Talk:Northern England

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Citation: HM Revenue and Customs[edit]

Footnote 1 ("HM Revenue & Customs Advice Teams - Northern England". Retrieved on 23 February 2009) is a broken link and does not work.

Furthermore, this is a financial/economic designation anyway, which is at best ephemeral. Since "the North" is a mainly cultural phenomenon (I quote the article!), I recommend cross-referencing instead to television regions, rather than economic bodies. BBC Look North for example covers South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire as well as North Yorkshire and North East and Cumbria.

This is as opposed to Look East, and the other Midland and Southern TV regions. ITV Yorkshire covers Lincolnshire as well. There is a good argument for considering 'the North' to extend from the north-west corner of the Wash to between Stoke on Trent and Crewe. See this map for clarification:

Lincolnshire people will generally consider themselves Northern rather than Southern, although the southernmost Fen areas may 'blend' more with the Midlands.

Further to this, the three articles Midlands (England), Northern England and Southern England ought to be brought into agreement and have a standard map design, rather than the three we have at the moment. A clarified map can be found here:

Thoughts, editors? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:55, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Celtic blood[edit]

I came across the startling assertion "It is the only other English land aside from the West Country to have a native population with Celtic blood". What is 'Celtic blood'? Is this an attempt to refer to the language Cumbrian, a now-lots relative of Welsh and Cornish? Language and ethnicity are not as closely tied as this passing remark suggests. After all, at one time a Celtic language was the majority language over the whole of what is now England so most of the populatio has some small part of their ancestry which was Celtic speaking. The sentence should be reworded to be clear and correct. --Nantonos 19:38, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Meanwhile I pulled "It is the only other English land aside from the West Country to have a native population with Celtic blood, which is Cumbria to the Western Cornwall." to this talk page.
Yes, the same Anglo-Celts have been at the DNA thing all over the place. The one problem is that there is no "Celtic DNA" - the DNA often predates the Celtic period, and "Celtic blood" in terms of Celtic ancestry can be found everywhere in Europe from Portugal to Iceland to Central Turkey (yes, Turkey, ever hear of St Paul's Letter to the Galatians?) --MacRusgail 15:59, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I thought that on the eastern side of the Pennines at least, DNA revealed substantial Nordic (Viking) DNA Poshseagull (talk) 08:02, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Like a lot of Wikipedia articles, it's written looking through rose tinted spectacles at a wonderful by-gone era. Like the articles that state "There used to be a ..." - well there ain't no more. MacRusgail is right, of course, Celts, according to the Wikipedia page on the subject, lived right across Europe. So, perhaps they are saying that there aren't many Asian or African incomers. Whatever is written, they just need to justify it with some solid references. Francis Hannaway (talk) Francis Hannaway 17:09, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Flag of the North[edit]

Is the Flag of Northumbria the flag or the north?

No, not really. 'The North' doesn't have a flag Robdurbar 19:32, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
The tudor rose would make a good flag of the North. --BetramMurgatroyd 22:20, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
The only northern flag I'm familiar with is this northern cross. Isn't the yellow and red stripey flag the county flag of Northumberland? Yorkshire Phoenix United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland God's own county 13:05, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
There is no Flag of the North; mainly because the north has never existed as a separate political unit. Anything which purports to be a flag of the the so called North is original research (and therefore verboten) or, as has been the case. advertising to sell a flag product. This is an encyclopedia not a version of Wizards and Dragons. Francis Hannaway (talk) Francis Hannaway 16:58, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Grimsby and Cleethorpes[edit]

Though the map shows these towns right on the border of what constitutes as the north, and they are stated as sometimes regarded as being in the north; i've never known them to be reffered to as in the South. They are almost certainly northern towns. BertramMurgatroyd

They could be considered Midlands Robdurbar 09:49, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
East Midlands? Hiram K Hackenbacker 14:17, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Maybe, East Midlands Is usually considered the area a bit lower down, and the midlands is usually the Birmangham / central England area. It's one of those ambiguous areas. --BetramMurgatroyd 22:19, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Maybe, I think it should be left like this though to reflect the fact they are in a midlands county, I'm sure that before industrialisation Grimsby would have been thought of as a proper Lincolnshire town


The article at times suggests that there is some kind of common identity between areas of Northern England. Whilst it is true that they share a similar industrial heritage, I would suggest that the North East and Yorkshire do not share a common identity, but Yorkshire and North East identities, respectively. I feel this comes about due to the geographic seperation by the North York Moors and much of rural North Yorkshire. I and others, living in the North East, feel little affiliation with Yorkshire and feel the term "Northern" is often used to evoke a sterotype that is distinctly Yorkshire (as evidenced by the suggestion of the Rose as a symbol of Northern England). For example, the comments that:

"Stereotypical northern activities include whippet-racing and pigeon-breeding" ... can similarly be found in the article referring to Yorkshire:

"The social stereotype of a Yorkshireman has a tendency to include such accessories as a flat cap and a whippet"

Yet the North East does not have a stereotype based on the whippet and pigeon-breeding.

Thus, statements such as:

"This is part of a general rivalry between South and North"... tend to unify where there is division. After all, I doubt much of "the South" would feel an affiliation in a similar way suggested (and hence why the article on Southern England merely points out a geographical area with sub-links rather than suggesting there is any great affiliation like this article does).

