Woodbridge is a small survivor state located in the county of Suffolk in eastern England that grew out of the US air bases at Bentwaters and Woodbridge. In the aftermath of Doomsday the garrisons of those bases assumed a leadership role in their locale.
In the aftermath of Doomsday refugees fleeing from the lawlessness in the city of Ipswich made their way north as amateur radio operators had received signals from Bentwaters and Woodbridge.
During the years of military rule the nation was known as Woodbridge/Bentwaters but after the return to civilian control the name was altered to just Woodbridge.
Over the years Woodbridge has expanded so that its territory now consists of something like two-thirds of the old county Suffolk. It also claims to have control of the city of Ipswich but in reality this "control" translates as regular scouting missions and raids against the gangs that have made Ipswich their home. It was during one of these missions to Ipswich that Woodbridge made first contact with the people of Essex.
People who live in Woodbridge are known as Woodbridgers.
Bentwaters and Woodbridge were once USAF bases close to the town of Woodbridge.
Doomsday and the immediate aftermath
Woodbridge/Bentwaters was the target of an attack on Doomsday but luckily for the residents of the base the bomb that was aimed at the bases overshot and fell into the sea somewhere off Aldeburgh. At the same time a large mushroom cloud and a massive light was seen to the north and it was assumed that this was the result of an successful attack on the nuclear power station at Sizewell. However, luckily for them the twin bases had their own generators so they were able to maintain power.In the days following the attacks Brigadier General Dale C. Tabor, commander of the bases decided to dispatch survey team to discover the situation in the immediate vicinity. It was one of these teams who were traveling north along the A12 who came into contact with a large group of civilians from whom they found out that Sizewell had indeed been attacked as had Norwich, the major city of East Anglia. Sizewell had been attacked by conventional weapons whereas Norwich had fallen victim to a nuclear attack. Another team traveled south to Martlesham where the Suffolk police had their headquarters. It was felt that given the situation the troops at the bases and any civilian police still available would probably have to combine to maintain any semblance of law and order. Looting became more and more of a problem, so much so that in the first week of October Tabor declared that martial law was in effect in Woodbridge and the surrounding villages and that anyone caught looting would be subject to summary execution. There was, however, considerable unrest among the civilian population. Some people jealously guarded their goods and property and didn't like the idea of being under the control of the troops from Woodbridge and this lead to a large number of deaths due to what became known as "trigger-happy Yanks". There were also some who ignored Tabor's declaration of martial law and continued to loot and rob their neighbours. Some of these criminals managed to survive and over time they formed the basis of what is now organised crime in Woodbridge.
In 1986 Brigadier-General Tabor announced that the area under his control now constituted the Woodbridge/Bentwaters Military Government and it would be run by the Military Command Council which would consist of the senior officers of the two bases. This announcement led to a series of demonstrations which were put down by members of the 81st Security Police Squadron which had controlled security and law enforcement on the two bases. Some of the leaders of the demonstrations were killed (accidentally according to the the troops involved) but most were arrested and sentence to imprisonment.
In 1995 Tabor, was removed from power by a group of junior officers who felt that he was becoming too much of a dictator. Tabor and the other members of the Military Command Council were sent into a kind of internal exile and stripped of all military rank. Captain Charles Johnson, the new leader of the Council, while wanting to maintain military realised that there was still a demand for a return to civilian rule so he came to a compromise. He announced the creation of the Advisory Civilian Council which consisted of nominated (not elected) members of the public and acted as an advisory group to the MCC. However, it had little real power and didn't block the growing demands for democratic reform.
Woodbridge first became aware of other organised states in late 1999/2000 when they came into contact with forces from the Celtic Alliance and Essex respectively. As knowledge of these nations and their democratic systems of government became more widespread the calls for a return to civilian rule got louder and louder. This pressure came to a head in late 2000 when a general strike by the civilian population and external pressure led Captain Johnson to agree to a constitutional convention.
Expansion and Wars
To begin with, Woodbridge only controlled the immediate environs of the bases at Woodbridge and Bentwaters but gradually it took control of the east and south of the county. This expansion can be divided into three major phases.
