Thursday, February 14, 2008

Is it a southern thing?

News today of a civil service blunder that has resulted in Newcastle-Under-Lyme (that town in Staffordshire) refusing to pay back over a million pounds in grants that were meant for Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (that city in Tyne and Wear).

John Shipley, the city council leader of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, told The Times: "It was an astonishing error by a Whitehall department to confuse the two Newcastles."

As someone who had the dubious pleasure of growing up in London, I was less astonished. The average knowledge of the 'north' among my contemporaries amounted to "North London, that bit in Hertforshire that's still covered by the Underground, that area a bit further north than that around Watford and errrrr it all gets a bit fuzzy after that".

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