Friday, 19 October 2007

I Told 'Em, Oldham!

It would be easy to pretend that I have spent the last few weeks swanning around the Mediterranean, in search of the kind of love and affection denied to me for so many years during my marriage to Mrs Blunt.

It's not in my interest to divulge too much information, since my decree nisi has been delayed by one or two financial matters that still need to be tied up before our marriage can be truly said to be 'wrent assunder'. Suffice it to say that Mr Tommy Fishfinger will not be getting his hands on any of my accumulated assets. My accountant has been busy salting whatever I have to my name in little pockets, here and there. At one point, I believe even Antigua was mentioned.

The truth, as ever, is rather more prosaic. Over the last three weeks, I've been beavering away on a project that promises to shake the very fabric of the RAC Road Map of Great Britain - nothing less than a plan to obliterate the town of Oldham from the face of the earth.

I know there will be many who will think I am callous. The town which, for so many years, has been my home and safe harbour may, by my efforts, simply cease to exist. And, I'm pleased to report - I'm being paid for the privilege.

The people behind the Oldham - Old Hat! campaign have engaged my services to assist them in coming up with a new identity for the place. Apparently, Oldham carries too many negative associations in the eyes of the British public to make it the kind of place where private capital might choose to throw its cash. Local Liberal Democrat Council Leader, Howard Sykes. is reported as saying “the name Oldham annoys districts such as Chadderton and Saddleworth.” Cllr Sykes was all in favour of re-naming Oldham after a "local river". If that's the case, this re-branding exercise may cost a few bob more, and take a little longer to complete, than Sykes had originally contemplated. Engineering work on the scale necessary to get a river to pass anywhere near to Oldham would be a costly affair, and I doubt the council taxpayers of Oldham have the appetite for more than a new logo and a few fancy street signs.

Personally, I don't know why. they need to bother. Readers of my column will know that I've been around a bit, in my time. Stockport holds no terrors for me. Lately, even the Wirral doesn't scare me. Yet, with a frightening regularity, it is to the grey pavements of Oldham that I have always found myself returning...

However, the promise of a big, fat consultancy fee is always appealing. He who pays the piper, inevitably pays the tune. I'm as happy as the next man, therefore, to throw my hat into the ring. I've already suggested Bluntsville to the powers that be. If that doesn't grab them, I wondered whether they mightn't re-style the town as Newham.

I realise, of course, that this name has already been claimed by a place in London. But, I don't think that should stop them. The good burghers of the London Borough of Newham might do well to think about a name-change, themselves. If they do, I've got a suggestion they might like to consider...



That suggestion's gratis, boys. When you get around to re-branding the towns that have been borrowed and blue - you know where to come.


10 comments:

Daddy Papersurfer said...

Ham sandwich springs to mind. I have no idea why.

70steen said...

great to see you back Bill ... you are a brave man indeed

nursemyra said...

I second that 70s

sylvie d said...

you are back!!!

Mystic Veg said...

Over my dead body..........

Crofty said...

It'll take more than a Titchmarsh type 'make-over-in-a-day' to change our beloved borough.

And as for the snobbishness of places like Saddleworth, I'm only too familiar with the types who witter on about the real Saddleworth only being the villages - huh! they don't mind taking our extra Saddleworth Parish Council Tax to pay for their paved village squares though do they.

And anyway what's wrong with 'old hat' that's the talk of the sort of man who prefers a baseball cap to a traditional flat cap.

Consider this rant over.... for now.

Shinade said...

Welcome back!!! We have missed you!! And I think Bluntsville is a lovely idea:-)

Julian Syngen-Smythe said...

Welcome back, Bill!

If Oldham was to be renamed Newham then Newham could be renamed Old Newham, and Oldham New Newham, just to avoid confusion.

Or, possibly, create a great deal more confusion.

Hello!

Gail said...

Isn't Newham in East London?

Sugar Queens Dream said...

Great to see you back my Dear man, Hugs as always, Sugar Queen....