Alternate History

Kingdom of Cleveland: Expeditions (1983: Doomsday)

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In early 2003 Prime Minister Mallon ordered that reconnaissance missions to go into the badlands to look for any survivors and resources that the kingdom could use.

WEST - 2002

Rheged Co-Operative

One team followed the former transpenine highway (A66) across to the former North Cumbria, they discovered that nearly all the towns and villages had been destroyed, the team encountered a survivor colony in the walled castle town of Carlisle, they find that the locals are being harassed by a former military unit know by the locals as Reavers.

The team moves south into the interior of the Lakes area of Cumbria, many small market towns and villages are still working, trading with each other using sheep, wool and slate as trading tools. The towns call themselves the Rheged co-operative (or just Rheged), they speak with a version of Gaelic called Cumbric, this language existed pre-DD however due to the isolation after DD it spread throughout Rheghed.

Radios are left with five main towns (Keswick, Workington, Whitehaven, Penrith, and Ambleside) for the local parish councils to use to contact each other and Cleveland.

As the team travels south from Ambleside they record increasing levels of radiation, probably coming from the bombed Barrow in Furness military site or possibly from Barrow nuclear power station that has gone critical. The same is found south of Workington, probably from the Sellafield Nuclear power station that has gone critical.

Moving to the east of the area around Barrow they travelled south with hopes of reaching the Celtic Alliance territory of Liverpool. However whilst passing through the former county of Lancashire they spotted several farm workers in a field near the town of Milnthorpe. In order to make it clear to these people that they came in peace they made a basic white flag out of part of their field tent.

However at seeing the Cleveish troops the farm workers beat a hasty retreat and within a few hours several strangely uniformed soldiers appeared over the horizon. After a few initial tense moments the unknown soldiers identified themselves as being from the Duchy of Lancaster and accompanied the Cleveish troops back to Milnthorpe. After a brief round of questioning the Lancastrians were finally convinced that the Clevelanders came in peace.

After spending the night in the town of Milnthorpe, the Cleveish team were allowed to continue on to the capital. Upon arriving in Lancaster, they found that word had travelled much faster then they had and found themselves on the receiving end of a hero's welcome, the confirmation that at least some of their old rivals had made it through okay being the best news that the Lancastrians had had in in while, particularly for those who had family members in Cleveish territory.

SOUTH - 2003

Another team followed the great north road (A1) south and find many small villages still inhabited (albeit at 18th century levels of technology). Many have joined together to former a co-operative of farms, shops and villages known locally as the North Riding Co-Operative or NRCO. Much of the farmland in the vale of York and Pickering is extremely fertile and that radioactivity is at very low levels.

The team discusses with the Prime Minister over long wave radio and offers the NRCO entry to the Kingdom of Cleveland. However due to the fact that the NRCO has no governmental structure each village voted separately on whether or not to become part of Cleveland. Voting took place in May 2004.

5th May 2004 - NRCO towns of Dunforth, Ouseburn, Flaxby, Knaresborough, Wetherby and Tadcaster vote to become part of the Kingdom of Cleveland adding 19,458 to the population of the Kingdom.

12th May 2004 - all NRCO towns in the former county of North Yorkshire join the Kingdom of Cleveland, adding 5,623 to the population of the Kingdom of Cleveland.

22nd May 2004 - the final NRCO towns of Appleby, Kirby Stephen and Hawes voted to join the Kingdom of Cleveland, adding another 2,789 to the population of the Kingdom of Cleveland.

1st June 2004 - 15 new MP's join the Cleveland parliament from the former NRCO territories.

Journeys further south were halted by high levels of radioactive fall out coming from the bombed cities of Bradford, Leeds, Hull and Sheffield.

NORTH - 2004

Kingdom of Northumbria (1983: Doomsday)

Due to the success of the expeditions south and west new teams are sent north in August 2004, they use ships to bypass the expected heavily irradiated Tyne and Wear valley's landing at Alnwick Harbour on the 16th of August.

They discover a thriving fishing and farming community based around the fortified island of Lindisfarne.

