The Duchy of Lancaster, informally and more commonly referred to as simply Lancaster, is a survivor nation comprised mainly of the former English county of Lancashire in the northwest of England, along with small parts of Cumbria to the north and Merseyside to the south. It is bordered by the WFA to the north, Cleveland to the east, and the Celtic Alliance to the south.
- 1 History
- 2 Culture and Society
- 3 Religion
- 4 Politics
- 5 The Duke
- 6 Law and Order
- 7 Transport
- 8 Services
- 9 Economy and Trade
- 10 Education
- 11 Military
- 12 International Relations
- 13 Expeditions
- 14 Sport
- See main article: History of Lancaster
Culture and Society
Although Lancaster is generally considered advanced by post-Doomsday standards, within the Duchy itself there is considerable variation in the level of technological development. The most advanced areas are the capital and surrounding area, the coastal towns and the surviving mill towns, which are at a roughly early 20th-century level of development, with electricity, gas, a few large factories, trams and working motor vehicles (which are powered by bio-diesel or wood gas) existing alongside steam engines, horse drawn vehicles and a general lack of plastics. In more rural areas, however, particularly in the border regions, things are closer to a nineteenth or even eighteenth century level of development, with a heavy reliance on literal horse power and often primitive farming equipment, with almost all the work on smaller farms being done by hand. Electricity is supplied but tends to be unreliable, with power cuts being a common occurrence. However, it is hoped that this particular problem will be solved in the near future.
As was the case in most places, a lot of pets didn't survive long after Doomsday. With food in short supply there was seldom any to spare for pets. Many were killed as humanely as possible by owners whose only other choice was to let them slowly starve, or let loose to fend for themselves. Some, particularly rabbits and guinea pigs, but also cats, ended up on the table, although not usually the one belonging to their owners. Today rabbits are still relegated to 'food' status and most of the cats that made it through are semi-feral mousers. Dogs fared somewhat better by virtue of being useful enough to earn a share of the rations. Lap dogs and the like generally didn't last long but terriers, hunting dogs, and breeds used by the police and military made it through, as did anything that was strong enough to hitch to a cart.
Food and Rationing
As in most places affected by Doomsday, rationing was imposed in the Eighties and is still in force today, although the situation has improved considerably since Doomsday. Although no records pertaining to domestic rationing (ie, the rationing of foodstuffs purchased by households) have survived from the years following Doomsday, this is not the case when it comes to the food supplied to farm workers who were housed in temporary accommodation close to where they were working. In May 1984, the daily rations for a farm worker who'd be doing heavy physical labour consisted of one-half pint of thin porridge (often made with water rather then milk), three-quarters of a pint of vegetable soup, and either one small slice of potato bread, a piece of oatcake, or a plain baked potato. In 1987, after a poor grain harvest, the rations were reduced to one-quarter pint of thin porridge and three-quarters of a pint of vegetable soup, with the addition of one-half baked potato on alternate days. Needless to say, this diet provided nowhere near enough calories for someone who spent all day working in the fields and was deficient in several nutrients and the more popular cooks became such due to them developing considerable 'scrounging' skills and ingenuity for the purpose of improving the situation, for instance, a diarist of the period records the boost in morale that occurred when apples and blackberries were added to the porridge one day. However, by 1991 the situation had improved considerably, with the rations consisting of one half-pint of thick porridge, one-half pint of soup or vegetable stew with a slice of bread or piece of oatcake, and either two oatcakes or a baked potato.
Although the food policy with regard to adults was the usual "those who work get more food then those who don't", concern about the long term effects of early childhood malnutrition led to steps being taken to try to limit the damage. This included one meal per day, usually soup, being provided at schools and creches, which for many children was often their only meal of the day. Children also got most of the milk that was being produced which was likewise distributed through schools and creches.
Due to the area being being better for growing oats then wheat, oatcakes; both the cracker-like Scottish kind and the formerly obscure Lancashire variety, became a major part of people's diets, taking the place of bread to a certain extent. Oatmeal and the cakes made from it were rationed until 2001.
Bread, which is invariably wholemeal, was rationed until 2005 and even with the influx of wheat imported from the CA and Newolland it remains something of a semi-luxury with the cheapest loaves continuing to contain a certain amount of potato along with barley flour and/or oatmeal. Meat, despite it becoming more available in recent years, is still heavily rationed according to price. The current weekly rations for an adult are:
- One egg
- 10 oz cheese
- 2 pints of milk
- 8 oz butter
- 2 oz lard and/or suet
- 1/3 pint oil (vegetable or hemp seed)
- 6 oz bacon or ham
- No more then 2s. 7p worth of meat.
