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The North

(300 Posts)
ILikeyourHairyHands Fri 08-Nov-19 22:18:03

I've seen yet another thread where the OP is lambasted for being in a SE bubble (she was in a bubble tbf, but a bubble of incredible dimness), and many posters talk about The North as a place of scant opportunities, cheap housing, low wages and general divorce from The South, which is generally considered as the land of milk, honey, opportunity and high house prices.

It's very divorced from my experience of both places. I'm from an area in The North that is one of the wealthiest political wards in Europe, I went to work in the city after University (25 years ago) and despite having a very middle-class upbringing and accent, my flat vowels were treated as something of a curiosity (and they're really not that flat, everyone up here considers them 'southern') and Sheffield, my home city was, and still is, perceived as being some 'flat cap and whippets' place, despite having one of the highest proportions of professionals per capita in the UK.

My take from that experience was that born and brought-up Londoners are the most parochial people that I'd ever met. I had a much more 'worldly' experience being brought up in thr middle-class North than that of the supposedly urbane Southerners.

But still it goes on, people speak of The North as some kind of otherworldly shit-hole where the denizens scrabble around for cheap terraces on MW jobs and anything worth happening happens in The South.

Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Durham, York, the smaller towns and places where there's a huge amount of creativity, wealth creation, and professional people living fine and prosperous lives, and have for generations.

I just cannot understand the stereotypes that divide us so badly.

And yes, I also know and understand industrialisation and post-industrialisation that has affected certain areas of the UK. I'd say the area of the UK that's been hit worst by post-industrialism is the Midlands though. But no-one talks about that, or the poverty in the SW, it's always THE NORTH.

lakeswimmer Fri 08-Nov-19 22:24:25

I agree OP - generalisations are pointless. There are wealthy and poorer places in all counties and all parts of the country.

Drinkciderfromalemon Fri 08-Nov-19 22:33:49

I agree. There is a whole world outside London and it is good. I live in London (for 28 years) but am not from london and can confirm life exists elsewhere. It is such a shame that London is seen as a "all human life is here" when so many other cities offer so much.

ILikeyourHairyHands Fri 08-Nov-19 22:38:27

And if you express these opinions, you're often accused of being 'chippy'.


HotSince82 Fri 08-Nov-19 22:39:54

I agree OP. I'm from the Wirral.
It would be a frosty day in Satan's enclave before I moved further south.

Its beautiful here; beaches, countryside, Liverpool and Chester within fifteen minutes of me and fabulous property to be had.

When I went to uni in Birmingham I truly appreciated my northern upbringing, promptly moved home and have never left grin

Milanimilani Fri 08-Nov-19 22:45:59

I don’t know about the Midlands thing, but I grew up with a North and a South. Birmingham is the dividing line. Its been a nice surprise to discover its not all grim up north, even if the people do talk funny.

Focyt Fri 08-Nov-19 22:47:06

I grew up in the west of Scotland. Moved to the south east (Berkshire) for 10 years and now live in the north east between Sunderland and Newcastle. Been here 4 years now. I miss The south. A lot. Yes, it’s more expensive but there’s just much more to do and see. I love visiting places and walking and I saw everything in one summer up here. Jobs wise, I don’t see a difference. I’m low wage though. There is a lot of jobs up here but not as well paid
Scotland is beautiful but I couldn’t live there again.
I never holiday abroad, always Britain. I do like Wales a lot though.
I’d move to London tomorrow if it were up to me. Far more opportunities.

x2boys Fri 08-Nov-19 22:48:10

I agree I live in the Northwest in a not so nice area, but there are some very wealthy areas ,my parents live in a lovely village very middle class i just roll my eyes at some of the descriptions on mumsnet ,it's not all grim up North .

FrangipaniBlue Fri 08-Nov-19 22:48:12

people* southerners speak of The North as some kind of otherworldly shit-hole*

There, corrected that for you OP grin

FWIW I agree smile

longestlurkerever Fri 08-Nov-19 22:48:50

I have a foot in both camps. I grew up in "the North" and i have lived in London my whole adult life. I agree the divisiveness is ridiculous and i feel my Northern vowels give people the impression that i am far more down to earth and less privileged than i really am, which i use to my advantage on occasion. On the other hand, people seem to have a bizarre take on London too. It is at once some dangerous badland ghetto where it's practically child abuse to live as a family and also a bubble of privilege divorced from any concept of real human struggle, depending on what argument the anti-London person wants to make at the time.

shemakesmewaitonabedofnails Fri 08-Nov-19 22:49:34

Shhhhhhhhh!!! It IS grim up north. That's what we northerners tell the southerners so they don't come up!!!

