Berwick-
upon-Tweed

[ Issue 14 ]

Berwick-upom-Tweed fascinate(s) Emily Bronto

Let Bikwil unveil the charm of Berwick-upon-Tweed

Berwick-upon-Tweed

Are you as fascinated as Fizzgig is by the chequered history of English town of Berwick-upon-Tweed?

England's northernmost town is Berwick-upon-Tweed, on the north-east coast of Northumberland, just south of the Scottish border

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From the Back Verandah — Fizzgig

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England's northernmost town is Berwick-upon-Tweed, on the north-east coast of Northumberland, just south of the Scottish border. Originally part of Scotland, Berwick from the 12th century underwent a series of battles and ransom trades between England and Scotland that lasted 300 years. In that time it changed hands no less than 14 times, until in 1482 it permanently became part of England.

Berwick had already been proclaimed an fully independent district, with a Government separate from that of either England or Scotland, and a Court of its own (Lord Chancellor, Lord Chamberlain, bailiffs), and even its own mint. Indeed, up until 1885 no English Acts of Parliament were recognised in Berwick unless they explicitly stated that they applied to the town. This meant that in strict official parlance the U.K. had to be referred to as "The United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Berwick-upon-Tweed". (For all I know, it still does.)

This convention, however, failed to prevent a lovely blunder 50 years ago. When war was declared on Hitler’s Germany, the full U.K. title was used, but at war’s end somebody naughty forgot his protocol, and the peace declaration omitted mention of Berwick.

Berwick thus remained officially at war with Germany until the error was noticed — in 1987.

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