Campaigners call for Cornwall-style independence for Wessex region

From left – Suzy Wesley, Mayoress Elaine Izard, Derek Pickett, chairman of the Wessex Society, the Mayor Cllr Richard Izard and Lydia Morrell with the flag of Wessex in Abbey Gardens, Winchester, in 2010.

From left – Suzy Wesley, Mayoress Elaine Izard, Derek Pickett, chairman of the Wessex Society, the Mayor Cllr Richard Izard and Lydia Morrell with the flag of Wessex in Abbey Gardens, Winchester, in 2010.

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Winchester Chief Reporter

If Cornwall can have it then why can’t we in Wessex? That is the question being asked in the wake of the announcement that the Cornish people will be recognised as a National Minority under European rules.

The decision recognises the south-western county’s distinctive Celtic heritage and history.

Now campaigners for greater independence for Wessex, the region that stretches from Hampshire to Devon, say that decision should have a local impact for our own historic area.

David Robins, secretary general of the Wessex Regionalist Party, said: “We are pleased that the Cornish are making progress and hope they can hold the door open for us too.

“It has implications for us.”

There should be greater protection and promotion of the Wessex dialect and local produce such as cider, Devonshire cream and the Hampshire sausage comprising venison, red wine and watercress, he added.

The Wessex brand should be used to better promote tourism too.

Mr Robins also wants to see devolution of power from London to a regional assembly, that like the Anglo-Saxon Witan would move around Wessex.

He said: “Wessex is bigger in population than Scotland and Wales and equally capable of ruling itself. It would be closer and more responsive to the people. England is too dominated by London.”

Derek Pickett is chairman of the Wessex Society, which aims to promote historical awareness of the role of kingdom in the development of England.

Mr Pickett, from Andover, said: “It would be nice to have a mini-parliament promoting Wessex ideals. After all Englishness, the culture of England, comes from Wessex.

“Cornwall is different to Wessex because it is a peninsula with its own language and racial identity.

“The Wessex Society is there to remind people who they are. But there is not the groundswell of a Wessex identity from the people as there is in Cornwall.

“England was founded by Wessex, so when you are talking about Wessex you are talking about the English, when you talk about the English you talk about Wessex.”

The society is promoting a sense of identity with a flag that it launched in 2010, depicting the Wyvern, a two-legged dragon.

It is asking local councils to fly the flag on St Ealdhelm’s Day, May 25.

Locally only the Isle of Wight has so far agreed, along with Dorset and Bournemouth.

Hampshire is currently the only county without its own flag, although the county council has one.

Comments (7)

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11:23am Mon 28 Apr 14

KSO16R says...

Come on southampton city council join in the fun fly the flag in may
Come on southampton city council join in the fun fly the flag in may KSO16R
  • Score: 5

11:50am Mon 28 Apr 14

forest hump says...

Complete and utter nonsense
Complete and utter nonsense forest hump
  • Score: 2

12:27pm Mon 28 Apr 14

ToastyTea says...

what does that have to do with Southampton or Hampshire even ? who cares
what does that have to do with Southampton or Hampshire even ? who cares ToastyTea
  • Score: -1

7:24pm Mon 28 Apr 14

southy says...

South of the Thames, Kennet canal and the River Avon and east of the Tamar river is Wessex, The first King maker the Godwin family is a Wessex family and they took over Fishbourn palace where the Roman puppet use to live and that,s in Sussex.
The Flag that they are holding is not the Wessex banner/flag right colours wrong badge it should be a Dragon, the Wyvern is a family crest of the King Alfred's lineage that belongs to a family in what was Mercia now Oxfordshire just out side of Wessex boarders in a village now called Wantage, It was the Godwin,s family that invited Alfred to be King of Wessex.
South of the Thames, Kennet canal and the River Avon and east of the Tamar river is Wessex, The first King maker the Godwin family is a Wessex family and they took over Fishbourn palace where the Roman puppet use to live and that,s in Sussex. The Flag that they are holding is not the Wessex banner/flag right colours wrong badge it should be a Dragon, the Wyvern is a family crest of the King Alfred's lineage that belongs to a family in what was Mercia now Oxfordshire just out side of Wessex boarders in a village now called Wantage, It was the Godwin,s family that invited Alfred to be King of Wessex. southy
  • Score: 2

7:26pm Mon 28 Apr 14

southy says...

