I come from the beautiful countryside of Herefordshire in the West Midlands. It’s the county of Hereford bulls, cider, Tyrell’s, Ellie Goulding and apparently an un-placeable accent. One feature of the accent I noticed rhoticity with some Herefordians – typically the ones living in the very rural areas and coming from the farming generation.
I never felt like I had the ‘Herefordshire accent’ until I moved to university in Birmingham, where my flat mates (from both the north and the south) were unable to place my accent. To some, they found my accent to be ‘posh’ but to others they commented that I sounded like a ‘farmer’. This continued as I moved into teaching after my undergraduate, and children in schools that are in Herefordshire towns also were bemused by my Hereford accent, with comments that it was ‘posh’ or that they believed I was from ‘Cardiff’.
Whilst I’ve never felt anyone was rude towards me because of my accent (although there is much stigma around being a ‘farmer’ or having a ‘farmer accent’ in my area of Hereford) I’ve always found it bemusing that it seems to be an unknown place with an unknown accent, despite it having its own qualities.