The "Real" Lancashire -The answer

ANSWER: The real Lancashire

Message: Peter Can you please tell me what the real Lancashire is and why has it changed in the past?

Best : Jorgen Stenquist

Jorgen asked, what is the real Lancashire and why has it changed?

Like all geographical entities, we can safely say, that over time, they never stay the same. London was originally founded in 46AD as a crossing point on the river Thames. By the second century ‘Londinium’ had grown to a substantial Roman city of 60,000 people and today we know it as a modern capital colossus with a population in excesss of 9million.

The same developments and alterations occurred in Lancashire too; originally the county Palatine of Lancashire was declared in 1351 when Henry of Grosmont became the first Duke of Lancaster. The word ‘Palatine’ derived from the Latin ‘Palatinus’, inferring independent jurisdiction by an Earl or Duke autonomous of the crown. However, when Henry V became King of England in 1413, the Dukedom became united with crown.

Such heraldic distinctions were less influential in later history when the red rose county once again became a special entity, in fact, most historians agree it was, for a short while, the industrial centre of the modern western world. Now less known for monarchical connections, from the early nineteenth century onwards, the county stood out as the home of the industrial revolution. A combination of access to coal, the importation to Liverpool of raw cotton, a damp climate, the sudden development of steam and a long list of North West entrepreneurs, placed Lancashire as the cotton centre of the world. The nineteenth century witnessed an explosion of industrial activity as Manchester and Liverpool grew into major industrial and commercial centres.

However, in more modern times the county was significantly altered again, this time to improve administrative efficiency. In 1974 the county was reorganised and the areas of Greater Manchester and Greater Merseyside were created inside the old boundaries of traditional Lancashire. Strangely enough, little appeared to alter about the people within and without these council chamber and ordinance survey alterations, indeed, some bodies, such as the Lancashire Football Association, to this day, still administers its business and competitions in accordance with the old boundary ties.

So Jorgen, change it would appear, is inevitable and alterations have come about to the county as it has progressed through time; sometimes to attend to a King, sometimes because the location enhanced it and sometimes because government administrators deemed it efficient. What is the real Lancashire? One of our volunteers, Professor Paul Salveson, suggested perhaps, ‘it is a state of mind that doesn’t recognise formal boundaries’. I personally agree. The real Lancashire is not necessarily a place but an attitude passed on through generations. Little things like standing up for old ladies on buses and turning up on time. And big things like real chips (not these excuses one is served at MacDonalds), yomping up Pendle Hill and seeing any Lancastrian team beat a southern softy set-up.

Ask any Mancunians at the Lancashire cricket ground of Old Trafford when Lancashire are playing Yorkshire at cricket, whose side there on? The answer will confirm that Lancastrians know their sense of identity and don’t require any local government interference to reinforce it.

Put kettle on mum!

Peter John Fyles

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