As they travel up and down the coast they find many small villages that are also thriving on the resurgence of fish stocks in the North Sea. During this time it is found that Ralph George Percy, the 12th Duke of Northumberland has began calling himself the 'George I, King of Northumbria' again and have based his parliament in Bamburgh castle and the Percy family live at Alnwick castle.

Even pre DD the area of Northumberland was one of the lowest population levels in England. It is estimated that the population of the Kingdom of Northumbria in 2004 is roughly 29,000.

In the 21 years since DD the language of Northumbria has evolved, even in 1983 the people of Northumberland spoke a version of English crossed with Scottish/Gaelic called Northumbrian or in some southern regions a version called Pitmatic. This has evolved dramatically with no outside influence from anyone but sporadic contact the Celtic Alliance (which speak Scots Gaelic and Irish) via the short wave radio.

2007 onwards

Although planned government backed expeditions have ceased many small groups of explorers head out of Cleveland to search for more survivors and states.

Some groups head into the irradiated exclusion zones looking for historical artifacts that had been stored in museums and art galleries in the nuked cities. Many historically significant finds are made, The Lindisfarne Gospels are found in the ruins of the British Library in London, they are sent to Dublin for restoration and then return the Holy Island. Several major art works are found in London, York and Newcastle including some Picasso's, Monet and Van Gogh's, these are returned to Cleveland for restoration and hopefully public display.

Expeditions were made across the North Sea making contact with the Nordic Union in 2007.

Military bases throughout the country that had been hit by tactical nuclear weapons were declared safe to enter in 2008 after the radiation levels dropped to safe levels, investigation of the bases found that the majority of the equipment was destroyed in the attack or had deteriorated and had become unusable due to exposure to the environment. Many had become totally overgrown and unusable in the 25 years+ since the DD attacks.

Durham - 2008

In May 2008 a group of scientists make a journey to the bombed city of Durham it is discovered that the detonation point of the 100 kilotonne was to the west of the city roughly 1.5 miles from the city centre. The zone of total destruction or ZTD extended 200 feet from the detonation point and the buildings were almost totally destroyed up to 0.5 miles from the detonation point, however this was more probably due to buildings being industrial units and lightweight building types.

Once into the city centre the first building inspected was Durham Castle, although parts of the great halls roof had partially collapsed, probably due to weather related conditions in the last 25+ years, the remainder of the castle remained relatively undamaged, radiation levels were above normal background levels but not high enough to cause long-term damage.

The next building inspected was Durham Cathedral, it was found to be in very good condition, the great east end window had been blown in and there was some damage to the nave roof due to the weather getting into the building from the broken building. When entering the Cathedral several hundred skeletons were discovered on the scattered on the floor of the main church. At the high alter the body of the Dean of the Cathedral Peter Richard Baelz was found, it appeared that he had died while doing communion. It is surmised that survivors of the bomb blast had made there way to the cathedral to die of radiation related illnesses.

In the suburbs the forest had invaded and in many part had been impassible to any travel.

Durham In Brief

  • ZTD is 200m
  • Durham Cathedral, some damage to east end, rest of the building serviceable
  • Durham Castle - little or no damage caused by blast wave, some weather related damage has occurred in Great Hall.
  • Radiation levels low - expected safe for human habitation 2020 at maximum.

Durham Castle has been re-inhabited by the Cleveland Army and Durham Cathedral will be returned back to its pre-DD state


In July 2010 a small group of scientists travel north along the overgrown remains of the Great North Road (A19) to investigate the bombed ruins of Sunderland and Newcastle, both towns had been hit with 200 Kilotonne devices.


They arrive in the ruins of Sunderland on the 27th of July 2010, from estimates made on site the centre of Sunderland was levelled by the 200 KT device to approximately quarter of a mile from the detonation point (known as the Zone of total destruction or ZTD), but due to the detonation taking place in a steep sided 50 metre deep valley of the River Wear the destruction only extended two miles from the detonation point (or DP). Radiation levels found to be relatively low, however once within three quarters of a mile from the DP the radiation levels increased to a point where it becomes dangerous to health, once the team began reaching the edge of the ZTD at roughly a quarter of a mile any signs of life rapidly disappeared and beyond the edge of the ZTD there was no signs of plant life found.

