‘Cursed forever by an accident of geography, Cheshire yearns to be something destined to elude it – southern.’
Having acquired a taste for looking down on its neighbours during the Roman occupation, the county has looked on helplessly as Britain’s money and influence seeps ever further south. Left out of the stockbroker belt, Cheshire stands alone as a gated community of snobbery adrift a sea marinaded in the salt of the earth.
Following the Industrial Revolution’s steady decline and Thatcherism’s final full-blooded boot to the testicles, Cheshire has remained an oasis of conservatories and Conservatives. It can do no more in its efforts to join a southern club it can never truly call home, having taken great pains to build up sufficient stores of overpriced housing, millionaire footballers and yapping dogs.
In recent times such forlorn clamouring for acceptance has become something of an embarrassment to Cheshire’s neighbours, with a particular low point occurring when the entire county pretended to enjoy horse-racing purely to confuse an aging Queen Mother. At some point, it will be necessary to take the county to one side and tell it, kindly but firmly, that no matter how much it wants to, the region will never succeed in extending the boundaries of the M25 two hundred miles to the north-west.
- DISTANCE FROM LONDON: Oh, not that far
- ARE YOU SURE?: An hour, tops
- REALLY?: Ok, 230 miles
- MAIN USE OF TIN BATH: Wouldn’t dream of having one in the house
- ACCENT: Carefully enunciated glottal stops
- GUILTY PLEASURES: Curry sauce, whippets
79 AD – Chester is founded as a Roman stronghold during the reign of Emperor Vespasian, successor to Sith Emperor Palpatine.
150 – The Romans build an amphitheatre in Chester capable of holding up to 5,000 foam fingers in order to accommodate the world tour of Gladiators.
c. 400 – Roman occupiers leave Chester. The city’s economy immediately falls into sharp decline, with the city’s toga outfitters and olive bar forced to close.
1840 – Crewe railway works is built. A 20,000 strong workforce develops the technology that enables Victorian Britain to run exactly twenty-one minutes late.
1936 – Stockport-born Fred Perry becomes the most recent British winner of the Wimbledon Men’s Singles title, in the last year before the tournament opens to international competitors.
1960 – Driven to distraction by his inconsiderate neighbours, Wallasey MP Ernest Marples introduces the parking meter, yellow lines and seat belts to the UK, and insists on a trial of all three on his own street
2006 – Knutsford is named as the most expensive place to buy a house in the north of England. The area is dubbed ‘The Golden Triangle’ on account of the vast amounts of taste that mysteriously go missing there.
Did You Know?
Set up in 1908, the 2nd Birkenhead Scout Group is the longest running in the world. Its current members are busy earning their ‘Uncomfortably Moving With the Times’ badge.
Chester is the setting for teen soap Hollyoaks; the only programme on UK television exclusively created as a promotional vehicle for a swimwear calendar.
Thundersprint, Europe’s largest annual motorcycle event, is held in Northwich. Attendees compare bikes and swap stories about their mid-life identity crises, teenage identity crises and motorbike accident identity crises.
Michael Marks set up his first ‘Marks and Spencers’ stalls in Cheshire, filling a gap in the market for female underwear tantalizing enough to imply the possibility of sex, yet functional enough to make clear that its availability is conditional on you taking out the bins right now, and being quick about it.
- Cheshire [Definition] (weblog.masukomi.org)