- By the end of 1986 Woodbridge controlled all of the old local government district of Suffolk Coastal
- In 1989 Woodbridge moved into Waveney which was situated immediately to the north of Suffolk Coastal. This move was deemed necessary as the Military Command Council felt that Woodbridge needed a port and somewhere to start work on a navy, perhaps by converting fishing boats. and Lowestoft, the largest town in Waveney fit the bill.
- In subsequent years Woodbridge gradually expanded into Mid Suffolk and by 1997 Woodbridge controlled all of Mid Suffolk.
In recent years communities in the west of Mid Suffolk have regularly fallen victim to raids by a comparatively well-armed and organised group seemingly based in the districts of St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath. In the course of a meeting between the defence secretaries of Woodbridge and Essex early in 2010 it became clear that Essex had also suffered raids from what would appear to be the same group. The tactics of the group carrying out these raids led Essex to believe that the force in question was, at least in part made up of the remnants of the True British Army whom had been defeated by Essex in the War of 2008. Woodbridge had been planning on expanding into the area in question but existence of the raiders made it slightly more difficult. It was decided, therefore, that Woodbridge and Essex would stage a joint "invasion" of the area in question later in the year.
After the invasion of West Suffolk had been completed it was decided between Essex, Woodbridge and Newolland to advance farther in order to completely destroy the TBA as a credible threat.
See: Invasion of Norfolk
After the wars had ended, it was felt necessary to show the safety of the new territories and thus between July 3rd and July 10th Lee Evans, Prime Minister John Robson, and King William of Newolland along with a large retinue and only token guards walked on foot from Spalding to Southend via Ely, Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket, Sudbury, Chelmsford, and Billericay. It was intended to demonstrate that people could walk with confidence from one nation to the next, and it worked, drawing large crowds and media attention. Prime Minister Robson also took the opportunity to visit the graves of the Woodbridge soldiers found by Newollandish troops after the Battle of Ely.
Condominium of West Suffolk
It was decided that the areas of West Suffolk taken from the TBA would be jointly governed by Essex and Woodbridge and both governments gave financial bonuses to whichever of their citizens would move into the territory.
Condominium of West Norfolk
It was decided that the territories in West Norfolk taken from the TBA by Newolland and Woodbridge would be governed in a similar way. With the utter collapse of the TBA in the area the Condominium's authority, though nominally limited to a small area east of the River Great Ouse, extends across the entire western third of the county.
Maps of Woodbridge
This is a series of maps showing the gradual territorial expansion of Woodbridge
In an agreement with Newolland on 1st January 2011 Woodbridge will take sole control of a southern section of the Condominium of West Norfolk and part of East Cambridgeshire.
It is fully expected that at some point Woodbridge will make further incursions into Norfolk
A HH-53 helicopter from Woodbridge's air force was shot down Ipswich while undertaking a regular patrol.
See: The Ipswich Incident
30th April A report in the Woodbridge Examiner stated that they had gained possession of information which led them to believe that senior members of the Army and government had connections with organised crime and it was these connections that had allowed some the Army's weaponry to end up in the possession of some of the armed gangs in Ipswich.
31st April The Woodbridge Examiner printed another report going into more detail and evidence was revealed that among the people involved the corruption allegations were the Defence Secretary, Stephen Bracey and the officer commanding the 8th Battalion of the Woodbridge Army.
The citizens of Woodbridge voted in the third General Election since the nation was returned to civilian control. It is thought that the events in Ipswich and the associated corruption allegations had a large effect on the results which led to the Conservative majority being reduced to a single seat.
During a debate in parliament over the allegations in the Woodbridge Examiner, Labour party leader Chris Mole demands that the government sets up an independent inquiry to the allegations.
Prime Minister Bee finally bows to pressure and announces a full-scale independent inquiry into the allegations of corruption within the government. At the same time Brigadier Gordon Lethbridge, the commanding officer of the Woodbridge army announces a parallel inquiry into the allegations concerning military corruption.
The twin inquiries begin in Parliament House and there is a demonstration outside organised by the families of the soldiers who died in the Ipswich Incident.
