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Inspired By Norfolk Dialect

Hold yew hard - the Norfolk dialect is inspiring a new Hethersett based business venture.

Two years ago while idly watching a ladybird on the windowsill, scientist Lucy Catto (pictured above) came up with the idea for a clothing and gift company based on the Norfolk Dialect. Motherhood and a move back to her home county of Norfolk prompted her to take the plunge and set up Broad Norfolk Designs.

Her designs celebrate some of the unique, quirky and downright bizarre words that have existed in our local dialect for hundreds of years. Her flagship designs are based on perhaps the most endearing Norfolk word, Bishy Barney Bee, otherwise known as a ladybird.

Lucy says “I've been a member of the organisation Friends of Norfolk Dialect (FOND) for a number of years and wholeheartedly support their aims of conserving and recording Norfolk's linguistic and cultural heritage. Our rich local dialect is something to be celebrated”

Given the Norfolk theme of her business, Lucy is keen to support the local economy - all of the design artwork is produced in house and is then brought to life on clothing and ceramics by local companies.

Owing to popular demand Broad Norfolk Designs has recently expanded its design range to include “Mardle”(meaning gossip), “On the huh” (meaning slanted or not quite straight) and “Hold yew hard!” (meaning Hang on a minute). Her products have proved very popular with Norfolk expats as far afield as Australia and New Zealand who want a small reminder of home.

“The range of clothing, mugs and plates make perfect Christmas gifts for anyone who has a fondness for our fine county. If you love our dialect, you'll love our designs!” says Lucy.

Broad Norfolk Designs is based in Hethersett and operates mainly via its online shop at but Lucy’s products are also for sale at The Jade Tree on Elm Hill in Norwich and at Church Farm Shop, Norwich Road, Hethersett. They will also be available at the Forum Craft Fair in Norwich from 18th to 20th of December