The North

WashYourHands

Well-known member
A place of murky foreboding, despised and mistrusted by London and foppish southerners. A region of diverse heterogeneity and landscapes, consolidated by chancers like Cartimandua and polities such as the Brigantes, Yr Hen Ogledd, Rheged and Elmet. Harried by the Normans and encompassing both England and lowland Scotland, the North has a strange place in the British psyche. The beauty of the Peaks and Lakes, the array of dark, satanic mills that actualised an industrial revolution and two coastlines

What is the North and/or Northern, a state of mind? A confluence of cultures? Chip butties, flat caps and The Fall? Dry straight talking, G Boycott and Jimmy Savile, or are these all generalities too?

Had a search and couldn’t find a matching thread so created one, even though it could slot in one of a few main topic sections

Drop your love and loathing as you see fit
 

luka

Well-known member
ive never been there. ive always had a serious phobia of it. they seem so hostile and insular and prone to violence. bigoted and mean.
 

luka

Well-known member
the north have always felt they have a monopoly on poverty despite the fact that the poorest regions in the country have always been in the south
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
ive never been there. ive always had a serious phobia of it. they seem so hostile and insular and prone to violence. bigoted and mean.

Cropped up in conversation today with colleagues, one from Essex and one from Blackburn, both British Asian and both with family and friends all over these islands. We were trying to define a few northern pointers. The bloke from Rate My Takeaway cropped up, seen him? Jfc. Also this tune (I know you want to murder House), from the opening dismissive gambit to the refrain

 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I always think my girlfriend has quite an interesting perspective on this as an outsider who moved to the UK and lived "oop north" where - as @WashYourHands predicted - she went out with someone from The Fall and knocked around with a load of petty criminals in Manchester for a bit as well as Terry Christian.
I would say that her view of it was not dissimilar from this part of what Luka said "hostile and insular and prone to violence. bigoted and mean." - she was nicknamed "Vodka" and "Cheeky Girl" at work, when she went in shops in isolated villages in the middle of nowhere such as York she would be greeted by gawping staff going "You're not from around these parts are you?" and one time a taxi driver demanded to know where she was from and, when she replied that it was none of his business, he kicked her out of the cab saying "You think you're allowed to come here and spy on us and not even say where from".
I found it particularly funny that when she told people from her job that she would be moving to London all the people from her work were horrified, actually whipping off their flat caps in shocked amazement they would launch into diatribes about how they would rather die than go there. People who had never once offered a kind word in the years she had known them lectured her on how unfriendly Londoners were, lacking in the natural warmth and generosity of spirit that so clearly characterised every single person from God's own county. She left York in no doubt that - especially in comparison to her life amongst these guys who, as confirmed by none other than themselves, were the undoubted salt of the earth - she would soon come to feel isolated, alone and depressed and probably suicidal, especially when, as would no doubt happen every single day, she would be forced to consider that the spire of St Pauls was actually shorter than that of York Minster!
As well as York and Manchester where she spent most of her time, she also visited places such as Liverpool, Bradford, Burnley and so on, but she wasn't as keen on them.
Imagine her surprise when she finally did go to London and discovered that people weren't confused and offended by her accent, were far far more friendly and were somehow able to get over the relative shortness of St Pauls.

 
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WashYourHands

Well-known member
A local region for local people, people like Dominic Cummings


That there London defaults to north, south, east and west (city as central) but what might appear as surface parochialism excludes 99.99% of the rest of life. The north pivots on cliches too. Scousers and Mancs, red rose white rose, Burnley vs Blackburn, Warp, Eastern Bloc and Factory, yet the northern threshold is where? Would you feel it if you knew it as in crossing points, like any topographic/cultural boundary, or is it more vague? M1 just shy of Sheffield for a personal vibe report

Cheshire is a weird county and to the east there’s no marker on the M1. Nottingham is borderline, liminal even. Irony‘s Alan Sillitoe construed as northern or at least the screen adaptation of Saturday Night Sunday Morning sealing the protagonist’s position as such (kitchen-sink working class). Also the boundaries between the rose counties and their more northerly neighbours. The anomalies like Harrogate that ended with a Tory landslide all around them

Now, people moving to their rural/coastal ideals/idyls. If you’d said that Londoners were moving to live in say Scarborough a few years back, I would’ve been incredulous that it was just buy to let. They really wanted out? Does this mean remaining Londoners become even more rat-like, feral and vampiric?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
What’s your view though @IdleRich ?

Well, first off, let me say that the above was obviously a slightly selective view, while all of the things I said above did actually happen to her, there were also loads... well, some, well at least a couple of good things that happened while she was there.
My view, quite hard, I can't really sum it up., My Dad is from Manchester and his entire kinda extended family still remain there. So, in a way I spent a lot of time there growing up, going two or three times a year.... but, really, just sitting in this aunt's house, chatting with these cousins, or visiting my Gran's neighbour Mrs James, a lovely old lady for sure but I didn't really experience the real Manchester doing that.
The family are all a good laugh though, much so than Dad himself. A few years back our friend Detlef from Germany was over and he played some gigs in London and then he had one in Manchester and another in Edinburgh I think, and we travelled to Manchester to catch that gig with Ruf Dug and Sean Canty at some kinda hipster place there and that was really the first time I'd been out in Manchester since I was a student and we went up to Afflecks Palace or whatever it's called.
We had a decent enough time although the misses started to miss London after a few hours, she felt at home when we went in a bab shop run by Bangladeshis and that made her feel kinda more comfortable than all the northern accents that I guess brought back bad memories of being threatened by this gangster guy who felts she owed him money, having to take out a restraining order on one ex who started stalking her etc
Then after staying at a mate's house for one night we went to visit my aunt and a couple of uncles for good measure, they cooked us dinner and then we sat up until like 5am drinking with them having a great time. Think Liza was surprised at how much more fun they were than their brother, my dad....
In general though, as i think about it, I have very limited experience of the north apart from that. I went to uni in Nottingham and I used to go out with fucking insane girl from Birmingham so I know that sort of area well, but, for the benefit of the Americans and Luka, those areas are really the midlands. I have never been to Liverpool or Newcastle in fact.
My only problem with northerners is when they start coming out with all that shite like I was saying above, about how they are all really friendly and warm and kind and how the south is filled with cold and unfriendly people. That is just obvious bullshit, but it's only said by the very worst types, it's just basically the same people who, if they were down south, would be claiming that all northerners are inbred yokels with ferrets down their trousers.
A few years ago my flatmate go married, he was from Manchester or something and a load of his mates were down for the wedding. At the meal afterwards I was sat next to one of them who was a total arsehole. Everything I said was simply the excuse for him to start a tirade about how he hated the south, or London, or some aspect of London; how miserable he was to be there, how he couldn't wait to leave, how everyone was unfriendly and dour and moaned all the time. I had to put up with this through the whole fucking dinner, sadly looking to the left, right and straight on, where I could see everyone else getting on really well, smiling, laughing, having fun together, while I was stuck in under this guy's personal anti-fun cloud. Obviously i hate that kind of cunt but so does everyone. I mean, there was probably a reason why none of his "mates" had chosen to sit next to him and why I was stuck with him.... though of course I can't really explain why none of my mates were sat with me, must have been a totally different reason anyway.....
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
It does rain more, as if that’s even possible for the British Isles. Rory Stewart did a fucking haemorrhoid of a program called Border Country, you wanted to glass the cunt. He pastoralised everything with Iraq guilt clearly hanging all over him

A bloke on our street sounds like Charlie Chuck having a bad day. Aggressively surreal yet harmless. I imagine this is how @luka ’s p.o.v. arose

 
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