Talk:Historic counties of England/Archive 2

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Wording - mere

Under the subhead, "The traditional counties movement" in the article, one of the bullet points is "to get Ordnance Survey and other map suppliers to mere and mark the traditional county boundaries". What is "to mere and mark"? If it's a typo, then fine, let's correct it; but if it's a proper usage, can we have an explanation please? The point to this latter being that I haven't heard of it and I very much hope I am not the only one, so it might, without a word of explanation, be too obscure for the encylopaedia. Thanks, --Nevilley 15:50, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

As I understand it, 'mere' means determine where the boundaries actually lie on the ground, on massive maps. The OS has a duty to mere the administrative boundaries. This is important because sometimes traditional boundaries will follow ancient hedges that have since been destroyed; or rivers that have been diverted or culverted. Morwen - Talk 15:54, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Golly. You learn something every day! Thanks. I have failed to find this definition anywhere - yet! Would you feel like adding a note explaining this usage? Also, if it's an OS duty, does it need to say "and other map suppliers" or do they do it too? Thanks, --Nevilley 16:09, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Well, has 'mere' as meaning a boundary (in the noun). I have to admit I am guessing quite a bit. There is a section of the Local Government Act 1972 which requires the OS to 'mere' the boundaries - and from context that is what it appears it means. The statutory requirement is only on OS. Morwen - Talk 20:42, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Blank map

For if this gets on the main page, I uploaded a suitable map, without the numbers. Morwen - Talk 12:24, 3 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Past tense

The 'Traditional subdivisions' section contains a number of sentences with past tense references. "Some of the traditional counties had major subdivisions". "Of these, the most important were...". "Since Yorkshire was so big". "The second largest county, Lincolnshire, was also divided into three historic "Parts"". "Other divisions included...". The rest of the section deals with administrative areas that actually are historic, but the sentences above seem out-of-place in the past tense considering correct the use of the present tense elsewhere in the article. Owain 15:18, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Origin of Exclaves?

I think it would be interesting to add some detail about the origin of exclaves to the Authenticity and anomalies section (just their general origin, unless specific detail is interesting). I don't know if this information is known, but it was my first thought on reading - why are these areas contained wholly by one county part of a different county entirely? --HappyDog 00:39, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Vague statement

"Although it is quite possible that the ABC considers debate on this matter a minor priority compared to its more general campaign, so this comment should not necessarily be interpreted as the product of internal dispute."

I've removed this, again, as it has no fact in it at all ("it is quite possible"). As it is, it is POV and presumably could imply it is quite possible it is ripping the ABC group apart. That is not the case, so I've changed "dispute" to "disagreement" in the previous paragraph. I suggest more changes to that rather than reinserting this paragraph yet again. 19:47, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Although they no longer exist in any practical form.

How can this sentence remain in the article when it contratdicts other statements such as "The traditional counties have not formally been abolished"? Furthermore they exist in many partical forms such as Watsonian vice counties, &c. It is a POV statement and should be removed. Owain 20:51, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

What practical form do they "exist" as exactly. G-Man 21:08, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I think that the problem is that the sentence says nothing that it isn't covered adequately in the detail that follows. Indeed, Owain answered your question before you answered it; you don't acknowledge the answer — is that because you didn't notice it, or becasue you don't agree with it? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:18, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

No it doesn't answer anything, lets put it simply:

  1. The traditional counties are not used for any local government purposes.
  2. The traditional counties are not used for any statistical or governmental purposes whatsoever.
  3. The traditional counties are not used for any ceremonial purposes.
  4. The traditional counties are not shown on any modern maps
  5. The traditional counties are not generally used for geographic purposes.

So I ask again in what practical form exactly do they "exist". Until I get a satisfactory answer I will restore the sentence. G-Man 23:07, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

But in all this you simply ignore Owain's point, and mine; why? Also, doesn't the need for 'generally' in your final point indicate a problem for you? Finally, your addition is in any case ungrammatical, not being a proper sentence — it's just a clause, needing either a preceding or a succeeding main clause. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 23:22, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

What point exactly? G-Man 23:25, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Owain's point that “they exist in many partical forms such as Watsonian vice counties, &c.”; my point that there's nothing in your addition that isn't adequately covered in the rest of that section. Could anyone reading the article honestly gain the impression that the historic counties have administrative, ceremonial, or cartographical rôles?
Incidentally, if you revert, please don't do so to the whole page just for your little addition; the last time you also reverted other edits of mine, which you were probably not even aware of. Use the page history, or edit by section. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 23:32, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Request for references

Hi, I am working to encourage implementation of the goals of the Wikipedia:Verifiability policy. Part of that is to make sure articles cite their sources. This is particularly important for featured articles, since they are a prominent part of Wikipedia. The Fact and Reference Check Project has more information. Thank you, and please leave me a message when you have added a few references to the article. - Taxman 20:00, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)

Parliamentary Soverignty?

The offhand remark Furthermore, it is questionable whether Parliament could abolish many of them, given that many were not created by Parliamentary bill or Royal edicts, and, as such, could be argued to have an "untouchable" Common Law existence. should be removed or at least have the reference to Common Law removed. Parliament can do pretty much whatever it likes from a legislative point of view. The 19th and 20th centuries were full of examples of Parliament superceding Common Law with Statute - the Theft Act, numerous Land Law reforms, Offences Against the Person etc. It is certainly true that Parliament could not change history and stop people believing that they are in Berkshire when they are actually in Oxfordshire, but Common Law has nothing to do with that. Offhand, ill-considered comments like this devalue many otherwise excellent Wikipedia articles. -- 07:10, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Not wishing to argue against the thrust of your comment, but I think I remember reading somewhere (perhaps in The Real Counties of England by Russell Grant?) that one of the arguments the government used in 1974 to pacify the 'traditional counties' people was the 'parliament didn't create them so parliament can't abolish them' argument. Notions of Common Law are indeed vague, but the point that parlaiment can't legislate out of existence an (IMO) essentially emotional and folklore inheritance is, I think a valid one, though perhaps not well articulated here. KRC58

County cricket

User:IanDavies removed the sentence "County cricket continues to use historical counties" with the note "as only YOrskshire makes any comment". I restored the sentence noting that "Warwickshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire are all good examples here", but IanDavies subsequently removed it again with the note "Sating names isn't evidence. Please provide refernces".

My point is that the county cricket teams clearly continue to use the traditional counties. Warwickshire CCC's ground is in Edgbaston, Birmingham (Warwickshire); Lancashire CCC's ground is in Old Trafford, Manchester (Lancashire); Yorkshire CCC's ground is in Headingly, Leeds (Yorkshire) &c. There are plenty of other examples too — Glamorgan, Sussex, Middlesex, Gloucestershire (based in Bristol). I am intending to revert the removal of this information. Owain (talk) 15:11, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

You mean because they have kept the same club name. They are conciously opting to stick with the old county? I think not.--IanDavies 15:16, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
What DO you think then? Are the teams using the names and boundaries of traditional counties or not? Yes. Did they follow administrative changes? No. Was there any good reason to follow them? No. Is it a good job they didn't? Clearly! Owain (talk) 15:21, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
What changes would they have to have done to have followed the changes? Answer non. It is only Yorkshire that only picks only Yorkshire men. Georgraphy has nothing to do with Cricket clubs. Is it Perhaps that there isn't a West Midlands cricket club or that Lancshire didn't change it's name to Greater Manchester that you think shows the keeping of traditional counties? You seem to be very much in support of trditional counties.--IanDavies 15:32, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
I am not talking about team selection, I am talking about the territorial coverage of the clubs. Your argument about what didn't happen and why is pure supposition. I have pointed out the fact that the names and boundaries of the clubs' territories has not changed. Regardless of why that is — it is fact! Of course I am very much in support of traditional counties. I believe that knowing where we are from is important. Consistency is important. History is important. Local government can and should be separate from geographical identity. Owain (talk) 15:51, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Were is the territorial coverage of the clubs the trditional counties do not exists. The used to but not any more. Now please stop you POV edits.--IanDavies 15:53, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Sigh... Have you not noticed where I have pointed out where the country cricket grounds are? Have you also not noticed that the examples I gave are in the traditional county but not in the local government area of the same name? Of course traditional counties still exist. Local government legislation can redefine what ever local government areas it likes — the two are completely separate concepts. It was your PoV edit that removed the cricket reference in the first place. I was merely restoring it, after having had this debate for three years already. Owain (talk) 16:07, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
So you are suggesting that Because Warwickshire CC is based in the West Midlands but calls it's self Warwickwhire CC it is sticking with the old county. Perhaps because Lancashire Electric Light is based in Liverpool, does that mean the traditional counties apply in the electrical retail trade. The traditional counties do not exist, they have no more status than the territory that Bodica had as a country. Do you think that Arsenal being called Arsenall still means Woolwich Arsenal is in full production. You clutching at straws. We do the rules of COunty Cricket explicitly state that by 'county' they mean pre 1974 and what restrictions does it place upon them?--IanDavies 16:16, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

