Borders (General)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Monday, July 29, 2013, 13:13 (2647 days ago) @ pojames

Wow, thats getting a bit deep for me !
Personally and without (honestly)trying to avoid the question, I'd honestly say we just called it the Border, if anything. We all knew which Border hence country we meant. To be fair since they abandoned conscripted forced-maintenance# of Offa's Dyke, I dont think any of us thought anything of it for the majority of the time, there being no border controls etc, it being no different than crossing county boundaries.
My view changed slightly as I got older, as sadly there could be some ill-feeling between the two nations, just as there could be with young men from different parts of the same town or village, or in your case perhaps Yorkshire and Lancashire. Also my trips into Wales were usually as supporters or members of sports teams based in England, so a competitive nature was invariably there from the start. You may recall in the 70s particularly, it was the norm for England to be beaten at rugby by the great Wales sides; rugby is traditionally very important in the Forest and still overshadows football to some extent, so the Wales match was always worth watching at my best friend's house with his Welsh Valleys dad & English mum, both proud sports fanatics. Mind I also recall there was occasionally a certain attitude towards us Dean Foresters from the likes of Gloucester, for example, if only in the eyes of juveniles, altho thankfully I don't think this is true anymore. Basically, I think all Foresters are proud of their independent roots, maybe even a separate "state" from both Wales AND England, a little different and why not.

However the area thro which the Wye flows, particularly up thro' Hereford, is generally historically referred to as the Welsh Marches in guidebooks etc etc.

I'm sure this came about from an English viewpoint, which I guess your father pickedup on. Maybe the good folk of Wales call them the English Marches ?

# Just joking of course, I have MANY good friends from Wales, some even going back to my living there as an 80s student, not to mention my paternal grandad. However its true that some Foresters are perhaps more animated with respect to our Celtic cousins than someone from elsewhere in the UK probably would be, so perhaps its best if we just call it "the border".

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