Some of this stuff is a bit of a joke, and spoils what seems to start off as a good article.

Hoewever, I realise it is relatively common in Yorkshire to refer to Northern England in this way, when they are in reality referring to Yorkshire. It is interesting that those in the North East do not commonly refer to Northern England in the same way, but localise to the North East.

I have accordingly added a paragraph clearing the above up.

  • This was added by someone to the above paragraph:

"The United Kingdom goverment accords the northern regions with the same legal status as the prinicipality of Wales."

It doesn't bare any real relevance to the paragraph I orignally wrote so i removed it. It is also rather vauge and thus rather than move it someone else I have removed it completely. If the orignal author would expand the point then it would be more welcome.

  • The following text was also removed from the paragraph:

"In reality, identites form around smaller regions such as the North East of England and Yorkshire." be replaced with references to the "historic counties" instead (which was later deleted by someone). Whilst this may well be a good intentioned reference to the formation of identities around smaller sub-areas in northern England, it is questionable as to whether the identities form around the historic counties. It is far more simple to highlgiht the current geographical areas that identities form around - such as the North East - something which would be also less confusing given that county boundaries have changed dramatically. Thus, I have revereted to the orignal text. Logica 01:14, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree that to suggest that there is a homogeneous 'historic Lancs' identity is shakey especially given the scope of that area and the 'rival identities' that occupy it such as Manchester, Greater Manchester etc. MRSC 09:05, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
If Yorkshire is to be included, then clearly so should Lancashire. In addition, to suggest there is a "north east" identity is highly questionable. Lancsalot 11:15, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
No that does not follow. The edit tried to suggest there was a homogeneous traditional county of Lancs identity, which there isn't, at least not one that covers the entire area. However "Yorkshire" is an identity that covers the entire area. MRSC 11:20, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes there is. Given that you live in London, I question your knowledge on this matter. Where is the evidence for a "north east" identity? Lancsalot 11:24, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Don't tell me what I know or don't know. For your information I have lived in northern England and even if I haven't anyone with even the slightest grasp of social science and resident in the UK understands which identities exist and which do not. There is a Lancs. identity naturally, but it is absurd to claim that there is a current homogeneous identity for the historic limits of Lancs. on a par with that of Yorkshire. For a start, the Manchester identity stands in the way of this and dominates the region (more people identifying with Manchester than Lancs.) in a way that is not reproduced in Yorkshire. I know you have strong identity with historic Lancs. but you are the exception and not the rule. MRSC 11:33, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Your statements are pure POV. I've added a source for the Lancs claim and removed the unsourced north east claim. Lancsalot 11:51, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
You don't get the point. The Yorkshire identity covers the entire Yorkshire area and is uncontested whereas in Lancs area there is more than one identity. MRSC 12:17, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
You are just making arbitrary claims with no evidence to back them up. There is a Manchester identity - in Manchester. The idea that this dominates the region is ridiculous. There is also a Leeds identity, Sheffield identity etc. But we are talking here about much wider geographical areas. Lancsalot 12:39, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
The original assertion was that historic Yorkshire and historic Lancashire are comparable in terms of identities. They are not comparable as parts of historic Lancs (around Manchester for example) do not identify with Lancs at all whereas there is very little of historic Yorkshire that does not identify with that county. The contentious text has been removed. MRSC 12:56, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
The Lancashire identity is associated with the traditional boundaries (which live on in the Duchy of Lancaster, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, etc) rather than the smaller county council area. This was very evident at the Powergen Challenge Cup final when the Saints wore red roses, despite being in the metropolitan county of either Greater Manchester or Merseyside.
Personally I believe there is a cross Pennine "northern" identity which covers Yorkshire and the North West, with the North East having a separate identity, but this is not something I can source. Yorkshire Phoenix United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland God's own county 13:20, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Woa, a lot's happened since I last checked this page. Firstly, I am reverting the changes that the user: Mrsteviec performed (see the next chat option for reasons). Secondly, short of actually asking everyone across northern England as to what identity they feel affiliated with, we must rely on the testimony of those living in the regions themselves. Having lived in County Durham all my life, I have no doubt that there exists a North-East identity with little affiliation with Yorkshire. The North York Moors serve as a natural seperator for the North-East and Yorkshire and I feel this is why different identities form - though this specific point is speculative so I will not include this point about the NYM in the actual article. Thirdly, my orignal paragraph suggested Yorkshire had a common identity. I am not a native of Yorkshire and cannot claim to know great amounts about how people feel about their identity, so with regards the Yorkshire/Historic Lancashire clash above, I cannot comment - but the removal of the suggestion of a North-East identity is just plain wrong in my experience. Please see the next section as to why the chances Mrsteviec performed cannot be accepted. Logica 14:12, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Just quickly dropping by after seeing a small fuss. From extended personal experience of both counties, and the cities of Manchester and Leeds, I believe Lancashire has just as much common cultural identity as Yorkshire. To reiterate a point given above, the presence of a common culture in Manchester does not preclude or diminish that of the older county, and the urban cultural phenomenon is equally repeated over the tops in Leeds and Sheffield. I don't so how the argument could apply to just one side.
However, as both sides have pretty much an equal amount of reliable documentary evidence to support them (i.e., nil so far) I think the entire section could be happily scrapped (until sources become available) or, at the very least, sprinkled judiciously with the {{fact}} template.
Happy editing. Aquilina 23:10, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