This is utterly absurd. If there isn't a county cricket team for any of the new administrative counties, and people in "traditional Warwickshire" but "administrative West Midlands" play for Warwickshire rather than a hypothetical "West Midlands County Cricket Club", then clearly they use the traditional counties. That's self-evident, and suggesting otherwise is crazy. Proteus (Talk) 16:25, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

It your response that is absurd. Using the name is meaningless.--IanDavies 16:29, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
"Using the name is meaningless". I'm sorry, but that argument is meaningless. People using the name of a well-defined geographical area with hundreds of years of history is absurd, whereas they should be using the flavour-of-the-month administrative area which was designed for a completely different purposes... ohh kaaayy... If you keep reverting this article with no justification you are going to get banned. Owain (talk) 19:14, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
The area covered changed over time. You just want to claim a particlar configuration has some mystic significance. It is you that will be banned for attempting to corrupt Wikipedia by placing false information. The only thing that has continued are the names. There is Lancashire as it is now and Lancashire as it has been in the past. The term Traditional county is meaningless as counties are not a matter of tradition but of administration. If counties are reorganised again, will you regard the current bounderies as traditional? What will you use to describe those you currently define as traditional?--IanDavies 20:24, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
You still seem to be of the opinion that there is only one area that could be called Lancashire. As I have pointed out on your user talk page, there are at least three, and in the case of Lancashire, possibly a fourth. I am not suggesting that the areas of these do not change over time, but they are different areas. The administrative area has changed as recently as 1998 with the creation of unitary authorities. The ceremonial area was defined by the Lieutenancies Act 1997. Both of these are independent of the area of the traditional, ancient or geographic Lancashire. If either of the administrative or ceremonial Lancashires is reorganised again it will make no difference to the traditional Lanacshire. If you are so firm in your belief that there is a single entity called Lancashire, what do you make of this: "6.—(1) Blackburn and Blackpool shall cease to form part of Lancashire. (2) A new county shall be constituted comprising the area of Blackburn and shall be named the county of Blackburn. (3) A new county shall be constituted comprising the area of Blackpool and shall be named the county of Blackpool.". You have to understand that these pieces of legislation use the term "county" in a way that is specific to that legislation. Local government acts amend local government areas that "are known as counties" in that specific legislation. The Lieutenances Act states that its areas are "Counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies in Great Britain" — i.e. using the terms in a specific way in that piece of legislation. Neither of these things redfines the ordinary meaning of county in the English language, or changes the names and areas of traditional counties. This is not "corrupting Wikipedia by placing false information", this is well established by Government statements which are freely available. Owain (talk) 15:05, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
You haven't show what the traditional or anchcient counties areas are, you have just demonstrated that the counties change left right and centre. Now show me were it says that the county clubs use them, and what they use them for. You seem to like shooting yourself in the foot. The counties pre 1974 are not used accept for the names which have been used and reused throught history.--IanDavies 14:46, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I do not need to show you what they are - this article already does that! What I have shown you is that there are different things with different borders that could reasonably be called counties. Did you read the 'The Lancashire (Boroughs of Blackburn and Blackpool) (Structural Change) Order 1996'? What do you make of it? It says quite clearly that Blackburn and Blackpool shall cease to form part of Lancashire and that 'A new county shall be constituted comprising the area of Blackburn and shall be named the county of Blackburn' and 'A new county shall be constituted comprising the area of Blackpool and shall be named the county of Blackpool'. Simple question - Do you think Blackburn and Blackpool are in Lancashire or not? Owain (talk) 14:59, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

It is the area that the club feels it represents, and the area containing the people that feel the club represents them that is important, and this is described by the old geographical county. It is a matter of "ancient loyalties" according to the following
From Parliamentary Hansard:
However, as my colleagues have pointed out in the past, local government boundaries are concerned essentially with administration, and changes, whether arising from the 1974 reorganisation or as part of the current review, need not affect ancient loyalties and affinities.
I need hardly name some of these. Lancashire county cricket club was mentioned, and continues to have Old Trafford as its main ground and headquarters, and has managed to do quite well on it in the last season, despite being within Greater Manchester. Participants in the rugby league Lancashire cup are drawn from across the traditional county, and, as far as I am aware, the performance of the individual teams is unaffected by the fact that they come from the administrative areas of Halton, Wigan and so on. In fact, I recall a very well known Lancastrian--Tuigamala--who, I believe, plays for Wigan.
The Queen's Lancastrian regiment continues to maintain its traditional affiliations with areas such as Warrington, Bury and Oldham, despite their incorporation into Cheshire and Greater Manchester.
...etc, at
[Note the use of the phrase traditional county, the sentence about 1974 reorganisation being about administration...]. This "mass hallucination" of the concept of traditional county is surprisingly common, it would seem(!)
That's a statment by an MP, I want the law as it is written down not just some bloke at some time.--IanDavies 15:10, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

The statement as given is evidenced; with just a little research, one finds the core of the last Lancashire squad was made up of Keiron Cunningham, [born St Helens], Andy Farrell, [born Wigan], Paul Deacon [born Wigan], Martin Gleeson [born Wigan], Gary Connolly [born St Helens], Danny Sculthorpe [born Oldham]. All born after 1974 in the metropolitan counties of Greater Manchester and Merseyside, and all played their first professional rugby for clubs outside the current administrative county of Lancashire [primarily their hometowns, but one for Warrington. In Cheshire]. Birthplace and first club are the two criteria for inclusion. If they aren't looking at the traditional county boundary, how else do you explain these plyer's inclusion? Occam's Razor leads to the conclusion most people would draw.

Of course I cannot refer you to legal legislation on this fact, however, because none has ever existed. Lawmakers have somewhat deeper matters to consider than whether Iestyn Harris is eligible for Lancashire.

Quote - counties are not a matter of tradition but of administration

The construct of "county" exists outside legal frameworks for non-administrative purposes. The word has meaning outside administration. It exists in both spheres with slightly different meanings. Rugby is not an administrative matter, yet we have county matches. Your entire viewpoint appears to relolve on this one statement, and I suspect this may indeed be a minority viewpoint.