- 10 oz honey
Children under 14, along with expectant and nursing mothers are allowed an additional egg and pint of milk per week, with children under 14 also getting a daily allowance of one-third pint at school. Vegetarians can substitute their meat ration with other goods, similarly Jews and Muslims can do the same with the bacon/ham ration.
Sugar and anything containing it is still a rarity and is therefore rationed monthly. The current scale is:
- 6 oz sugar
- 6 oz preserves
- 1/2 pint cordial
It should be noted, however, that the price of sugar, which is almost exclusively derived from sugar beets, is so high that the majority of people buy far less them the maximum ration. Most sugar tends to go toward jam making, with there being a slight increase in the sugar ration in autumn in recognition of this.
The diet of the average Lancastrian is a rather plain one that is largely based on potatoes and oatmeal, with a number of dishes traditionally associated with Lancashire proving to be well suited to the post-Doomsday diet. These include the famous Lancashire hotpot and a meatless version called 'fatherless pie', black peas (a type of mushy peas made from purple peas), and butter pie (a pie made from potatoes, onions and butter). The main meal of the day is generally at noon for farm workers and anyone else who works outdoors, on the basis that since the climate change has made being outside at mid-day inadvisable, the time may as well be spent eating; and in the evening for miners and some factory workers for reasons of convenience.
According to the last census, the religious affiliations of the population of the Duchy of Lancaster are as follows:
- 73. 84 percent Christian
- 7.6 percent Muslim
- 0.5 percent Hindu
- 0.23 percent Buddhist
- 0.11 percent Jewish
- 0.1 percent Sikh
- 0.3 percent Other
- 12.3 percent No Religion
- 5.02 percent Did not state
Of the Christian majority, over one-third are Catholic due to Lancashire's long standing Catholic tradition and the efforts of the Duke to revive and preserve said tradition. The remainder are Celtic Church (although surprisingly few given the Duchy's proximity to Ireland), Church of Albion, and other forms of Protestant.
The political set up of the Duchy of Lancaster has a number of hold-overs from its pre-Doomsday incarnation, the most obvious of which is the post of Chancellor. Originally the chief officer in the daily management of the pre-Doomsday duchy, by 1983 it had become a relatively minor position with the associated duties being said to take up just one day a week. Post-Doomsday, however, it became the title of the head of government, largely because of tradition. The current Chancellor is Helen Southworth.
There are currently three political parties in Lancaster, Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. The Conservatives, who were the ruling party of the UK on Doomsday, have consistently failed to overcome the associated stigma and haven't won an election once since they resumed in 1996, with power alternating between the Lib Dems and Labour fairly regularly. The current ruling party of Lancaster is Labour. Parliament was held in Lancaster Town Hall for twenty years until the national government outgrew the premises, necessitating a move to new premises constructed near the river on the appropriately named Parliament Street.
Law and Order
Although the legal system in the Duchy is much the same as the pre-Doomsday English system, it soon became necessary for changes to be made in order to fit with the new situation after Doomsday.
The death penalty was reintroduced in Lancaster in 1986 for murder, paedophilia, rape, high treason, armed theft, raiding with violence, and arson, on the grounds that with food and other resources in short supply they shouldn't be wasted on those who are a menace to society. The method of execution is long drop hanging . Although still on the books for all of the aforementioned offences the law was relaxed slightly in 2003 so that while murder and high treason still carry automatic death sentences, as does paedophilia when the victim is under 14, when it comes to the others (arson, armed theft, raiding with violence, rape, and paedophilia when the victim is over 14) the decision of whether or not to impose the death penalty depends on the specifics of the case. The alternative to the death penalty in these cases is life with hard labour.
In 2004, after seeing its effectiveness in the Kingdom of Cleveland, the stocks were introduced for petty theft, affray, vandalism, drunk and disorderly and general public disorder. Like in Cleveland, the sentences are between 12 and 48 hours in six-hour shifts and the stocks are of the same design as the Cleveish variety. Cushions have to be hired, with the money going to charity, and coats are only allowed when the temperature is judged to be low enough to endanger the health of anyone not wearing appropriate clothing.