Going by size of vegetation occurring in the area over the past 15 to 20 years trees have begun regenerating toward the DP (trees were found up to half a mile from the detonation point, they were however severely effected by radiation and were deformed and stunted) in many of the former suburbs of the city it was difficult to find where the former parks ended and the city streets begin.

Wildlife in the area has expanded in great numbers, wild dogs now appear to have taken the role of wolves and feral pigs have colonised the new woodlands and have reverted to a wild boar like animal. The River Wear was remarkably clean with radiation levels almost normal, there were signs of salmon found on the bankside.

From Sunderland the team headed north along the coast arriving in former Tynemouth on the 8th of August, due to the findings from the Sunderland investigation it was decided that due to the lower radiation levels they would travel by river rather than by land.

Sunderland In Brief

  • The ZTD extends to a quarter of a mile from the DP.
  • Radiation levels are dangerous to health at three quarters of a mile from the DP.
  • Building damage extended to two miles from the DP, however most buildings remaining have been overtaken by vegetation.


Travelling upstream on the River Tyne they reached the DP of the 200 KT, due to the shallower sided valley on the River Tyne the ZTD extended nearly three quarters of a mile from the DP and as in Sunderland showed absolutely no signs of life, beyond the ZTD the signs of life increased until radiation levels reached lower levels and the new woodland began at one and a half miles from the DP, by three miles from the DP the woodland became impenetrable and the teams returned to the river.

There were also signs of a major flood the entire length of the River Tyne, after leaving Newcastle and moving upstream the scientist discovered that the Kielder Water reservoir had breached its earthen bank dam roughly 15 years previously (going by regrowth downstream of the dam)

It appeared from the damage levels downstream of the dam structure that the collapse had been catastrophic and at the collapse point approximately 200 billion litres (or 4 billion gallons) of water had flooded down the Tyne Valley towards the North Sea over a period of only a few hours at most. Damage to remaining buildings was located up to 12 metres above normal river levels.

Newcastle In Brief

  • The ZTD extends to three quarters of a mile from the DP.
  • Radiation levels are dangerous to health at one miles.
  • Building damage extended to over three miles, however a full survey was not possible due to the thick impenetrable woodland found on the outskirts of the city.
  • Flood damage to any remaining structures within 8 vertical metres of the surface of the River Tyne classed as total.

Both Newcastle and Sunderland will be abandoned to nature they will form the centre of the Tyne and Wear National Park.


In early October 2010 an investigation of the former city of York discovered that it had survived well, the majority of the large public buildings had been heavily made of stone and stood up to the blast wave from the 100KT blast well.

The ground zero of the detonation was in southern York over the point where the rivers Ouse and Foss met. Total destruction extended 200 metres to the centre of the ancient city. York Minister appeared to have burned shortly after the detonation however the walls and main tower survived with little damage, it is hoped that after the reconstruction of Durham Cathedral is completed that work will start on York Minister.

Along with the Minister it appears that a major fire storm burned through the centre of York shortly after Doomsday, as such the majority of the buildings in central York are wall shells but it is hoped that they could be rebuilt fairly easily.

Outside the city walls of York the outskirts have been totally abandoned and have completely overgrown with woodland regrowth.

York In Brief

  • ZTD is 200m across
  • York Minister has burned (along with many other large public buildings) but walls remain structurally sound
  • Remaining city (inside city walls) not destroyed by blast burned shortly after detonation.
  • Suburbs abandoned, totally overgrown.
  • Low levels of radiation found - estimated safe for human habitation 2020 at maximum.

2011 expeditions

Expeditions are in the planning stages for the investigation of the nuked cities of Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield during the summer of 2011, it is hoped that troops from the Duchy of Lancaster will assist in the survey of these nuked cities.