Because of this I have questioned the POV nature of the article publically (if you considered my edit POV, I can consider its omission POV) and I will call for mediation. Considerable discussion has already taken place in order to find consensus and it is not forthcoming, so it's the only constructive option at this point. Aquilina 20:32, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

What do they mean by "County match" or is it just an archaic term, kept for PR reasons. Do they have a statment which say "we use the county bounries as of xxxx", what restrictions are placed on the teams as far as selection goes, by the county restriction. Do they strick rigidly to that geography, with regard to exclaves/enclaves.--IanDavies 20:48, 22 January 2006 (UTC)


This is an informal attempt at mediation in the dispute 2006-01-22_Status_of_traditional_counties. --Fasten 14:30, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

The claim is that traditinal counties are still in use. The clearly are not. No organsiation uses the old peremiters. Some private companies like Ciricket Clubs still use the names they alsways have, and some seek to extend there Market area as far as possible by claiming every last bit of territory that may have been in Yorkshire. In the UK there are several groups that capaign for the reinstatment of what they call the traditional counties. They are mostly rather sad middle aged men who want the world back the way it was in thier childhood. Recently a couple of Essex boys drove around around Lancachire re arranging the county boundary signs, to what the wanted them to be. I think they have been charged with criminal damage.--IanDavies 14:46, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
You simply cannot make a statement like "They clearly are not". There are plenty of organisations that use traditional boundaries, in fact by mentioning Cricket Clubs you have already defeated your own argument! An argument, by the way, that isn't helped by categorising traditional county advocates as "sad middle aged men who want the world back the way it was in thier childhood". I am 31. I was born in July 1974, after the administrative changes of that year. Clearly I do not want things back the way they were in my childhood, I just want an acceptance that a general purpose geography and an administrative geography are two separate things. Owain (talk) 14:56, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I haven't defeated my argument at all. County cricket has no restraints on were players or members come from. They simply use the names that is all. You might aswell claim that Mercia is still around as some organisationas use it in there name. You haven't said what any of your users actually use these counties for. What is General Pupose geography people in the Met counties as a matter of course use the met counties to describe their location, that would seem to be the most general purpose, the BBC refer to various city as being in the Met counties.--IanDavies 15:28, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I could list dozens of organisations that use traditional counties as their borders, but what would be the point. You don't seem to think they exist, so what would it prove to you? General purpose geography is just what it says on the tin - identifying where places are. Whoever collects the tax or empties the bins is a complete irrelevance. I wouldn't say that ALL people in the "met counties" necesarily identify with them - just ask people in the Wirral or Wigan for example. But that point re-affirms my argument, general purpose geography in this country has become a mess of traditional, administrative and defunct administrative areas so that nobody quite knows where they are any more. This is the whole point in having a stable geography based on units that are hundreds of years old and well-understood. This has been acknowledged on Wikipedia for some time now. Owain (talk) 18:15, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Then list them and show your evidence. So now your saying there are a whole host of traditinal count boundaries, which one was it you want to keep. Does Yorkshire strech to the Irish sea? You simply mistake the use of a Brand name and assume it represents something.--IanDavies 21:24, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
For goodness sake man, you could do this research yourself, it's not difficult. I am NOT saying that there are a whole host of traditional county boundaries, what I am saying is that there are a whole host of different sets of boundaries that could reasonably be called counties. People, such as yourself, have become confused and mixed them up. I have been trying to get this point over the whole time. The definitive traditional county boundaries are the OS First Edition 1:2500 and 1:10560 maps in the series from 1841. I am not picking and choosing which boundaries to use, I am using the most recent set of boundaries that haven't changed! Just for the record, here is a small list of organistations that are based on my home traditional county of Monmouthshire Owain (talk) 10:10, 30 January 2006 (UTC):
  • Monmouthshire Referees
  • Monmouthshire Railway Society
  • Monmouthshire Masons
  • Monmouthshire Antiquarian Association
  • Monmouthshire Show
Now all you need to do is show thay are using more than the name. Which you haven't done. Yet again depite many times of asking. The problem is your hell bent on forcing your POV through. One look at you Page convinced me that this is the bee in you bonnet.--IanDavies 12:40, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Eh? These organisations have always been called by their respective names, even when in the period between 1974-1996 there was no administrative area called Monmouthshire, and even now despite the area being different to the new unitary authority of the same name. I'm not sure what else you need as proof. You still haven't answered my Lancashire/Blackburn/Blackpool question! Owain (talk) 13:45, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
You have shown they used the names, but a county is an area of land show that they use that, show that the gerography effects the club or its supporters and it entry into competion. Simple using the name does not constitute using the county, it constitutes using the name. You haven't asked any questions that I could find, just provided a large amounts of waffle.--IanDavies 15:17, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

It seems to me that this dispute can be solved with careful wording. Wikipedia has no policy not to mention things that ceased to exist (which would be silly, wouldn't it?) and the existance of a named geographic location, which doesn't have to end with the end of official use (e.g. Subdivisions of Ethiopia), is difficult to establish anyway. We could discuss if the names of traditional counties are still in everyday use, which might establish their existance against the official government non-use but maybe we can find a wording that is satisfactory to both sides without trying to decide (which could be OR) if the traditional counties do exist. I would say analyzing possible motivations of Cricket Clubs without further evidence could be seen as OR. --Fasten 15:50, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Here are the issues as I see it:

The general consensus on this issue is that the newer counties are used for administrative and general use, and that the traditional counties are also used in general conversation and some specialised areas such as sports. This consensus was established last year after a long debate, including much input from Owain and Morwen.

This was enshrined in WP [[Naming conventions (places)], which encourages the use of constructions such as

Coventry is in the West Midlands, and within the traditional borders of Warwickshire
Most of the pigeons were found at Abingdon, then part of Berkshire
Middlesex is a traditional county of England, now mostly covered by Greater London*
Southwark is a village in the London Borough of Southwark in Greater London. It is in the traditional borders of Surrey
Most of the edits reverted by IanDavies fell within these guidelines.
Morwen (who seems the primary WP authority on this issue) has already asked IanDavies to desist on this issue on his talk page. [1]
On county cricket in particular, afaik there is no official statement, because one is not required. Cricket teams are not decided by administrative areas. However, it is generally felt that the de facto situation is that the traditional counties are used, because no change was made when the counties changed. IanDavies' seems to be a somewhat minority POV, in the light of comments from myself, Owain, Proteus and Morwen.
The main problem is with the style of edits: IanDavies has reverted wholesale when he has disagreed with one small part of an edit. Instead changing just one or two words (eg from 'is' to 'was' in most relevant cases) would be both more constructive and better wikiquette. This has caused the problem to escalate more than it ought.
IanDavies has asked for extensive production of evidence. However, as we are dealing with the informal labelling of counties by definition no legislature is forthcoming (especially for sporting matters). Most tellingly however, is IanDavies complementary failure to provide any evidence to back up his deletions. An evidence free deletion should not necessarily hold sway over an edit with (albeit) circumstantial evidence (viz inclusion of rugby).
Believing that traditional counties still exist is regarded on WP as a minority POV. However, there is also a majority POV that a debate really does exist here. IanDavies is holding a minority POV in saying that traditional counties do not exist in any sense because they no longer exist in an administrative sense.
The word 'traditional' is being used for the explicit reason of showing that the county is not being used for modern administrative purposes. In saying that 'X is in a traditional county' there is a direct implication that 'X is now in a different administrative county'. Most of the time this implication is made explicit. Most editors seem content to use this convention.
IanDavies' comments above about traditional county advocates indicate that his edits are being made in somewhat bad faith. I do not care if people's bins in Manchester are collected by Greater Manchester or Lancashire county council; in this sense I am not even one of these advocates. All I am interested in is a consistent application of consensus conventions, and I think this is being prevented at the moment. Aquilina 16:37, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Morwen made no comment on the validity of my argument, her comment read to me. That there are a bunch of nutters on Wikipedia who like to go around insisting that these traditional counties actually exist, and that I should not rattle wake them up because they'll just cause trouble, as you are doing now.
Where is my wholesale revert?
If you cannot define there area then the statement X is in a traditional county. Becomes meaningless.
I don't need evidence to beck up a delete. The onus is on the person posting the stament to provide references.--IanDavies 16:54, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
The areas CAN be and ARE clearly defined! The gazetteer at is just one example. We have an agreed policy here that both 'sides' are happy with, so I'm not quite sure why this argument has to be re-opened again by a newcomer to the party. Owain (talk) 18:15, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

It's a pressure group that want to regress. It's not what most people think of in day today life. It's just wat a group of rectinaries want. It is not usefull as an argument. You just quoting propoganda. Where have the TCCB signed up for this def?--IanDavies 19:12, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Nobody wants anybody to regress. The gazetteer shows traditional county information alongside other information such as local authority, lieutenancy, health authority &c. Perfectly useful. Using traditional counties in a geographical sense is not regressing in any way. No-one is advocating any administrative changes that could be detrimental to anyone just that a historic and well-understood geographic framework should be used. Owain (talk) 19:32, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

