Save the Historic Counties

By Pam Moorhouse, Founder, Pam’s County Petition, official petition of the British Counties Campaign

Do you realise that all of Britain’s present-day counties are government-created, and not inherited from our ancestors, despite the implications? Up to 1974 all the counties in England, Scotland, and Wales were inherited from our early ancestors, the ancient names, some from the Stone Age, known and used by everyone for everything – till in 1974 the then government, led by PM Edward Heath, sent ‘agents’ all over the country to force everyone to have either new counties, or merged with the neighbouring ‘wrong’ county.

No-one wanted this change, so by the newly-set up councils/media only using the new county names, with no reference to any previous counties, removing all the traditional county signs – till redeemed by Eric Pickles 40 years later – but not compulsory, so councils ignored, and keeping an eye on us for 20 years so we didn’t sneak back to the familiar counties, they forced obedience.

So, for 20 years we had to live with the hated new counties, till the young grew up accepting the new counties of course. They were told ‘It’s always been West Yorkshire. There’s no reason for it, that’s just how it’s always been.’ Or ”Shire’ is Saxon for ‘county.’ So, we live in West YorkSHIRE!’

We were told

  • ‘We’re not having traditional counties anymore so you’ve got to give them up.’
  • ‘You can’t carry on living how you have been [in traditional counties.] You’ve got to change-as from now.
  • Now off you go and live in these new counties that we’ve created for you, and no arguments.’


Liverpool was part of Lancashire-and proud of it. They said ‘We don’t want a new county.’ They were told ‘Well you’re having one anyway.’

We in Grimsby asked ‘Why have you come?’ We were told: ‘To get rid of your traditional area.’

‘No, we know you don’t want to change, but you will. You’ll have to as we are changing everything.’

When people tried to use the old system, they were told ‘No, you can’t do that any more.’

Ask older people as they remember. We were treated like dirt knowing that if people were told repeatedly only about the new names they would accept, as they do. History is altered so in 1760 Beningbrough Hall was still in North Yorkshire, or Levings Hall was in Cumbria. No North Riding or Westmorland. Why? Any objections today, even in the Commons or Lords, are just fobbed off.

So, can you help? Push your MP, spread the message as this is unknown to millions. See our 10-minute video on why the old counties are important. Sign our petition here.

I attach our smart survey results that prove the change happened and was unwanted, Jake Berry, former Minister’s advice for all councils to promote their traditional county, but ignored as it wasn’t compulsory, and our proposed Counties Bill to end the confusion caused by the change, as before it, everyone knew exactly where they were as the counties were unchanged for centuries.

Please help as the old counties due to council misinformation are unknown to millions and millions more long for them back. Future generations will certainly thank you. Also attached Robert Jenrick’s Letter turning down our ideas. Why? Why should we lose our precious history, identity, culture that belongs to all of us?


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