Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Little Town In England Dubbed A ‘Mini Scotland’ Despite Being 378 Miles Away

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The charming town is 200 miles south of the Scottish border but is home to many families who can trace their heritage to Scotland.

Corby has a large population of people with Scottish roots (Image: Getty )

A little town in the heart of England has been dubbed “Little Scotland” – despite being 378 miles away. It’s all thanks to the remarkable number of people who can trace their ancestry back to huge migration almost 100 years ago.

In the 1935 a steelworks was built close to the small village of Corby, in Northamptonshire, which at the time was home to only around 1,500 people.

When the industrial complex was constructed the owners needed skilled labour and experienced workers from Scotland were invited to come and settle with the guarantee of jobs. Many took up the call and by the 1940s the population of the area had swelled to more than 12,000.

The huge influx of people from north of the border meant the town’s social and cultural heritage shifted to one more at home in the Highlands than in the Midlands.

Corby attracted people from Scotland to work at the steel works in the 1930s (Image: Getty)

The town is 378 miles from Scotland (Image: Richard Vince)

Today, Corby boasts pipe bands and its own version of the Highland Games, the caber-tossing event so beloved by the late Queen Elizabeth II which she attended near Balmoral.

However, the industrial heritage of the town suffered a seismic disaster when at the end of the 1970s more than 10,000 lost their jobs at the steel works after the industry was nationalised.

As a result at one point Corby had a shocking unemployment rate of 30 percent.

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The town has so many Scottish families it has been dubbed ‘little Scotland’ (Image: Getty )

Despite the industrial decline, many Scots have remained and at the turn of the century, almost a fifth of people, over 10,000, in the wider Corby area born in Scotland which it has estimated around a third of the population has Scottish links.

While those figures may be dropping (by 2011 it was around 12.7 per cent born in Scotland), Corby retains a sense of Scottishness with one writer observing in The Times in 2020 that “Scottish accents are everywhere”.

While the town doesn’t have a distinctive Scottish look, products in the shops give the game away with Scotch pies, Aberdeen butteries, Tennent’s and even Buckfast available.

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