Rufus comments on certain English educational establishments becoming hotbeds of Northern cultural celebration. I can’t argue with the unintentional comedy of the idea, but at the same time, such moves seem to my mind to be causes for both celebration – long overdue acknowledgements of the richness of human experience that shaped countless generations across vast tracts of this land, and simultaneously a regrettable sign of protectionism, incited by the relentless erosion of the very culture they intend to promote.
The London Cockney may also be a thing of the past, but at least they have been preserved in the minds of the current generation, albeit as some kind of morbid parody. In contrast, the richness and warmth of traditional Northern lifestyles is right on the verge of slipping away silently, if it hasn’t already entirely done so. A culture as different from the South as another country, in everything from their food to their industry. It may be a culture that is now almost entirely lost to the inexorable market forces of a wealthier and more powerful neighbour, but it is a culture that valued human traits which are sorely missed in this harsh world.
With dialects that as recently as my grandparents’ generation were completely incomprehensible to the rest of the country, dialects that are as close to ancient tongues as any alive today. A rich and vital part of this country’s history, political struggles, battles fought and lost, the veritable heartland of the industrial revolution that gave birth to the modern age – all lost, unappreciated, and almost unremarked, save for the odd enigmatic reference to whippets and flat caps.