Lancs vs Yorks

Two-minute story

Lancs vs Yorks

No matter which part of the country you come from you probably know something about The War of The Roses, fought out between Lancashire and Yorkshire centuries ago. I grew up in Essex and thought of these two counties simply as other teams that came to play cricket in Essex during the summer. Then we moved and went to live in Lancashire.

At Ripley there was a staff team which usually turned out on a Wednesday evening during the summer term. From Lancaster we toured around the local villages and there were times when the fixture list would extend itself to neighbouring counties, to Ingleton in North Yorkshire and up into the southern lakes, into Cumbria.

One fixture took us to Carnforth, about as far north as you can get in Lancashire. It was a bright summer’s evening, with not a cloud in the sky, a perfect evening for a game of cricket you would have said. But not for Denis it weren’t. We had batted first and when we took to the field later the sun was dipping to the horizon and troubling Denis in the slips. It was not long before Denis was forced to ask for help.

“Anyone got a cap I can borrow?”

Brian, our captain tugged a dark blue cap from his pocket and hurled towards Denis where it made a perfect landing his feet. Brian had played for Lancashire under-nineteens in his youth and this was a cap with a pedigree. Denis did not flinch, but looked down at the object in front of him with disdain.

“Eh,” he said, “Ah’m not wearing that bloody thing.” He pointed to the red rose which adorned Brian’s cap, turned away and squatted again in the slips to face the sun and the next ball.

Denis was born in Todmoden, in Yorkshire, just. The town is about six inches away from the border with Lancashire and, for a time it was part of the red rose county.

I said nowt and just looked on.

What did the writer, an Essex boy, learn about Lancashire and Yorkshire?

Why do you think the word nowt appears in the last sentence?

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