IanDavies: There seems indeed to be a consent to refer to pre-1974 counties as traditional counties. I do not know if the consent includes referring to these counties in the past tense only or if the present tense is acceptable. If you are interested in swaying that consent I recommend that you discuss this on Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(places) and/or open a Request for comment on the matter. --Fasten 18:36, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't think there is a consensus the pro traditional counties have just harrased everyone endlessly. Refering to pre 1974 counties as being traditional is nopt the point but that doesn't mean that anyone uses them for anything. That is the crux of the matter. They are not used for anything by anyone. The number of references to the term traditional county is grossly disproportionate.--IanDavies 19:12, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
With respect, you have not been here long enough to see the civilised debate that went on before you. Nobody has "just harrassed everyone endlessly". The statement that "nobody uses them for anything" is demonstrably untrue. You may have a particular chip on your shoulder but making outrageous statements like that does your argument no favours whatsoever. Owain (talk) 19:32, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I've been in the real world not the politics strewn microenvironment that is wikipedia. You Seem to forget thet WikiPedia keeps a log of all arguments.--IanDavies 20:02, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
IanDavies: That last statement seemed irrelevant to me. Do you acknowledge that there has been a consensus? --Fasten 16:25, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Morwen Owain: IanDavies says that the quote from a single person at one cricket club is insufficient to establish that the traditional counties are used by cricket clubs. I would like to add that the deductions you offered concerning cricket clubs constitute Original Research and a Wikipedia article may be the wrong place for that argumentation. --Fasten 18:36, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

That is not the point. The claim was County criket is organised on traditional county boundaries. It is not, it does not have any boundaries or restrictionas on where players come from. It's just archaic name, nothing else.--IanDavies 19:12, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
This argument is circular and absurd. It can be clearly seen that the current teams are named after what we call "traditional counties". If the name is archiac to you then so be it, but it is clearly the case. Owain (talk) 19:32, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Your argument is non existant and your claim of cirularity is just abusrd. What this shows is that you are not interest in the debate or what is said or data provided. You simply interested in stating and restating your opinion and attacking any that disagree with you, not by addressing the substance but by simply engaging in a slagging match.--IanDavies 20:02, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
This is pointless - my argument has plenty of substance and has been stated and explained with numerous examples of substance if you cared to check the history of the debate. I have no trouble with administrative areas and traditional counties peacefully co-existing, each providing a different function. Wikipedia itself is more than capable of providing both pieces of information simultaneously and has been doing so happily before you came along. You are the one that seems incapable of comprehending the fact that there may be multiple things that can be called counties in different contexts. Why have you not answered my Blackburn and Blackpool question further up this page? Owain (talk) 21:08, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
No evidence provided again, just more rhetoric. By the look of it most people where beaten into submission. --IanDavies 21:21, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Answer the question! Evidence provided above... Owain (talk) 10:13, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
You haven't produced any evidence anywhere. Show me one single shred wich links Traditional COunties with COunty Cricket in any practicle way. There are non so you are wrong. Your edits stay out as the are a corrupt .--IanDavies 12:32, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Owain: Cricket clubs that were named after traditional counties, when these were in administrative use, and retain that name today do not represent an endorsement for the use of traditional counties by the cricket clubs. Your claim that this is the case is supported by a single quote and your own argumentation (which I consider Original Research). Did I miss anything relevant from your argumentation? --Fasten 19:15, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Owain: Would you please answer the question? Do you acknowledge that your argumentation constitutes original research? --Fasten 14:24, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
The clubs existed before the administrative counties came into use. Therefore they are clearly not named after the administrative areas. Owain (talk) 14:34, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
If I present anything to you that retains the name of a former colony because it was invented or founded in that colony would you conclude that the colony still exists? I don't quite follow you there. The main issue was however if the clubs endorse the traditional counties explicitly, not implicitly. That explicit endorsement is what you haven't yet supported with evidence that is fit for inclusion in wikipedia (see my previous reference to Original Research). --Fasten 16:16, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
Owain: Would you please explain this edit, removing the above paragraph? --Fasten 14:00, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Possibly an edit conflict. I am more than happy to answer the question, as I have done above. Owain (talk) 14:34, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

IanDavies: Owain asked you to please answer his question: "Do you think Blackburn and Blackpool are in Lancashire or not?". It would be polite if you would answer the question, even if you consider it irrelevant. Of course you can explain why it is irrelevant, but please do so without aggressive language. Criticism is not constructive when the criticised party does not accept your criticism as well considered and justified. --Fasten 18:57, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Fasten when has he answered a single question of mine? Whn have you tried to force him to do so? If you wish to be a mediator perhaps you should mediate. I, if you remeber am still waiting for an example of County Cricket being organised on Traditional COunty lines rather than being an anachronism. It(Blackburn and Blackpool question) is not pertinent to this discussion as this discussion reveloves around the lack of evidence for the claim that county cricket is organised on traditonal county lines, that is the defintion of the area has an effect. Now perhaps you would like to get Owain to produce even the slightest bit of evidence. You do seem to be missing the point rather a lot.--IanDavies 19:10, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
This is a misunderstanding IanDavies, I'm not in a position to force anybody to do anything. If you have any criticism of the mediation please be more concise. "If you wish to be a mediator perhaps you should mediate." is entirely destructive criticism. According to the Categorical Imperative you should aim for behaviour you wish to see yourself and not ask others to start showing that behaviour as a precondition. As a consequence I would kindly ask you to answer his question and I will try to motivate Owain to reply to your questions in a consise and polite manner. --Fasten 19:25, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
I had answered his question. I have highlighted the answer.--IanDavies 20:10, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Could you please repeat your answer here? I can't find it. --Fasten 20:48, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
It(Blackburn and Blackpool question) is not pertinent to this discussion as this discussion reveloves around the lack of evidence for the claim that county cricket is organised on traditonal county lines, that is the defintion of the area has an effect.--IanDavies 21:12, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
I was asking you that you, as a matter of politeness, provide an answer to the question Owain considers important. If you read my note addressed at Owain above you will find that I have expressed doubt myself whether this is relevant or not. Interestingly you responded to my earlier, similar note with the statement "That is not the point." only to then repeat your claim that cricket clubs do not have traditonal counties as their boundaries, which was what I thought my statement might have, if not confirmed, at least supported as a working hypothesis that needs refutation. Why do you dismiss an argument that supports your point without logically disproving it? --Fasten 14:17, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Owain: Would you please explain this edit, removing the above paragraph? --Fasten 14:00, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
As I have said above, possibly an edit conflict. There is no other explanation as to why I would deliberately remove a question aimed at the other party in a debate. Owain (talk) 14:34, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
The Blackburn and Blackpool question IS pertinent to this discussion as you seem to be of the opinion that there is only ONE area called Lancashire which has changed area over time. Further up the page, you wrote "The area covered changed over time. There is Lancashire as it is now and Lancashire as it has been in the past.". I would like to know how you can justify that position given then changes in local government in Blackburn and Blackpool. Owain (talk) 14:42, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Case closed, see Wikipedia:Mediation_Cabal/Cases/2006-01-22_Status_of_traditional_counties#Comments by others --Fasten 19:22, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Reverts of this style aren't helpful

