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|— County of Sorrenia —|
|Motto: United We Stand|
|Anthem: The Internationale|
|Created||30 June 2013|
|County Capital||New Havana|
|- Total||39 km2 (15.1 sq mi)|
|Website||Map of Sorrenia|
Bowburn is one of nineteen counties located in the Kingdom of Sorrenia. Upon its creation, it became a central state of Sorrenia, and was the de facto seat of power for several years as it housed the headquarters of the Sorrenian Workers Party and the Presidential Palace. The county consists of four major settlements, as well as several minor hamlets to the west.
The name is derived from the largest settlement, also named Bowburn, which is itself named after a stream that flows to the west of the town.
The flag was initially an adaptation of the flag of Cuba, however during the Celtic Revolution, it was changed to an Irish harp with a red banner on a green background, to represent both the area's Celtic history as well as its continued socialist tradition.
Prior to Sorrenia
Bowburn's history, like that of many other villages in the region, is linked closely to coal mining. Several coal mines were sunk in the area during the 19th century but extensive development did not begin until an entirely new Bowburn Colliery began to be sunk in 1906. Bowburn therefore celebrated its 100th anniversary on 23 July 2006.
The third and most famous Bowburn Colliery was sunk in 1906 by Bell Bros. Ltd., using the 1840 shaft as the ventilation upcast shaft (and, later, for manriding). Its first coal was drawn in 1908. It merged with Tursdale colliery in 1931 and grew to be one of the largest in the Durham coalfield, working six seams and with over 2,500 employees in the 1950s. Meanwhile the village was growing around it. Hardly anything now remains of the colliery complex which closed in July 1967. The colliery yard is now the site of the Bowburn South Industrial Estate.
The day of the annual Durham Miners' Gala (also called "the Big Meeting") used to see large unions of men marching through the village, as Bowburn was en route to Durham for some surrounding pit villages. Local residents have recently, with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund, had two of Bowburn’s original miners’ banners restored and a new one produced to be paraded at the Gala. By September 2006, two of the restored banners were on display in Bowburn Community Centre, together with the new one (the "Centenary Banner"). This, with another new one designed by Bowburn Junior School pupils, was paraded for the first time at the 2006 Gala. Other events also celebrated the village’s centenary year, including a party and firework display in Bowburn Park, exactly 100 years after Gertrude Bell (as daughter of the Chairman of Bell Brothers) cut the first sod on 23 July 1906 to commence the sinking of the downcast shaft.
Bowburn was not a founding state of Sorrenia, but joined it around one year later. It quickly became a hub of political power, as it hosted both the headquarters of the Sorrenian Workers Party as well as the Presidential Palace. Over time this influence diminished, as greater power was centralised in Levaria and the presidency transitioned. Nonetheless, Bowburn remained one of the more important states of the Federation, and was a reliable source of support for the left.
War of the Sorrenian Succession
As the Federation collapsed, the State of Sorrenia was formed and Bowburn fell into inactivity. After several years, minor leading figures in the Workers Party - as well as several workers councils - rose up and ousted State troops from Bowburn, officially beginning the war. This loose alliance formalised into the Socialist League and saw many successes, retaking Durham and Levaria, while receiving widespread support from eastern Sorrenia.
Upon these successes however, they were countered by monarchist forces, who successfully took the north and west and most crucially, recaptured Levaria. Despite an attempted siege of Durham, the League was forced all the way back to Bowburn and was defeated there, eventually retreating to Horden.
Kingdom of Sorrenia
Bowburn remains strongly socialist and votes en masse for the left-wing Republicans. It is now the host of their headquarters as well as its influential newspaper, the 'People's Pravda'. The League no longer operates out of Bowburn, however government sources suggest that they receive support from the county's population.
|Bowburn (June 2018)|
Bowburn is perhaps the archetypal left-wing county in Sorrenia. Since the establishment of the Presidential Palace and Headquarters of the Sorrenian Workers Party, Bowburn has remained the most loyal voting bloc for the left.
Although the influence of the county declined upon the departure of several key Sorrenian socialists, it retained this fervour to this day. The movement to restore a socialist Sorrenian Federation through the Socialist League began in Bowburn, and Bowburn now houses both the Headquarters and printing press of The Republicans, the largest left-wing party in Sorrenia.
A small number of Bowburners vote for the NDLP and New Monarchists. The NDLP attract some voters from the small student population found in the education centre, while the New Monarchists receives some votes from the various hamlets to the west of the county that do not follow the general left-wing tradition of the area.
Bowburn is located approximately 5.5 km (3.4 miles) from the center of Durham, which is the nearest city. It is predominantly surrounded by farmland, explaining its early history as a farming hamlet. Towards the east, the M1 - the largest motorway in Great Britain - connects with the road in the town towards the south, defining its south-eastern border.
Bowburn also consists of several smaller settlements. Shincliffe and High Shincliffe are located very close to Bowburn, and the county also includes what is called the 'education sector', which consists of Houghall College and Maiden Castle.
To the north, Bowburn is encompassed by a long chain of hills covered by forest, with a single road connecting it through this layer to Dunelm.
• Presidential Palace - located in New Havana, the Palace was for several years, the hub of political power and influence in Sorrenia
• Bowburn Services - an M1 service station, offering McDonalds, Costa Coffee and a WHSmith - this site is especially popular with tourists from the Indian subcontinent
• Old Cooperative - the site of the old Co-op, which was shut due to health and safety concerns
• Houghall College - a large college teaching horticulture
• Maiden Castle - a Durham University complex offering a wide array of sport and gym facilities