Unlike the pre-Doomsday definition of 15-to-20 years, life sentences are exactly what they sound like; barring a successful appeal those sentenced to life imprisonment will never see freedom again. Life sentences automatically come with hard labour unless the convict is judged to be physically incapable, with hard labour consisting of road building, track laying, any unskilled work that needs to be undertaken in quarantine or exclusion zones, mining (especially in the more dangerous mines) and any other strenuous, unpleasant work that the Duchy needs doing. For example, the canal detour near the Barton Hall site was constructed using convict labour, as was the track detour north of Chorley.
Shorter prison sentences are handed out for a variety of other crimes and may or may not include hard labour.
Minor offences are dealt with in a variety of ways, depending on the crime, the specifics thereof and the history of the offender. Standard sentences are fines, short prison terms, community service (litter picking, collecting manure off the streets, cleaning up graffiti, etc.) or a stint in the stocks. Under some circumstances the offender may also be given a choice between one of the standard sentences or a stint in the army (typically three to five years), although this is usually reserved for young (in this case 16- to 21-year-olds) and/or first time offenders, especially those whose backgrounds are believed to have contributed to their behaviour.
Magistrates courts in each of the major towns handle the majority of cases, with the High Court being at Lancaster Castle. The castle court is also used in cases where there is believed to be a risk of the accused attempting to escape while traveling from prison to court as the castle also houses a prison.
With cars and other motor vehicles rendered useless by the lack of petrol and diesel after Doomsday alternatives had to be found. Today the majority of the general public who have their own transport use either improvised carts made out of stripped down motor vehicles and drawn by horses, ponies or oxen, or new purpose built wooden carts and wagons. Another more unusual form of animal powered transportation are dog carts, which are exactly what they sound like, i.e. carts pulled by dogs. Although banned in England at the start of the twentieth century they made a comeback after Doomsday due to necessity. Said necessity was two-fold; people needed a draft animal that was easier to provide for then horses and with there being little food to spare for 'useless' animals (much to the sorrow of pet owners), carting provided a way for many pets to earn their keep. Today the use of dog carts is generally restricted to things like milk deliveries, children's toys and assorted lightweight haulage, with regulations in place to protect the dogs' welfare. At the larger end of the scale, there are also a number of vehicles which were converted to run on wood gas, including several buses, and horse drawn omnibuses. Both varieties of buses follow the pre-Doomsday routes. Bicycles are also extremely popular as a means of personal transportation.
In 1999, several working steam engines which had spent Doomsday and the intervening years in sheds belonging to railway museums at Carnforth, Fleetwood, Bury and Southport were brought out of retirement and after the necessary repairs to both trains and tracks were completed, services started in late 2003. Said services were hampered by the necessity of re-routing the track in places to avoid contaminated areas, the largest diversion being north of Chorley and going around the bombed ROF Chorley site near Euxton. Most of the track used in the construction of the detour was cannibalized from other sections of the railway, leaving a single track line in number of places. Initially rail services were restricted to the Duchy itself but by 2008 they had been extended to most towns in the eastern half of Rheged and rail links had been established with the Kingdom of Cleveland. Rather appropriately the rail link with Cleveland is now being used to import tracks to repair the cannibalized sections of line.
Due to the advanced age of the museum engines, not to mention that a number of them hadn't been designed for mainline services, it was clear from before they were returned to service that some of them would have to be either retired or transferred to better suited work sooner rather then later. In order to replace them when the time came and provide more trains for an increasingly rai
l dependent transport system, the train works at Horwich, which had been mothballed since Doomsday, resumed operation in late 2005. The trains produced at the works were based on the design of the LMS Stanier Class 5 mixed-traffic engine, better known as the Black Five. As of 2010, there are five Black Fives in service, they are:
- 5606 - Duke of Lancaster (Certified November 2007)
- 5607 - Lune (Certified August 2008)
- 5608 - Ribble (Certified January 2009)
- 5609 - Wyre (Certified October 2009)
- 5700 - Keer (Certified July 2010)
The livery of the Lancaster Railway is black with red lining and trim.
On a more local scale, the Blackpool tramway which runs from Blackpool to Fleetwood resumed operation as soon as electricity was restored to the area and has been providing a mostly reliable service ever since. Although the Blackpool tramway is the only one currently operating, it was announced in December 2010 that the construction of three new tramways would start in the spring of 2011. All three tramways will be located in the City of Lancaster conurbation, which is comprised of Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham, one following the A6 from Scotforth to Lancaster city centre, and two following the A589, the first going from Owen Road in Lancaster to Marine Road East in Morecambe and the second following the road from Marine Road East to the junction of Middleton Road and Trumacar Lane in Heysham, the terminus being a short conurbit walk from Heysham Port. Another tramline in Lancaster and one in Southport are in the early planning stages.
