A TONGUE-in-cheek look at the traditional Wiltshire dialect is the focus of a book co-written by an author from a village near Trowbridge.

Keith Burge from Keevil wrote Marnin’ Moonrakers with Tom Mills from High Lawn in Devizes and the guide to all things Wiltshire has been published and is on sale in bookshops.

Mr Burge, who is in his 50s, said the pair met when he was playing for a backing band and was asked to compose music for a Wiltshire-themed singing and comedy act called The Yokels, made up of Mr Mills and his friend Geoff Paget.

He said: “They had been in the band for about 25 years and I was with them for around eight.

“Tom and I are both Wiltshire born and bred and it was following an email from Countryside Books that our new book came about.

“I think Countryside Books do a series of publications about dialect in different counties and they must have googled the Yokels website and got in touch.

“They sent me an email and the book started from there. A lot of the dialect was in my head already and then I would meet with Tom and bounce certain phrases off him.

“I have been in the area all my life, but I don’t have a Wiltshire accent unless I put it on. I have one accent for the bank manager and then the other one too.

“A lot of the Wiltshire dialect goes right back to my schooldays, I remember it from then.”

Mr Burge, who is a composer and holds ballroom dancing classes at Melksham House, said the book pays homage not only to Wiltshire dialect, but also the county’s heritage, food traditions and way of life.

He said there were a few lines for tourists coming to Wiltshire to learn, a few Wiltshire recipes, a bit of heritage and even a bit about UFOs.

He said: “I think it will appeal to people living in Wiltshire because it will bring back a few memories for them and the dialect is dying out a bit as M4 Wiltshire evolves.

“But it is also the sort of thing that could be a handbook for tourists.”

Mr Burge will be joined by Mr Mills, who is a grandfather and runs a sign company in Devizes, for book signings over the coming weeks.

He said the book is available in all bookshops and at the back will be details of how people can also order Yokels CDs containing some of their funniest and most popular songs.