Alternate History

Duchy of Lancaster: Ecomomy and Trade (1983: Doomsday)

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The main industries in Lancaster are agriculture (mainly crops and dairying), coal mining, salvage and textiles. The last had gone into serious decline in the years before Doomsday and by 1983 most of the area's cotton mills had been closed and the machinery scrapped. Following Doomsday the few surviving mills had lain idle for a number of years as the population focused on food production, but in the late 1990s the food situation had stablized enough to allow the workforce to diversify and with an increasing demand for textiles both within the Duchy and abroad (which at that stage meant the Celtic Alliance) the surviving wool and cotton mills were brought back on line, with the latter being adapted to process locally produced wool and bast fibres (hemp, linen, nettle etc) as cotton was now unobtainable. Contact with other British survivour states opened up new markets for Lancastrian textiles and in 2006 two new mills (or, more accurately, old mills with new machinery) were opened, with three more due in 2011. The majority of mills are steam powered.

Due to a number of coal mines being in the irradiated Greater Manchester area only a handful remained in operation after Doomsday. However, they still manage to provided enough fuel for domestic use, electricity generation and assorted steam engines with a relatively small amount (compared to the Cleveish coal industry) left over for export.

In addition to the main industries there is also a small but growing leisure industry starting to emerge, mainly in the resort town of Blackpool, which mainly caters to the Lancastrian population and tourists from the Kingdom of Cleveland, the latter coming in on specially chartered trains which have been dubbed 'Smoggy trains' since an unknown Middlesbrough resident (or group thereof) tapped a sign saying 'Smoggies on tour' to the inside of a carriage window.


The main exports of the Duchy of Lancaster are:

  • Foodstuffs, including milk (UHT, dried, or tinned) and other dairy (mainly to Liverpool)
  • Textiles
  • Coal
  • Wool (in various stages of processing)

Lancaster Trading Company

The Lancaster Trading Company was formed in 2004 by an assortment of Lancastrian merchants, businessmen and hauliers whose business had come under threat from the Clevish Singleton Clan and had therefore opted to pool their resources in order to compete. Since then they have been playing catch-up with their archrivals, aided by government backing and Lancaster's relatively good transport infrastructure, but hampered by Lancaster's small size and the fact that unlike the Singleton Clan they lack familial connections in other countries. None the less, they have made significant progress in establishing trade links with the wider world, thanks in part to one of the founding members having a uncle who was reasonably fluent in French, something which led to the first non-Anglophone nations approached with the offer of trade being Lille-et-Terres-Flamande, the Pointevine Republic, and Euskadi. The company also established trade with Novgorod in 2010, although they required the aid of a Finnish interpreter to do so. The main goods traded between Lancaster and Novgorod are Lancastrian coal in exchange for Baltic timber, an arrangement which is somewhat complicated by Novgorod's lack of ports.


In the years following Doomsday, Lancaster continued to use the pre-Doomsday British currency, along with barter and ration tokens. However, the use of the old currency was not without its problems, one of the main ones being the amount of scavenged or stolen money in the possession of some individuals. At first it wasn't much of an issue simply because there wasn't anything to buy but as the economy started to gain strength these 'looted fortunes' became more of a problem. Because of this and assorted other reasons, in the mid-nineties it was decided that it was time for the Duchy of Lancaster to have a currency of its own.

Initially the plan was to continue using the pre-Doomsday decimal system, however there was wide-spread feeling among the population that it had been more trouble then it was worth and when word got out about the new currency, many people saw a chance to get rid of it for good. Following a brief but enthusiastic campaign, during which it was pointed out that, among other things, the reasons why Britain had adopted the decimal system no longer applied, the government caved in. Consequently, Lancaster adopted a slightly simplified version of the old pre-decimal system, with the pre-Doomsday currency being quickly phased out. During the transition period, most shops had their goods priced in both currencies, with the decimal currency price usually working out as slightly more expensive. The decimal currency was abandoned altogether in 1998.

The currency in Lancaster is as follows:


  • Ten shilling (also known as the half-pound) - 10s
  • Five shilling - 5s
  • Two shilling - 2s
  • Shilling - 1s
  • Sixpence - 6p
  • Three pence - 3p
  • Two pence - 2p
  • Penny - 1p


  • One pound - £1
  • Five pound - £5
  • Ten pound - £10

The notes feature the Duke's face on one side of the note, with the reverse side changing every ten years to help prevent forgery. Currently the one pound note has James Williamson on the back, the five pound note has Sir Edward Frankland, and the ten pound note has Sir Richard Owen. The mint is in Lancaster.

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