While being questioned by the military inquiry, an officer from military intelligence reveals that during the clean-up operations after the Ipswich Incident a large amount of weaponry was found in the possession of some of the city's gangs that had been found come from the armoury of the 8th Battalion.
A high-ranking member of one the Ipswich gangs found in possession of weapons from Woodbridge testifies under oath that they had bought the weapons from criminals in Woodbridge with whom they regularly traded.
The Chief Constable of the Woodbridge police force admits that even before the Ipswich Incident they had information from informants within organised crime which had led them to believe that gangs had contact with corrupt members of the military. When asked why the police had not acted upon this information the Chief Constable said that investigation were ongoing at the time of the Incident.
A member of a leading Woodbridge criminal who was arrested in the aftermath of the Incident and decided to give evidence against his former associates in exchange for a reduced sentence goes into great detail about the connections between organised crime and corrupt officers within the 8th Battalion.
A junior officer in the 8th Battalion, giving evidence in secrecy, details several meetings that took place between his commanding officer and criminals. He also says that officials from the MoD were present at several of these meetings.
Following up the information given by the officer, several MoD officials are called to appear before the civilian inquiry.
Both inquiries take a final day's worth of evidence and announce that they will present a full and detailed report into their findings early next year. They also announce that for the sake of fairness the two reports will be released on the same day.
In a joint press conference the heads of the two inquiries set up in the aftermath of the Ipswich Incident announce that they believe that Defence Secretary Bracey and Colonel Rhodes both have a legal case to answer concerning the charges of corruption and arms dealing. As soon as the press conference is over both Bailey and Rhodes are arrested upon various charges related to the inquiries.
The juries in the corruption trial of Bracey and Rhodes have found them guilty of all charges. The judge presiding over the trial will pass sentence within a month or so.
The judge at the trial of Bracey and Rhodes announced this morning that both men would serve a sentence of 15 years hard labour.
The result of the bye-election that took place as a result of Defence Secretary Stephen Bracey having to quit parliament due to his being found guilty of corruption and arms dealing was announced this morning. Labour won an overwhelming victory and the Conservatives were pushed into third place by the Veteran's Party. This result means that Woodbridge now has a hung parliament and the Conservatives don't have a parliamentary majority for the first time since the country was returned to civilian rule in 2001.
In today's edition of the Woodbridge Examiner it was reported that a Conservative MP was about to leave the party. If this turned out to be the case it would mean that the Conservatives would be running a minority government. Furthermore it would increase the chances of the opposition parties successfully holding a vote of no confidence in the government. If the vote was successful then by law a new election would be held.
Michael Danson, Conservative MP for Woodbridge South held a press conference to announce that he had decided to leave the party and become an Independent MP. He claimed that the corruption trial of Defence Secretary Bracey was the final straw and he had for some time become disillusioned with the Conservative.. "Any party that has been in power for as long as the Conservatives have tends to develop a sense of thinking that it deserves to always be in power and the actions of Defence Secretary Bracey demonstrate this."
Christopher Mole, the leader of the Labour Party has called for a vote of no confidence in the government of Prime Minister Bee.
Edward Pagett, Speaker of Parliament that the vote requested by Mr Mole will take place on the 11th.
Parliament passed a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Bee's government which by the constitution of Woodbridge means that a general election will take place on a date to be decided later.
Prime Minister Bee announced in Parliament that the General Election would take place on Thursday February 21st.
The results of the General Election were announced:
Labour 25 (+9)
Conservatives 22 (-19)
Liberals 22 (+7)
Veterans 10 (+2)
Independent 1 (+1)
Meaning that for the first time since Woodbridge was returned to civilian rule the Conservatives were no longer the largest party in parliament. No single party had gained a majority meaning there would be several days of discussion about forming a coalition.
Christopher Mole of the Labour party and Marian Andrews of the Liberals announced that their parties had agreed to form a coalition.
Prime Minister Mole announced that Woodbridge would be applying for full membership of the League Of Nations.
After a long and somewhat stormy meeting of the Conservative MPs former Prime Minister Mark Bee announced that he would be resigning as leader of the party. Party Chairman George Rhodes announced that nominations would open for the leadership the following day. Any MP wishing to stand must have the backing, in writing, of at least four other MPs and ten constituency parties. Nominations would close on 26th April.