southy wrote:
South of the Thames, Kennet canal and the River Avon and east of the Tamar river is Wessex, The first King maker the Godwin family is a Wessex family and they took over Fishbourn palace where the Roman puppet use to live and that,s in Sussex.
The Flag that they are holding is not the Wessex banner/flag right colours wrong badge it should be a Dragon, the Wyvern is a family crest of the King Alfred's lineage that belongs to a family in what was Mercia now Oxfordshire just out side of Wessex boarders in a village now called Wantage, It was the Godwin,s family that invited Alfred to be King of Wessex.
But still I would still prefer to fly this flag than the St George cross
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: South of the Thames, Kennet canal and the River Avon and east of the Tamar river is Wessex, The first King maker the Godwin family is a Wessex family and they took over Fishbourn palace where the Roman puppet use to live and that,s in Sussex. The Flag that they are holding is not the Wessex banner/flag right colours wrong badge it should be a Dragon, the Wyvern is a family crest of the King Alfred's lineage that belongs to a family in what was Mercia now Oxfordshire just out side of Wessex boarders in a village now called Wantage, It was the Godwin,s family that invited Alfred to be King of Wessex.[/p][/quote]But still I would still prefer to fly this flag than the St George cross southy
  • Score: 0

8:06pm Mon 28 Apr 14

FoysCornerBoy says...

I quite like the idea of democratically elected English regional assemblies with a similar range of powers to those devolved to Scotland, Wales and greater London. It certainly beats the dangerous nonsense of an English Parliament which, if it ever took, off would only hasten the secession of our northern regions.

In this part of the world, I think that a lower Wessex regional assembly covering the historical counties of Wiltshire (possibly minus Swindon), Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight would be a viable proposition with a population similar in size to the nation of Wales. There is a separate case to be made for regions for the rest of the south of England (e.g. Thames Valley and the Chilterns; the Southern Home Counties and Sussex; and the West Country).

To make this model work, though, we would need to abolish the current two-tier system of county/ district councils and replace them with a network of larger unitary authorities. I somehow don't see our country bumpkin Tory squirearchy buying into this, however.
I quite like the idea of democratically elected English regional assemblies with a similar range of powers to those devolved to Scotland, Wales and greater London. It certainly beats the dangerous nonsense of an English Parliament which, if it ever took, off would only hasten the secession of our northern regions. In this part of the world, I think that a lower Wessex regional assembly covering the historical counties of Wiltshire (possibly minus Swindon), Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight would be a viable proposition with a population similar in size to the nation of Wales. There is a separate case to be made for regions for the rest of the south of England (e.g. Thames Valley and the Chilterns; the Southern Home Counties and Sussex; and the West Country). To make this model work, though, we would need to abolish the current two-tier system of county/ district councils and replace them with a network of larger unitary authorities. I somehow don't see our country bumpkin Tory squirearchy buying into this, however. FoysCornerBoy
  • Score: 0

8:24pm Tue 29 Apr 14

southy says...

FoysCornerBoy wrote:
I quite like the idea of democratically elected English regional assemblies with a similar range of powers to those devolved to Scotland, Wales and greater London. It certainly beats the dangerous nonsense of an English Parliament which, if it ever took, off would only hasten the secession of our northern regions.

In this part of the world, I think that a lower Wessex regional assembly covering the historical counties of Wiltshire (possibly minus Swindon), Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight would be a viable proposition with a population similar in size to the nation of Wales. There is a separate case to be made for regions for the rest of the south of England (e.g. Thames Valley and the Chilterns; the Southern Home Counties and Sussex; and the West Country).

To make this model work, though, we would need to abolish the current two-tier system of county/ district councils and replace them with a network of larger unitary authorities. I somehow don't see our country bumpkin Tory squirearchy buying into this, however.
I would agree to some like that also, Keep the city councils but yes do away with County councils
[quote][p][bold]FoysCornerBoy[/bold] wrote: I quite like the idea of democratically elected English regional assemblies with a similar range of powers to those devolved to Scotland, Wales and greater London. It certainly beats the dangerous nonsense of an English Parliament which, if it ever took, off would only hasten the secession of our northern regions. In this part of the world, I think that a lower Wessex regional assembly covering the historical counties of Wiltshire (possibly minus Swindon), Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight would be a viable proposition with a population similar in size to the nation of Wales. There is a separate case to be made for regions for the rest of the south of England (e.g. Thames Valley and the Chilterns; the Southern Home Counties and Sussex; and the West Country). To make this model work, though, we would need to abolish the current two-tier system of county/ district councils and replace them with a network of larger unitary authorities. I somehow don't see our country bumpkin Tory squirearchy buying into this, however.[/p][/quote]I would agree to some like that also, Keep the city councils but yes do away with County councils southy
  • Score: 0

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