Friends of Real Lancashire

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Friends of Real Lancashire
Friends of Real Lancashire.png
AbbreviationFORL
Formation1995
FounderMr Chris Dawson
PurposePromote, protect and preserve what it views as the true identity of Lancashire
Location
President
Mr Chris Dawson
Chairman
Mr Philip Walsh
Affiliations Association of British Counties
Website www.forl.co.uk

Friends of Real Lancashire (FORL) is a pressure group affiliated to the Association of British Counties calling for the wider recognition of the historic boundaries of Lancashire in England. Its chairman is Philip Walsh.

Contents

Background

The historic borders of Lancashire. Lancashire Brit Isles Sect 3.svg
The historic borders of Lancashire.
Local government Lancashire shown in red, with two unitary authorities in ceremonial Lancashire orange. EnglandLancashire.png
Local government Lancashire shown in red, with two unitary authorities in ceremonial Lancashire orange.

The Friends of Real Lancashire are concerned to promote what they view as, the true boundaries of the county, namely those of the County Palatine of Lancaster. The current local government boundary of Lancashire was established in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972. [3] [4] Lancashire saw more upheaval from this Act than most counties, having most of its population transferred to the new counties: Manchester and the rest of south east Lancashire became part of Greater Manchester; Liverpool and the rest of south west Lancashire became part of Merseyside; Furness became part of Cumbria; and Warrington and Widnes became part of Cheshire. [5]

According to the FORL website, in 1974 "the Government at that time stated that the "new counties" were administrative areas only, and that the boundaries of traditional counties such as Lancashire had not been changed. Unfortunately, the media refer to these administrative areas all too frequently and ignore the fact that places such as Barrow-in-Furness, Liverpool, Manchester, Warrington, etc. are still in Lancashire." [6]

The boundary changes [7] were not intended to affect loyalties but they caused concern in some areas [3] [8] and in practice it is the new boundaries [8] [9] which are now shown on maps and marked by road signs. They have also been widely adopted by the media as geographical designations, despite that many within the new counties continue to regard themselves as Lancastrians.[ citation needed ] The historic county boundaries continue to be used as the basis for organisations such as the Duchy of Lancaster, Lancashire County Cricket Club and Lancashire County Football Association (although its area overlaps with the Liverpool and Manchester Football Associations, both of which predate their corresponding metropolitan counties).

The area under the control of Lancashire County Council, or shire county, became even smaller in 1998 when Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen became unitary authorities. [10] Although they remain part of the ceremonial county, they are often no longer mapped as part of Lancashire and "Welcome to Lancashire" road signs have been placed on their boundaries with the shire county.

The group counts at least nine MPs (Jake Berry, Gordon Birtwistle, Simon Danczuk, Nigel Evans, Lindsay Hoyle, John Leech, David Nuttall, John Pugh and Ben Wallace) amongst its supporters [6] and has been mentioned in Hansard . [11] It has received limited support within local government, [12] and its campaign has also mentioned in the local press. [13] Lancashire Life magazine identifies itself as an enthusiastic supporter of the group and continues to cover the historic county area. [14]

Aims

FORL has the following aims:

The group also campaigns to have public bodies named in accordance with historic rather than contemporary county names e.g. NHS ambulance authority reforms. However, they do not propose any changes to administrative boundaries. [15]

Successes

FORL's campaign has met with limited success. In 1994 it raised a petition with 30,000 signatures calling "for the restoration of Lancashire's historic boundaries" [11] [16] – the petition requested that the "Metropolitan Counties of Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cumbria [17] be abolished and the real and historic county of Lancashire be restored". In response to other suggestions of restoring former boundaries, the Government has commented that although it has no plans to restore the historic borders of counties, boundary changes that have occurred need not affect loyalties. [18]

The Local Government Commission for England made draft recommendations in as part of a review of the structure of local government in Cumbria that the "areas of Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council and South Lakeland District Council formerly in Lancashire should be returned to historic Lancashire for ceremonial and related purposes". [19] The final recommendations noted that "the Commission heard from few people on this subject during the consultation period, although support was indicated by the Friends of Real Lancashire", and consequently proposed no change. [20]