George Rhodes announced that five MPs had gained enough backing to stand for the leadership of the party
It was announced the leadership election for the Conservative Party would take place on 29th May in Parliament. The electorate would consist of the 22 MPs and the chair of each constituency party. The election would have a number of rounds with the candidate with the lowest number of votes being eliminated. For a candidate to be declared the overall winner they would have to receive 52 votes.
The five candidates for leader of the Conservative Party were Ian Jones (former Chancellor), Hilda Purviss (former Home Secretary), Dr Frederick Mitchell (former Health Secretary) and backbenchers Michael Elgate and Victor Martinez.
First round of voting
- Ian Jones 31
- Frederick Mitchell 30
- Hilda Purvis 24
- Victor Martinez 10
- Michael Elgate 7
Michael Elgate was eliminated from the vote.
Second round of voting
- Ian Jones 42
- Frederick Mitchell 38
- Hilda Purviss 26
- Victor Martinez 6
Victor Martinez was eliminated from the vote.
Third round of voting
- Frederick Mitchell 45
- Ian Jones 44
- Hilda Purviss 13
Hilda Purviss was eliminated from the vote.
Fourth round of voting
- Frederick Mitchell 52
- Ian Jones 50
Frederick Mitchell was therefore elected as leader of the Conservative Party.
In a controversial speech in Parliament Edgar Hale, Labour MP for Waveney North put forward the idea that Woodbridge should cut all constitutional ties with New Britain and declare itself a republic ... "They ran away leaving us to cope on our own, so I say that we owe them nothing."
Edgar Hale announces the foundation of the Woodbridge Republican Association, a non-party group dedicated to the establishment of a Republic of Woodbridge.
The house of Edgar Hale was firebombed, an act that was claimed in a message sent to the Woodbridge Examiner, by a group calling itself the Woodbridge Royalist Army.
In his New Year Message Prime Minister Mole announced that in preparation for the entry of the New Territories into Woodbridge proper in the latter half of 2016 a legislative council would be formed in the New Year and a governor appointed to oversee the region
Elections took place for the legislative council of the New Territories. The results were as follows:
Veterans Party two
25th February 2016
Prime Minister Bee placed a Bill before Parliament allowing for the reinstatement of the pre-Doomsday district councils with the exception of Babergh which is now part of Essex. Part of the bill stated that once they became part of Woodbridge proper the areas currently known as the New Territories would be called West Woodbridge.
Lowestoft is the second largest town in the whole of Woodbridge with a population of 4500. It serves as the base of the 4th Battalion of the Army of Woodbridge and as the headquarters of the Navy of Woodbridge. Some local politicians feel that the town is all too often ignored in discussion in Parliament and they are pushing for the restoration of the old district councils of Suffolk. The old district of Waveney is the stronghold of the Labour party and a large portion of the party's MPs come from the district.
- See also: List of Prime Ministers of Woodbridge
Woodbridge was, for a number of years, run by the Military Command Council which consisted of the senior officers of the military bases that give the state its name. In early 2000 after a number of large protests by the civilian population the Military Command Council agreed to hand over power to an elected civilian government. It was agreed by all parties that the new political system would be more or less identical to that which governed Britain.
- Parliament would be a single-chamber body.
- Government would have a fixed term of five years.
- The leader of the largest party in parliament forms the administration and has the title of Prime Minister.
- The Prime Minister also serves as Foreign Secretary.
- Serving members of the armed forces are not allowed to run for parliament although they are allowed to vote. (This also applies to former members of the Military Command Council).
- Elections in Woodbridge are run under the first past the post system, i.e, whichever candidate gets the largest percentage of the vote is elected whether or not that percentage consists of a majority of the votes cast.
- In order to maintain the public's trust in their political representatives any MP found guilty of any criminal offence, however minor, would automatically lose their seat and a bye-election would take place within a month.
The Cabinet of the Woodbridge consists of seven ministerial posts:
- Prime Minister/Foreign Secretary
- Chancellor of the Exchequer (responsible for the financial policies of Woodbridge)
- Home Secretary (responsible for overseeing the legal system)
- Defence Secretary
- Trade and Industry Secretary
- Health Secretary
- Education and Culture Secretary (including responsibility for the media and sport)
The constitution of Woodbridge has a number of quirks:
- The Defence Secretary has to have served in a branch of the armed forces for a minimum of three years.