Reverts of the style [2] aren't helpful. Even you wouldn't disagree with the fact that Southport and Bootle together make Sefton, or that public services are provided from Sefton council. You agreed to the inclusion of these statements later. Why did you make me pointlessly type it out three times?
I seem to recall that Morwen suggested at the time the naming convention was decided that the 1847 borders for traditional counties are to be used (changes did occur after this, but like most changes in traditional county borders they were relatively minor).
I strongly suggest that you read [3] (ie the discussions leading up to the naming conventions as well as the conentions themselves) before you make further edits; this is the very least amount of background knowledge to the debate that you should know beforehand. It's a complex issue that other people (principally Morwen and Owain) have a far deeper knowledge on than either of us, and you should heed their advice.
Going against their advice, and editing articles where an (albeit unsteady) settled consensus has been found, like your recent one on Huntingdon, is going to lead you into edit war after edit war.
Labelling people nutters because they have a contrary POV will cause conflict. Labelling people's edits as rubbish will cause conflict [4]. Furthermore, evidence-free deletes are strictly against editing guidelines. A delete is an edit, and edits should be evidenced. There is a burden of evidence on both sides - you should only make a delete if you can disprove the text yourself.
It's far better to leave well alone on this topic. After repeated advice from several editors, further edits about this might be seen as wilfully obstructive. I'm sure there are many other areas on which you could contribute far more constructively. Let's try and aim for a quieter life Aquilina 19:03, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't need to provide evidence for deletes. You need to provide evidence for inclusion. Your attempting to corrupt the Wikipedia and the princples of rational evidence based argument. What your attempting to do is make anyone that disagrees with your prove a negative, which is impossible. The entire basis of Wikipedia is positive proof, not disproof. The advice was from one editor. I beleive I am still waiting for your to give examples of my mas reverts. (Apparently a reply by IanDavies, --Fasten 19:25, 31 January 2006 (UTC)) Sorry forgot to sign.--IanDavies 20:10, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

IanDavies: Could you please state your reasons for the mentioned edit ([5])? It seems to me that you did not delete information because there was any factual inaccuracy or lack of evidence? --Fasten 19:09, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

A. The introduction should identify the location by removing Merseyide. It historial status should be tackled somewhereelse. B. The intro is still to long and would have been longer. C. Demoting Sefton from the location.--IanDavies 21:37, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

The Southport issue should be discussed at Talk:Southport. The issue here is whether the cricket clubs still use traditional counties. A compromise might be "For example, the county cricket clubs are still associated with traditional counties", leaving the issue of whether they use the boundaries in practice, out of it. JPD (talk) 13:28, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Modifications to this talk page

This edit reverted content on this talk page written by other editors. The removals have been reverted. --Fasten 14:13, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

(Owen suggested that it might have been an edit conflict.)
I accept your explanation that it was an unintentional mistake but it cannot have been an edit conflict, it was a lonely edit with nearly a week before and after with no edits. You may have been going through the history of the talk page and edited an old version (reverting the talk page to an older version).
  • 14:32, 16 February 2006 Fasten
  • 15:42, 10 February 2006 Owain
  • 14:28, 3 February 2006 JPD
I recommend that you try to analyze your explanations and your own motivations for presenting arguments a bit better. That might also help in preventing the need for mediation. --Fasten 15:51, 18 February 2006 (UTC)


Why isn't Winchcombeshire listed among the traditional counties of England? In other words, why accept some local authority boundary changes and not others? It all seems pretty hypocritical to me. TharkunColl 12:31, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Not all areas ending with "shire" are necessarily counties. In any case, the traditional/ancient counties have nothing to do with local authority boundaries, they are the current set of boundaries that exist now, independently of local government. Owain (talk) 10:32, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
Couldnt we have a section on "Lost counties" for entities that were once thought of as counties but did not make it into the traditional system. Lumos3 09:57, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
That seems like a good idea to me. Owain (talk) 10:32, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

New revision

I've tried to explain a few points in my latest edit; I've tried to show that the phrase traditional county does not refer to any one set of boundaries, but is rather a general term referring to the pre-administrative county borders. This was reinforced by discovering that this is indeed the use of the phrase "ancient county" by the Office of National Statistics during census compilation in the early part of last century.

The website Vision Of Britain has lots of useful information - it's based at the University of Portsmouth and has lots of information from the ONS on the comilation of censuses and the official use of many types of boundary. As I read more of the site, I'll try and put in references for more of the content in the article.

Further suggestions, as always, welcome. Aquilina 18:27, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I've tried to explain a few points in my latest edit; I've tried to show that the phrase traditional county does not refer to any one set of boundaries, but is rather a general term referring to the pre-administrative county borders.
I think the term is largely used to refer to the boundires from the early 16th century (when the laws of Wales Act came in) to the late 19th, in which period their weren't really any major changes to speak of. I think it's fair to say that the boundaries we call 'traditional counties' sank into the national consciousness during this time. So although it's perfectly fair to say that the term refers to pre-administrative counties (i.e. pre-1889), and think if we're going to say there in no 'canon', there ought to be more details in the article about exactly what changes the boundaries underwent, and when, with appropriate maps. The Doomsday map is a good illustration of this, but many hundreds of years have been skipped, particularly throughout the Elizabethan era, when there were certainly changes in the north, and a number of peculiar entities, including exclaves of scotland, were solidified to create what we now know as Northumberland. I'm probably rambling a bit here, but my point is that if we say that the boundaries have changed considerably, we ought to give more details of these changes. In terms of the 'traditional county movement' (a term still undefined), I'd be surprised if any group is advocating pre-Elizabethan counties and the return of the Marches, so the fact that the boundaries such groups do accept may differ from these shouldn't be used in anything that coulld be construed as a polemical excersie to try to show inconsistency when it isn't really present. The period of most stability mentioned above I think it's fair to acknowledge as the probable source of recognition of traditional counties today, although I'd be happy to be shown evidence to the contrary.
The real question that most needs answering is: what is this article meant to be about? If it's meant to be about the traditional counties as they are seen today by their supporters and detrators, then we probably should stick to whatever set boundaries such people use; where exactly is the evidence that there is much disagreement over boundaries?
If, on the other hand, it's meant to be about the history of the counties prior to 1889, then there's an awful lot of detail both lacking and being sufficated by claim and counter-claim by traditional county opponents and supporters. 19:14, 31 March 2006 (UTC) (
I couldn't agree more. We're trying to patch a rather old leaky vessel here; time is nigh for a full re-write. To think this was once a featured article!
I agree on the need to set a focus. We could either pick the "traditional counties" as proposed by the ABC (as they are the group we have the most information on, but even this is extremely limited), or my current preferred option - on the "ancient counties" as were used by the ONS and government offices, especially in the production of censuses. I prefer this because this is a term and definition that found practical use, and the documentation from the ONS will be available to some determined researcher willing to go to the British Library. Up till then, the visionofbritain website is a detailed and impartial source which we can use profitably.
More detail on particular changes to the boundaries would be excellent - I have not added any because I don't have the sources (I joined WP as a translator!), but I'm sure there is plenty written on the topic. If you can find the info, I'm sure people would be glad to see it incorporated.
As for the pre-1888 sentence, I'll change that to between the sixteenth century and 1888. It will do as a stopgap measure until something better gets written.
It might be worth starting to sketch out an outline for a proposed new article on this talk page: what would you like to see included, and what sources do you propose we use? Aquilina 19:40, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Association of British Counties

I can sympathise with the anonymous editor who removed what was felt to be propaganda today. Equally that information does have a place in wikipedia. I have wikilinked Association of British Counties in the article for people who wish to have a direct reference. Most, if not all, the removed text is present in the Association of British Counties article currently. had it not been I woudl have reverted the prior edit and flagged the section with a "mergeto". Fiddle Faddle 10:53, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

I have reverted as he is banned and the info is relevant here. Lancsalot 10:55, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Works for me. I'm not sure that the info is genuinely relevant in this article, but I don't feel strongly enough either way. Fiddle Faddle 10:57, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Removed text.

There are multiple problems with this text.

Successive governments have generally been quite happy to issue statements saying that the traditional counties still exist, but have been reluctant to pursue these changes. Political parties to have included support for traditional counties in their manifestos include the English Democrats Party and the United Kingdom Independence Party — neither of which has ever had any MPs elected.

Successive governments have been "happy"? Cite. Statements that traditional counties still exist? Cite them, in detail.

