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Where Does The North Of England Start?

Wars have been fought over less.

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The New Statesman has produced a themed issue all about The North of England. It's all very interesting.

Stuart Maconie on how to the write about the north, is brilliant.
Twitter: @suttonnick

Stuart Maconie on how to the write about the north, is brilliant.

But hang on, GOK WAN?

Nothing against Gok Wan, but GOK WAN? He's from Leicester. That's the Midlands.

@psmith / Buzzfeed

There seemed to be a rumour that fashion guru Gok lived in Leeds.

@helenlewis @psmith @jimwaterson I'm pretty sure @henrycarden told me Gok Wan lived in Leeds. Was it you? #wangate

Philip Maughan

@pjmaughan

@helenlewis @psmith @jimwaterson I'm pretty sure @henrycarden told me Gok Wan lived in Leeds. Was it you? #wangate

/ Via

@pjmaughan @helenlewis @psmith @jimwaterson I'm afraid that I'm sadly not your man for Gok Wan facts!

Henry Carden

@henrycarden

@pjmaughan @helenlewis @psmith @jimwaterson I'm afraid that I'm sadly not your man for Gok Wan facts!

/ Via

Unless he moved there recently, that would be a 'no'.

Totally ewxhausted! Loved being in leeds with all the yorkshire folk. Can not wait for my own bed though. Off to xfac final tomorrow. Woohoo

Gok Wan

@therealgokwan

Totally ewxhausted! Loved being in leeds with all the yorkshire folk. Can not wait for my own bed though. Off to xfac final tomorrow. Woohoo

/ Via

But to be fair to the New Statesman, it's tricky figuring out where the North starts and the South ends. The BuzzFeed UK team tried their best to figure it out. Many went for a straightforward line like this.

We can argue about Leicester, but it's hard to argue that the north/south dividing line goes south-west across the country.

What happened to the Midlands?!

What happened to the Midlands?!

This amateur cartographer got around the problem with straight lines.

There was more than one Game of Thrones reference. We think real-life Winterfell is most likely to be Sheffield or Manchester.

And then there are the little pockets of southerness dotted around the North, such as Harrogate and York.

Cheshire is the demilitarised zone in the north/south battle.

Cheshire is the demilitarised zone in the north/south battle.

Let's not forget the Isle of Man. That's proper northern.

Well, not everyone agrees on the Isle of Man.

Good to know we're all on the same page with Oldham.

Good to know we're all on the same page with Oldham.

There is no consensus on The Grimsby Question. Hull is definitively northern, but what about its fishtastic Lincolnshire neighbour?

Nottingham loses in the North stakes - but Chesterfield? Too close to call.

Nice to see Hull's successful City of Culture bid has quite literally in this case put it on the map.

Nice to see Hull's successful City of Culture bid has quite literally in this case put it on the map.

This was an American's take on where the North is. Geordies will be happy with that.

The fat/thin thing is purely a reference to geography, not waistbands.

The fat/thin thing is purely a reference to geography, not waistbands.

And the debate rages on.

@psmith A straight line from Boston on the east to the coast just after Crewe on the west. That keeps the midlands and Wales seperate!

Andy Parsons

@andypars

@psmith A straight line from Boston on the east to the coast just after Crewe on the west. That keeps the midlands and Wales seperate!

/ Via

@GeneralBoles @jimwaterson @psmith @pjmaughan Not to pour fuel on the fire, but Larkin was from Coventry. Moved to Hull.

Helen Lewis

@helenlewis

@GeneralBoles @jimwaterson @psmith @pjmaughan Not to pour fuel on the fire, but Larkin was from Coventry. Moved to Hull.

/ Via

@psmith my granddad is from Nottingham and speaks with an accent and I always thought that was north but I've been scolded many times for it

Dan Williamson

@DanWMedia

@psmith my granddad is from Nottingham and speaks with an accent and I always thought that was north but I've been scolded many times for it

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@psmith Right, ish. Cheshire = north, Staffordshire = Midlands. Sheffield = north, Chesterfield = Midlands. Hull = north, below that not.

Jamie Smith

@JamieSmiff

@psmith Right, ish. Cheshire = north, Staffordshire = Midlands. Sheffield = north, Chesterfield = Midlands. Hull = north, below that not.

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@GeorgieRipley @psmith @neilthackray It's all a question of perspective #northsouthdivide

Peter Houston

@Flipping_Pages

@GeorgieRipley @psmith @neilthackray It's all a question of perspective #northsouthdivide

/ Via

@psmith At the Trent. So Nottingham counts as North (leaving aside that it's split by the Trent). Same with Stoke.

Matthew Davies

@matthewjdavies

@psmith At the Trent. So Nottingham counts as North (leaving aside that it's split by the Trent). Same with Stoke.

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@psmith Judging by road signs on the A1 the north is a place you never reach. No matter how far north you go they still point to “The North”

David Campbell

@davidc7

@psmith Judging by road signs on the A1 the north is a place you never reach. No matter how far north you go they still point to “The North”

/ Via

Then there are the people a little bit unsure about life outside the M25.

.@psmith Anything outside of Zone 2 in any direction is the North.

Daniel Watkins

@Odd_Bloke

.@psmith Anything outside of Zone 2 in any direction is the North.

/ Via

@johngapper @psmith @BenedictEvans late to this, but surely Watford Gap services.

Charles Arthur

@charlesarthur

@johngapper @psmith @BenedictEvans late to this, but surely Watford Gap services.

/ Via

@Flipping_Pages @psmith @neilthackray Anywhere outside the M25.

David Hicks

@david_hicks

@Flipping_Pages @psmith @neilthackray Anywhere outside the M25.

/ Via

@psmith anything north of Watford Gap surely, as this diagram clearly shows :

Jon Mundy

@jonmundy

@psmith anything north of Watford Gap surely, as this diagram clearly shows :

/ Via

But then, having said all that, maybe the North is just a state of mind.

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Front page image by rusty_dragonfly via Flickr via a Creative Commons licence.