Thursday, September 17, 2015


I'm a sucker for a travel book about my own country. Having a great pride at being English, yet basically no idea what that means, has left me an enthusiastic explorer and reader.

My essential reading list, avoiding weighty tomes and text book feel, would be:

Paul Theroux - The Kingdom by the Sea (1983)
Bill Bryson - Notes from a Small Island (1995)
Jeremy Paxman - The English (1998)
Simon Jenkins - A Short History of England (2012)

To which I now add my current enjoyment, pictured, as Matthew Engel offers a chapter on each of the English counties. I was born in Warwickshire but then found out I lived in the West Midlands, without moving house. Annoying. Still irritated.

It has started a little head game which you might like to join in with. What is the first word that comes into your head when you hear each county name? Some of them just don't bring anything to mind. Many are food. For what it is worth here is my list:

Bedfordshire Luton
Berkshire downs
Cambridgeshire university
Cheshire cats
Cornwall pasty
Cumberland sausage
Derbyshire dales
Devon cream
Dorset blue
Durham town
Essex girls
Gloucestershire old spot
Hampshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire accidents hardly ever happen
Kentish man
Lancashire hotpot
Leicestershire Tigers
Lincolnshire poacher
Middlesex Lords
Norfolk broads
Northamptonshire cobblers
Oxfordshire dons
Shropshire blue
Somerset brie
Staffordshire bull terrier
Suffolk punch
Surrey trees
Worcestershire sauce
Yorkshire pudding


Kevin Webb said...

OK, so here are mine

Bedfordshire Vans
Berkshire Ascot
Cambridgeshire University
Cheshire Cheese
Cornwall Pasties
Cumberland Sausage
Derbyshire Blue
Devon Cream Teas
Dorset Apple Cake
Durham Durham Durham Durham Durham Durham Durham (As in Pink Panther Theme)
Essex Girls
Gloucestershire old spot
Hampshire Hogs
Herefordshire Cider
Hertfordshire Posh
Kent Hops
Lancashire Cricket
Leicestershire Red
Lincolnshire Sausages
Middlesex Lords
Norfolk Broads
Northamptonshire cobblers
Oxfordshire Blue
Shropshire blue
Somerset cider
Staffordshire bull terrier
Suffolk punch
Surrey with a fringe on top
Sussex by the sea
Warwickshire Bears
Wiltshire Ham
Worcestershire sauce
Yorkshire pudding

Clive said...

Bedfordshire Sandy
Berkshire Royal
Buckinghamshire Beeches
Cheshire Cat
Cornwall Coast
Cumberland Sausage
Derbyshire Bakewell
Devon Green
Dorset Jurassic
Durham Cathedral
Essex Jam
Hampshire Yachts
Herefordshire Bulls
Hertfordshire Stag
Kent Hops
Lancashire Hot Pot
Leicestershire Foxes
Lincolnshire Sausage
Middlesex Cricket
Norfolk Broads
Northamptonshire Saints
Oxfordshire Spires
Shropshire Blue
Somerset Cider
Staffordshire China
Suffolk Tractors
Surrey Commuters
Sussex Downs
Warwickshire Castle
Wiltshire Ham
Worcestershire Sauce
Yorkshire Tea

Rich R said...

If you must put "Cumberland" then please stick in "Westmorland" too (it has the best scenery in England after all, plus Kendal mint cake); otherwise it's "Cumbria" thanks. So,

Bedfordshire Goodnight
Berkshire woof
Buckinghamshire Henning Wehn?
Cambridgeshire Urals
Cheshire divided
Cornwall rough
Cumbria my lord
Derbyshire Edale
Devon Malcolm
Dorset durdle door
Durham posh
Essex thick
Gloucestershire Dr Foster
Hampshire Cricket
Herefordshire nowt
Hertfordshire tory
Kent lovely
Lancashire la la la
Leicestershire rutland
Lincolnshire Hanks
Middlesex Gatting
Norfolk n'chance
Northamptonshire naughty
Oxfordshire expensive
Shropshire Chirk
Somerset Beer
Staffordshire Pilavachi
Suffolk Mick McCarthy
Surrey sorry?
Sussex nope
Warwickshire Dermot Reeve
Wiltshire where?
Worcestershire services
Yorkshire God's gift