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Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum
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Re: Wiltshire/Dorset/dose of Englishness

That's what I thought.

Our English neighbor/friend recently lent us a 1980s TV series called Boys From The Black Stuff on DVD. Grim places and people.

I haven't seen much of Northern England, except for one week in the Lake District about 20 years ago and a week in the Pennines more recently. No first hand knowledge of large northern cities.

I like the south west, parts of Wales, and Scotland.

Re: Wiltshire/Dorset/dose of Englishness

I recently had some fun reading a book called Lorna Doone. Great examples of Somerset dialect :)

Re: Wiltshire/Dorset/dose of Englishness

"Our English neighbor/friend recently lent us a 1980s TV series called Boys From The Black Stuff on DVD. Grim places and people."

I would not base any opinions on 1980s tv shows. This is exactly what americans do. Many northern towns were redeveloped in the 90s and have quite nice city centres now. There are pockets of middle class affluence in most northern towns that far surpass London in their luxury and decadence.

On the other hand you have areas of deprivation that equally surpass London and the south east. There is a very distinct gap between rich and poor.

Re: Wiltshire/Dorset/dose of Englishness

A think tank recently came up with a plan to close down northern cities like Liverpool, because they were hopeless as going concerns!! A good tourist day out though - enough things of interest to see.

Elephant and Castle (south London) is definitely more depressing!

Re: Wiltshire/Dorset/dose of Englishness

Something about people from the north of England

Britain's north/south divide: Hand washing?

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - People in the north of Britain are three times as likely to have hands contaminated with fecal bacteria than their compatriots in the south, scientists studying toilet hygiene said on Wednesday.

Researchers swabbed the hands of 409 commuters waiting at bus stops outside railway stations in five cities in Britain and found traces of fecal bugs on more than a quarter of them (28 percent).

Just 13 percent of commuters at London's Euston Station had contaminated hands, compared to 44 percent of those surveyed at Newcastle Central Station, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine study found.

Val Curtis, director of the school's Hygiene Center, said she was surprised by the findings.

"The figures were far higher than we had anticipated, and suggest that there is a real problem with people washing their hands in the UK.

"If any of these people had been suffering from a diarrhea disease, the potential for it to be passed around would be greatly increased by their failure to wash their hands after going to the toilet."

Infectious intestinal diseases are among the biggest killers of children worldwide, while lack of adequate handwashing may be partly responsible for current high levels of hospital-acquired infections, the researchers said.

The study found little geographic variation in the cleanliness of women's hands, with 27 percent overall found dirty

But among the men surveyed there was a clear rise in hand contamination from the south to the north.

Just 6 percent of the men swabbed at Euston were found with fecal bacteria on their hands compared to 53 percent of those at Newcastle Central Station, a nine-fold difference.

In Cardiff the figure was 15 percent, in Birmingham 21 percent and in Liverpool 36 percent.

The researchers said they could see no obvious reason for the regional trend and said further study was needed.

"We therefore propose further investigation of the hypothesis that hands are washed more often or more thoroughly in the south of the UK relative to the north, and that male and female handwashing rates differ geographically."


Re: Wiltshire/Dorset/dose of Englishness

Yes but was this survey based on swabbing people before or after they had been on public transport? If it was after then it's not so much to do with personal hygiene as with the state of hygiene on the trains and train operator maintenance of cleanliness.

I am very careful to wash my hands after being on the train if I've had to hold the handrail. One of the first things I do when I get into work is wash my hands and same when I get home. I don't know where the hands that have touched the rail have been! One of the easiest ways to avoid spread of disease is to simply wash your hands if you touch anything someone else has touched. I also wash my hands if I've been handling money, a newspaper or in particular petting an animal (particularly dangerous not to wash your hands after that as some animals carry all sorts of nasty diseases in their coats).

I recently went out for the evening in a pub where the gents toilet was closed for refurbishment so ladies and gents had to share the ladies (eek). There was a man in the next cubicle and I was waiting for him to leave the ladies before leaving my cubicle (as I felt he might be a bit embarassed) so was waiting for the hand washing noises but he just finished his business and walked straight out. Glad I wasn't having to shake his hand after that! You don't see women leaving the ladies toilet without washing their hands. So maybe these women with the dirty hands had been holding their boyfriend's or husbands mucky paw.

Re: Wiltshire/Dorset/dose of Englishness

Have you ever been to Newcastle?

Thought not.

It's a bit rough ... they put a university there to see how many students could get beaten up by the locals.