Bowburn

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Bowburn
—  County of Sorrenia  —

Flag

Coat of arms
Motto: United We Stand
Anthem: The Internationale
Country Sorrenia
Created 30 June 2013
County Capital New Havana
Area
 - Total 80 km2 (30.9 sq mi)
Population (2018)
 - Total 24,000
Demonym Bowburner
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 and east.

Etymology

The name is derived from the central settlement, which is itself named after a stream that flows to the west of the town.

Flag

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.

History

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.

Bowburn Colliery Tub

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.

Sorrenian Federation

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 of the Sorrenian Succession. 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.

The resignation of Martin Aquinas, Bowburn politician and Sorrenian veteran led to a deep divide in the county; despite the county's staunch left-wing leanings, they narrowly voted for Aquinas in the November 2018 election, who had defected to the NDLP.

Politics

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.

Historically, a small number of Bowburners voted for the NDLP and New Monarchists. With the resignation of Bowburn politican Martin Aquinas from his leadership of the Republicans, the county suddenly became split and open to the NDLP (the party whom Martin defected to).

Although The Republicans hoped to hold onto the county, they ultimately lost to their old leader by 6%.

Party Vote Percentage Seats +/–
Bowburn (November 2018)
NDLP 48% 1 38%
The Republicans 42% 0 38%
New Monarchists 10% 0 0%

Geography

Entrance into Bowburn from the North

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 includes the nearby towns of Coxhoe to its south and Ferryhill to its south-west, both of which are larger than the town of Bowburn itself.

Several small hamlets exist in the eastern part of the county, however are only connected by a countryside pedestrian route, and so must be entered either from University Town or Ertawa.

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.

Economy

Many inhabitants of Bowburn commute to nearby settlements such as Durham, Newton Aycliffe and Middlesbrough.

Other than some local commerce, Bowburn's economy is limited to an industrial estate in Bowburn, an A1 services and several academic buildings to its north.

Sights

 • 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