Papers of Frederick Rose

Scope and Content

Papers of the Lancashire dialect poet Frederick Rose, who published under the pseudonym, Mick O'Pleasington.

The archive contains two files of research notes relating to a study of the Blackburn dialect entitled 'Lancashire Dialect - Our Heritage: A Study of the Blackburn Dialect 1920-1960'. Included are photocopies of the author's handwritten poems as Mick o'Pleasington written between 1960 and 2006. The collection also includes two audio compact cassette tapes of the author reading his own poems, plus an extensive alphabetical list of Lancashire dialect vocabulary as used in his poems complete with definitions, which will prove invaluable to future students of dialect. Present also is a small pamphlet with a collection of dialect poems written by the author as Mick o'Pleasington titled Swillin't'flags, illustrated by his daughter Margaret Sargent.

Research papers in the archive contain sections on the influences on the author's interest in Lancashire dialect by way of introductions to local poet William Billington, and Father Francis Irwin, an early authority on the local Lancashire dialect. There is also a short paper studying Nicholas Freestone, a Lancashire dialect poet contemporary to Rose. The first of the two files is completed by a collection of photocopied, card-mounted and laminated newspaper cuttings of poems by Mick o'Pleasington that appeared in the local Lancashire press between 1966 and 2004, and other written and press correspondence that related to dialect generated during the author's lifetime. The copies of written correspondence include letters dating from 1981 between Rose and BBC announcer and personality Stuart Hall, who became the subject of a song written by Rose with his son Peter. Other copy correspondence includes a letter dated 1966 from Labour MP Barbara Castle, then Labour Minister for Transport, regarding a poem Rose had written to highlight the dilapidated condition of Hoghton railway station near Blackburn.

Administrative / Biographical History

Lancashire dialect poet Frederick Rose was born in 1914 in Mill Hill on the outskirts of Blackburn. In 1935 he graduated from Manchester University, where he studied under the eminent historian AJP Taylor, with a degree in English and History. He then spent the whole of his professional career as an English teacher in the Blackburn and Darwen area of Lancashire.

Rose became widely and affectionately known in the area of his birth as a dialect poet writing under the name of Mick o'Pleasington, whose poems covered every facet of Lancashire life and were frequently published in the local Lancashire press. He was passionate about the preservation of Lancashire dialect and his last poem, 'Eaur Heritage' was a plea not to allow Lancashire dialect to die away. Rose undertook a study of the history of the local dialect that he championed entitled 'Lancashire Dialect - Our Heritage: A Study of the Blackburn Dialect 1920-1960', which is included in the papers held at John Rylands Library.


The collection has not yet been subject to archival arrangement and remains in its original order.

Access Information

The archive is open to any accredited reader, although the two audio cassettes are closed.

Acquisition Information

The Papers of Frederick Rose were donated shortly after his death as a gift to the John Rylands University Library of Manchester by his widow Daphne Rose in May 2008.

Other Finding Aids

There is a detailed box list of the collection available on request.

Conditions Governing Use

All items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Photocopies and photographic copies of some of the material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents. Apart from material in the copyright of Frederick Rose, none of the photocopied material in the archive can be copied.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands University Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Location of Originals

A large proportion of the material in this collection takes the form of photocopies, including copies of the author's original poems. It is presumed that Daphne Rose holds the original copies.