The planned dates of the expeditions to Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield will happen between June 22nd and September 8th 2011.

Five separate exploration teams have arrived in Harrogate on the 7th of June 2011 to begin training for the expeditions at the end of the month, each team is a 20 man team mainly from the Royal Cleveland Territorial Army however three members of each team are scientists from the University of Teesside and Durham University.

Exploration teams will leave Harrogate, Kingdom of Cleveland on 16th of June 2011, they will meet Duchy of Lancaster teams on the outskirts of the bombed city of Leeds.


Hit by 200KT bomb, exploration happened between 24th June and 17th July 2011. The bomb appears to have detonated in the River Aire in the centre of the city centre of Leeds, there is a large lake approximately 150 metres across, the centre of Leeds has been effectively flattened, however it is unknown if this is due to the effects of the nuclear detonation, the following fires or the just the effect of the British weather on the area in the time since DD.

Downstream of the detonation point there appears to be no evidence of recent human inhabitation, particularly in the ruins of the town of Castleford and Knottingly, however upstream there are some small subsistence farming communities. Many of the abandoned areas have almost returned to a wildwood type environment.


Hit by 100KT bomb, exploration happened between 20th July and 9th August 2011. The bomb appears to have air detonated directly over the city centre destroying everything within the central ring road.

Much of the rest of the city had burned shortly after DD, it is unknown if the burning was due to the detonation of the nuclear weapon or possibly rioting afterwards, as there had been reports from survivors from the area that public order rapidly degenerated after DD.

In the south of the former city small survivor communities had formed around areas of farmland, including Oakenshaw, Buttershaw and Clayton


Huddersfield was a town near Leeds and Bradford, it was hit in the third wave of attacks with a 100KT nuke, exploration occurred between the 10th and 14th August 2011

The centre of the town was flattened by an air blast detonation however the rest of the town appeared to have been little damaged by the blast, no signs of significant fire were detected. The town however appeared to have been abandoned very shortly after DD with no recolonisation since, some small communities were found to the south of the town in Taylor Hill, Netherton and Honley.

In the area around Leeds and Bradford are the towns of Halifax, Wakefield and Dewsbury, although not directly bombed on DD they suffered greatly from radioactive fallout, Halifax and Wakefield/Dewsbury were explored after Huddersfield.


Halifax was explored between the 16th and 19th August 2011, the town was mostly abandoned, however the small town centre had been surrounded with a large wall at some point in the past.

Once the troops got through the wall they discovered that it had been abandoned also and while searching the building find large numbers of skeletons, most of them covered and lying in rows, the skeletons appear to have been there for many years, they also showed no signs of trauma so scientists believe either they died during a disease outbreak or that they committed suicide.


Dewsbury was explored between 21st and 22nd August 2011 and Wakefield between 23rd and 24th August.

Dewsbury was totally abandoned and had become completely overgrown with regrowth woodland.

Wakefield is a small market town working with local communities and farmers as well as having trade links with the town of Barnsley to the south and along the former M62 motorway the towns of Castleford and Pontefract to the east. They have also begun to have trade links with the Newolland town of Goole on the River Humber.


Hit by 200KT bomb, Exploration happened between 29th August and 8th September 2011.

It was discovered that the bomb exploded as an air burst detonation roughly between the City of Sheffield and the nearby town of Rotherham, destroying the majority of both with massive firestorms.

The south of the city of Sheffield mainly survived the firestorm due to it's distance from the detonation point and the fact the River Don and River Sheaf separate the area from the burned City.

From damage near the rivers in the area scientists with the team believe that there was a massive flood event in the last five years, rumours from towns downstream (and farther afield in North Yorkshire) describe a massive flood during the summer of 2007.

Exploration of the area surrounding Sheffield have shown little human activity although the area closer to the former national park of the Peak District has shown signs of recent agriculture.

After the exploration of the City of Sheffield the troops from the Dutchy of Lancaster headed southwest to further explore the Peak District. While the Cleveland troops headed east towards the Newolland town of Worksop

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