As I've already said - in highlighting an identity it is difficult to get reliable documentary evidence. One suggestion could be to look at the coverage of the local media. However, this is not foolproof. For example, the BBC local news in the North East is Look North for the "North East and Cumbria", even though I feel Cumbria is felt as seperate from the North East. But you could also say the use of the specific term "North East" as distinct from "Cumbria" could be indicative of a North East identity. You can also look at other organisations that specifically highlight a regional identity. A strong case can be put for the North East having a strong identity in that there was a blueprint for a North East Assembly, but even this might be rejected by the fact that a public vote rejected the proposal quite strongly. The fact that One NorthEast, the development agency, defines its limits to the "North East" also suggests that a North East identity is apparant.

The problem arises in that the national press (and others) frequently refer to "the North" rather than specify to a smaller region such as the North East. Many articles refer to "the North" not only to identify a geographical area of the England, but imbue it with some sense of coherent identity. Indeed, the continual reference to such things as (for example) binge drinking being highest in the "North of England" lend further credence to the claim that the North of England/northern England (whatever you want to call it) has a coherent identity. Just because binge drinking is high across an area defined in quite an arbitrary fashion does not mean to say it has a coherent identity. I myself know this through personal experience of a lifetime living in my region, but the only counter argument is to say that they don't appreciate the local identities - and anyone could say "you don't really know it". James Joyce did it in Ulysses, but I don't think Wikipedia can stomach it. Ideally, surveys of such identity would rest the matter, but I can't come across any such.

What I suggest is to use documentary evidence in the form of the regions that local media, organisations and the like use. What we are looking for is a coherence in identity. We might be able to use the "you don't really know it" argument for those that are deemed remote from the region, such as, for example, the Daily Mail using continual references to the "North of England" in its articles, what with it being a national (and London-based) newspaper. Documentary evidence might not be an exhaustive list. I even suggest highligting a link to another article that discusses this, and the evident problems that are involved. I've got a lot of work to be getting on with (last year at uni) so I don't know when I'd be able to do this, but I plan to do it at some point if people approve? Logica 01:45, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

As an aside, the very fact that there is an article on the "North of England" itself supports the claim to a coherent identity by inferring it with a "history" and "people" section. We observe that there is no such in depth sections in "Southern England". Rather, it rightly points out that it is just an area for identification purposes rather than having any sense of common identity.

We have thus come to a point that I thought should have been there from the start - what justification is there for having an article on northern England that simply supports assumptions about its coherence as an identity. At the very least these issues should be highlighted more prominantly rather than the paragraph that I initially added. Logica 01:46, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

UPDATE: Ok, I've thought about this, and realised that it would violate the original research policy to start inferring things from local media, organisations (...etc) about identity. I'll try and get some references when I have some time, but I fear this will be a fair amount of time away, as I've said before. Logica 22:29, 27 October 2006 (UTC)


Mrsteviec changes[edit]

The user: Mrsteviec made large changes to the article. In stark contradiction to the orignal and tentatively agreed point that "northern England", and more specifically "the North", was a point of much debate and conflict (in short, there was an agreement to disagree), Mrsteviec decided to add that:

"The North borders the Midlands to the south and Scotland to the north."

...right after the paragraph stating that the term was ambiguous.

As if to confirm this last point, he added a photgraph of a road sign with the writing "the North" on it. This was either a joke, or a major lack of knowledge. The road signs indicate the direction rather than any geographical region. Either way - joke or misinformation - it is certainly not welcome in Wikipedia.

I realise Mrsteviec has worked tirelessly on other articles, but would suggest that this is not one of his better forays. I agree with Lancsalot in that he probably knows relatively little about it. I do not think, as Mrsteviec states, that it is 'obvious' what identities are present - even the article itself suggests that the 'London-based media' (and people?) put sterotypes on people of norther England - and ironically, this is something Mrsteviec kept in his new edit.

To all those who added edits after the Mrsteviec change - please justify your edits and they will be added if most agree with them.

On a positivie note - the organisation structure he provided was beneficial. Logica 16:16, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

I think if you look again he didn't remove any info, just rearranged it and made it more presentable. The statement about the Pennines was already there. I prefer that version to the current one, subject to my point about Lancashire. Lancsalot 15:58, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Agreed about him not removing info, I noticed this myself and have just tried to change the orignal statement as you were writing this. It is all there, but in a different order. But his additions are not welcome. See above statement for clarification. Agreed also that his clearup was actually beneficial (but not the additions!). With regard your point about Lancashire - as I stated above, I do not have the knowledge of the area to state whether there is a specificly Lancashire identity as seperate from Yorkshire. I have no objection to you adding your point to the non-road-sign article (i.e. the orignal), but please refer any objectors to the talk page for you to justify your point. Agreed? Logica 16:08, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

