‘Huntingdonshire lost its county status in 1974 after its neighbours grew tired of having their valuables go missing.’
A county with few diversions beyond the breadth and low quality of its imported lager supply, Huntingdonshire has been turning truculent adolescents into dour, bored Puritans for over four hundred years.
The county town of Huntingdon boasts a proud history of reactionary conservatism stretching back as far as Oliver Cromwell, the town’s most famous son. As an area it remains one of the most true-blue areas of the UK, and was the constituency of Sir John Major during his time as Prime Minister. In his early days as the town’s MP Major attempted to ingratiate himself with constituents by frequenting the local fish-and-chip shops, though it subsequently became clear that he in fact preferred curry.
Known for little beyond being the thicker, shaven-headed brother of Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire lost its county status in 1974 after its neighbours grew tired of having their valuables go missing. With nothing left to do of an evening, it fell in with a bad crowd. A few years later, the region was issued with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order and ordered to stop hassling other counties after being found guilty of playing loud music at unreasonable hours.
Huntingdonshire’s residents today generally regret their tearaway teenage days and now hold down steady jobs, settled down with partners and children, and loudly decry to anyone that’s listening that the new generation of youths hanging around the town centre really ought to be strung up.
- NATIONAL RELEVANCE – Not so much
- ACCENT STRENGTH – Weak to unplaceable
- CASTLES – No
- HILLS – No
- SIGHTS TO LIFT THE HEART – No
- PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS – Possession of a Class B drug; Republicanism is the right and true form of Government
- NATURAL HAZARDS – Occasional flooding, scratters
1070 – William the Conqueror orders the sacking of Huntingdonshire. Offceirs confiscate numerous flick knives, BB guns and spray-paint cans.
1205 – Huntingdonshire awarded its first borough charter by King John on the condition that it puts its shirt back on.
15th Century – Lawlessness and bad feeling towards tax collectors hits new heights, with many burgesses leaving Huntingdon with fewer limbs than they arrived with.
1533 – With the town now abandoned by all but the poorest people, Ramsey is forced to downsize its mob to a single unruly man.
1906 – First car journey to take place in Huntingdonshire is made by a Mr. T. Birch of Godmanchester. The first car theft occurs forty minutes later.
1912 – War poet Rupert Brooke writes: “Strong men have blanched and shot their wives, rather than send them to St Ives.” (Note: This is a rare example of an actual fact.)
1974 – Huntingdonshire ceases to be a member of the ‘Counties of England’ club after spending the £10 annual subscription fee on a case of beer.
1990 – John Major begins his seven-year Prime Ministerial career, having already held the major state offices of Chancellor and Foreign Secretary. Despite these political achievements, today he is chiefly remembered for nothing.
2002 – First ‘Huntingdonshire Day’ held on April 25th, Cromwell’s birthday. In celebration, citizens re-enact an impressively accurate 17th Century fight.
Did You Know?
Oliver Cromwell rose from leading a single cavalry unit to commanding the entire Roundhead army, a promotion due in large part to his own exceedingly round head. Having overcome the Royalists in the English Civil War, Cromwell played an important role in the execution of King Charles I. When the Royalists regained the Crown in 1660, Cromwell’s body was dug up and beheaded. Impressively he bravely maintained a calm expression throughout this ordeal, even after his nose fell off. In a final gesture of disrespect, his spare parts were sold to Rustlers.
Possibly history’s most celebrated diarist, Samuel Pepys attended Huntingdon Grammar School as a boy before moving to London. Recording such key events as the Great Fire of London and various plague episodes, Pepys’ account of such episodes gave historians a unique insight in to the reactions of real people, while his account of his own sexual adventures revealed that you can take the shagabout out of Huntingdon, but you can’t take Huntingdon out of the shagabout.
Animal rights protests became a regular feature in the county thanks to the nearby presence of the Huntingdon Life Sciences laboratory. Founded in the 1950s, Huntingdon Life Sciences originally concentrated on nutrition, veterinary and biochemical research, before going on to explore which of the higher mammals looked the most adorable while smoking.
Despite having one of the highest employment rates in the country, a recent Council audit found that 115% of the county’s residents currently claim unemployment benefit.
Every year over the August Bank Holiday weekend, Ramsey is home to the 1940s Weekend, a living history event that recreates the heady excitement of sheer stockings, meat rationing and sweeping the death of millions under the carpet.