Regional accents show where we’re from – let’s be proud of ours…

I’m a Middlesbrough girl, born and bred, 24, lived here all my life, and I’ve always been very proud of my accent. But I’ve often found when leaving Teesside and travelling, I’ve had to explain and almost translate what I’m trying to say. And it’s not just the accent. Even for a small area like Teesside, we have our very own sayings and slang that no one in the rest of the country understands.
The Teesside accent is often seen in a negative light in the media and the rest of the UK. Many people who are from Teesside often change the way they speak when they move away or travel. It’s like people are somehow ashamed about the way they speak, the accent their hometown has given them. I am myself guilty of doing this. When I moved away at 18 to London, to try and fit into London life, I would find myself running from my true northern roots. But I feel the negative image of the accent will never change if people from Teesside continue to be ashamed of the way they speak, and try to sound like something they’re not.
I say it’s time for this to change. To all Teessiders, yes, we talk very fast, and maybe at times people from other parts of the UK may not be able to understand us, but let’s be proud of our accent and fight for our voices to be heard. It makes us memorable, it’s packed with character and it comes from a long heritage of having to stand up for ourselves in this corner of the world that is ours. Our accent is our superpower.
I will never be ashamed of the way I sound. We must be the force of change to make the change happen. You can be anything you want with your Teesside accent, just look at Brian Clough and Steph McGovern. So far I’ve managed to get myself a good job working for the NHS, a radio show of my own, and a blog, so never let anyone tell you that being from Teesside and sounding the way we do means you can’t achieve your dreams.

Article By Chloe Tempestoso
Founder of Project Middlesbrough