We could probably find a better picture than a road sign. We could also add that while the border with Scotland is clearly defined, the border with the Midlands isn't. Lancsalot 16:22, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
I didn't add any text as you suggest. All I did was give the article structure. It is very wrong of you to keep reverting the whole article back as it is clearly an improvement. You need to edit the current version if you want to make changes. Removing the references section is particularly damaging. The image can be lost if necessary but I feel your reaction is an overreaction. It is only an illustration. In any case one that proves your point that the north is a vaguely defined area. You also seem to misunderstand how good articles are laid out so I have left you a welcome message on your talk page with some guidance. MRSC 16:43, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

The particular way you added the statement about the North bordering the Midlands in contrast to the above paragraph (even though it lay conspicously at the bottom of the orignal article) and putting in the road sign image was not welcome. Intiially I thought text had been added/removed (there doesn't seem to be a way of telling if text has simply been reorganised than reading it all by eye). Otherwise your organising structure is good, so I will not revert. Rather, the offending definition of the North bordering the Midlands will be removed. The image I feel would confuse rather than make people realise that it's a vaguely defined term. The other image I thought was better, although I bet others would object to its referral to "3 northern regions". I leave it open to suggestions about what the image should be. Also, still unresolved is the discussion between Lancsalot and Mrsteviec in the above section. Thank you for the welcome message, I am sure from reading this I will know how to lay out good articles. Logica 00:52, 8 September 2006 (UTC)


the image could do with a caption explaining the xeno's paradox elements of "HATFIELD AND THE NORTH". i wonder where exactly the signs on the A1 stop saying "THE NORTH"? Morwen - Talk 11:25, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

They don't! I think there are even some in Caithness (although clearly, that isn't the A1). Owain (talk) 11:28, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

...Or we could more simply remove the image in case anybody believes that "The North" on these signs actually defines an area rather than simply a relative direction. See the above discussions about the sign. Logica 00:34, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Sorry but it is rubbish. In Scotland, we have signs for "the NORTH", and they do in Wales too. In fact, the roadsigns (as opposed to the border signs) near the Scottish border on our side say "the South" for Northern England. They're loath to call it England for some reason, even though "Scotland" is marked on roadsigns!!! --MacRusgail 20:57, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I know. It was put on as a kind of joke by somebody I think. I pointed this out before - it is an idication of direction. Somebody added a link to Zeno's paradox, which cleared it up a bit, but the joke is obviously in the fact that it says "Watford" on the sign. Logoistic 21:14, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
(Before I go on, I want to apologise for saying "it is rubbish" - because I was referring to the argument, not the opinions of the people in this discussion!) Anyway "the North" on roadsigns in the UK refers to the general direction. You won't tend to find it on Plymouth roadsigns pointing to the north Devon coast, or Suffolk signs pointing to Great Yarmouth in Norfolk. However, you will find it in Southampton pointing towards Salisbury and Winchester, or in Cumberland pointing towards Scotland.--MacRusgail 15:56, 25 January 2007 (UTC)


Manchester is often (rightly or wrongly) referred to as the "Capital of the North". Surely there should be a mention of this in the article - any (unbiased) objections? Jhamez84 18:42, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

And surprise, surprise, you're from Manchester, the only place in the 'north' which recognises this claim. The north has no capital and it cannot be clearly defined both geographically or culturally. I'm from Liverpool and don't really identify with a north or it's cultural stereotypes. ~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gary Parks (talkcontribs) 15:13, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

As England's second city York is clearly the capital of the North. Yorkshire Phoenix United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland God's own county 11:45, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but asserting that Manchester or York is the capital of the North only asserts this Yorkshire/Lancashire-centric view of the North I have described before. I would strongly disagree with anywhere being described as a 'capital' as this implies some sort of unity, which doesn't exist!!! Please read previous discussions. How would you feel if I suggested Newcastle as the 'capital' of the North? It certainly could be regarded as the 'capital' of where I am. Logica 22:23, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Late to this discussion - but as the Council of the North met at York then it cannot be anywhere else? Manchester would have been the commercial capital in the days when it had a Stock Exchange, but no longer. Hiram K Hackenbacker 11:10, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Creating a serious article[edit]

I have added a lot of serious material to the article since I want it to go beyond whippets and mushy peas and "they talk funny". I realise in England, they seem to take the p*** out of the "regions" all the time - even people from these areas, but the north of England has a very distinctive history (strong Norse & Brythonic influence, the Celtic Church, Scottish border disputes), dialects (and also remnants of older languages including Cumbric), and no article could go without mentioning the well known immigrant communities in Newcastle, Manchester, Bradford etc. --MacRusgail 17:43, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