Due to most of the Greater Manchester and Merseyside areas being radioactive, all travel between the Duchy of Lancaster and Liverpool is by ship, as is all travel to the rest of the Celtic Alliance and to the western part of Northumbria, and a sizable percentage of travel to and from the WFA. Lancaster's three useable ports, Fleetwood, Heysham and Glasson Dock, are more then capable of dealing with the current volume of sea going traffic, plus any future increases. The Duchy's rivers are also important parts of it's transportation network, although the one most suited to transport, the River Ribble, is currently unused due to surrounding contamination and the fact that Preston, which is home to the Ribble's main dock, is still uninhabited. In addition to the natural waterways, the former county of Lancashire was home to two canals. While the Leeds-Liverpool was found to have worryingly high levels of radioactive contamination in the mid-eighties and was consequently drained and filled in, the Lancaster canal remains in heavy use, both for goods and several waterbus services run along its length, although a section near the bombed Barton Hall site had to be blocked off, with a detour being constructed in the early nineties. The waterbuses, barges and narrowboats are typically either wood gas powered or pulled by horses on the tow path, although there are a few with steam engines.
The bulk of the Lancastrian water supply comes from the country's various rivers and an assortment of relatively small reservoirs scattered around the country, although the use of some of the latter had to be discontinued due to biological and/or radioactive contamination. A few smaller and more isolated towns and villages get their water from streams or wells.
In the years following Doomsday, Lancaster's electricity was supplied by the coal-fired Padiham Power Station near Burnley and the nuclear Heysham Power Station. The latter had been under construction at the time of Doomday, with only one reactor online (the other was scheduled to come online in 1984), and its production levels had therefore remained far lower then was planned. It was found to have signs that it was becoming unsafe in 2000 and was shut down in 2005.
Currently electricity is provided by a combination of Padiham Power Station, two small co-firing waste-to-energy/biomass plants on the outskirts of Blackpool and Morecambe respectively, wind farms on the Forest of Bowland and West Pennine Moors, and numerous small-scale and micro-scale hydroelectric plants on the Duchy's many rivers.
In 2005, a coal gasworks was set up near Burnley which uses coal from the mines in the area and supplies gas to the various urban areas via the existing pipelines. For various reasons, many of the more rural areas are not connected to the mains and for the most part have to do without, although a couple of trials of small-scale bio-gas production using local agricultural waste and manure are currently underway and so far seem to be working well.
Economy and Trade
See Main Article: Economy and Trade
Education in Lancaster is mandatory from the age of five until the age of 14. In addition to standard subjects, the number of children whose parents die before they reach adulthood has led to schools offering 'life skills' classes throughout the period of compulsory education that teach such things as cooking, sewing, money management, and basic DIY skills (how to change a fuse, how to unblock drains, etc.) in an effort to ensure that by the time they leave school they can take care of themselves if they have to.
After the age of 14 children can leave full time education to take up an apprenticeship or continue in education until the age of 16 when they take the General Certificate of Education (G.C.E.) exams.
G.C.E. exams consist of a choice of four from the list of the following:
- English Language and Literature
- World History
- Foreign Language (Irish and Scottish Gaelic, French, or Spanish)
- Home Economics
Further Education Edit
Further education takes place from the age of 16 to 18. The majority of students continuing their education either attend sixth form, where they choose two subjects to continue studying from G.C.E. level (providing they passed the exams with an appropriate level) at the end of which the students take the A -level exams, or go to an agricultural school. A minority start attending a maritime or military academy.
The Duchy of Lancaster has two universities, Lancaster University and St.Martin's University (which is mainly focused on teaching and medical), both of which are located in the capital. In addition to the academic requirements, university attendance is limited to those whose families can afford to pay the fees, those who've managed to get the necessary grades for a scholarship, or, in the case of a few subjects such as medicine or engineering, those whose education is being funded by the military. In addition to Lancastrian students, they also accepted students from Rheged provided they had adequate grades and/or passed the entrance exams, with the same now applying to students from Northumbria and the WFA.