- The Home Secretary has to have qualified as a lawyer.
- The Health Secretary has to have qualified as a doctor.
- Parliament still has a presiding officer known as the Speaker but unlike in pre-Doomsday times Woodbridge's Speaker is one of two candidates selected by a specifically appointed committee and then voted on by Parliament.
Parliament sits in the old headquarters of Suffolk Coastal District Council which has been renamed Parliament House.
It has 100 members who belong to one of four parties plus one independent
- Conservatives (led by Mark Bee) 30
- Labour (led by Christopher Mole) 31
- Liberals (led by Marian Andrews) 26
- Veterans Party (led by Albert Maxwell) 12
- Independent (Michael Danson) 1
The first three are continuations of the pre-Doomsday parties whereas the Veterans Party as its name suggests is a party founded by former members of the Woodbridge military, both American and British that campaigns for veterans' rights and a strong military. Albert Maxwell, leader of the Veteran's Party is a former Chief Master Sergeant in the USAF. At the moment Woodbridge has ambassadors in all the member states of the Organisation as well as the Celtic Alliance. It is hoped that the recent trade deal with Sweden and Norway will lead to an exchange of ambassadors with those nations as well.
In 2017 4 Labour MPs left to form the Republican Party of Woodbridge (RPW). Their main belief is that Woodbridge should become a republic de jure as well as de facto. The RPW feel that while New Britain has renounced all claims to territory on the British Isles too many people in authority in Woodbridge have a sentimental attached to King Andrew and by becoming a republic the country could become a "grown-up" country rather than one that "still looks to a distant parent for advice"
New Year's Message
On January 1st 2011 WBC1 broadcast a message from Prime Minister Bee in which he went over the events of the past year and announced some of his plans for this year. He announced that Woodbridge would be applying to join both the Atlantic Defence Community and the League. Bee said that he felt it was time for Woodbridge to take its place on the wider world stage. In an interview he gave to WBC1 later that day, Christopher Mole, leader of the opposition Labour party said that while he was, in principal in favour of the moves he felt that the timing was a bit suspicious given the General Election that was due later in the year.
See also: Elections
The "New Territories" is a general term for regions under Woodbridge control that are not yet part of Woodbridge proper. These are:
- The Condominium of West Suffolk
- South-West Norfolk
- Eastern Cambridgeshire
Woodbridge citizens in these areas do not elect MPs to the Parliament of Woodbridge yet.
In preparation for the absorption into Woodbridge of the New Territories in 2016 a legislative council was elected in 2014 and a governor appointed
The governor appointed was Adrian Coleby, a lawyer and former MP.
Law and Order
The police force of Woodbridge follows the pattern of its pre-Doomsday predecessor in that it is divided into two branch, a uniformed branch and a plain clothes division. In the discussions during the handover of power to a civilian government it was agreed that by and large the police would remain unarmed although there is a small section of the force that undergoes weapons training. The police headquarters are situated in the pre-Doomsday headquarters of the Suffolk Constabulary at Martlesham.
When Woodbridge was under military rule most crimes committed in the nation carried a sentence of varying degrees of non-paid hard labour which can mean working on farms, building projects or creating roads, etc. Anyone found guilty of a crime of a violent or sexual nature was incarcerated in Woodbridge's only prison, which was situated at Framlingham Castle where they were guarded by a battallion of soldiers. Each battlion in the Woodbridge army took a six-month turn at guarding.
