In 1980 Radio I conducted a survey to find Britain’s most boring town. Certain failings are keenly felt by young people of an age that made up the audience served by Radio 1. Failings which might well have catapulted Hertford into the contention as Britain’s Most Boring Town.
Hertford is the county town of Hertfordshire. It is close to, but far enough away from London.
We have two main line train stations and a bus station. We have a castle and some splendid architecture; most buildings are at least Grade II listed. Hertford has at least one church of every denomination, extremely low crime levels and excellent schools.
On the other hand in and around the town centre there is in excess of 30 pubs, bars and licensed restaurants and just as many sandwich bars, coffee shops and take-aways. There is no MacDonalds, cinema or bowling alley.
Such the type of town that drew these comments about the winners.
In an honorary mention came Whitstable:
‘People only pass through Whitstable to get to Herne Bay, where they die.’
In runner-up spot came Carmarthen:
‘Feeding a ferret with lockjaw would be more exciting than living in Carmarthen.’
But the winner with 1054 votes was Grantham (pop. 29,537), birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton and Margaret Thatcher:
‘The only thing that came out of Grantham was the A1.’
‘It must have been a boring place if Newton could do nothing better than sit waiting for an apple to fall on his head.’
In reply an official of the Grantham Conservative Club said:
‘I suppose it is boring. But there are some places just as boring … I imagine.’
This page and more in a similar vein comes from a collection in my eBook So! You want to be British.