Minor British Institutions: Essex
Saturday 09 April 2011
Is there a county with a readier, headier image than Essex? No. Essex is brash-blonde-bling, a shining cypher for uncomplicated pursuits like shopping, football and nail polishing. Is it really like that? In parts, but then so is Yorkshire.
I could tell you that Dame Maggie Smith is from Ilford; extol Constable country; and confide that Frinton-on-Sea is so refined I was once advised I would be happier at nearby Clacton. But it would be pointless, because Essex is a useful euphemism employed by smart metropolitans unwilling to be seen sneering at what used to be known as the Working Class.
Still, there's a reason why it has been so selected, even beyond Darren Day, Denise Van Outen and Dick Turpin. And that's a historic self-confidence and disinclination to defer. You might know that the Peasants' Revolt began in Essex; but were you aware that the East Saxons were much the most enthusiastic pagans, and the last to be converted to Christianity?
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...