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The North-South Divide

A conversation with morganmuffle yesterday, got me curious where people think the North-South divide is, so a poll:

This is probably going to completely fail due to people jumping on stereotypes, but without really thinking too hard about it, if you had to put a north-south divide line on a map where would you put it?

Poll #1350240 UK North-South Divide

The UK North-South divide is around which of the following:

Worcester/Milton Keynes/Cambridge
Oxford/Hemel Hempsted/Chelmsford


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
16th Feb, 2009 17:39 (UTC)
I think of it as diagonal: all of East Anglia (Cambridge, Peterborough, Norwich) is below it, but the West Midlands (Birmingham, Coventry) are above it. (Clearly actual northerners will disagree with me.)
16th Feb, 2009 17:42 (UTC)
There are at least three UK North/South divides; the obvious one between Scotland and England, the one between southern England and northern England, and the one between south Wales and north Wales. There's arguably two more within Scotland, either side of the Central Belt.

If asked to put in a UK North/South divide, I'd probably ignore the Welsh and just stick one between England and Scotland.

(Edit: Having been born in Poole and grown up in Elgin gives me rather a broad scope for UK wide North/South discussions.)

Edited at 2009-02-16 17:45 (UTC)
16th Feb, 2009 17:43 (UTC)
I was brought up near Newcastle and have lived for the last 15 years on the Isle of Wight. To me, the divide starts a little south of Durham, seen from one side, and a little north of Winchester when seen from the other :-)

From Berwick to Durham is North, then you get the Midlands around York or so, everywhere south of there is, well, South.

Conversely, the South only goes up as far as Winchester; Oxford is in the Midlands, so up from there must be North.

There isn't so much a dividing line, as far as I'm concerned: it's more that the M1 is an umbilical cord through a hazy area between Oxford and York that doesn't really exist. Northampton, Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, Derby... they'd all be pretty much on a level, if they weren't just made-up names in stories :-D
16th Feb, 2009 17:46 (UTC)
Watford! The N/S divide is the Watford gap :-)
16th Feb, 2009 18:49 (UTC)
See! That's what I said (though Watford Gap is quite a bit further north than Watford itself)
16th Feb, 2009 18:59 (UTC)
Yes, but I said Liverpool and look at the poll at the moment...
16th Feb, 2009 19:04 (UTC)
Apparently your flist agree with you! Though it's fairly close between the two choices I think.
17th Feb, 2009 00:49 (UTC)
What can I say? My flist clearly love me :-)

I was very surprised when Liverpool was winning though. Was actually expecting somethig like 90% Birmingham with pretty much just me as far north as Liverpool...
16th Feb, 2009 19:44 (UTC)
16th Feb, 2009 18:00 (UTC)
I found it hard to answer since my mental picture of the country includes a broad swathe of land somewhere in between the south and the north.

My Mum(born in Derby) always swears blind that Derby is in "the north", even though she puts other places that are further north than Derby as firmly Midlands. My Dad, from Glasgow, counts the whole of England as the south. I did once participate in a bizarre annotation of a map, in which everyone present had very idiosyncratic views of the issue, from Pellinor's one quoted above, to one that claimed that small Cornish fishing villages, for example, were "north", because they felt rugged and subject to the elements.
16th Feb, 2009 19:20 (UTC)
I think I decide by the way people from that place speak; if they say "barth" and "get ap" the place is in the south, if they say "bathh" and "get oop" the place is in the north. If they are Scottish, they are also north because Scotland is clearly north of the line, and I think of Wales and N. Ireland as a category of their own independent of northness or southness partially because my geography is shit and I don't actually know how far north the island of Ireland is except that it's somewhere between Orkney and Cornwall and if you set off from Holyhead and go west you either get run over by a ferry or end up in Ireland.

I freely admit I have considerable fail...
17th Feb, 2009 00:52 (UTC)
I've never been consistent in my pronunciation of those sort of words.

Bath I definitely say southernly
Grass I say northernly
Glass I seem to switch between the 2 at random
16th Feb, 2009 23:07 (UTC)
I always confuse people. By all technicalities, I am a Southerner (born in Hemel, grew up in Essex) but consider myself a Northerner because I was brought up much more by my Northern, Lancashire mother than my Hertfordshire-born father. Cultural identity has a lot to do with it - I have Northern values, attitudes, outlooks, not just a Lancashire accent. Plus I'm a NW Cloggie, not a Cotswolder or a Borderer!
16th Feb, 2009 23:34 (UTC)
i have quite a wonky line - bristol is definitely south, as is cheltenham.
birmingham is 'north'.
lincoln is 'midlands', but grimsby and hull are 'north'. norfolk is 'midlands' cos it's east anglia, but buckinghamshire is 'south'...

it's somewhat complicated!
19th Feb, 2009 18:45 (UTC)
Oh, that's interesting, because I can to some extent look at a map and say "this city is clearly north" and "this city is clearly south" and "not sure about this". But I would never have imagined Birmingham as North.
17th Feb, 2009 09:33 (UTC)
The most extreme answer I've heard anyone give is a line between Penzance and Dover :)
17th Feb, 2009 10:57 (UTC)
It's a tricky one- I'd sort of describe the Danelaw as "The North" but it gets a bit hazy in the Five Boroughs.

Although of course, above the North, you have the North East, which is COMPLETELY different. I'm in the odd position of being so far North that the North is to the south of me...
19th Feb, 2009 18:48 (UTC)
And it's obviously somewhat relative. If you consider the "consider to be a soft southern pansy" relationship R between people from locations A and B, you can find someone from, say, York, will think someone from, say, Cambridge is Southern. Yet someone from Glasgow will think someone from Newcastle is a soft southern pansy (as I understand it). And highlanders from even further north, etc.

You probably need to construct some sort of distribution, and find a half-way point...?
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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