‘Birthplace of the knock-off knick-knack, Staffordshire still plays a lead role in producing the crappy trinkets that form the bedrock of car boot sales across the nation.’
Regardless of whether the world needs or wants another ‘limited edition’ batch of porcelain cats or a Mikhail Gorbachev toby jug, the pottery makers of Stoke and Stafford continue to fart out yet more dross destined to collect more of the country’s dust. After purchase, these items will be ignored for several years before being accidentally broken, creating unnecessary family conflict and the rewriting of wills.
The county attracts a healthy stream of tourists, each one eager to find the ideal conversational piece for placing on the cistern of their downstairs toilet. It has also provided the perfect filler for lackadaisical television producers seeking to fill the graveyard mid-morning slot, as auction shows have turned out to be have cheaper production values than even Paul Ross. This attention has shored up the local economy after decades of industrial decline, though Staffordshire is now forced to live with the shame of being the reason for David Dickinson’s continued employment.
With Britain’s ageing population and the increasing levels of disposable income amongst easily persuadable pensioners, Staffordshire is well placed to capitalise on an ornament boom in the years ahead, having successfully cornered the market in gaudy doohickeys advertised at the back of TV listing magazines.
- MOTTO – ‘Out of darkness, cometh shite’
- SONGS ROBBIE WILLIAMS WROTE ABOUT STOKE – It’s Only Us; Burslem Normals
- SONGS ROBBIE WILLIAMS DID NOT WRITE ABOUT STOKE – Angels; Let Me Entertain You
- PRICE – Just £39.99, paid in six easy monthly installments*
- SPORT – Hoof and run football, hoof and run rugby, hoof and run lawn bowls
- CUISINE – No
- HATES – Plastic
- TERRAIN – Kiln-baked for 36 hours for an even finish
1399 – The captured King Richard II is paraded through the Stafford’s streets as a prisoner by troops loyal to Henry Bolingbroke, who later drop him in a pile of Richard III.
1567 – King James I is so impressed by his visit to Stafford that he calls it ‘Little London’. His subsequent trip to Stoke is less successful, with Royal records describing the town as ‘Little Point’.
1696 − Over a hundred years after Wolverhampton’s first Great Fire a second starts in exactly the same street, leading to the enforced closure of long-time tenant Nathaniel Fistwink’s Discount Kindling Store.
1866 – Queen Victoria visits Wolverhampton to watch the unveiling of a statue erected in memory of Prince Albert, an event that some believe triggered the extended period of mourning she maintained until her death.
1927 – England’s first automatic traffic lights are erected in Princes Square, Wolverhampton as part of a controversial Government campaign to eliminate colour blind motorists.
2011 – Tamworth is shown to have the highest obesity rate of any town in the United Kingdom, with almost one-third of adults considered clinically obese. Council officials are quoted as saying: “Facts are facts. We have to take it on the chins.”
Did You Know?
The UK’s largest theme park, Alton Towers also makes a strong claim to title of most vomit per square metre.
The Staffordshire bull terrier is one of the UK’s most common dog breeds, and remains popular with owners who secretly prefer to cut out the middle man and start biting people themselves.
Stafford’s most famous son is Izaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler. His work is still regarded as one of the most comprehensive books ever written about fishing technique, with a catch weight of 6lb 2oz.
Mermaid’s Pool is a legend linked to a pool located in the mountainous ridges of The Roaches. Legend has it that the mermaid appears once a year on Easter Eve at midnight, and anyone who sees her is either given the gift of immortality or a spectacular hangover.
Samuel Johnson, one of history’s greatest lexicographers, was born in the Lichfield family home above his father’s bookshop. While credited with producing one of the greatest ever English dictionaries, he experienced bouts of mental anguish as well as the noticeable tics associated with Tourette’s syndrome, a fact manifested in his final draft’s 302 entries for ‘fuck’.