Northern Vs Southern culture?(178 Posts)
DP is working class and from Newcastle, I'm middle class and from way down South.
We often talk about cultural differences.
He lives down here and I've only ever been up north a few times so it's hard for me to gauge.
So, is it UR to think there are big differences and if so what are they, in your experience?
There are massive differences. Posters on this site will deny them b/c most of them don't reflect favourably on the north of England. Basically, all of the stereotypes are true, and then some.
I would say there are massive differences. Interested to know which "don't reflect favourably on the north". In the opinion of my Southern dp and his mother who now live "up north", people are friendlier up here.
definitely big differences.
I'm from Surrey and have lived in Cumbria for just over 2 years. Huge differences, some good some bad!
I've never noticed a difference, I must have walked around with my eyes closed 😕
I lived in the south for 10 years and now live back up north. People are just people wherever they are based I'm the country.
Is this just a sneaky way of starting a "what class are you" bun fight?
A lot of the cultural differences are class differences. I'm originally a northerner but lived in London for 16 years now. It's true people will strike up conversations up north but generally the pace of life is a bit slower. Most of my realitives up north don't work the same kind of hours or have the same length of commute as down South. I find down South is a bit more relaxed than where I'm originally from. People in my home city are quite competitive about the size of your house where you go on holiday etc etc but in London it's less parochial imo
I'd say there are big differences (grew up in Northumberland, now in SE).
Can't describe them properly without it sounding like I'm slagging off the SE! (Which isn't really what I mean, but can't articulate it. Probs because I'm northern).
Yes there are.
I'm from the North, have lived in the south for 30 years and am moving back north.
When I moved down sarf I was told I'd hate it, southeners aren't friendly, nobody strikes up a conversation at a bus stop like we do oop north. Total crap. Friendly people are friendly whether they live in London or Manchester.
Definite differences - and there are between all sorts of other parts of the country - but I disagree they reflect badly on the north.
Northern friendliness, for example, is real IME. Northerners are more likely to smile and chat to you, and people will call you 'pet' or 'love' in the shops. Southerners more likely to give you space, which can be nice too!
There are parts of the country where people are more used to family living close by, which is the difference DP and I notice. Her family all live within a few miles of one another, and she is considered the adventurous one because she lives an hour away. By contrast, where I grew up, adult children move away - because there are no jobs - and by and large it's people who are struggling move back to be near parents. That's a city/country divide, not regional, but it's not dissimilar.
And DP calls it a 'quilt,' and I call it a 'duvet,' and she calls it a bun and I'd call it a bap, and so on.
Variety is the spice of life.
I'm northern but work away from home in Oxford and London. I'm often 'congratulated' for being a stealth northerner - apparently no-one would know I wasn't local (no accent etc).
My housemate in Oxford looked at me like I had two heads when I was telling her about talking to a bloke in the supermarket. She just couldn't work out why I'd have had a conversation with a stranger. For me it was completely normal. That's the most stark difference I've noticed, and in fairness she might just be very unchatty with strangers!
So timing and naming of evening meal ( tea at 5 vs supper at 8:30). Then the long a of Barth , grarrrss and carrrstle. What else ?
I would say most of the "differences" you and your DH have experienced are class differences.
Middle class up north no different really from middle class down south.
Only slight difference I have noticed are that southern middle class maybe slightly more reserved. It takes a lot longer to feel that people are "friends" down here. Most of my best friends, certainly at the start, were other exiled northerners.
I would struggle listing the differences without sounding like I am slagging off either the SE (where I am from) or Cumbria. Over all, I prefer living up North. I find people to be far less judgemental on physical appearance. I walk around in my town in Surrey (which isn't far from London) and people are dressed up just to go shopping. Up here I can leave the house in jeans and a top and feel completely fine about it! I'm not by any means saying "I prefer Cumbria because no one cares about fashion".. but it's like, people don't JUDGE you nearly as much based on your fashion choices.
I also find people t be much friendlier up North and anyone will strike up conversation. The whole pace of life is slower- people are more relaxed, it's less hectic, people actually stop and enjoy their surroundings rather than storm through everything.
However I find by far the biggest downside is how much more narrow-minded people are. Here I am talking about the towns I have lived in in Cumbria, not the North in general! I heard more homophobic, racist, xenophobic remarks in the first week of my job in a hotel up here than I have in the 22 years I lived in Surrey. Lovely people on the surface but I just know there are certain topics to avoid because they will upset and anger me.
retrorobot do you want to expand on that?
Yes definitely seems less normal to have random chats with strangers etc.
And even stranger have experienced some parents being funny about their children talking to other children in playgrounds/soft play
retrobot I am at a loss to understand what you are referring to???
The use of language is different, of course. That's the case the world over though, I don't think that's a fair marker of a north/south divide.
I was middle class in the south, now I'm middle class in the north. There's literally no difference in my world.
Our friends come to visit and we do all the same things we'd do in the SE. I can afford a house whereas friends in London can't, but honestly, it's more class than culture
My sister moved up North 20+ years ago, what I love about going to visit her is everyone forms a queue for the bus, people let the old/disabled sit in the seats designated for them and nobody takes up two seats (one for all their bags)
I fucking HATE using transport in London, buses and trains turn people feral - well they do in the part I'm in. I remember being on a train once and a bloke & his GF got on and sat opposite & took up FIVE seats with all their shit. They then had a very loud conversation in which he said "I've never farted - it's just not something I would do" WTF? He was either a liar or a freak of nature. Bet you wouldn't get that oop North.
porterwine that's interesting - I've always found London far more relaxed than most northern cities. Even at a top restaurant/bar in London I'd feel fine in jeans, not so much up north where I find the whole "look" far more OTT.
I think cultural differences between north and south are manufactured by the media. I agree that most of the differences are down to class not location
I'm from Croydon, married to a Northumbrian and live in Yorkshire.
The only differences I noticed between my family and OH's family is that most of my family are insufferable snobs and tend to be rather parochial and not able to acknowledge that there is culture beyond London and the home counties, but you get snobs in any part of the country.
I wouldn't move back to Greater London because I love my semi rural lifestyle. Cities are great to visit but not to live in IMO.
I think the differences are more class differences than geographical differences.
I've lived on the South Coast, in Cumbria, in Durham and in the Home Counties. And I've seen all ranges of people, culture and behaviour in all those places.
Stereotypes have a slight truth to them or they wouldn't come about in the first place - but it is only slight, ime. There are huge amounts to contradict them.
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