written and posted by members of Lancashire Dead Good Poets' Society

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Northern Man: Sub Species Homos Accringtonus

15:56:00 Posted by Jill Reidy Red Snapper Photography , , , , , 8 comments

I first began my research into the Northern Male way back in 1972 when I was approached by one, quite unexpectedly, behind a building where I was hiding.  The hiding was another story, and one that I’ve recounted several times, so I’ll just leave that for another time.  It hadn’t occurred to me to pursue this line of study (after all, I was halfway through a degree in Graphic Design), but I found this creature so fascinating that I felt compelled to delve further.


Coming from London, Northern Male had been quite an enigma to me, most of my knowledge having been gleaned from watching Coronation Street, Kes and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. This was such an alien world that I felt I was more likely to bump into Clint Eastwood in full cowboy gear than to see a real live Northern Male. Of course, once I went to Art college in Leicester, my world began to expand and I realised just how much variety there was out there.  Of course, I had encountered small groups of Males gathered together in their natural habitat, usually within reach of a bar, but at that time I didn’t make much of a distinction between Northern and Southern Male.  


It was 10am on Monday 28th January 1972 that my research began in earnest.  This was a species unknown to me so I was naturally rather wary.  I soon realised that this was a sensible approach as there were several incidents in the coming weeks that indicated just how persistent this particular creature could be. I guessed, from various clues, that this was a young adult male, possibly quite predatory.  I could see that this particular example was slightly different to the other Northern Males I had previously encountered.  By this time, my interest had allowed me to identify various sub species: Homos Yorkshirus; Homos Geordius; and Homos Scousus to name but three. However, it was difficult to pinpoint the origin of this example: the speech pattern was one that I had never heard before.


Having spent some time in close proximity with this creature, I was beginning to experience a building rapport, albeit it rather hesitant and disjointed. I could see he might be open to more intensive studying, and had a breakthrough one day when I managed to convey my interest in his origins.  Using his own strange language, facial expressions and hand gestures he indicated that he was from an area north of Leicester but South of Lancaster.  When I produced a map he stared at it for a while before grabbing it and pointing to Accrington. It hadn’t occurred to me that he might never have seen a map before, and I had quite a job to wrestle it from him.  This was the first time I saw the rictus grin - something I knew could be used in fear, although, in this case, he seemed to enjoy the wrestle and obviously thought it an exciting game.  I made a note to be careful in any future situations.  I was already beginning to notice that he would take every opportunity to get close, and I hoped I wasn’t making him too dependent on me.  I was starting to get a very basic understanding of his language when I decided to take him back to his place of origin. I hoped he might still have some links to others of the same species, and I was delighted when this proved to be the case.  One very elderly ascendant would have been a great source of information, if only I could have understood his language which was even more pronounced than that of the Northern Male (henceforth known as NM) I was following.  However, the visit was still useful.  I have drawings I made of some of the clothes and in particular, a pair of wooden clogs.  Such was my subject’s excitement I guessed he had also worn something like this as a young male. 


Shortly after the visit to Accrington I thought it might be useful to get the NM down to London and see how he reacted to being taken from his natural habitat.  I was also intrigued to see how my family might respond to this strange species.  I went ahead in order to warn my parents of what they were about to encounter.  The NM  arrived on the back of a lorry, which I gathered had been his last lift of a day long hitch hike.  My records indicate that I was proud of him for using his initiative, but rather disappointed to see that his only luggage was a toothbrush in his duffle coat pocket.  I made a further note to teach him about essential hygiene products. He was out of his normal habitat but adjusted well to a big southern town, and was soon giving my parents bear hugs and listening to my brothers’ music. 


We returned to Leicester together and I continued my research, making extensive notes of the very rudimentary language used.  There were words and phrases that I had to look up in books about dialects, but gradually things began to make more sense, and our communication improved drastically.  After about twelve months I thought my research might be coming to end, but it seemed that NM had other ideas.  I gathered that these males needed to find themselves a mate at a young age or they would be left behind in their place of origin.  This was not a desirable place to be:  the young males would be fighting for a position of power, something which occurred mainly at weekends, and especially Bank Holidays.  It was survival of the fittest. 


So, for that reason, and after much heart searching, I decided to let NM come and live with me.  It was on a trial basis, but he’s still here, nearly 50 years on, and my research has continued to the present day.  I am always learning, there is always some new element to surprise me.  My notes are now all filed digitally, and Homos Accringtonus (as he became) is beginning to get to grips with this technological age.  I realised pretty early on that he prefers physical activity, such as swimming, golf and going to the gym, where he meets other sub species and manages to communicate pretty well these days.  It also occurred to me years ago that Homos Accringtonus loses his ability to communicate coherently when he gathers with other Northern Males in their natural habitat, within reach of a bar. Training has been long and hard and it’s not over yet. 


The most interesting discovery I’ve saved till last.  It’s a relatively recent discovery, and I think you will see why Homos Accringtonus is a species unique in the world of Northern Males.  It is the ONLY species to prefer being completely naked whilst carrying out jobs around the home and garden. 


If you’re at all interested in different species of Northern Male, and in particular, Homos Accringtonus, then please look out for them.  They are easy to spot, very friendly and, these days, unlikely to bite.

 Homus Accringtonus AKA Northern Male AKA NM AKA The Naked Mower

I wanted a poem with East Lancs dialect and I found this one.  I'm not sure who it's by but I suspect a member of the Homos Accringtonus Species, some time last century.  Try and read it - it's not easy for a southerner, despite all my research.

                                                  'IT 'IM AGAEEAN 

Thanks for reading......... Jill


Cathy said...

Love it all 🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰

Rob King said...

A good write, Jill - very entertaining :D

GayleW said...

As a Bolton lass I loved reading this.

Steve Rowland said...

Great opening! Great read, Jill, very inventive. I loved your history of the naturalist and the naturist and was constantly trying to decide if you were more Mrs Attenborough or Mrs Durrell. 😃 I think the only way to read the poem to get the sense (for us southern ears) is out loud. Typical violent northern behaviour by the sound of it, but they probably call it gruff love.

Jill Reidy Red Snapper Photography said...

Haha! Thank you 😂❤️Xx

Jill Reidy Red Snapper Photography said...

Haha! I think you’re right about having to read the poem out loud. I just read it to my mum and realised it’s exactly like Dave speaks. When I go home I’m going to get him to read it. And yes, gruff love is about right 😂 x

Kate Eggleston-Wirtz said...

Entertaining read as always. -as a person from over the pond I had great difficult reading the poem in dialect-
but a fun challenge x

Jill Reidy Red Snapper Photography said...

Haha! Thanks Kate xx