To nominate a town, post a comment or send an email to CrapTownsSamfirstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s a town called Eye! Who knew. It’s in Suffolk. And guess what? Yes, that’s right. It’s crap.
We have a cracking new entry for Mayfair, a cracking old entry for Bury St Edmunds, brought back thanks to weight of nominations and much more on the way soon. There’s also going to be a big sight overhaul soon. Terrifyingly, this thing is going to start looking professional…
Thanks for all the nominations that have been coming in in the meantime. I’ll get to them soon, promise!
Broxburn: a classic nomination, from years back, brought back to the light by popular demand…
I for one am not going to join in the celebrations now that Mrs Thatcher has finally moved on to her new role, closing down the furnaces in hell.
Unlike the millions she threw out of work, I owe her a debt of gratitude. Without her, most Crap Towns would almost certainly still be all right. People would still have jobs, and pride and a sense of community. And then what would I write about?
So thanks Mrs Thatcher. I’m grateful. You gave me something to do. Here’s a nice picture of you looking happy, so we can remember you at your best:
Maggie and Jimmy. Together again at last!
We’ve got an amazing new post about London from Shit London.
What do people most often ask about when they google British towns? How crap they are, of course.
Yes, Brighton is crap. I’m rather confused by that Staffor entry, however…
“High Wycombe isn’t entirely bland. It has a chair museum” This place is very expensive. But still crap.
And then, there’s Antrim. “Dilapidated council estates, more sportswear than Niketown Oxford Circus and 12 year old girls scary enough to make you want your mummy.”
Rhyl: “You have to salute the tireless dedication with which Rhyl’s elders have made their once lovely and popular town so impressively unlikeable,” says Tim Moore.
Oh Gateshead. Fat capital of Britain. Derided by JB Priestly. Letting Tesco take over almost your entire town centre. Alas. Alack.
Nominations are closing fairly soon. But not yet! There’s still room for late entries. Like this soul-crushing piece on Jarrow. Ouch!
Everything we’ve done on Crap Towns is secretly a tribute to Morrissey. This film goes a long way to explaining why:
This film about Hulme is fascinating too.
You can now find craptowns on instagram: http://instagram.com/craptowns I’ll be adding bits of pieces as I wonder around the UK in the next few weeks…
In other news, Brighouse has suddenly had a flurry of nominations. So too has Gateshead, although I’m still waiting for the definitive article. If you want it in the book, get writing!
Talking of the book, it’s almost full. In fact, over full. Should have made it the worst 79 towns in the country… At this rate, Wootton Bassett might not even make the final cut…
Entries are flooding in! I’ll put more up next week. In the meantime, sad tidings from Blackburn. And even sadder from Jaywick. Normally, receiving Crap Towns entries is a joy and very funny. The Jaywick story, however, is just crushing. But important. Do we really want a society that can abandon so many people so cruelly?
Of course they call Hatfield Shatfield! But that doesn’t stop the joke being funny…
Happy New Year!
A festive entry I’ve been saving up. Louth. Lurking evil. And dinner ruined.
Thank you for all the entries and making me laugh so much this year. I look forward to reading more in 2013!
The return of another old, smelly friend: Widnes
At last I’m starting to hit some of the backlog of nominations. So don’t despair if you sent something in yonks ago, and it hasn’t yet arrived on the site, I’ll get to it. And please keep them coming. Oh yes, there’s a bit more on Bedford too…
7 December A lovely new meme is developing: “weird stuff I saw in Bedford.” I like it! Keep them coming.
I didn’t think that Bedford would feature again. But then people started writing in about the bus station…Including perhaps the strangest photo Crap Towns has seen so far..
Worksop! I hadn’t even heard of this place. And can’t say I’m glad that I have…
Also an hilarious comment has landed about Southampton. Much more fantastic correspondence about the town has been coming in by email too. Definitely a top three contender…
Brighton updated! “We looked out into the shoddy back garden in the morning the other day and saw the next door toddler walking around with a fag in its mouth.”
There’s also an all new entry on the City of London, “the religious centre of Britain.”
“What I actually saw was a woman wearing “L” plates trying to touch a donkey’s privates.”
It was only a matter of time before we got to Blackpool.
Oh la la! The French have invaded the site! Calais: “… rotting warehouses, and endless empty car parks. It looks almost as bad as Swindon.”
I went to Leamington Spa the other day. Guess what. It was crap!
Wootton Bassett doesn’t sound like fun, meanwhile. Unless you’re horny, not too choosy and have some cake with you…
Are you a cock? You might like Brighton then! Otherwise, you might want to stay away…
Huntingdon is back! I didn’t think we were going to have to include it this time around. I think I thought wrong. Read it and weep – with laughter.
A very short word on Axminster. (I was going to write short “and sweet”, but that’s not quite the word…)
Elsewhere, the Mansfield argument rages. I was thinking that it wouldn’t feature again, this time around. Shows how wrong I can be. Turns out there’s a huge vein of crap there we still haven’t mined…
Southampton! I’m expecting we’re going to hear much more about this one…
In the meantime, thanks for all the corruption emails. Very interesting! Am processing and following leads. Councils, eh?
Rank corruption, mining all within, infects unseen
Last night I took part in a debate at the University of Greenwich with the title: Bleak Towns: Does Reputation Matter? I gave a quick talk about Morecambe, its long decline and its more recent attempts to turn things around. Meanwhile, while Owen Hatherley, author of A New Kind Of Bleak, spoke about various colossal planning funk-ups around the nation. It was all tremendously interesting – but I shan’t bore you with the details. (You kind of had to be there.)
