From Our English Soccer Guidebook: The Standard Northern English Town Story

Paul Gerald · Profile
From Our English Soccer Guidebook: The Standard Northern English Town Story

Paul describes his experience and knowledge of the typical northern English town.

As I have travelled around, going to games and exploring random corners of England, I have seen this in every northern town I’ve visited, and you will as well, so we might as well get it out of the way.

  1. There was a forest with people living here and there.
  2. The Romans came through, and if the place was important, they built something. A smidgeon of said something remains around here somewhere.
  3. There was a monastery. Perhaps a bridge.
  4. There was a plague that killed pretty much everybody.
  5. The Dark Ages happened, and we don’t know shit about them.
  6. The town was mentioned in the Domesday Book, and it had a name kind of similar to what it’s called now.
  7. In medieval times, there were weavers / cobblers / carpenters / whatever working in their homes. There was trade, and the place was kind of important.
  8. There was something—wood, textiles, beer, pottery, something—for which the place was famous.
  9. There was a battle or something nearby during the Civil War.
  10. The Industrial Revolution came, during which:
    • Canals were dug.
    • Machines took over and enabled massive production.
    • There was resistance to machines.
    • The machines won.
    • Fortunes were made.
    • Parks and big homes and brick and stone buildings were built, and art was collected.
    • The town was important, and famous people were here, if briefly.
    • An entertainer whom old English people will have heard of grew up here.
    • It was a polluted, miserable shithole for 98 percent of the poor, wretched people who lived, and died young, here.
  11. The Industrial Revolution petered out because…competition, technological advances, karma, whatever.
  12. The wars came, and lots of people died. They were very brave, and there are monuments to them in town.
  13. The last of the industry died.
  14. The town almost died.
  15. Lots of people from South Asia started moving here.
  16. Now it’s coming back as, well, tourism? Hipsterism? Art colony? Resort area? Cheap place to live that’s fairly close to a nicer place? Something like that.
  17. Or it’s not really coming back.
  18. They pedestrianized part of the downtown area.
  19. There is a large rejuvenation project going on.
  20. There’s a Christmas festival.
  21. Most of the locals voted for Brexit.
  22. The local football club won the FA Cup in about 1923.
  23. They kind of suck now, but we still love them. They have a new stadium that the old-timers don’t really like.


Written By Paul Gerald
Paul Gerald, Owner and Founder of Groundhopper Soccer Guides · Profile
Paul is a traveler, writer, publisher and soccer freak. He started Groundhopper Soccer Guides as in 2014. When he's not kicking around England working on this site and his book, you can find him at Providence Park in Portland, cheering on the Portland Timbers.

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