I was amazed, astounded and ultimately annoyed today while watching a second rate programme on BBC2 called Thief Takers.
They carried a story about burglaries in Reading in Berkshire, but what astounded me is that the narrator stated that it is a town in the South West of England!
Look at a map of England – not necessarily the whole the U.K. although that makes little diffence. It is inline with centre of the country, albeit in the southern section.
Not that it really matters, but I do get fed up of everywhere being ‘positioned’ based on its location to London. Hence Gloucester and Cheltenham get classed as the south west, although they are practically the south Midlands. Swindon is the same, with Winchester and Salisbury often listed as south west towns just because they lie south west of London.
So many people in the U.K. refer to Bristol as the westcountry, and I can get the reasoning, but look at a map – it lies further east than Edinburgh – just look at a map with the longitude lines to confirm this fact.
Surely the trust south west starts at Taunton or Yeovil in Somerset?
Mind you if we were to split the country, England that is, into four sections the the division running south to north would run for around Southampton, through Coventry, Derby, Sheffield nd finish between Newcastle and Sunderland. Everything to the right could be described at West, and to the right as east.
Another divider running west to east across the middle, from Stoke-on-Trent and through Nottingham would separate north and south.
This would counter my argument bringing Gloucester into the south west quadrant, along with Telford and Birmingham!
Newcastle would also drift into the North west quarter, albeit more or less on the eastern coast.
Hence, the real Westcountry, the real South West is surely peninsula of Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.
One this is certain though, it will never be Reading in Berkshire.
That’s my rant over.