Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Even the Locals are Confused

Hilary and I saw in the New Year at Cartmel, where she was singing in a concert in the priory. Cartmel is a small village in the county of Cumbria. At least nowadays it's considered to be in Cumbria. However, until 1974 it was part of Lancashire - a part of the county known as Lancashire-Over-the Sands. "Over the Sands" because the only means of reaching it from the rest of the county without passing through the adjacent county of Westmoreland was a route involving the fording of the tidal Morecambe Bay and the estuaries of the rivers Kent and Keer.  This can still be done today, although you are strongly advised to try it only in the company of an official guide. A reminder of the route to the old county town can be found in Cartmel village.
In 1836, Lancaster was 15 miles away "over sands". It's 29 miles by road today.
Actually, the establishment of "Cumbria" was one of the few sensible changes made in the 1974 local government reorganisation. Certainly a lot more sensible - and longer lasting - than such abominations as Avon, Humberside and (worst of the lot) "Hereford and Worcester"!
Memories seem to fading in Cartmel however. In the Royal Oak before the concert we were buttonholed by the local pub bore who told us at great length that we were really in Westmoreland and how proud he was to be a Westmoreland Man!

I didn't have the heart to tell him, but if you want to check just follow the link to Real British Counties on the sidebar.

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