5 reasons Lancashire is the best part of the UK
Since 1996, 27 November has been marked as Lancashire Day, honouring the day in 1295 when the county first sent its representatives to parliament, and encouraging Lancastrians everywhere to celebrate their county’s heritage.
The annual celebration of all things Lanky has been massively gaining steam ever since a social media campaign saw it go viral in 2018, reaching an estimated 173 million people.
Many people will be tucking into a traditional hot pot and raising a toast to Lancashire, but what exactly is it that makes our part of the UK so special?
It has the best pub in Britain
The hearth and home of British culture has long been acknowledged as the local pub.
Good beer joints are such big business here that the Good Pub Guide strives each year to highlight the best bars in Britain, crowing the finest of them with the high honour of “Best in Britain”.
As of 2020, that title belongs to The Inn at Whitewell in Clitheroe.
The guide describes it as "a grand old house with a smart pubby atmosphere, top quality food, an exceptional wine list, real ales and professional, friendly service” before concluding that “"Every aspect of this lovely pub is truly first class."
Continuing Clitheroe’s domination, the Assheton Arms has taken the gong for Dining Pub of the Year in the 2020 guide.
It still has red squirrels
Despite having lived in the UK for some 10,000 years, the red squirrel has become an endangered species here thanks largely to the introduction of their grey counterparts in the 1800s.
While there were once over 3 million, there are now estimated to be only 140,000 left in the UK.
One of the only places in England in which you will find them is Lancashire. Thanks to determined conservation efforts, the red squirrel population there has been steadily increasing for the last decade or so.
Not only are the adorable animals an iconic part of the country’s wildlife, but they also play a vital environmental role by dispersing various kinds of seeds.
It has some of the heartiest food
British cuisine might be roundly mocked in other parts of the world, but it’s hard to beat when you’re looking for a warm, filling meal on a cold, rainy night.
When it comes to comfort food, Lancashire is in is element. The hotpot itself of course goes without saying.
The butter pie was invented there when someone had the genius idea to fill a pie crust with buttery potato. Also known as a Catholic or Friday pie, they were first invented for practicing Catholics who couldn’t eat meat on Fridays. .
The world’s first test tube baby was born there
The world’s first ever test tube baby, Louise Brown, was born at Oldham hospital on 25 July 1978.
This marked the first ever incidence of a human child being born through in vitro fertilisation.
After nine years of trying without success, John and Lesley Brown turned to the Oldham-based obstetrician Dr Patrick Steptoe who, along with his partner Dr Robert Edwards, was able to successfully implant an embryo into Mrs Brown.
At the time, the news sparked a media frenzy, with hundreds of reporters descending on both the hospital and the Browns’ home. The Vatican even released a statement expressing its unease.
Contrary to the name that would grab the headlines, the process actually involved a petri dish rather than a test tube.
It has the Blackpool Illuminations
Since 1879, the Blackpool lights have been dazzling visitors at the seaside resort.
They were first turned on a full year before Thomas Edison even patented the electric light bulb.
At the time, they were advertised as “artificial sunshine”, although the display originally consisted of only eight lamps.
Running each year for 66 days between August and November, they are over six miles long and feature over one million lightbulbs.
Each year, the big switch on sees a different celebrity doing the honours, beginning with Lord Derby in 1934. Since then, the likes of Status Quo, Kermit the Frog, Shirley Bassey and Tim Burton have all had a go.