with flood, a flood response of this nature.  So all of those are brought into the service they're all being held at strategic holding areas or on the sites and logistically we are moving those around the keep them refreshed and replenished throughout the operation.

And how's it looking at the moment? For it sounds like you're doing quite a lot.

How it's looking at the moment is we've been able to get the equipment in place err ninety percent of it,  erm  it's very difficult with the width of the roads ecetera and you can imagine ....and there is...... we're engaging with the RAF with the Chinook, because (coz) there's certain things we can and can't do when that's flying and all that's being co-ordinated.  but the equipment coming in place and water's being pumped out.  So the plan really is very simply to stop water coming into the reservoir, using the chinook and the RAF co-ordinated to dam up those inlets.  And at the same time get us much water out of the reservoir as we can to take pressure off the dam wall.

Because there's still a real risk that it could collapse.

Yes, there's a structural engineer on site and he's very concerned about that and basically the information that we've had is we have to do something here because it's not going to go away on it's own.

Latest details on the Whaley Bridge Dam

If you want to read more about what is happenng the link to the BBC website is here.

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