In the 1990s the movement enjoyed its greatest success when Rutland became independent of Leicestershire and Hereford and Worcester split to become a unitary authority and shire county respectively — as part of a general local government reform which led to the establishment of many other unitaries. However, the campaign for Huntingdonshire, currently administered as a district of Cambridgeshire, to gain similar status, failed (despite it being pursued by Huntingdon's MP and Prime Minister of the time, John Major). Additionally, the non-metropolitan counties of Avon, Cleveland and Humberside were abolished, and the traditional borders restored for ceremonial purpose.

Cite sources for this being anything to do with the "traditional counties movement" as currently constituted. Most of it also belongs on the article for the campaign, not the counties.

Recent activities undertaken have included lobbying the Boundary Committee regarding the proposed local government reform in the north of England (since abandoned). Suggestions put forward have included basing the names or the borders of the new authorities on traditional counties. Both of these suggestions have been rejected, though the Committee noted a strong level of support in some areas.

This belongs in the article for the group which is doing the campaigning. Just zis Guy you know? 18:34, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

The following statements are well known and are referred to in Hansard here.
"The new county boundaries are administrative areas, and will not alter the traditional boundaries of counties, nor is it intended that the loyalties of people living in them will change despite the different names adopted by the new administrative counties." Government Statement quoted in The Times 1st April 1974
Michael Portillo, then Minister of Local Government and Inner Cities, in a reply of 11 July 1990 to a letter about the status of the County of Avon wrote “I can confirm that the government still stands by the statement ..... that the local authority areas and boundaries introduced in April 1974 do not alter the traditional boundaries of counties. The 1974 arrangements are entirely administrative, and need not affect long-standing loyalties and affinities.”
The administrative changes in 1996 were exactly what the trad counties movement had been campaigning for. Their role in the changes is irrelevant - it still constitutes a success.
The final paragraph, describing the views of the boundary committee on the matter, is clearly relevant to an article on the traditional counties.
Finally, you have left your signature on the main article. You are also supporting the edits of a banned user. I was told all such edits are vandalism. Lancsalot 18:57, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Any edits made by a banned user can be regarded as vandalism and removed "on sight". However, there is nothing to stop a legitimate user replacing them, providing they do not violate any other policy. While the paragraphs in question do contain some factual information, which is relevant to this article, there are some problems with it. For instance, the sentence
Successive governments have generally been quite happy to issue statements saying that the traditional counties still exist, but have been reluctant to pursue these changes.
is not really encyclopaedic in style or tone, and is at best rather vague. Which governments? When? In what context? I appreciate that some of these have been answered above, but they need to be included in the article as proper references.
Also, a distinction needs to be drawn between the concept of a traditional counties movement and the activities of particular lobbying groups. (For instance, a colleague of mine is quite passionate about what constitutes Yorkshire, but as far as I am aware doesn't belong to any organisation or lobbying group.) I agree that the abolition of Avon, Cleveland etc. in 1996 constitutes a "success" for the (abstract) movement and should be mentioned here. However, the lobbying activities of a particular organisation (such as ABC) should be described on the page about that organisation, not here (at least, not in detail). Duplicating content across articles is not necessary.
Finally, the last paragraph doesn't actually describe the Boundary Committee's own view on the subject. A paragraph that did would deserve to remain. --RFBailey 19:36, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

--RFBailey 19:36, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

The opening paragraphs repeat much of the content from this article and should be drastically trimmed down. MRSC 17:38, 2 July 2006 (UTC)


OK - just a thought here (Don't start targetting my edits or shouting treason and the sort! - it's just a point for discussion!) - Why is this article called the "Traditional counties of England"? I don't see this format anywhere else for a geographic Wikipedia entry (Traditional states of America, Traditional Countries of the World, Traditional cuisine of Italy etc).

From the Wikipedia article, Tradition:

"The word tradition, comes from the Latin word traditio which means "to hand down" or "to hand over." It is used in a number of ways in the English language.
# A meme; custom or practice taught by one generation to another, often orally. For example, we can speak of the tradition of sending birth announcements.
# A set of customs or practices. For example, we can speak of Christmas traditions.
# A broad religious movement made up of religious denominations or church bodies that have a common history, customs, culture, and, to some extent, body of teachings. For example, we can speak of Islam's Sufi tradition or Christianity's Lutheran tradition."

These counties were never passed on to me. They have no relevance to any customs of practices that I know of, (they are not even used for ceremonial purposes). Places like Liverpool and Manchester are huge rivals (although they are both in the "Traditional" county of Lancashire), and completely different histories, dialects, architecture and significance.

The word "Traditional" seems to me far too POV, and against the guidelines of WP:V, and Wikipedia:No original research for this article. Traditional Catholicism sounds ok, but say Traditional borders of the Roman Empire, that to me does not sound encyclopedic.

I think the "Ancient counties of England"[6] or "Historic" would be much more appropriate.

Any thoughts? Jhamez84 14:37, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes. What planet are you living on exactly?

Comparison of google hits:

"Manchester Lancashire" = 1.7m "Manchester Greater Manchester" = 0.3m

"Bolton Lancashire" = 470k "Bolton Greater Manchester" = 70k

"Wigan Lancashire" = 360k "Wigan Greater Manchester" = 30k

"Bury Lancashire" = 360k "Bury Greater Manchester" = 30k

"Rochdale Lancashire" = 260k "Rochdale Greater Manchester" = 30k

"Oldham Lancashire" = 260k "Oldham Greater Manchester" = 50k

"Stockport Cheshire" = 800k "Stockport Greater Manchester" = 50k

"Altrincham Cheshire" = 370k "Altrincham Greater Manchester" = 10k

Total results:

Lancashire/Cheshire = 4.6m (88%) Greater Manchester = 0.6m (12%)

Lancsalot 14:49, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I have raised this exact point before on some talkpage or other which disappeared undebated into archive wasteland. The counties are strongly traditional (small t), and are stil used for certain 'ceremonial' purposes (i.e. unofficial ceremonial, not ceremonial as in ceremonial county - e.g. Yorkshire day, prevalent usages of Middlesex in sport etc.).
However, traditional is simply not the adjective in most common academic use - historic (note: no -'al') sees far more usage in academic geography and history and in general political use - just google Hansard for each. This is the best choice of word by our maxim of using common names and WP:V.
Traditional is mainly seen only in the historic county revivalist movement - see the websites of FORL, ABC etc. - and so it should be the adjective of preference if and only if referring to this specifically. Aquilina 14:56, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
"Ancient or Geographical Counties" is a phrase that the GRO coined in 1891, whereas "Historic" is also favoured by the Encyclopædia Britannia and the Association of British Counties. "Traditional" in this context doesn't mean customs or practices, but just a continuing knowledge of. It isn't POV, unverifiable or original research, as a search on the Parliament web site will testify. All three phrases are used interchangably. Owain (talk) 14:57, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure what Lancsalots entry was about, and why he seemed quite so exhasperated for - I'm just raising a point on an internet discussion board in a civil and polite way!... I agree with Aquilina that the use of the word "Traditional" is just not really inline academic prose. I've provided quite a reliable and neutral source (Vision of Britain), which names them as "Ancient counties", and as Owain kindly pointed out, the Encyclopædia Britannia also favours the use of the word "Ancient".
I respect that the words "Traditional" and "Historic" may be interchangable in some circles, but so are others (mistakenly), like say "Nation" and "Country".
I find the use of "Traditional" a little perplexing for the reasons I outlined above, and I think that a revision of this article to "Ancient" counties, may go a long way in calming some edit wars. Jhamez84 15:16, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Errrm... no, Owain pointed out that Historic was preferred in Britannica, and rightly so (e.g. [7]). Ancient on its own isn't anywhere near as prevalent in common usage as historic, which enjoys both academic and colloquial use (I also seem to remember finding that it was the BBC's preferred formulation, too) - if the articles are moved, it should be to their historic equivalents. Aquilina 15:23, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Apologies. Misread that during a phonecall!... I have no objection to "historic" or "ancient", but maintain that Traditional isn't quite appropriate for the same reasons above. Sorry again!! Jhamez84 15:28, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
No problem! So - if anyone has major objections to the move to "historic county ..." titles, please say so now and we'll discuss the move through the formal channels. If not, we can move them en masse in a couple of days. Aquilina 15:36, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
One problem here is that there is no one immutable definition of what consitutes the supposedly historic, historical or traditional. Many of the so-called traditional counties appear to have had a relatively brief existence, in terms of the life of the British Isles, and these areas might just as well be characterised as the Historic Kingdom of Mercia or some such. The problem here is that a barrow is being pushed - the "traditional counties movement" is of very limited political significance but has a great determination to push the idea that its vision of what consitutes the correct county structure is correct, while the present structure used by Government is wrong. As always both sides of the argument have some right on their side. I am wary of giving this more weight than it deserves. Just zis Guy you know? 15:45, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Whilst I agree with that point in principle, I'm trying to stay impartial here. I think that "Historic" actually stipulates a more specific, verifiable, truthful and academically approved county status, rather than "Traditional". All the content could/would remain, but at the same time, I think it would help users against the "traditional counties movement" to be that little more patient, understanding and calm when refering to this areas. Jhamez84 15:51, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Alternatively, given that you say some counties were actually short-lived, the term "Ancient" could be applied should you find and present fair grounds to do so. Otherwise, I see a strong case for "Historic". Jhamez84 15:53, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

