Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Pushing the Boundaries

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Pushing the Boundaries

Article excerpt

Byline: Alan Sims

I SEE from letters in the Evening Gazette that a number of people who live in places I have always thought of as Teesside want to be regarded as natives of Yorkshire.

I was also informed recently that to send a birthday card to a grandchild who lived in Saltburn that her address was in North Yorkshire. Of course sending her a birthday card was the most important consideration, but I did find it amusing that the grown-ups there who make such a point of not being political about anything were taking sides in what has become a political controversy in Redcar & Cleveland.

I first encountered what struck me as a sort of Yorkshire nationalism when my father-in-law who lived in Goole, which was in the former county of the East Riding of Yorkshire, was so outraged when he was told he lived in Humberside.

I had a County Durham address when I was a youngster, and felt it was just accepting changing times when it became Teesside and later Cleveland. I feel no loss of identity when I do not regularly acknowledge Durham.

As counties go, Durham is no less worth loyalty than Yorkshire. I equally enjoy visits to both Durham Cathedral and York Minster.

I hasten to add that my visits are to admire architecture and not to worship as a Christian, because I described myself in the last survey as a Humanist and an Agnostic.

I have a Tees identity because I have lived in Billingham most of my life and all the jobs I have had have been in Middlesbrough, Stockton and Hartlepool.

In the unlikely event of me moving to live in Redcar & Cleveland I would not think of telling anyone that my address was in North Yorkshire, but all of us have our individual preferences, and these define the sort of people we are.

GEOFFREY BULMER, Billingham

COUNCILLOR Glynis Abbott misquotes me in a recent letter (Ridings For A Fall, 29. …

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