The group succeeded in having signs erected near Clitheroe, Nelson and Colne marking the traditional border with the West Riding of Yorkshire, on roads which are currently managed by Lancashire County Council, and paid for at no expense to that body. [21] A similar request to Cumbria County Council, to mark the historic borders between Westmorland and Cumberland and Lancashire was denied in 1996. [22]

In 2001, the leader of the council was presented with a framed map, created by the group, depicting the historic boundaries. It was put on display at County Hall. [23] Lancaster City Council endorsed the group's position in June 2002, resolving that the Council "support the Friends of Real Lancashire’s campaign to restore the former geographical county boundaries". [24]

The Royal Mail no longer require the use of their former postal counties when addressing letters and instead use the postcode and post town to direct mail. As part of their flexible addressing policy, anyone may now include "Lancashire" as part of their address. Where a county is provided however, it will be ignored and to this end, an alias file supplement to the Postcode Address File cross references county and other postally-not-required information to the correct postal address. [25]

In 2013, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles formally recognised and acknowledged the continued existence of England's 39 historic counties, including the traditional boundaries of Lancashire. [26] [27] [28]

Lancashire Day

As part of its campaign the group has adopted 27 November as Lancashire Day, this being the day in 1295 when Lancashire sent its first representatives to Parliament. It was first celebrated in 1996 with the Loyal Toast to "The Queen, Duke of Lancaster". Lancashire Day paralleled the similar Yorkshire Day, first held in 1975. At formal events and Lancastrian military events "Long live our noble Duke", an unofficial Lancashire variant of "God save the Queen" is played in respect for the Duke of Lancaster, the Queen.

Lancashire Day has been widely publicised, including mentions on the BBC website. [29] It has received support from both district councils [30] [31] and the county council. [32]

See also

Related Research Articles

Lancashire County of England

Lancashire is a ceremonial county in North West England. The administrative centre is Preston, while Lancaster is still the county town. The borders of the ceremonial county were created by the Local Government Act 1972 and enclose a population of 1,449,300 and an area of 1,189 square miles (3,080 km2). However, this is only a small portion of the extent of the historic county palatine, which includes the large cities of Manchester and Liverpool as well as the Furness and Cartmel peninsulas in the Lake District, and has an area of 1,909 square miles (4,940 km2). Many of these places still identify strongly with the county, particularly in areas of Greater Manchester where Lancashire is still used as part of the postal address. The population of Lancashire in the 1971 census was 5,118,405, making it the most heavily populated county in the United Kingdom at the time.

Lancaster, Lancashire Human settlement in England

Lancaster (,) is a cathedral city and the county town of Lancashire, England. It stands on the River Lune and has a population of 52,234. The wider City of Lancaster local government district has a population of 138,375. The House of Lancaster was a branch of the English royal family, whilst the Duchy of Lancaster holds large estates on behalf of Elizabeth II, who is also the Duke of Lancaster. As an ancient settlement, it is marked by Lancaster Castle, Lancaster Priory Church, Lancaster Cathedral and the Ashton Memorial. It is home to Lancaster University and has a campus of the University of Cumbria.

Westmorland historic county of England

Westmorland is a historic county in north west England. It formed an administrative county between 1889 and 1974, after which the whole county was administered by the new administrative county of Cumbria. In 2013, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, formally recognised and acknowledged the continued existence of England's 39 historic counties, including Westmorland.

Historic counties of England Geographical designations for areas of England, based on historical traditions

The historic counties of England are areas that were established for administration by the Normans, in many cases based on earlier kingdoms and shires created by the Anglo-Saxons and others. They are alternatively known as ancient counties, traditional counties, former counties or simply as counties. In the centuries that followed their establishment, as well as their administrative function, the counties also helped define local culture and identity. This role continued even after the counties ceased to be used for administration after the creation of administrative counties in 1889, which were themselves amended by further local government reforms in the years following.

Cumberland Historic county of England

Cumberland is a historic county of North West England that had an administrative function from the 12th century until 1974. It was bordered by Northumberland to the east, County Durham to the southeast, Westmorland and Lancashire to the south, and the Scottish counties of Dumfriesshire and Roxburghshire to the north. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974 and now forms part of Cumbria.