'Ancient' suggests past tense but 'historic' can be something current. When you drive into Bedford the signs say it is a 'Historic county town': but it is clearly still there. 'Historic' is the word that has academic precedence, not 'ancient' or 'traditional' (an easily misunderstood and deliberately emotive word: debate surrounding police reform describes the current 43 forces as "traditional county forces", which they are not by any stretch of the imagination). Yorkshire Phoenix 16:03, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
So, it's Historic Mercia, then - which leaves the counties... where, exactly? To use the word "historic" paints it as if history started at some point in the last couple of hundred years. Just zis Guy you know? 16:15, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm very much against this kind of geography, but compare the proposed title with say "Traditional Mercia", or the "Traditional Borders of the Roman Empire", or saying "Ireland is traditionally in Great Britain"... Historic I would've thought suits everybody, would you not want to reconsider? Jhamez84 16:20, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Historic does not mean the same as historical. And 90% of people in South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire say you are wrong. Lancsalot 16:39, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't think most people in these areas know who I am, let alone remember taking a difinitive referendum on this!... Using Google as a statistical claim to truth is a flawed conjecture. Google may contain erroneous and duplicate data, it may also include data of historic significance. A google search will undoubtedly contain "MILLIONS" (if not billions) of historic geneological entries, from censuses, duplicated on different sites, from every ten years! Additionally, in comparison, the length of existence of Lancashire and Greater Manchester are very different. Hence the reason why we recieve Google stats as such. I'm sure if I had presented this data for the opposite cause you would assert the same objections.
I don't really know what to say to you - you seem to be missing the point, and throwing statistics at me that are doing little to justify why we should keep the word "Traditional". You seem adamant that I'm trying to delete this article - I'm not! - If you want to make a case that I'm committing somekind of vandalism, please feel free to report me. I'm actually here for a discussion, trying to improve this article via a correction to the title. Jhamez84 16:56, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
You claimed that traditional counties "have no relevance to any customs of practices that I know of" and I have proved you wrong. You are correct about the length of existence of the two counties (GM only really existed for 12 years) - which simply proves that Lancashire is of far greater significance. Google of course has been in existence for even fewer years. And half the hits for GM are probably from Wikipedia, due to the naming conventions used here. Speaking of which, they state clearly that we should "determine prevalent usage". I have done just that, and on that basis propose replacing GM with Lancashire and Cheshire in all applicable articles. If there are no objections I'll atart on this tomorrow. Lancsalot 17:08, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
No. The fact that few acknowledge here is that both systems justifiably exist, they are just different. One is defined in law, one is not. Administration exclusively uses one, one is used exclusively but extensively colloquially. One does not have a long history, the other has a few centuries of established usage. Both are useful to the reader in different ways. So for the encyclopaedia's and readers' sake, use both. Use post-1974 geography first, as it has been current, legal definition, and follow it with by the older geographies. Aquilina 17:38, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

JzG: you are assuming firstly that historic lends more weight than traditional, which has not been demonstrated. Secondly, this doesn't matter in the light of actual usage - the phrase historic county is used, and it is used to refer to the entities referred to in the article. Whether it ought to be is a secondary matter of opinion. Thirdly, this oft-repeated Wikipedian chestnut of historic counties being relatively recent is largely fallacious. Yes, there were many modifications, but these were insignificantly minor - the overwhelming majority of towns were part of exactly the same county for many hundreds of years up to 1974. It is disingenuous to say that a city such as Manchester has an insignificant association with the county of Lancashire, just because the border between Lancashire and Yorkshire changed at Todmorden a couple of times over five-hundred years, and it has been part of Greater Manchester for 30 years. A significant proportion of people in Bolton currently use the word Lancashire to refer to the pre-1974 borders of Lancashire - the vast majority of those in the kingdom of Mercia do not. Therein hangs the tale. Aquilina 17:27, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for that Aquilina. But as you rightly said, the suggestion I made above was ultimately about the use of the word "Traditional" in the title. I'm not interested in being drawn into whether or not Greater Manchester exists! I'm looking here for discussions, objections, suggestions and consensus about this title change.
I'm sensing a growing warmth and understanding towards the term "Historic", as it is not only the least emotive, but also it seems the most academic and verifiable term to use. I maintain that for the reasons aformentioned that the article's title should be altered. Do we need to go down the formal channels, and/or are there any really strong and justifiable objections to this? Jhamez84 17:49, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
User:Lancsalot's list at the top of this section is not representative of the whole of the UK: it only covers Greater Manchester. The likely reason for Greater Manchester not entering the public consciousness was because the Royal Mail didn't adopt it as a postal county. Trying this with other places which have moved county, we have further examples:
"Birmingham Warwickshire" 61,000, "Birmingham West Midlands" 2.2 million
"Wolverhampton Staffordshire" 25,000, "Wolverhampton West Midlands" 392,000
"Liverpool Lancashire" 66,000, "Liverpool Merseyside" 1.2 million
"Birkenhead Cheshire" 22,000, "Birkenhead Merseyside" 140,000
"Hoylake Cheshire" 844, "Hoylake Merseyside" 686
"Southport Lancashire" 36,000, "Southport Merseyside" 199,000
"Christchurch Hampshire" 12,000, "Christchurch Dorset" 296,000
"Tynemouth Northumberland" 846, "Tynemouth Tyne and Wear"/"Tynemouth Tyne & Wear" 1009
"Sedbergh Yorkshire" 700, "Sedbergh Cumbria" 43,000
"Carlisle Cumberland" 41,000, "Carlisle Cumbria" 423,000
"Twickenham Middlesex" 396,000, "Twickenham Greater London"/"Twickenham London" 90,000
"Croydon Surrey" 711,000, "Croydon Greater London"/"Croydon London" 248,000
"Staines Middlesex" 193,000, "Staines Surrey" 21,000
So, with a couple of exceptions, the "modern" counties tend to dominate, except when the Royal Mail kept using the traditional ones (i.e. not Greater Manchester or Greater London). Incidentally, I checked that this was the same approach that Lancsalot used and gave the same answers (however, searching for "Oldham Manchester" produces another 40,000 or so results, and similarly for the other GM towns). --RFBailey 08:14, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Describing these places as having "moved county" is wildly misleading and represents part of the problem of county confusion caused by the infusion of historic geographic names with local government and the Post Office making up its own counties (a move they subsequently reversed with their "flexible addressing policy"). What relevance do these statistics have to a discussion about changing the name from traditional to historic anyway (question to Lancsalot as well as Bailey)? Yorkshire Phoenix 08:30, 6 July 2006 (UTC)


I was considering suggesting a change to ancient several times but was scared it would degenerate into a long and pointless argument of entrenched view points. My reasoning is that I have never seen traditional widely used anywhere other than here and AofBC. The entities we are dealing with here are certainly of ancient origin and that is often the fact that is asserted by the enthusiasts of their continued existence. MRSC 12:22, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

The problem with the vote is that I have no problem with any of the options! Historic is used by the Encyclopædia Britannica and Association of British Counties whereas ancient is the original phrase coined by the General Registrar's Office and used by Vision of Britain amongst others. All three phrases have been used in Parliament, so I'm not sure where that leaves us! Owain (talk) 12:43, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
I love the juxtaposition of a world-renowned encyclopaedia and a small group of zealots whose web server apparently used to go offline every night :-) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by JzG (talkcontribs) .
I've edited "Ancient and geographic" down to "Ancient" as geographic (rightly or wrongly) is sometimes used for ceremonial counties. MRSC 13:43, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Seeking consensus

(Please enter # ~~~~ under one of the options to clarify your position.)

