OH dear how annoying. The Environment Agency has branded the historic market town of Bedale a village. It's not the end of the world but it looks bad. In a press release announcing in the headlines they would be offereing new flood warning services to villages in Yorkshire they included Bedale in North Yorkshire.

As anyone in the area knows Bedale is not a village. The official website illuminates. "A market town since 1251, it has the only listed Leech House in the country and a harbour 70 miles from the sea. Bedale is a traditional Yorkshire market town mentioned in the Domesday Book. Its Georgian heyday is reflected in the elegant buildings lining the historic market square. The 12th century church, St Gregory’s, has been named as one of Britain’s best."

What we have here is a failure of communication, whoever in the Environment Agency did the press release, or possibly an agency on their behalf, didn't do their homework. Sometimes people who live in much bigger places arrive in communities such as Bedale and think it is a village because it is not a big place. But Spectator knows for the locals it is most emphatically a market town. It is home to over, 3,150 people, 4,600 if you include the adjoining parish of Aiskew, which could well be described as a village maybe, although Spectator does not want to get involved in that debate.

The concise Oxford Dictionary describes a town as 'a considerable collection of dwellings, larger than a village'. So there you have it, the locals say it's a gaff on behalf of the Environment Agency and for a community which prides itself on 770 years of history and constantly strives to maintain it's place in the world, if they say it is a town it obviously is.