Duchy of Lancaster The private estate of the British sovereign as Duke of Lancaster

The Duchy of Lancaster is the private estate of the British sovereign as Duke of Lancaster. The principal purpose of the estate is to provide a source of independent income to the sovereign. The estate consists of a portfolio of lands, properties and assets held in trust for the sovereign and is administered separately from the Crown Estate. The duchy consists of 18,433 ha of land holdings, urban developments, historic buildings and some commercial properties across England and Wales, particularly in Cheshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Savoy Estate in London. The Duchy of Lancaster is one of two royal duchies: the other is the Duchy of Cornwall, which provides income to the Duke of Cornwall, which is traditionally held by the Prince of Wales.

Association of British Counties a society dedicated to promoting awareness of the continuing importance of the Historic Counties of Britain.

The Association of British Counties (ABC) is a non-party-political society formed in 1989 by television personality Russell Grant to promote the historic counties of the United Kingdom. It argues that the historic counties are an important part of Britain's cultural heritage and as such should be preserved and promoted. It also proposes that there be a clear official distinction between the historic counties and the administrative units known as counties—first described as a separate entity in the Local Government Act 1888.

Salford Hundred

The Salford Hundred was one of the subdivisions of the historic county of Lancashire, in Northern England (see:Hundred. Its name alludes to its judicial centre being the township of Salford. It was also known as the Royal Manor of Salford and the Salford wapentake.

Local Government Act 1972 United Kingdom legislation

The Local Government Act 1972 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed local government in England and Wales on 1 April 1974. It was one of the most significant Acts of Parliament to be passed by the Heath Government of 1970–74 and is surpassed only by the European Communities Act 1972 which took the United Kingdom into the European Communities.

Non-metropolitan county county-level entity in England that is not a metropolitan county

A non-metropolitan county, or colloquially, shire county, is a county-level entity in England that is not a metropolitan county. The counties typically have populations of 300,000 to 1.4 million. The term shire county is, however, an unofficial usage. Many of the non-metropolitan counties bear historic names and most, such as Wiltshire and Staffordshire, end in the suffix "-shire". Of the remainder, some counties had the "-shire" ending but have lost it over time, such as Devon and Somerset.

History of Lancashire aspect of history

Lancashire is a county of England, in the northwest of the country. The county did not exist in 1086, for the Domesday Book, and was apparently first created in 1182, making it one of the youngest of the traditional counties.

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England Subdivisions of England

Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties are one of the four levels of subdivisions of England used for the purposes of local government outside Greater London and the Isles of Scilly. As originally constituted, the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties each consisted of multiple districts, had a county council and were also the counties for the purposes of Lieutenancies. Later changes in legislation during the 1980s and 1990s have allowed counties without county councils and 'unitary authority' counties of a single district. Counties for the purposes of Lieutenancies are now defined separately, based on the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties.

CountyWatch is a direct action group in the United Kingdom that was set up in 2004 to remove what they consider to be wrongly placed county boundary signs – i.e. signs that do not mark the historic or ancient county boundaries of England and Wales. Since 2005, Count Nikolai Tolstoy has been a patron of CountyWatch. CountyWatch and its supporters claim to have removed, re-sited or erected 80 county boundary signs in Dorset, County Durham, Greater Manchester, Hampshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, Somerset and Warwickshire.

Municipal Borough of Swinton and Pendlebury

Swinton and Pendlebury was a local government district of the administrative county of Lancashire, England. It was created in 1894 as an urban district and enlarged in 1934, gaining the status of a municipal borough.

Local Government Commission for England (1992)

The Local Government Commission for England was the body responsible for reviewing the structure of local government in England from 1992 to 2002. It was established under the Local Government Act 1992, replacing the Local Government Boundary Commission for England. The Commission could be ordered by the Secretary of State to undertake "structural reviews" in specified areas and recommend the creation of unitary authorities in the two-tier shire counties of England. The Commission, chaired by John Banham, conducted a review of all the non-metropolitan counties of England from 1993 to 1994, making various recommendations on their future.

The Lancastrian Brigade was an administrative formation of the British Army from 1948 to 1968. The Brigade administered the regular infantry regiments of northwest England.

