Mid­dle­sax­ons proudly fight to keep county name alive

Uxbridge Gazette - - Looking Back - by FREDERICA MILLER frederica.miller@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Fred­diAMiller

TECH­NI­CALLY, Mid­dle­sex ceased to ex­ist in 1965 when its county coun­cil was dis­solved and the re­gion was ab­sorbed by Greater Lon­don.

So why, you might ask, more than 50 years later are peo­ple still cel­e­brat­ing Mid­dle­sex Day?

Be­fore list­ing the rea­sons why some peo­ple are still proud Mid­dle­sax­ons, let’s first con­sider what and where Mid­dle­sex is (or was).

Mid­dle­sex Univer­sity, in Barnet, and Mid­dle­sex County Cricket Club are among the fa­mous in­sti­tu­tions named af­ter the an­cient county that once reached as far as Whitechapel and West­min­ster.

When Mid­dle­sex was formed around 890AD, it stretched from Bow in east Lon­don to Uxbridge in the west and as far north as Pot­ters Bar.

Self-pro­fessed Mid­dle­sax­ons would ar­gue the county still ex­ists and in­cludes bits of the bor­oughs of Barnet, Brent, Eal­ing, En­field, Haringey, Har­row, Hilling­don, Houn­slow and Rich­mond-upon-Thames.

To­day (Wed­nes­day) they will be proudly cel­e­brat­ing Mid­dle­sex Day, which oc­curs on May 16 each year.

It not only hon­ours the Mid­dle­sex Reg­i­ment, who suc­cess­fully stopped Napoleon’s troops in their tracks on that same date in 1811, but it is a sa­lute to ev­ery­thing Mid­dle­saxon.

The Mid­dle­sex Fed­er­a­tion is an or­gan­i­sa­tion that cam­paigns to raise aware­ness of the county and de­scribes Mid­dle­sex Day as “the lode­stone of per­pet­ual Mid­dle­sex pride”.

On its web­site, The Mid­dle­sex Fed­er­a­tion writes: “Now the fight to re­tain the mag­nif­i­cent and hon­ourable Mid­dle­sex name is against bu­reau­cracy, or some politi­cians who wish to merge, dis­band or abol­ish a cen­tury of his­tory.

“That is why May 16 has come to mean more than a bat­tle for it has be­come the lode­stone of per­pet­ual Mid­dle­sex pride, lest we for­get this is the name that men through over a thou­sand years of his­tory have ral­lied to in Eng­land and Bri­tain’s de­fence. Mid­dle­sex [has] never let our coun­try down, but there are those who have let our county down, lest they for­get May 16 is our day, Mid­dle­sex Day.”

So even if you do not con­sider your­self as liv­ing in Mid­dle­sex, why not spare a thought for its rich his­tory on Wed­nes­day?

Lord’s Cricket Ground is home to Mid­dle­sex CC and (be­low) Mid­dle­sex Univer­sity’s Hen­don cam­pus

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