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A society dedicated to celebrating and promoting the 92 historic counties of the United Kingdom and the important part they play in our culture, heritage and geography.


The Proper Use of the Counties

The Association of British Counties (ABC) believes that:

3.1 the Counties as described in section 2 should be the standard used in studies of history, and in references to historical events.

3.2 the Counties as described in Section 2 should form the fixed framework against which the suitability of any administrative area or organisation to use a County name should be judged: no organisation (local authority, sports association etc.) should use the unqualified name of a County unless the geographical area it represents is a close match to the County of that name.

3.3 neither the media nor publications (e.g. guide books, architectural guides, tourist literature etc.) should use the name of a County to describe a geographical area unless that geographical area is a close match to the County of that name.

3.4 the close association (with the exception of the “County of London”) which existed between lieutenancy areas and the Counties from 1889 to the enactment of the London Government Act 1963 has meant that those small changes made to lieutenancy areas between 1889-1964 have, in many cases, led to changes in the public perception of County areas and in the areas of County-based organisations; and that such small deviations from the strict geography of the Counties may be considered acceptable for the purposes described in 3.2 & 3.3, but should not be considered as actual territorial changes to the Counties.

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