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Posted Sun Jan 11th, 2009 1:03am Post subject: Counties
I learned from tonight's QI XL that Stephen Fry does not recognise the West Midlands as a County in the proper sense... and neither do I.

I recognise its existence as an administrative county, even though it no longer has a county council, but refer to the places in it as being in their proper Counties (Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire) - although I also recognise the existence of the smaller administrative counties of the same name, I think of the longer-standing definitions as being the Counties proper.

I give the Ridings of Yorkshire similar recognition to that of Counties proper but recognise also the different administrative definitions and divisions. I was born in the West Riding but in what is now known as South Yorkshire - not all of South Yorkshire is in Yorkshire proper, though.

Similarly, I live in the small but densely populated County of Middlesex - no administration there since 1965 but still a much recognised County. Yes, most of it is now in Greater London - that was never a county but had similar Local Government status to the Metropolitan counties.

They should teach the Counties proper as part of Geography lessons in schools, and use them more consistently in the media.

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