Michael Bradford started by admitting there would be a very sentimental bias in his talk entitled Whatever Happened to the Ridings. In front of almost a hundred people in Settle’s Victoria Hall, the Huddersfield-born speaker went on to ridicule some of the more ludicrous decisions ever made by Government and local authorities. As a fellow adversary of the buffoons who decided to redraw the map of the country, and in particular Yorkshire, back in 1974 I found myself with a similar sense of sentiment – and anger. How dare these faceless bureaucrats chop off bits of Yorkshire and dish them out willy-nilly to be run by neighbouring authorities? Following a discussion in Dalesman magazine a few months back it seems the majority of our readers are still incensed by this lack of democracy shown a quarter of a century ago. The day following Michael’s talk I happened to be out and about near Diggle, a typical Pennine village beneath a brooding and, when I went, very inhospitable Saddleworth Moor. Much of this area was hived off into Greater Manchester for administration purposes but locals insist that the Yorkshire border is still where it always has been – and forever will be. Good for them.Photo shows a farm just above Diggle, near Standedge Tunnel.

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