Saddleworth White Rose Society (SWRS) has warmly welcomed the government’s assertion that the original county boundaries still exist.

SWRS members have consistently campaigned for the recognition of Saddleworth’s historic identity as part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and to correct the misconception that the local government changes of 1974 somehow moved Saddleworth into Lancashire.

Geoff,  Bayley, chairman of SWRS was responding to the announcement last month by Local Government Secretary of State Eric Pickles, “that the Government will assert that England’s  historic and traditional counties still exist, and will seek to  encourage the marking of their boundaries and continued use of their county names”.


A map showing the traditional county boundaries, including Yorkshire. Map © Copyright the Association of British Counties

During the past two years, SWRS has succeeded in marking some of the places where the boundary between Lancashire and Yorkshire coincides with the Saddleworth boundary. Boundary signs have been erected on the A672,  A640, and also on the A669 at the appropriately named ‘County End’.

Mr Bayley said, “I wish to acknowledge the support of our MP, Borough and Parish Councillors of both Saddleworth and Shaw/Crompton, and also  several ‘county’ organisations for their support,  and the cooperation,  help and advice of Borough Officers, particularly in identifying suitable sites.

“The Ridings of Yorkshire have existed for over a thousand years, whilst the former County Councils which were created to administer local government for the Ridings, were not imposed until 1889, and were abolished in 1974, a period of only eighty five years! It was the Administrative County Councils which were abolished, not the Ridings themselves.”

Roy Bardsley, founder member and secretary of SWRS said, “Eric Pickle’s statement reaffirms our message that the traditional counties were never abolished, only their administrative councils.

Read more at For further reaction, don’t miss our special feature in June’s Dalesman magazine.

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