I've always fancied myself good at accents so when Flora was asked to play Mary Anning in a film, it seemed the ideal opportunity to teach her my one size fits all, Thomas Hardy adaption, any location on the South Coast rural accent. If I had been to drama school I would have learned it there but I learned it watching TV and, er, listening to family members.
I thought I could ask some of the proper Dorset people in my family to help Flora achieve some level of verisimilitude with her accent but my Dad professes himself too posh these days, having lived in South East England for over forty years, and my aunt, who still lives in Dorset, doesn't think she has a very strong accent. I would take issue with my aunt actually but that's how she feels. My Dad has loads of brothers all with strong Dorset accent but they are rather harder to track down.
Then there is J, who lives in Dorset, and fancies his chances with the old local accent almost as much as me. Much as I hate to tell him, his Dorset accent does have a faint Northern twang and therefore won't cut the mustard. My experience of the people he knows in Dorset is that there are very few people we could call on to do the proper accent although I feel sure he could dig someone up.
So there's nothing for it. She will have to do the Lark Rise to Far from the Madding Cider with Rosie accent, on which I am the country's leading dialogue expert. Oooooh Arrrrrrrr!