Well it hardly seems like twelve months since I was talking about Lancashire Day 2009, but here we are again. November the 27th is a very special day in the heart of all Lancastrians as it’s the day that we can celebrate our unique identity and heritage. And don’t forget, that includes you who live in ‘Merseyside’, Liverpool, Sefton, Knowlsley, Manchester, ‘Greater Manchester’, Warrington, and parts of Cumbria.
Lancashire’s boundaries run from the River Mersey in the south, to the River Duddon in the north, from the Yorkshire border in the east to the Irish sea in the west. This means that there’s an awful lot of you who don’t think they live in Lancashire any more that do.
So where does all the confusion come from? Well back in the seventies, Lancashire County Council, who was responsible for administering the local affairs of Lancashire, has its area of responsibility reduced and new metropolitan councils were established to administer the affairs of the major cities (Liverpool and Manchester) together with the surrounding satellite towns. Hence the creation of Merseyside and Greater Manchester as administrative areas. What people fail to realise is the the actual boundary of Lancashire itself never changed, it was just that Lancashire County Council ceased to administer these districts. Liverpool and Manchester, together with their satellite towns and villages were still in Lancashire.
Unfortunately the Government changed the law of major road signage and this saw the new councils erecting signs stating that you were entering Merseyside and Greater Manchester and the signs welcoming you to Lancashire were removed. This, together with the press stating the new administrative counties instead of the real county names, made everyone think that they’d moved from Lancashire to a new county.
Not only was the south of the county affected, but the north was messed around with too. Cumberland and Westmorland county councils were abolished and replaced by a single county council, Cumbria, to administer the two counties. Not only that, but Lancashire o’er the Sands was to be administered by the new council, not Lancashire. The signs were changed, just as they were in the south, and folk in Barrow-in-Furness, the Furness fells and Ulverston districts, right the way up to Coniston and Hawkshead were left to believe that they’d moved from Lancashire, to Cumbria. They hadn’t – it was just that a differently named council was now collecting the rates, emptying the bins and sweeping the streets.
Since then, the metropolitan county councils have disappeared and been broken up into lots of unitary authorities, as the map on the left shows. However, that thin red line, the boundary of the county of Lancashire, still exists and everyone within is a true Lancastrian.
So Lancashire still exists, exactly as it has done for the last few hundred years. The boundaries haven’t changed and the Post Office are quite happy for you guys in the occupied territories of Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cumbria, are all still true Lancastrians and you can be proud of that since Lancashire is a Duchy, one of only two in the United Kingdom (the other being Cornwall). It is the personal property of Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Lancaster. As a Duchy Lancashire has the right to collect its own taxes, appoint its own governors and make up its own laws.
On November the 27th, every year, Lancastrians around the world celebrate Lancashire Day with all types of events. At 21:00 a toast is raised to HM the Queen, the Duke of Lancaster. So join with us a celebrate your heritage, but also your future as a true Lancastrian.
This year the Southport & District Amateur Radio Club will be celebrating Lancashire Day on the 27th November with an Amateur Radio special event station located in Aughton, Lancashire. The radio station will be making contact with other Radio Amateurs throughout the United Kingdom and around the world, promoting the real county of Lancashire far and wide. The callsign used will be GB5LD and will be on the air on 2m and whatever HF bands are open from around 11:00 to 22:00. At 21:00 we will be reading out the Lancashire Day declaration and those present will be raising a toast to HM the Queen.