As it’s the season of goodwill, and it’s been an incredibly testing year to say the least, we’re bringing back the annual Northern Soul End Of Year Quiz. Is your Northern knowledge up to scratch? No prizes, just a lovely feeling of smugness when you get them all right (answers are at the bottom…).

  1. What was the nationally-reported controversy that caused Julie Dore, the leader of Sheffield City Council, to make an “unreserved apology” in October this year?
  2. Which James Bond actor’s middle name is Wroughton? 
  3. Which musical sub-genre is usually agreed to have started up at the Twisted Wheel club in Manchester city centre during the 1960s? 
  4. In the 1960s, the Sheffield-born industrial designer, David Mellor, created a new design for an item of street furniture that’s still in use today. What was it?
  5. Who said of a Barnard Castle establishment that “there is good ale at the King’s Head, say you know me and I am sure they will not charge you for it”? (spoiler: it’s not Dominic Cummings)
  6. At the start of his career, which legendary northern comedian was often billed as Professor Yaffle Chucklebutty? 
  7. Where is the world’s largest public collection of Tiffany glass (outside of the US)?
  8. Born in Doncaster in 1930 and christened Enid, she became James Bond’s on-screen wife, Mackenzie Crook’s fictional mother-in-law and Guy Garvey’s real life mother-in-law. Who was she? 
  9. Guitarists from which two Manchester bands started their careers working for Cosgrove Hall Films of Danger Mouse fame? 
  10. In 2020, Gemma Bodinetz announced her intention to step down as the long-standing artistic director of the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. In which year did she take up the role?
  11. What is the “big light”?
  12. What is a ginnel?
  13. Which chart-topping 90s music act shared their name with a district of central Manchester? 
  14. The Fall released a total of 48 singles over the course of their career, but which was their biggest UK hit? 
  15. Liverpool’s home of raucous scouse dramas and musicals shares its name with one of London’s most famous theatres. Which one?
  16. What did Stockton-on-Tees chemist, John Walker, accidentally “invent” in 1827?
  17. Which comedy double act first met in the Stonemasons pub in Timperley village in 1963, across the road from what’s now the site of the Frank Sidebottom statue? 
  18. Which enduring star of stage and screen was first discovered by an engineer from Yorkshire in 1948 at the end of Blackpool’s North Pier?
  19. Appleby Horse Fair was cancelled due to coronavirus this year. When was it last cancelled, and why?
  20. Which Northern county council has gritters named Gritney Spears and Gritter Garbo?  
  21. The building housing the new Northern headquarters of the Royal College of Physicians – opening next year in Liverpool – is named after which part of the human body?
  22. What is a Singing Hinny?
  23. Which North East newspaper, founded in 1849, is the oldest provincial newspaper in the UK?
  24. Where is the British Lawnmower Museum?
  25. What famous drink was invented by chemist William Owen in Newcastle’s Barras Bridge in 1927?


  1. The council’s felling of street trees in the city
  2. Chester’s own Daniel Craig
  3. Northern Soul
  4. The traffic light
  5. Charles Dickens
  6. Ken Dodd
  7. Haworth Art Gallery, Accrington
  8. Diana Rigg
  9. Joy Division/New Order’s Bernard Sumner, The Stone Roses’ John Squire
  10. 2003
  11. The main, overhead light in the room
  12. A narrow alleyway, often between buildings
  13. All Saints
  14. There’s a Ghost in My House, from 1987
  15. The Royal Court
  16. The friction match
  17. Little & Large
  18. Sooty
  19. 2001, foot and mouth
  20. Cumbria
  21. The spine
  22. A type of scone, usually found in the North East
  23. The Shields Gazette
  24. Southport
  25. Lucozade