In 1999 a long-range helicopter scouting party from Woodbridge was forced to make an emergency landing outside of London. Soon after the landing the commander of the scouting party was extremely surprised when they met up with some well-armed soldiers. After a rather tense stand-off talks between the two units began and the Woodbridge commander learned that the other unit was from a nation styling itself the Celtic Alliance which was based around the old Irish Republic. This was the first time news had reached Woodbridge of any other survivor nations in the whole of Britain. In the subsequent years there was more and more contact between Woodbridge and the Alliance and one of the first acts of the democratically elected civilian government in 2005 was to propose an exchange of ambassadors. Unbeknownst to the commander of the scouting party, on its way down to London the helicopter had been noticed by people from the nation of Essex. This led to an unfortunate incident in early 2000, during Woodbridge's next scouting mission to Ipswich when forces from Woodbridge accidentally fired on some unknown military units. These units happened to be from Essex and they had traveled north after concerned had been raised in Essex after they saw the Woodbridge helicopter flying south. After this unfortunate first contact relations between Woodbridge and its neighbour to the south have improved immeasurably.
Woodbridge also has close links with the survivor community of Newolland in Lincolnshire. The two entities became aware of each other in 2006 when a trawler from Woodbridge entered a harbour in Lincolnshire. It had got lost after a storm and saw the harbour and thought it may be a safe haven. The skipper of the trawler made himself known to the local authorities and promised to return at a later date. When the trawler returned to Woodbridge the skipper told the government what had happened. After some discussion the Woodbridge authorities decided to make official contact with the other nation and a diplomatic mission was sent consisting a member of the cabinet and a few soldiers not to mention the trawler skipper. There is an agreement in place that as Woodbridge improves its military capabilities a lot of the older weaponry is sold to Newolland at a reasonable price as before contact with Woodbridge that nation's military was largely armed with extremely old fashioned weaponry with only a few shotguns. Woodbridge also trains the Newollandish military in the use of the new weaponry.
Woodbridge does have occasional problems with raiding parties from small survivor communities from Norfolk although the way the Kingdom of Cleveland dealt with the "pirates" of Burnham Deepdale points the way to a solution to that problem. It was in the aftermath of the Cleveland expedition to deal with the Burnham pirates that Woodbridge first became aware of the existence of the Kingdom of Cleveland as the commander of that expedition, Sir James Martin left radios in order to allow Woodbridge to maintain contact with Cleveland.
Woodbridge, along with Essex and East Britain was a founding member of the Organisation of British Nations which was originally formed in order to facilitate trade relations between the three nations. Since the OBN's inception in 2008 it has moved beyond just being a simple trading organisation to become something that allows the member nations to co-operate on such matters as development and expansion beyond the eastern fringe of Britain. The OBN also give its members a louder voice on the world stage which can be useful given the power that the Celtic Alliance has.
Prime Minister Bee announced that Woodbridge would be applying for membership of the Atlantic Defence Community and the League of Nations at some point in 2011.
In September of 2010 King Andrew of New Britain embarked upon a tour of the member states of the Organisation of British Nations. This was the first time he had visited the "old country" since he left for South Africa in 1985. During the time when he was in Woodbridge King Andrew did a number of things.
- He addressed the parliament of Woodbridge.
- He watched a football match between Woodbridge FC and a team from the New British visiting party.
- He visited Lowestoft and whilst there helped to launch WS St Edmund, the first of the freighters from Sweden and Norway that had been converted.
Economy and Trade
As the economy collapsed in the aftermath of Doomsday the old currency became increasingly irrelevant and a barter system came into existence. In 1990 the Military Command Council felt that society and the economy had stabilised to such a extent that a proper financial system was necessary. A national bank was established and over the next few years a currency, the New Pound was introduced. Recently Woodbridge's neighbouring state Essex has also been considering moving from a barter system to a currency-based one. Over the past few months discussions had been ongoing over the possibility of Essex adopting the New Pound as its currency. On the afternoon of April 26th Prime Minister Robson and High Minister Lee Evans of Essex made a joint statement that Essex would take up the usage of a currency, the New Pound, by June 1st. The design of the currencies would be different to each nation but would be legal tender in both, holding the same value, to "Promote economic closeness and wipe away the barrier to free trade both within and between our countries that bartering imposed."
The economy of Woodbridge is based largely on agriculture:
- Winter wheat
- Winter barley
- Sugar beet
- Oilseed rape
- Rapeseed animal meal (for cattle, pigs and chickens)
- Linseed Oil
A lot of the bio-diesel produced in Woodbridge is used in the nation's own agricultural vehicles. Any oil that Woodbridge buys is used exclusively in its military vehicles.