MontBlancHonk Fri 08-Nov-19 22:51:07

I totally agree. Apart from the centre, London can just feel like suburban sprawl.
Where with Northern cities the smaller size means you're generally closer to the vibrant centre and countryside outside.

Londoners are pretty narrow minded, cautious and risk averse about not ever living anywhere else. But that's fine for the rest of us

Waxonwaxoff0 Fri 08-Nov-19 22:51:58

I live in the Midlands. It is cheap where I live but I like that as it gives me more disposable income. I wouldn't want to live in London or the south east. Far too costly. If I could move anywhere it would be Liverpool. Best city in the UK in my opinion!

I've also lived in Devon by the seaside and the Wiltshire countryside. Still prefer my factory town in the Midlands.

JockTamsonsBairns Fri 08-Nov-19 22:57:28

Totally agree OP. I'm from Scotland originally, but lived in the SE for years. About six years ago, DH and I took the decision to move up to the NE, and it's been the best decision we ever could have made. Our money stretches so much further, giving us an amazing quality of life. Our mortgage is small, and will be paid off by the time we're 50, four years away. Add to that the beautiful coast, wide open spaces, scenery and the most down to earth people, I wish we'd done it sooner. The DC's have had so much freedom to play out and explore the area with their friends, it's been idyllic for them. I love it here, it's home.

ILikeyourHairyHands Fri 08-Nov-19 22:57:42

I'm not anti-London btw, I love London, it's a great city (as long as you live in zones 1 or 2), the sprawl though, the sprawl and the gravity are inimical to happiness and healfh.

Fatted Fri 08-Nov-19 22:58:58

Well, I live in Wales OP. Everyone assumes that everyone in Wales lives in a quaint little village by the seaside. Or up a mountain with some sheep for neighbours. There is a North/South division in Wales too. And then everyone in England seems to hate the Welsh.

I always remember an episode of the Simpsons with grounds keeper Willy explaining about how the Scots hate the English, the Irish and the Welsh, as well as all of the other Scots. This is what living in the UK is like. Everyone hates everyone else.

ILikeyourHairyHands Fri 08-Nov-19 23:03:33

I dunno Fatted, my husband's Welsh, I've spent time in North, South and Mid-Wales. Yes, the Welsh are just ignored or seen as the simpletons to the left.

I certainly don't hate the Welsh.

Runningonempty84 Fri 08-Nov-19 23:03:42

Shush, OP. Don't tell them. Once they realise they can sell their flat in London, and buy a 5-bed in Millhouses or Fulwood with the Peak District as their back yard for the same money, they'll all want to come here.

Sheffield's all The Full Monty and knives and forks. Honest.

WineIsMyCarb Fri 08-Nov-19 23:07:32

We even have electricity up here (Yorkshire spa town, easy guess)!!
When we moved a few months ago, PIL from S London asked "is there an economy up there?"!
Apart from one Work placement and the fact DMIL was born and brought up abroad, they have never lived further than 10 miles from DFIL's place of birth.


Paddingtonthebear Fri 08-Nov-19 23:09:44

People would also do well to remember that Southern England, you know, the whole area way past London, does exist. And plenty of people in the South, which is not London, don’t go about casting those stereotypes. You’d never know where many Southerners are even from, they don’t go around telling everyone wink

ILikeyourHairyHands Fri 08-Nov-19 23:12:09

That's my point though, everyone should get out and about more on this very small island, where historical divisions are deep, and just realise that we have more to unite us in terms of culture than we think.

It's so fucking tribal, and small-minded. And maybe it's because we are a small island of so much immigration and emigration, so much movement, so much flux and change that people need to feel grounded in a small area, it makes them feel safe.

WineIsMyCarb Fri 08-Nov-19 23:14:10

Or @Runningonempty84, they could do a straight swap:

No shops, jobs or running water in central Manc though (sad face).

I need some new cutlery though, could I pop round yours int morning? grin

PickAChew Fri 08-Nov-19 23:14:45

I live in Durham (mentioned in the OP) and in some parts of the city houses can easily match the SE in price. Thankfully there's bits which are still nice to live in that aren't so extortionate.

donquixotedelamancha Fri 08-Nov-19 23:15:06

Clean air, moist chips, proper gravy, people say hello in the street, cheaper housing, cheaper gin, more parks, drier wit, fewer roundabouts, fewer cars. It's grand up North.

incognitomum Fri 08-Nov-19 23:18:51

There is so much beauty up here it's breathtaking at times.

I live on the coast (NE) and am close to the Yorkshire dales and not far from the lake district. I visit the latter often and off there soon.

I wouldn't lose any sleep of I never see London again. I hate going there and always feel dirty. I love cities and don't feel dirty after visiting say Newcastle or York. It's strange.

The stereotypes of northerners makes me laugh. I do have a whippet cross though but no flat cap grin

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