There is so much POV in that last statement its unreal. "The north" or "northern England" is not a region. The idea that Newcastle has much affiliation with Manchester is laughable. I oppose expanding this article as you suggest because it asserts that there is something in common, when there is no evidence of that (and I personally don't think there is). I'll be reverting your stuff. Please add it to more specific articles. Logoistic 17:55, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
I use the term loosely. A region is an area, and "the north" definitely fits into that. I'm not talking about Tony Blair's region. I agree that these cities don't have much in common. However, in terms of English, there is a notable north-south divide. A region doesn't need to have much in common though. Europe is also a "region", but can you tell me how much folk in Istanbul have in common with those in Oslo? A bit of sea and the Roman alphabet would cover most of that.
Personally I don't think references to whippets and mushy pies, while amusing are telling you much. The 802 map that I included is highly relevant, since it shows the area in question. The "Harrying of the North" is also relevant as it takes in areas from Northumberland to the Midlands, but not southern England. There is also a Brythonic influence in Northern England not present in south east England. --MacRusgail 18:17, 29 January 2007 (UTC) p.s. I should have also pointed out the obvious Scandinavian component in nearly all Northern English dialects - this clearly sets them apart from their cousins in the south.
But the point is that Europe is an entity that is widely accepted as an identity. "The North" or whatever you want to call it is not. The term is highly disputed, yet your inference of a history over the widest possible area is giving this widest possible area a legitimacy it doesn't deserve! You do not mention in any great part (other than a brief mentiuon in the languages part) about what is so common about the area. I ask you to reconsider putting the parts into other articles. Logoistic 13:23, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
In fact, the map you added shows that this area covers southern Scotland as well, plus areas I would not consider as the "north" of England. This therefore deserves to be in articles on Northumbria or Strathclyde. You do not seem to understand that this page has been finely balanced to word it just right to get across the idea that it's definition is highly disputed. The refernces to whippets are highlighting sterotypes. It is not saying that it is true - please read it properly before making such claims. I'm reverting. Please add it to other articles as it is good stuff, but just in the wrong article. By chance, also see the article on "Southern England". It avoids this kind of thing because like northern England does not have any great affiliation. Logoistic 13:28, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Most of the content you removed did not refer to small parts of Northern England, but very large swathes of it which cannot be placed elsewhere. I'm not interested in hideous stereotypes, but putting in something which is encyclopedic.
The map I put in shows what is commonly considered Northern England, with a section of Wales, and Scotland. I don't see what was wrong with that. The north-south divide in England can be traced to Anglo-Saxon and Norman times. --MacRusgail 00:15, 2 February 2007 (UTC) p.s. Why is that English people have such a bizarre attitude towards the divisions and dialects of their country? Maybe it's the education system and media... Of course there is no well-defined southern border of this area - but Yorkshire and anything from there to the Scottish Border applies.
Don't you understand - it has many definitions. Therefore to say things like "Yorkshire and anything from there to the Scottish Border applies" is asserting a certainty that isn't there. "The north-south divide in England can be traced to Anglo-Saxon and Norman times" - sounds very POV. You cannot deduce things yourself, you must provide references. Also, remember that your "PS" is complete POV. Like I said, there's some good stuff there, but not in the right article. I can see you want to improve Wikipedia, but I would suggest that this article is not the place for your content. Logoistic 01:35, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
(I apologise for the spiel!) I understand fine well. But why does it have to be reduced to stereotypes and mushy peas? Northern England has a history which is often ignored because histories of England are often centred on the south. How is it POV to claim that there was already a North-South divide in Anglo-Saxon times? Firstly, Brythonic culture survived in certain pockets, notably Cumbria, Elmet etc, secondly Northern England was Anglian, rather than Saxon, thirdly it had an ecclesiastical heritage from Ireland and Scotland, which can be found as far south as Yorkshire, fourthly, you have the Danelaw - which is responsible for many of the north-south differences in English, and fifthly, in Norman times it was "harried" and large sections didn't even appear in the Domesday book. This is not POV, I am presenting to you significant differences which have an historical basis beyond mushy peas and whippets, and "trouble at mill". Actually northern England does NOT have that many definitions. Its southern boundary is hazy, but if you can find the transition zone between Northern England and the Midlands (Middle Lands), there you have it. There are plenty of places which have ill defined boundaries - for example, that of Europe in Russia. It is only recently that someone has put a line through a certain part of the Urals and claimed that was it. There is a transition zone - few would disagree that Finland, St Petersburg, or the Ukraine were in Europe, but there is obvious Asian influence on Greece, and even Spain. Maritime boundaries are even more recently defined. Perhaps you'd like to tell me the exact point at which the North Sea ends, and becomes the Norwegian Sea! --MacRusgail 20:08, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Again, I highlight to you that your assertions such as "northern England does NOT have that many definitions" and sketching out an area goes against a consensus a long time ago about how to word the article on this regard - that it is disputed. Judging by your text above it seems you have a definition in your head of what "northern England" is, and I am saying that you cannot assume this. I also again highlight that the article mentions that greyhounds and mushy peas are stereotypes, it does not present them as reality, so your comparison between them and your history is wrong. You assert that "northern England" (by your definition, presumably?) has a common history, and you do this by asserting certain shared characteritics. Unless you can provide referenced material that also asserts this definition using the common characteristics you have mentioned, then coming to the conclusion that it is a definable area because of these things yourself contravines Wikipedia:No original research, in particular the point relating to 'Synthesis of published material serving to advance a position'. Logoistic 22:30, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I think almost everyone would agree that Newcastle and Lancaster are in northern England, but Norwich, Oxford and Bristol are not. Beyond that it can get hazy, but there are certainly not dozens of definitions as you make out. "You assert that "northern England" (by your definition, presumably?) has a common history, and you do this by asserting certain shared characteritics." - How else do you do this? Suggest you look at articles like Harrying of the North, Danelaw etc to see just how old the divide is. None of these are "original research", they're fairly well known historical events, although perhaps sometimes sidelined. "Your comparison between them and your history is wrong." - no, I'm just saying that this article shouldn't present the opinion of idiots alone - i.e. stereotypes. I would like several other takes on this rather than your personal one. Wikipedia is supposedly democratic and should rely on the views of more than one person. --MacRusgail 19:29, 5 February 2007 (UTC) p.s. I notice you completely skip over the boundary question in my last reply. It is only the southern boundary which is in question. The other three are agreed upon.
Ok, but democractic does not mean 'Synthesis of published material serving to advance a position', i.e. it should not be a vote over whether these things constitute it as an identity.Logoistic 20:05, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