Keep as Traditional counties:

  1. Lancsalot 09:19, 13 September 2006 (UTC) (ain't broke don't fix)

Change to Historic counties:

  1. Yorkshire Phoenix 07:37, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
  2. Jhamez84 10:05, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
  3. Aquilina 22:52, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
  4. Richard Harvey 22:27, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
  5. G-Man * 23:45, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Change to Ancient counties:

  1. Morwen - Talk 16:57, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
  2. MRSC 13:41, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

This has long since gone quiet. I note there are only votes to make a change, and I am happy for my vote to count with the 'historic'. Shall we make the move? MRSC 09:28, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
(Just seen the edit history) And not by a cut and paste move! MRSC 09:31, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
This should've been acted on. However I suspect nobody daren't!! 14:46, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Yep, feel free to go ahead. The major job is to fix all the old links to the current name - i.e. change all the links in here to historic (an AWB if ever I've seen one). Aquilina 15:48, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't mind helping fix the inbound links if someone will make the page move. MRSC 06:05, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
The Historic counties of England is currently locked/in use, hense a move of this article at present is impossible. I've contacted an admin to clear the page asap so we can make the move. Hope that helps clarify a little.Jhamez84 00:38, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I've moved it now. G-Man * 00:53, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Please add Czech interwiki

I just begun write czech version of this article, but I can't add to english version czech interwiki :-( Czech version has name "Anglická tradiční hrabství" see: --KirkEN 22:09, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Thank you very much :-) --KirkEN 08:58, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

South coast of England.

Article says:

Only one county on the south coast of England has the suffix "-shire".

This is sort of true, and sort of not true. Dorsetshire and Devonshire are not usually used, but they aren't incorrect in the way that Kentshire or Sussexshire or Cornwallshire would be. It seems wrong to conflate these two separate instances. john k 20:24, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree. These forms may not be commonly-used, but they are not wrong either. "County of X" and "X-shire" are usually equivalent. In fact, certain older documents even refer to Kentshire, Sussexshire, &c. Perhaps the wording could be altered to "Only one county on the south coast of England usually has the suffix "-shire" in common usage"? Owain (talk) 09:31, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Or, "In only one county on the south coast of England is the suffix "-shire" generally used." Or something. BTW, what's the total ratio of names? For no "-shire" you have

  1. Kent
  2. Surrey
  3. Sussex
  4. Middlesex
  5. Essex
  6. Dorset (although Dorsetshire can be used)
  7. Devon (although Devonshire can be used)
  8. Cornwall
  9. Somerset (although Somersetshire can be used)
  10. Rutland
  11. Durham
  12. Cumberland
  13. Northumberland
  14. Westmorland
  15. Norfolk
  16. Suffolk

Whereas for "-shire" you have

  1. Bedfordshire
  2. Berkshire
  3. Buckinghamshire
  4. Cambridgeshire
  5. Cheshire
  6. Derbyshire
  7. Gloucestershire
  8. Hampshire
  9. Herefordshire
  10. Hertfordshire
  11. Huntingdonshire
  12. Lancashire
  13. Leicestershire
  14. Lincolnshire
  15. Northamptonshire
  16. Nottinghamshire
  17. Oxfordshire
  18. Shropshire
  19. Staffordshire
  20. Warwickshire
  21. Wiltshire
  22. Worcestershire
  23. Yorkshire

Not that big an advantage for "Shire", although some of the non-shire counties can be called with it. john k 17:55, 11 August 2006 (UTC)


Mais oui! highlighted an imported point when he removed information regarding the status of Monmouthshire and any other references to Welsh and Scottish counties. Why do we have a separate Traditional counties of England article instead of Historic counties of Great Britian (where the removed information could be included)? Yorkshire Phoenix (talk) 12:12, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Largely because they have different origins and fates. Morwen - Talk 12:42, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
All counties have different origins. Berkshire has a different origin from Lanacashire for example. Owain (talk) 14:20, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Mais Oui! hasn't removed the info regarding the status of Monmouthshire for a start. You are a vandal who is trying to replace all references to England with United Kingdom on Wikipedia, to promote your incredbly bizarre point of view. From looking at your edits, you had yet to make a single worthwhile edit. 14:01, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I added it back in. Owain (talk) 14:20, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps if you would keep the same IP address for more than a couple of edits, or register (if you're allowed) then we could critique your contributions? St Helens being in the United Kingdom is an "incredbly bizarre point of view"? Yorkshire Phoenix (talk) 14:29, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

St. Helens is in Merseyside, England. My IP? My contributions? The contributions I have made have been made after seeing your efforts to remove all mention of England. Your username doesn't validate the worthless edits you continue to make, which are often reverted by numerous editors, only for you to revert them back again - forcing your POV. Yes, you have an incredbly bizarre point of view - the userbox on your userpage says it all, plus the fact you are now trying to get rid of this article. 14:48, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

"St. Helens is in Merseyside, England." Are you trying to say that St Helens is not in Lancashire or the United Kingdom? Both of which would be very POV - no wonder can't register! Yorkshire Phoenix (talk) 16:07, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
It's probably best if everyone would ignore or delete comments of this hardbanned user. Morwen - Talk 06:53, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Government Statements


It would be very useful if someone could get access to The Times of April 1st 1974, and see what statement was being quoted by whom. This seems to be an important article of faith to the trad county movementarians.

I'm not sure that [8] is much of a source. The whole page is distinctly POV. I wonder what Department of the Environment document they are quoting?

See also discussion here.

Lozleader 14:25, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

I can investigate this in the British Library's newspaper collection at Colindale at some point. Don't know when I'll get there, mind. Morwen - Talk 14:37, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Most reasonably sized reference libraries have the Times on microfilm. Not mine of course Lozleader 14:52, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Or better still allow you to access the Times Diigital Archive online from home: huzzah!

from The Times, April 1, 1974

New areas are administrative

According to a Department of the Environment official, the new county boundaries are solely for the
purpose of defining areas of first-level government of the future:"They are administrative
areas and will not alter the traditional boundaries of counties, nor is it
intended that ther loyalties of people living in them will change."
Citing Middlesex as an example, he said that although that county had been swallowed up in Greater
London in 1965 and disappeared for governmental purposes, the name still exists for
postal and other reasons. "Similarly the broad acres known as Yorkshire will remain unaltered despite
the different names adopted by the new administrative counties."

This comes from page II of a special 12 page report entitled "Yorkshire and Humberside", detailing the changes in that area. Lozleader 15:40, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Oh yes, the article was written by Raymond Gledhill, Local Government correspondent of the Yorkshire Post, and was entitled "White Rose ties hold fast despite amputations and shake-up of boundaries"

Lozleader 15:47, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

So part of wording supplied by the Times and not attributed to the DoE has been misattributed to the government - also the best words have been cherry-picked (the reference to Middlesex doesn't quite follow the party line). Morwen - Talk 15:52, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
The Hansard link doesn't contain the thing quoted to it. However, on the next page from the Hansard link a far more equivical quotation is given - shall we quote that as well? Morwen - Talk 16:09, 15 September 2006 (UTC)