Agriculture is also part of the criminal justice system of Woodbridge. People who commit minor crimes punishable by a sentence of under two years serve their time by working on one of the government-run farms.
Adoption of the New Pound by Essex
On the 1st of June a ceremony took place to mark the adoption of the New Pound as the official currency of Essex. On the stroke of 1:00pm Woodbridge's ambassador to Essex walked into a shop in Chelmsford and bought a collection of goods to the value of N£10 with a banknote printed in Woodbridge while at exactly the same time Essex's ambassador to Woodbridge did exactly the same with in Woodbridge with a N£10 note printed in Essex. Speeches were then given by both men stating that this would be the beginning of a new economic era between the two nations. However, the speech of the Woodbridge ambassador was interrupted by some hecklers who voiced the opinion that Essex's adoption of the new currency was the first step in an attempt by Woodbridge to gain control of Essex. The protesters were arrested but it did show that not everyone in Essex was completely happy about the move. The ceremonies were the main new story on the radio stations of Woodbridge and Essex that evening and the event was also reported on radio stations in the Celtic Alliance.
Notes and Coins
Just like the pre-Doomsday currency the New Pound is divided into 100 pence.
Each coin has a design of a wild bird on one side and the face of the Prime Minister on the other. Each note has a natural scene on one side and a picture of a famous person from Suffolk on the other:
- 1p = Sparrow
- 2p = Chaffinch
- 5p = House martin
- 10p = Duck
- 20p = Bittern
- 50p = Starling
- £1 = Cardinal Wolsey
- £5 = Edmund Fitzgerald
- £10 = Millicent Fawcett
- £20 = George Borrow
- £50 = Benjamin Britten
East Coast Trade Link
As as result of the successful wars against the TBA in June 2010 there was a continuous land route from East Britain to Essex. This would be great benefit to trade and on July 28th engineers were proud to announce that they had completed the first rail line all the way from Haverhill to Ely, meaning that for the first time goods could be transported directly from Anchor Harbour in East Britain to households in Essex and Woodbridge.
Ever since Doomsday there has been an ongoing public works programme where people guilty of minor criminal offences undertake non-paid heavy labour.. Given that the main industry of the nation is agriculture and the production of agricultural by-products it was seen as necessary for the road and rail network to be kept fully up to scratch.
There is a public transport system consisting of a regular bus service running between the major population centres of Woodbridge. Due to the lack of petrol these buses and all private vehicles are power by a bio-fuel developed from agricultural products.
The Woodbridge rail network has also developed engines that run on a variant of the same type of bio-fuel.
Woodbridge is currently building a connecting line from Newmarket to Branon in the Condominium of West Suffolk so that the nation can be connected to the new East Coast Mainline.
Compulsory education in Woodbridge pretty much follows the system pre-Doomsday. There is a tertiary system of primary, middle and high schools. Attendance is compulsory until the age of 16 after which pupils can choose to stay on for a further two years.
There are three higher educational establishments in Woodbridge:
- Woodbridge University
- Otley College
- Lowestoft College
Woodbridge University concentrates on the arts and sciences, Otley College is an agricultural college and Lowestoft College concentrates on engineering in general and shipbuilding in particular. There is obviously a degree of crossover between the three institutions, for example chemistry and biology would be useful in agriculture as would engineering.
Culture and media
Television and radio in Woodbridge largely come under the auspices of the WBC or Woodbridge Broadcasting Corporation. A large percentage of the staff of the WBC worked for the BBC or Anglia TV pre-Doomsday
Television broadcasts restarted a few years after Doomsday and five channels currently broadcast:
- WBC 1 is an all-purpose entertainment channel.
- WBC News is dedicated to news and politics from Woodbridge and the wider world.
- WBC Sports shows live sports.
- East Coast Entertainment.
- East Coast News and Sports.
The last two of those channels are run by a company called East Coast Broadcasting and like the pre-Doomsday ITV carry advertising.
One of the most popular television dramas in Woodbridge is WBC1's Benton, about an ex-soldier who has set himself up as a private detective. The main character, John Benton is played by Lowestoft actor, Karl Theobald
There are currently five radio stations:
- WBC Radio 1 broadcasts drama,comedy and variety shows.