There is a Northern identity but the North is really three separate regions: Yorkshire (no South Humberside), the North West and the North East. I find it difficult to understand why anybody would question the existance of a North-Eastern or historic Lancashire identity. Like YorkshirePhoenix I would agree that Yorkshire and historic Lancashire (and probably Cheshire) form a 'Lower North' whilst the rest of Cumbria and the North East are 'Upper North'. There is no capital of the North though Mancunians, Loiners and Novacastrians would probably all have their own opinion on the subject.GordyB 16:32, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I'd add that border disputes with Scotland mean very little to people in the 'Lower North'. Though I think that the North East and Yorkshire identities overlap somewhat, people in Teeside often claim to be both.GordyB16:36, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
You see, you can't just assume things by saying "I find it difficult to understand why anybody would question the existance of a North-Eastern or historic Lancashire identity". What about historic County Durham identity? The point is, you need to have evidence of a representitive sample who hold that identity before you can't start making claims about it. That's why local government changes in the early 1990s did surveys assessing the identities of people in certain counties, Durham among them. To assert anything otherwise is complete POV. Logoistic 22:33, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
A County Durham identity is in no way mutually exclusive with a North Eastern identity. As for surveys on identities, why do you think a North Eastern assembly was proposed? You have rather assumed that I don't know much about Lancashire or the North East. You are wrong on both counts.GordyB22:59, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
I am not saying anything other than the fact that you cannot go about asserting an identity exists amongst a group of people without asking them! Poeple dispute what the "north" is. You cannot therefore start defining it according to your own POV. That there was a proposal for a NE assembly doesn't ask people whether they had a NE identity. So it's pointless to use that. It's anecdotal. Asserting such things that an identity exists 'because' a North East Assembly was proposed contravines Wikipedia: No Original Research. Surveys would be the only way to avoid it. Hence, the article as it is - limited amoutns of history, mentions of streotypes, and a strong emphasis on the confusion over the term, is sufficient. Logoistic 12:20, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
You posted "That's why local government changes in the early 1990s did surveys assessing the identities of people in certain counties, Durham among them.". I'll think you'll find that they did they same before the proposed regional assemblies, the North East got to vote first because it was believed that the proposal had the most chance of success there.GordyB14:47, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Excellent, if you could find references to these surveys, then you can then start adding it to the artlce: i.e. "X survey suggested that Y% considered themselves as part of Z identity", and give more details. Logoistic 17:44, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

The state of this article[edit]

As I have stated before, I do not think that this article deserves to have a great deal of depth about it because I think it quite an arbitrary definition in any case. Rather, I would like to see it more like the Southern England article, which regconises that (1) it is used as a term, and (2) that it is ambiguous. Recent edits, such as removal of text on streotypes I think helps achieve this goal. So even though the article is getting shorter, I think it is getting better. Logoistic 12:45, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Problems section delete[edit]

To the user who deleted the 'problems' section, I want to say that I'm going to add it back it. The writing is not brilliant, but I think it's necessary for the article. The article is about a part of England that is _perceived_ to be culturally distinct from the rest, but this perception is based on problematic evidence and is much contested. We have to indicate the problems with the concept of 'The North' if the article is to be truly encyclopedic - as Logoistic says above. In addition, I feel it's better to alter than to delete information, unless there's a good reason for deleting it (which I don't think your edit summary provided: I didn't understand what you meant by "nothing said in this section carries any weight culturally... most certainly Birmingham has as different an accent from the North as it does from the South"?). Hope this won't lead us into an edit war, and looking forward to your views. Polocrunch (talk) 02:01, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Problems, and article in general[edit]

I have only ever heard the Birmingham accent described as a midlands accent. Can the assertion that it is considered a "northern" accent be removed or referenced. I found this article messy and uninformative, not really the kind of material that should be in an informative encyclopedia. It needs edditing so it is not simply a collection of different peoples contradicting assertions about their views of this area. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:24, 24 February 2008 (UTC)


I think people are being too genrious with the northern title, Yorkshire and Lancashire are not northern they are midlands.. they speak like midlands and they are geogrpahically around the middle of the country. (talk) 10:58, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Ha ha :) Neither Yorkshire nor Lancashire are anywhere near "the middle of the country". Perhaps you are confusing England with Great Britain, as they are in the middle of Great Britain, but both counties are geographically in Northern England. A quick check of any map would confirm that to be so. Try looking at EnglandTraditionalBlank.png and have fun.♦Tangerines♦·Talk 14:49, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
No idea why you felt in necessary to post such a large image my midlands friend, but anyway - aye it is still in the middle part of the country, anything south of Morecambe Bay and the Tees would be midlands, i'd also say the real south is south of the Britsol channel and the wash, in a diagonal line. The midlands also tend to speak a much more 'standard' form of English than the north. Unfortunately some midlanders want to be northern, which is a shame to their rightful heritage as midlanders. (talk) 08:58, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Well regardless of your opinion the fact remains that Lancashire and Yorkshire are part of Northern England. Your comments though are also amusing, but so long as you have fun hey.♦Tangerines♦·Talk 16:42, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Standard English is a thing that amuses me somewhat. It is unsurprising that some people consider northern "dialect" as non standard when compared with southern dialect as standard tends to be defined by the Oxford English dictionary. Remind me, which half of the country is Oxford in again?

