Wednesday, 29 May 2024

If You Live Or Work In The Rape Of Lewes (Sussex) … Shop Local!


REGULAR  READERS  may  recall that  way  back  in  February  we  featured  a  Shop Local! poster which featured the Rape of Pevensey, in Sussex (1). This time we’re featuring the Rape of Lewes (2). To avoid any misinterpretation – deliberate or otherwise – the word rape is used here in the context of it being the traditional territorial sub-division in Sussex. In fact, there are six rapes in Sussex – the Rape of Arundel, the Rape of Bramber, the Rape of Chichester, the Rape of Hastings. the Rape of Lewes and the Rape of Pevensey. These rapes (which formed the basis of local government in Sussex) were also subdivided into ‘hundreds’.

Whilst the flags of the rapes – such as the one incorporated into our Shop Local in the Rape of Lewes!S poster featured above – are modern designs, it’s thought that the rapes date back to (at least) before the Norman Conquest. This makes them extremely significant in cultural terms, for both Sussex & England. It also puts them on a par with the better-known sub-divisions of Yorkshire, known as Ridings, derived from the old Norse word thrithjungr (meaning a third).

All of the above brings into sharp focus the fact that Localism (3) is intrinsically linked to local culture, folkways, history, identity & tradition.  This ties in nicely with the ideological & practical beliefs of the National Liberal Party.  Ideologically, we believe that Small Is Beautiful!  Thus, we’re opposed to centralism & gigantism.  We wish to decentralise and redistribute power down to the lowest possible level.  In practical terms, the rapes of Sussex provide a perfect example of such a redistribution of power – which definitely shouldn’t be confused with an extra layer of bureaucracy!

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