The history of local government in Yorkshire is unique and complex. Yorkshire is the largest historic English county and consists of a diverse mix of urban and rural development with a heritage in agriculture, manufacturing, and mining. After a long period of very little change, it has been subject to a number of significant reforms of local government structures in modern times, some of which were controversial. The most significant of these was the Local Government Act 1972 and the 1990s UK local government reform. It currently corresponds to several counties and districts and is mostly contained within the Yorkshire and the Humber region.

2009 structural changes to local government in England 2009 changes to the structure of state administration on a local level in England

Structural changes to local government in England were effected on 1 April 2009, whereby a number of new unitary authorities were created in parts of the country which previously operated a 'two-tier' system of counties and districts. In five shire counties the functions of the county and district councils were combined into a single authority; and in two counties the powers of the county council were absorbed into a significantly reduced number of districts.

Lancashire Day

Lancashire Day is the county day of historic Lancashire in England. It is held on 27 November to commemorate the day in 1295 when Lancashire first sent representatives to Parliament, to attend the Model Parliament of King Edward I. Lancashire Day was first held in 1996.

References

  1. Vision of Britain Archived October 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine - Ancient county boundaries
  2. Vision of Britain Archived 2007-10-01 at the Wayback Machine - Shire county boundaries
  3. 1 2 Elcock, H., Local Government, (1994)
  4. Barlow, I., Metropolitan Government, (1991)
  5. Arnold-Baker, C., Local Government Act 1972,(1973)
  6. 1 2 The Friends of Real Lancashire
  7. Kingdom, J., Local Government and Politics in Britain, (1991)
  8. 1 2 Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Aspects of Britain: Local Government, (1996)
  9. Bryne, T., Local Government in Britain, (1994)
  10. UK-SI 1996-1868. - The Lancashire (Boroughs of Blackburn and Blackpool) (Structural Change) Order 1996
  11. 1 2 https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199596/cmhansrd/vo951204/debtext/51204-30.htm |chapter-url= missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) . House of Commons. 4 December 1995. col. 116.
  12. South Lakeland District Council Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine - Minutes of meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee held on 26 September 1995
  13. Lake District News Archived 2 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine - Atkinson, D., Changing boundaries prompt timely research!, (2004)
  14. Lancashire Life magazine
  15. "Very little needs to be done to undo the damage to this county identity that has occurred since 1974, but unless steps are taken now, we run the risk of losing this very important part of our heritage. You can help by always referring to the geographical county in which you live, not the administrative county." http://forl.co.uk/county_confusion.php
  16. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199394/cmhansrd/1994-04-21/Debate-13.html |chapter-url= missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) . House of Commons. 21 April 1994. col. 1146.
  17. Cumbria is actually a shire county
  18. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199596/cmhansrd/vo960131/text/60131w20.htm |chapter-url= missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) . House of Commons. 31 January 1996. col. 821.
  19. Local Government Commission for England. The Future Local Government of Cumbria: Draft Recommendations. June 1994.
  20. Local Government Commission for England. Final Recommendations on the Future Local Government of Cumbria. October 1994.
  21. Ancient boundary signs to be revived [ permanent dead link ] Telegraph & Argus. January 8, 2000.
  22. Cumbria County Council Economy and Environment Sub-Committee minutes Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine 7 May 1996
  23. This is Lancashire Archived 3 January 2008 at Archive.today - County map shows 'real' borders, (2001)
  24. Lancaster City Council minutes 10 July 2002
  25. Royal Mail, Address Management Guide, (2004)
  26. "Eric Pickles: celebrate St George and England's traditional counties". Department for Communities and Local Government. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  27. Kelner, Simon (23 April 2013). "Eric Pickles's championing of traditional English counties is something we can all get behind". London: The Independent. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  28. Garber, Michael (23 April 2013). "Government 'formally acknowledges' the Historic Counties to Celebrate St George's Day". Association of British Counties. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  29. BBC - Lancastrians' pride in heritage
  30. Lancaster City Council Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine - Meeting of the Lancaster City Council. 17 December 2003 (PDF)
  31. Wyre Borough Council Archived 2011-05-16 at the Wayback Machine - Lanky Rules OK On Wyre’s Lancashire Day
  32. Lancashire County Council Archived 2004-02-22 at the Wayback Machine - News: Lancashire Day Fun