Yesterday's Independent on Sunday carried a fascinating book review with a fierce debate about 'Where does the North start?' A book by Stuart Maconie claimed that 'the North undeniably begins in Crewe'. The reviewer of the book, a Yorkshireman by the name of Mark Simpson, pointed out that it should always be 'The North', with a capital T, and that only Yorkshire and places to the east of the Pennines are the real North.
All good fun, until you look at the map. The most southerly settlement of any size in the North – that's the North West, Yorkshire and the North East, indeed all the areas generally regarded to be to the north of the Midlands is, as you know of course, Audlem.
And not only are we where 'The North' starts, we proved our credentials just over 12 months ago by being declared 'The Northern Village of the Year' – and the area in the Calor sponsored competition we won covered Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria, Northumberland, County Durham, all parts of Yorkshire and even the more northerly parts of Lincolnshire. And there's not a single place in the whole of that area which could claim geographically to be where the North starts, except Audlem.
So Stuart Maconie and Mark Simpson, get out your atlases and check the facts. If you're travelling from the South, Audlem is where the North, or even 'The North' starts. It's beyond any doubt – and we have the plaque on the Square to also prove we're the best in The North too.
The book, by the way, is called Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North. It's published by Ebury Press at £9.99.
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