York has made it into the top five of one of Britain’s most prestigious league tables.
But we have stormed to number five in a list of the crappiest towns in Britain.
York’s proud placing is from the universally respected reference work Crap Town Returns, a follow up to the seminal 2003 work Crap Towns.
That means it is crappier than such notable destinations as Worksop, Louth, Warrington, Crawley, Pontefract, Stoke, Nuneaton and Coventry.
But we’re not as bad as Bradford.
“When the Romans were around, York had something going for it,” the entry begins. “But then the Vikings burned the place and that was the end of that.
“The town has been trading on half-ruined past glories ever since.”
According to the book’s York correspondent Dave Lynott, a Southerner who’s been resident here for ten years, the city can be a “glory to behold” in rare outbreaks of sunshine.
Oddly, he is mostly kind to the city. “York has museums galore, places of interest and many impractically narrow snickleways,” he writes.
“The daffodils bloom brightly beneath the sweeping city walls and there are enough old buildings to keep a coachful of Americans snapping and flashing like a Hollywood premier…”
Our crap rating rises thanks to the museums which “dance on the knife edge of credibility” such as “a Quilt Museum which makes no attempt to explain the meaning of the word ‘tog’”.
“In short, the whole region has succumbed to a cheesiness that puts the wen in Wensleydale,” he goes on. “But, when asked if it isn’t all a bit touristy, the average Yorkie will doubtless answer: ‘Nowt!’”
It seems it is the good people of York – or Yorkshire as a whole – which dragged us to our lofty status in the crap league. And luckily not a stereotype in sight.
“They are a hardy breed defined by their razor-sharp bluntness and a pathological determination to call a spade a spade,” Dave continues.
“An invaluable skill, perhaps, when your ancestors spent their working life underground foraging for lumps of coal, but less of an evolutionary advantage when it comes to maintaining the social interaction required to keep the lights on and the fluoridated water flowing.
“And it’s not very polite.”
The crap towns ranking system, according to editors Sam Jordison and Dan Kieran, is “based on the number of nominations and recommendations flying at us through various social media platforms” and via the Crap Town Returns website.
So which towns are crapper than York? Here’s the top ten in full:
3. Chipping Norton
9. High Wycombe
We’ll leave the final word to visitor Sam, who compiled this Roving Report for Crap Towns Returns. “I visited York twice in 2012. It was flooded both times.
“I returned early in 2013. It was flooded. Then I went back again. It was flooded again.”
So: do you agree? Is our position at number five about right? Let us know in the comments.
- Crap Towns Returns: Back by Unpopular Demand is published by Quercus, and is available for £7 from Amazon