CHESHIRE-L ArchivesArchiver > CHESHIRE > 2008-08 > 1217590678
From: "Brett Langston" <>
Subject: Re: [CHS] Stockport
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2008 12:37:58 +0100
There is a common misconception that the metropolitan counties, such as
Greater Manchester and Merseyside, were abolished in the 1990s. In fact
only the councils were abolished, but the metropolitan counties
themselves remain as legal entities, with their own Lords Lieutenant,
(While some people might say that if there is no county council, then
there can't be a county, it's worth pointing out that county councils
didn't exist untiil 1889!)
More recently other counties (such as Avon, Cleveland and Humberside)
have been completely abolished, with their territories restored to their
neighbours. However, Stockport remains legally in the county of Greater
Although the boroughs of Halton and Warrington became independent of
Cheshire County Council in 1999, the Lieutenancies Act 1997 ensured that
they would still come under the jurisdiction of the Lord Lieutenant of
Cheshire. I understand that the boundaries of the latter will not
change, even after next year's division into eastern and western halves.
One other point that might be of interest -- The process of reforming
local government began in earnest in the 1880s, when "Administrative
Counties" were created, based upon the "Ancient Counties". At the time
it was made clear that the "Ancient Counties" would continue to exist,
and be unaffected by the large number of changes being applied to the
boundaries of the "Administrative Counties". In the census reports for
1891 and 1901 figures were given for both types of county, highlighting
the distinctions between the two
When in 1974 the Administrative Counties were replaced by a system of
Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan Counties, the government gave a
further reassurance that the boundaries of the Ancient (or "Historic"
counties, as they then called them) would continue to be unchanged. So
Stockport, Birkenhead, and Wallasey are still part of the Ancient County
of Cheshire. The ancient counties still have a legal existence, but
their boundaries aren't shown on modern maps, and they have no practical
use for local government purposes.
The different types and definitions of counties over the years makes for
a very complicated situation to put it mildly (and in Wales and Scotland
things are even worse). Anyone interested in reading more would be well
advised to see the Association of British Counties web-site at
Hope this helps,
[mailto:] On Behalf Of allen williams
Sent: 01 August 2008 10:39
To: Joy Averis
Cc: Cheshire Mailing List
Subject: Re: [CHS] Stockport
Greater Manchester only came into existence in 1974. It ceased to exist
about ten years later because Mrs Thatcher didn't like the Metropolitan
counties: they had too powerful a voice which disagreed with her's. The
Boroughs became unitary authorities (i.e. they carried out all local
government functions without a County Council above them).
The Post Office started to use the Metropolitan County names in 1974,
but the increasing adoption and use of postcodes and the fact that
people still habitually used the old county names and still had affinity
with the old counties led them to a decision to abandon the use of
county names altogether. Postcodes (e.g. Stockport SK) cross county
boundaries - Stockport SK includes parts of Cheshire, Derbyshire and
Lancashire bits of what was Greater Manchester.
Thus, the borough of Stockport now, is in no County at all by the
definitions of the Government and the Post Office. The Borough includes
parts of what were Cheshire and Lancashire. This local government
reorganization process has been continual since the 1880s and is still
going on now. Cheshire County Council and all the other councils within
its present boundaries are to be abolished shortly and replaced by just
two: East and West Cheshire.
It is therefore best to stick to County names to designate their
historical areas, rather than try to modify their application to follow
the convolutions of local government or the delivery mechanism of the
Post Office. Therefore in 1800, and now, Stockport is in Cheshire.
Reddish (part of the present Stockport borough) is in Lancashire.
Warrington (administratively now part of Cheshire) is in Lancashire.
This is what the Cricket people do, after all.
The reorganization in 1974 was comprehensive (outside Greater London -
reorganized ten years earlier) throughout England and Wales. It had
other consequences than those in the metropolitan areas. Bits of
Yorkshire (for example) were transferred to Humberside, Cumbria and
Cleveland (new counties), Durham and (ugh) Lancashire, much to the
disgust of Yorkshire men and women, and prompted the formation of the
Ridings Society and the instigation of Yorkshire Day - August 1st: today
(which is also my 55th birthday, incidentally). So celebrate!
Sale Cheshire (M33 6LE)
Joy Averis wrote:
> Hi All
> Is there SKS who would know if Stockport was part of Cheshire in 1800
or part of Greater Manchester?
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