The Lancastrian army has two full-time infantry regiments, made up more or less equally of National Service conscripts and volunteers, the Duke's Own which is based in Lancaster (city), and the South Lancaster, based in Burnley. The regiments are mainly comprised of riflemen and crossbowmen, along with a unit of archers each, although there are plans to phase the latter out as soon as possible. Both regiments use vehicles, mainly 4x4s, vans and pickups, run on bio-diesel. There is also a full-time cavalry regiment, mainly used in areas where the terrain is too rough to allow for motor vehicles, and a small artillery unit.
In addition to the full time army there is the Territorial Army (TA). With the threat posed by raiders having lessened with time and the expansion of both Lancaster and other nations in the former north of England, those undertaking National Service are given the option of one year of full-time service or three years in the TA (six months initial training, then one week of training per year). The TA primarily acts as a reserve force in case of an increase in hostilities.
The Lancastrian navy, like those of most other English survivour states, is currently small and rather weak, being made up of a slightly motley assortment of converted fishing vessels and other suitable boats. Due to fuel restrictions its use is currently limited, consequently the possibility of converting some of the craft to run on steam engines is currently being discussed.
In terms of numbers, the Lancastrian air force is one of the bigger ones in the former UK, although it is actually fairly weak in terms of actual firepower, being comprised of mainly modified trainer aircraft that before Doomsday had been based at RAF Woodvale (now LAF Woodvale) near Southport, along with other assorted light aircraft. The LAF is based at LAF Woodvale and Blackpool Airport.
Initially the Lancastrian military didn't actually have a real uniform. While some pre-Doomsday army uniforms had survived, there wasn't enough to go around, leading to the troops being clothed in a somewhat motley mix of pre-Doomsday British Army uniforms, Army Cadets uniforms, various foreign army-surplus items deemed 'close enough' and suitable items of civilian clothing. Unfortunately this tended to match what the raiders often wore which as you's expect often caused problems and while patches identifying Lancastrian soldiers as such were worn on their shoulders, it was often hard to tell from a distance. A better solution was clearly needed.
Army Uniform No.1
The first problem that needed overcoming was obtaining enough fabric to make the uniforms with. Fortunately, a brief search yielded a decent-sized shipment of denim in the Fleetwood container yard, which was re-dyed a muddy-green colour and used to make hip-length, unlined and collarless jackets which were worn with green or brown trousers and boots (which were whatever was available, with Doc Martens and hiking boots being firm favorites). The garments worn under the jacket were initially far from standardised on the grounds that resources were limited and it didn't really matter provided they were hidden by the jacket, although dull coloured shirts, t-shirts, and sweaters predominated. Things got a bit more standardised when tight-knit green jumpers were added to the uniform in 1991.
Although far more uniform then the previous mishmash, the new uniform was not popular among the troops due to the lack of waterproofing (denim being notorious for getting heavy when wet and taking forever to dry) and insulation, although the latter issue was somewhat alleviated by the jacket's sizing allowing for layering. Nevertheless, due to necessity the uniform was continued until the late-90s, although later jackets were treated with linseed oil in an effort to waterproof them.
Army Uniform No.2
The current army uniform was first issued in 1998 and is both far more practical and complete then its predecessor. Currently the basic uniform is composed of wool trousers made with a mixture of green and brown fibers, a pale green nettle cloth shirt and brown boots (which are usually soled with recycled tires). A light nettle cloth jacket with generous pockets is worn in summer, while a tightly knitted olive-green crew-neck jumper and a thigh-length heavy wool coat which matches the trousers and also had generous pockets is worn in winter. In sharp contrast to the jackets of the first uniform, the current winter coats have proved to be a big hit with the troops.
Other then their uniforms and weapons, soldiers are issued with canteens, rucksacks, webbing and a multipurpose knife. Mess kits are also issued when necessary.
Due to its relative unimportance, the navy only acquired a uniform in 1999. Said uniform consists of trousers in the same style as the army's but dark blue, a light blue shirt, and black boots. A plain, undyed gansey and/or a dark-blue, hooded version of the army's winter coat are worn in bad weather.
Air force Uniform
Like the navy, the air force didn't get an official uniform until 1999. Their uniform is essentially a blue version of the army uniform, with black boots.
Lancaster has a cordial relationship with the Celtic Alliance and the other English successor states, although its unofficial relationship with the Kingdom of Cleveland could probably be more accurately described as an affectionate rivalry. There is an ongoing debate with the Celtic Alliance regarding who has the better claim to the area north of the Mersey which due to the area in question being radioactive has so far been largely academic, however, with radiation levels falling and reaching safe levels in places, this is likely to change in the future.