Aidan Croft (talk) 16:10, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

I would say Oxford is close-ish to the midlands, but falls into a southern catagory. As for Lancs and Yorks, they are definately midlands, 100% midlands, it stands out like a sore thumb it's so obvious and it is a huge shame that popular belief would have these midlanders really beliveing they are northern. The midlands are nowhere near the Great North Run, and after the Great North Road had passed through the midlands settlements of Doncaster, Leeds and Wetherby it heads to the north. (talk) 08:16, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
This is just silly, do you have to be standing on Hadrian's wall to be in the North? Yorks and Lancs (and IMO Cheshire) are quite definitely in the North.GordyB (talk) 11:30, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Well they certainly speak like they're Midlands, or atleast not Northern, their vowels are not flat enough to be Northern nor is their accents Northern ones. (talk) 06:51, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

If you went and asked people what counties they believe are Northern, I bet most would mention Lancashire and Yorkshire long before any other. Your Midlands theory is pretty insulting, and is of course utter rubbish. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:47, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Lancashire and Yorkshire are the frist two counties that would spring to mind when the north is mentioned.

Does that even matter? People from London think Brummies are northern, Lancashire and Yorkshire are not northern, you do not speak like northerners nor do they have accents like ours. Gazh (talk) 13:24, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Yorkshire is a huge county, and people in the north of it sound almost the same as people in Durham and Cumbria. The trouble is that Yorkshire and Lancashire see each other as traditional enemies, so linking them together in "the North" is a bit pointless. Epa101 (talk) 20:01, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

River Trent[edit]

My understanding is that, historically, the River Trent was traditionally used as a major dividing line between the "north" and "south". Particularly, if I remember correctly, the southern boundary of the Council of the North was a line drawn more or less between the Trent and The Wash. In many ways, this still seems a reasonable definition to me, because although Shropshire, Staffordshire, and Derbyshire might nowadays be described as in the Midlands, they are clearly counties where accents, culture, and history begin to change over from southern to northern. Might this be a useful addition to the article? DWaterson (talk) 17:43, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Those area are no longer northern as they do not use typical northern words like 'lang' for long and 'wrang' for wrong. Gazh (talk) 14:52, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Who says 'lang' and 'wrang' are typical northern words? Yes they are used in part of the north. You seem to be using the argument they are used in part of the 'north', so they are northern, therefore if you don't use them, you can't be a northerner. There's more to be northern than accent such as social values. (talk) 15:25, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Oh my midlands chum, it feels kind of sad that many midlanders would consider themselves northerners and sell their own heritage short as a result. There are certain areas of the country that are unquestionably northern, and many people who are from the midlands believe they're from the 'southern' north have very little incommon with the proper northerners, by proper i simply mean from the most northern parts of the country. It's sad that all of England seems to be following the more southern parts in recent times when it comes to values, accent, dialect etc so whereas midlands places like Lancashire and Yorkshire may have once been defined as Northern, in modern times these places have more incommon with Derbyshire and Lincolnshire etc Gazh (talk) 14:42, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Hello far Northern chum, I am a Midlander certainly not a northerner, but I find it absolutely amazing anybody could consider Leeds and Manchester to be Midlands, I find insulting that you consider my accent and heritage to be shared with them. I think very, very few people would consider them as Midlanders. They were never in Mercia. Where I'm from I don't mention it to a stranger in Yorkshire. I think you are very much in a minority viewing Lancs. and Yorks as Midland, of course the North-East aren't exactly the same as Yorks and Lancs, but you can claim any pair of areas no matter how close together are different. 08:34, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

I think that it is definitely worth including the historical use of the River Trent as the geographical boundary between southern and northern England. This use can be seen in the history of the Diocese of York, the post of Chief Justice of the Forests etc. (talk) 08:22, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
If so, then it should be added as a historical boundry, not a modern one. Gazh (talk) 11:26, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

The River Trent has never been seen as a dialect boundary between North and South. The old divider between Northern and North-Midland dialect was the Lume-Humber line so that the industrial areas of west/south Yorkshire and most of Lancashire were North-Midland rather than North. (However, the rural areas of Yorkshire, including York itself, were "Northern") However, I don't think that dialect is the only way of defining the North. Some people in the very far North speak a dialect that is Scots for most purposes, but I don't think that makes them Scottish. There are other things that make up regional/national identity. Epa101 (talk) 16:45, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Original Research[edit]

This whole article is original research based on water catchment areas for flood management and frankly made up areas research particularly on accents. While there are sources there is a large degree of synthesis which has bone into creating this article and no such "definition" of "the North" exists. The whole article is a prime candidate for deletion due to being primarily OR and Synthesis to further one particular point.--Lucy-marie (talk) 17:20, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