- WBC Radio 2 is a music station and plays all types of music.
- WBC Radio 3 is dedicated to news and politics and the discussion thereof.
- WBC Sports Radio is dedicated to sports reporting and regularly has commentary from live games.
- Black Shuck Radio
The first four stations are run by the WBC or Woodbridge Broadcasting Corporation which was founded in 2001 when Woodbridge again became a democracy. Black Shuck Radio is a music station for younger people who perceive WBC2 as being a bit "stuffy". It was founded by former college students who combined their record collections of music that might best be described as being somewhat "out there"
Newspapers and other periodicals
Three newspapers are published within Woodbridge, all on a weekly basis:
- The Times
- The Examiner
- Lowestoft Journal
The Times and the Examiner report national and international news whereas the Lowestoft Journal concentrates on news in the district of Waveney. Black Shuck Comics publishes a number of titles, some original and some based on pre-Doomsday titles.
Books written in Woodbridge generally fall into one of three categories:
- Post-apocalyptic fiction
- Romantic fiction
Needless to say there is some crossover between the three genres i e, romance or crime novels in a post-apocalyptic setting.
After some discussion at the Constitutional Convention it was agreed that the new national anthem would be the old RAF March Past. It was felt that the music would pay tribute to the old Britain and the military men who had founded the new nation of Woodbridge. However, as the RAF itself no longer existed, it was decided that official name of the national anthem would be the Woodbridge March Past.
The official language of Woodbridge is English although it is slightly different to the language spoken pre-Doomsday. The seventeen years of rule by the Military Command Council mean that a lot of American terms have made it into common parlance within Woodbridge.
The dialects of Suffolk and Norfolk went through somewhat of a resurgence post-Doomsday. To outsiders the two dialects sound very similar and only native speakers can tell them apart. The farther north you go in Suffolk the closer the accent gets to the Norfolk one.
Examples of Suffolk and Norfolk words and phrases:
I int sin er since yester-di (I haven't seen her since yesterday)
Hey, yew gotta loight bor?? (Do you have a light, old chap)
Yet hint I (Neither have I).
Dew yew keep a troshin (carry on with the threshing - goodbye/take care of yourself)
In common with a lot of other countries post-Doomsday, there has been an increase in the number of people professing no religious belief. The latest figures suggest the overall breakdown of religious belief in Woodbridge is as follows:
Other Faiths 5%
Of the Christians some 70% claim to be members of the Church of England, 15% are Catholics and the other 15% belong to various other denominations such as Methodists and Baptists.
The 5% that profess non-Christian religious belief are divided more or less equally between Islam and Hinduism.
Cricket and Football are the preferred sport of the civilian population and each village within Woodbridge has teams for both sports that compete in leagues and cup competitions.
Football in Woodbridge is run the Woodbridge Football Association (WFA). The current football League champions are Woodbridge Town and Leiston FC won last year's WFA Cup (an annual knock-out competition). Pre-Doomsday both these clubs played in the amateur Eastern Counties Football League. The chairman of the WFA is Terry Butcher who before Doomsday was a player for the professional team Ipswich Town
Cricket in Woodbridge is run by the Woodbridge Cricket Association (WCA). The current League champions are Saxmundham.
Football and cricket teams from Woodbridge have, in the past few years started to play "friendly" games with teams from other survivor nations in the British Isles such as Essex, East Britain, Cleveland, Northumbria and the Celtic Alliance. There is now some talk of these friendlies becoming competitive competitions along the lines of old European Cup in football.
The WFA and WCA plan to apply for membership of the world governing bodies of their sports, FIFA and the ICC respectively at some point in the next year or so.
Woodbridge American Sports Association (WASA) is an organisation that runs leagues for American football, baseball and basketball which are still played by the citizens of Woodbridge who are of American origin. Originally, these sports were only played by American Woodbridgers but over the years there has been increasing interest from the post-Doomsday generation of Brits.
Woodbridge is sending a team of sportsmen and women to the inaugural Europa Games that are taking place in Berlin in October. It is hoped that due to the work of the WASA the basketball team will do well.