After a referendum on whether or not to apply for membership of the OBN, for which there was a 86 percent turnout for the polls with the results being 68 percent in favour and 32 percent against, the Duchy of Lancaster joined the OBN on the 14th November 2010, along with the Kingdoms of Cleveland and Northumbria.
Involvement with Rheged
Due to a combination of the closeness of the two countries (the distance between the Lancastrian town of Milnthorpe and the Rhegedian town of Kendal is less then seven miles), the lack of a geographical barrier between the two, the fact that Rheged is less developed then Lancaster and possibly the fact that the south of what is now Rheged was part of Lancashire until 1974, relations between the two nations have long been especially friendly. Citizens of both countries cross the border regularly and without identification, many Rhegedians come to work in Lancaster at the times of year where there's less demand for farm workers, and Lancastrian schools and universities have been open to Rheged citizens for years.
There have also been two occasions so far where Lancaster has got more directly involved in Rheged's affairs. The first time was in November 2009, when reports reached Lancaster of a massive flood event in western Rheged. Over two hundred troops and volunteers including medical personnel went to help with rescue and recovery and were joined by troops from Cleveland several days later. The second incident was in August 2010 when representatives from Rheged contacted the Lancastrian government about worrying military developments in the New Scottish state. In response Lancaster sent five hundred troops from the Duke's Own regiment to the north Rheged border, with an additional four hundred infantry and the artillery unit standing by ready to be deployed should it become necessary. They were joined by troops from Cleveland and Northumbria, making it the first military collaboration between all of the nations in the former north of England. Fortunately the feared invasion from Scotland never materialised and in mid-October the troops waiting to be deployed were taken off stand by and two hundred of those deployed returned to Lancaster, with the remaining three hundred working with an equal number of troops from Cleveland to train the newly formed Rheged militia.
Involvement with the Westmoreland and Furness Alliance
Following the break-up of the Rheged Co-operative, representatives of the newly established Westmoreland and Furness Alliance (WFA) approached the Lancastrian government with a proposal for a more advanced trade alliance between themselves and the Duchy. Lancaster was more then happy to grant their request and the arrangement that was agreed upon consisted of Lancaster importing WFA roofing slate and wool, along with a few other products, most of them sheep related, and the WFA importing Lancastrian manufactured goods such as textiles, beer, industrial alcohol, soap, carbolic acid, coal tar and other products of the Duchy's small chemical industry. Additionally, it was later agreed that the WFA would cease using the Cleveland Pound by June 2011 and begin to use the Lancastrian Pound from March 20th 2011.
In March 2011, the WFA started to express an interest in even closer relations between the two countries, with the WFA becoming a Lancastrian protectorate, making an official request to the Lancastrian government on 27th May 2011. After some debate, the Duchy's government granted their request on 1st June 2011.
On the 17th August 2011 the government of the Westmoreland and Furness Alliance announced that due to their increasing links with the Duchy of Lancaster the WFA will from the 22nd August 2011 the Westmoreland and Furness Alliance will become the Westmoreland and Furness Territories (WFT).
Full Integration of the WFA into the Duchy of Lancaster has been announced as the 25th May 2013.
In 2011, the Duchy of Lancaster collaborated with the Kingdom of Cleveland to explore the bombed cities of Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield, and the towns of Huddersfield, Halifax and Wakefield. On 19th June, a team of sixteen soldiers from the South Lancaster Regiment, including two medics, and two scientists from Lancaster University arrived in the Lancastrian border town of Keighley after spending several weeks training for the expedition, with the abandoned towns in the Greater Manchester area serving as the training grounds. After a stay in Keighley while the team double checked their equipment and made last minute adjustments, they headed out, meeting the Cleveland team on the outskirts of Leeds on the 24th June.
Hit by 200 kt bomb, exploration happened between 24th June and 17th July 2011. The bomb appears to have detonated in the River Aire in the centre of the city centre of Leeds, there is a large lake approximately 150 metres across, the centre of Leeds has been effectively flattened. However, it is unknown if this is due to the effects of the nuclear detonation, the following fires or the just the effect of the British weather on the area in the time since DD.
Downstream of the detonation point there appears to be no evidence of recent human habitation, particularly in the ruins of the town of Castleford and Knottingly. However, upstream there are some small subsistence farming communities. Many of the abandoned areas have almost returned to a wildwood type environment.