What is this one particular point? Colonel Warden (talk) 22:27, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

The point of trying to define a "Northern England", which is undefinable. Tere are english Local Government regions and European Parliament regions called North-East and North-West, but do they alone constitute a "Northern England". Just where do you draw the boundray? The answer is you can't and will never be able too. That is the point being pushed by this article.--Lucy-marie (talk) 23:17, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • A definitive boundary is not required. There is no definitive boundary for Europe, say, but we do not delete that topic on that account. Colonel Warden (talk) 23:34, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
It may not be necessary, but that is what the article is trying to push in its current form.--Lucy-marie (talk) 18:23, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
It appears, per your AFD nomination, that you are alone in your opinion. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:27, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Not really it just appears as if I have nominated an article which people think can be salvaged. I believe it is unsalvagable. The article contents could easily just be merged into the necessary other articles such as thouse on the counties and the local government regions as opposed to actually creating a whole new article and new fork just for this wishey washey topic of "Northern England"--Lucy-marie (talk) 14:07, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I suppose only you could argue that the article should be deleted in the face of unanimous disagreement, and still think you're right. sigh. The Rambling Man (talk) 15:17, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I am sorry but what is the above comment meant to imply. I believe it is an open attack on me personally. Please withdraw the above comment or it will be reported. Remember comment on the content and not the contributor. This was nothing but a content discussion until you made the above inappropriate attack.--Lucy-marie (talk) 15:19, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Please see WP:RANDY. Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit but this does not mean that all views must be taken seriously. Your position seems quite implausible and so we require good evidence per WP:REDFLAG. I suggest that you focus on particular details of the article as a general attack seems too vague and is not working. Colonel Warden (talk) 16:26, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
The above comments ignore the fact that I posted on this topic with the aim of improving this subject but was totally ignored so the basis of this is totally legitimate and the essay you point to is irrelevant in this case. In future do not assume that just because something is done that seems to be slightly out of the ordinary, that there is no legitimate and genuine reason of good faith behind what is being done.--Lucy-marie (talk) 21:23, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Since when did AFD become a tool to smack editors into improving articles? The best route is to do something about it yourself. The Rambling Man (talk) 23:28, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I have no interest in this topic and believe it not to be a topic of substance other users disagree and as such the AfD failed. That does though not mean that the AfD process has been misused. If the topic can be salvaged and can be bought up to standards then it needs to be done by users who know firstly what they are talking about and secondly actually want to do it. I have no desire based on the second point. The message ignored on this talk page also gave enough indication that users were not interested in this topic to firstly be bothered t improve this topic and secondly to actually want to improve this topic. As Such and based on the valid points which I raised i bought it to AfD, as such those points now need to be addressed when improving the article.--Lucy-marie (talk) 00:24, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
AFD isn't a tool to smack editors into improving articles. The best route is to do something about it yourself. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:08, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
This is not the place for stuck records. If you believe you can improve the article then please do so rather than demanding the same of other people. --Lucy-marie (talk) 11:20, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I repeated just in case you hadn't realised that we don't use AFD to get other people to improve articles. We either do it ourselves, or we seek help from Wikiprojects, or make suggestions on talk pages, and tag the article. End of discussion. The Rambling Man (talk) 07:40, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

County cricket[edit]

It would be worth including a section on county cricket in Lancashire, Yorkshire and County Durham (at least).--Felix Folio Secundus (talk) 12:31, 9 February 2014 (UTC)


The bit about missing "the" isn't true. We'd say "I'm going t' ' shops", where the second ' is a glottal stop. It's subtle and you might not always hear it if you're not used to the accent, but it's there. Sounds a bit like how you'd say "tut" if you dropped the second T. We reduce "the" to a stop, but we don't omit it. At least not in the bits of Yorkshire and Lancashire I was born in and have visited.

It's a small point, but do you want your encyclopaedia to be correct or don't you? Somebody else fix it, I can't think how best to put it.

(Edit: Did you know you can't put two apostrophes in a row on a Wikipedia page?) (talk) 23:40, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

" of the country's three principal cultural areas, along with the Midlands and Southern England."[edit]

Does anyone have a source for that statement in the lead - in particular, the use of the words "principal cultural area"? I know that to some extent there are shared cultural values in the North, and from the perspective of the North that "the South" can be seen as having some shared cultural values (by the way, it really doesn't - the differences between, say, London, Suffolk and Cornwall are vast...), but a sweeping generalisation like that in the opening paragraph really needs some reliable sources. Is it easiest to change the words "principal cultural area" to, say, "most widely recognisable cultural area"? Are there better alternatives? Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:24, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

Yeah, it's too woolly to make any sense. I've cut it down to just " the northern part of England, when considered as a single cultural area." Smurrayinchester 14:32, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Ice hockey[edit]

Is there anything particularly interesting about ice hockey in Northern England? All the article says is "People in the UK play it, and two northern teams are rivals". This doesn't seem like much to hang an section on - there doesn't seem to be any particular north-south divide or distinctive northern style. Unless there are any suggestions of what to add, I'll remove this section. Smurrayinchester 15:34, 7 March 2017 (UTC)