There is one fascinating point from the evening to bring up, however. During the Question and Answer session I stated (what I thought was) the uncontroversial opinion that lots of councils over the years have been inept and corrupt.
To my surprise, someone* stood up to challenge this position. I can’t remember his exact words, but the implication was that councils aren’t corrupt and even suggesting that they are is outrageous. “You need evidence to back up that kind of statement,” he said.
I was temporarily floored, but began to reel off a few rotten boroughs – at which point I was interrupted and we moved onto other things.
Later on twitter, however, more local councillors stepped in, suggesting that I was “blinkered” and really need to “Define corruption.”
Of course, I don’t want to make any libellous suggestions about the good people of Greenwich, but I’m still shocked that anyone would want to pretend our local authorities are free of sin or graft. I’m also particularly horrified that these people should be councillors themselves, since if anyone should be aware of graft, and on the alert for venality it should be them.
Naturally, as is the way with these things, I’ve thought of a thousand decent replies to the purer than pure councillor now that the time to actually say something has passed. And hallelujah, thanks to the marvels of the internet, I have the power and can bang them down now!
The shortest, and probably best answer is simply: What the fuck?
The slightly longer reply is: Thanks for that Tesco we didn’t want, dickheads.
The slightly even longer reply is: Lambeth, Doncaster, Hull, Wandsworth, Westminster, Hackney. Corruption was so endemic in Hackney that even their fraud department was investigated.
But the very best reply will be a colossal list of dirty deeds and rotten boroughs from around the country. I’ll be compiling a great many stories for the next edition of Crap Towns, and I thought it would be very interesting to hear from readers around the country – as well as cribbing from Private Eye.
So I’m putting the call out. If anyone has any stories of backhanders, dodgy planning deals, contracts awarded to friends and family, obstacles mysteriously placed in the way of projects, and mysteriously moved from others, of councillors turning up to work in surprisingly nice cars, of graft, of sin, of mendacity, of petty bureaucratic shit-kickery, do get in touch.Place a comment, a hint, an idea, a path to follow somewhere on the site. Or send me an email. Do it anonymously or publicly. Let’s nail the bastards.
*EDIT I’ve since been told that this was: David Gardner, a senior bod at KPMG, chair of the local Labour Party and former Assistant General Secretary of the Labour Party under Tony Blair. Apparently he doesn’t like the word “corruption”.
Can someone tell me why they thought Yorkshire needed another massive puddle?
You don’t even want to know how much it cost to put that thing in Bradford city centre. You can currently see more of the poor place in our picture of the day section. And here’s just a few of the nominations we’ve been getting for Bradford. Feel free to add more! At this stage, the place is pulling ahead…
Croydon is the gift that keeps on giving. New picture of the day.
Will also bring the promised Oldham material soon. And York. Boy have we had a good email about York.
We’ve been receiving lots of posts about Oldham recently. It isn’t sounding great there… We’ll be posting some highlights soon. Do keep them coming in the meantime!
Another hot contender is Stoke-On-Trent – as a contributor calling himself Enzyme explains in this awesome post. Poor Stoke!
The Olympics is over. Britain is still crap. Sorry! Nous continuerons…
Sorry for the long silence! I wish I could tell you that it’s because I’m taking August off like the rest of the middle-classes. The truth is that it’s actually because I’m doing so much work elsewhere. But nominations keep on flooding in and things will be back up to speed soon! In the meantime, here’s a short and not at all sweet message about Manningtree. I go through there on the train too. I always thought it looked rather pretty… Just goes to show that you never can tell.
Newquay: ” hedonism as imagined by Henry Ford”
Touching patriotism in the picture of the day.
And a searing indictment of Camberley. But at least it has a mall!
It’s anagram time today! I can’t believe no one has pointed this out to us before…. Thanks readers!
Friday 13 July
Thanks to popular demand, we’ve started a picture of the day page to give the best (worst?) examples of urban decay and decline a moment in the spotlight before they migrate to the Wall Of Shame. Today’s is an irony free sign from the City of London.
If you have something you’d like to send in, just click this link to send an email to CrapTownsSamemail@example.com .
As promised, here’s Glastonbury. Sexy Glastonbury…. Mmmm….
Sorry, sorry, sorry for the lack of updates… So busy! Will be putting up more nominations later on this week. Loads of great ones have come in. Including Glastonbury. Who knew?!
USA! USA! USA! The town of the week is Thetford, a place so awful it inspired Thomas Paine to go off and establish America.
Also new on the site is the Wall Of Shame, a collection of images of typical tourist sights from around this glorious island.
And we’ve had dozens of hilarious nominations that will be arriving on the site soon. Keep them coming!
We’re also still reeling from the article about the recent Haworth and Bradford posts in The Bradford Telegraph and Argus (Withering Slights). Poor Bradford is riding high in the Crap Town stakes at the moment.
In the meantime, if you have another nomination, we’d love to hear from you. Nominating is easy. Just click this link and send an email to CrapTownsSamfirstname.lastname@example.org, or post a comment somewhere on this site. Anything you write in will be noted and counted – but it pays to write a reasonable amount, and make it as funny as possible, because we like to post the best entries up on the site, and those in turn attract a fair bit of attention… (You can get more information about Crap Towns and nomination here.)
Oh yes! Forgot to say – current entries can be found in the sidebar to the right of this post… Enjoy!