Hit by 100kt bomb, exploration happened between 20th July and 9th August 2011. The bomb appears to have air detonated directly over the city centre destroying everything within the central ring road.
Much of the rest of the city had burned shortly after DD, it is unknown if the burning was due to the detonation of the nuclear weapon or possibly rioting afterwards, as there had been reports from survivors from the area that public order rapidly degenerated after DD.
In the south of the former city small survivor communities had formed around areas of farmland, including Oakenshaw, Buttershaw and Clayton.
Huddersfield was a town near Leeds and Bradford, it was hit in the third wave of attacks with a 100 kt nuke, exploration occurred between the 10th and 14th August 2011
The centre of the town was flattened by an airblast detonation. However, the rest of the town appeared to have been little damaged by the blast, no signs of significant fire were detected. The town, however, appeared to have been abandoned very shortly after DD with no recolonisation since, some small communities were found to the south of the town in Taylor Hill, Netherton and Honley.
In the area around Leeds and Bradford are the towns of Halifax, Wakefield and Dewsbury, although not directly bombed on DD they suffered greatly from radioactive fallout, Halifax and Wakefield/Dewsbury were explored after Huddersfield.
Halifax was explored between the 16th and 19th August 2011, the town was mostly abandoned. However, the small town centre had been surrounded with a large wall at some point in the past.
Once the troops got through the wall they discovered that it had been abandoned also and while searching the building find large numbers of skeletons, most of them covered and lying in rows, the skeletons appear to have been there for many years, they also showed no signs of trauma so scientists believe either they died during a disease outbreak or that they committed suicide.
Dewsbury was explored between 21st and 22nd August 2011 and Wakefield between 23rd and 24th August.
Dewsbury was totally abandoned and had become completely overgrown with regrowth woodland.
Wakefield is a small market town working with local communities and farmers as well as having trade links with the town of Barnsley to the south and along the former M62 motorway the towns of Castleford and Pontefract to the east. They have also begun to have trade links with the Newolland town of Goole on the River Humber.
Hit by 200 kt bomb, Exploration happened between 29th August and 8th September 2011.
It was discovered that the bomb exploded as an air burst detonation roughly between the City of Sheffield and the nearby town of Rotherham, destroying the majority of both with massive firestorms.
The south of the city of Sheffield mainly survived the firestorm due to its distance from the detonation point and the fact the River Don and River Sheaf separate the area from the burned City.
From damage near the rivers in the area scientists with the team believe that there was a massive flood event in the last five years, rumours from towns downstream (and further afield in North Yorkshire) describe a massive flood during the summer of 2007.
Exploration of the area surrounding Sheffield have shown little human activity although the area closer to the former national park of the Peak District has shown signs of recent agriculture.
After the exploration of the City of Sheffield the two teams parted ways, the Cleveland troops heading east towards the Newolland town of Worksop, while the Lancastrian team went southwest to further explore the Peak District.
As in most places sport had to take a backseat after Doomsday. However, as soon as things had stabilised enough to allow people to have free time, it quickly made a comeback, first at an informal, amateur level and then more professionally.
A popular sport in the area before Doomsday, and one which the former county of Lancashire enjoyed considerable success in, cricket is now played at both amateur and semi-professional levels. There are two leagues, Central Lancaster and North Lancaster. The majority of competitions have so far been local, regional or national (although the North Lancaster League has been known to allow players from Rheged and later the WFA to take part). However, following trade links being established between Lancaster and Cleveland, a number of informal games took place between merchants from each country, something which eventually led to an official competition being established.
The Roses, which takes its name from the fifteenth century War of the Roses, is an annual Test Cricket series played between Lancaster and Cleveland. In the style of the defunct Ashes competition between Britain and Australia, each country hosts the competition on alternate years. The first series was played in Lancaster in 2008, with victory going to the hosting nation.
Football was the first sport to regain organised status after Doomsday, with the formation of the Lancaster Football Association (LFA). Teams are semi-professional at most, with players holding down ordinary jobs off the pitch.
As of 2010, the teams are:
- Lancaster City F.C.
- Blackpool F.C.
- Burnley F.C.
- Southport F.C.
- Blackburn Rovers
- Fleetwood Town F.C.
- Accrington Stanley F.C.
- Morecambe F.C.
- Clitheroe F.C.
- Colne F.C.
- Skipton Town F.C.
- Carnforth Rangers