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Fairytale of Scunthorpe
Scunthorpe in General
Member Name: yabbadabbadoo
Scunthorpe in General
Date: 02/11/08, updated on 10/02/11 (538 review reads)
Advantages: Big hearted steel town folk
As I was born and raised in Sunny Scunthorpe it truly is an honour and a priviledge to write a review of my place of birth.
There used to be a sign on the outskirts "Scunthorpe - the industrial garden town" to which someone had helpfully added in black spray paint "needs diggin!!". It doesn't help either when the unfortunate letters in the name have been known to cause issues with internet searches and the like.
But as a proud Steel town, having gone through the pain of massive job losses in the late 70s and early 80s, Scunthorpe has emerged as a pretty decent place in its own right, with plenty of parks and gardens to enjoy, and a footy team at least capable of flirting on the borders of the Championship - how I pray we can stay up this year!
Over the years the night-life in the town has been interesting to say the least, but back in the day the Scunthorpe Baths hall had quite a reputation for gigs and Henry Afrika's was always good for a laugh.
The main local paper the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph was always trying to raise the town's profile. I fondly remember when they ran the story that the disused Normanby Park steelworks was reckoned to be in the final shortlist for providing the film back drop for Superman III no less - funnily enough it never quite happened. Brings to mind so many parallels with Chicago, which like Scunthorpe grew up from nothing in the late 1800s, founded on the Steel industry, and then went on to be a spectacular setting for so many blockbuster movies (well two out of three is really quite good)
That said there's certainly never been a shortage of real community heroes in the town, as I discovered for myself one fateful morning as I headed towards the Railway Station.....
Imagine the scene if you will, it's a busy traffic light controlled cross-roads, its around peak time when the unthinkable happens - a milk float, making its way across the lights suddenly loses all power and breaks down - marooned in the middle of everything.
Quick as a flash I ran over to see if I could help push it to safety as the traffic started to build up. I knew I couldn't push it far alone, but almost as soon as I'd got there other people just seemed to appear from nowhere, and join in the noble effort. And so, not only did we push it to safety, we actually ended up pushing it right up the hill as well, allowing it to drift its way sheepishly back to the depot. And after exchanging a few jokey comments, all of us quietly left the scene, no fuss or bother, no headlines sought or attention craved. How proud it makes me thinking back!!
Another town highlight was when the tiny Majestic cinema suddenly went multi-screen - basically, over night they knocked a couple of walls through and lo and behold proudly reclassified it as a 5 screener, with at least two of the screens being roughly the size of a punch and judy puppet show! To be fair, it didn't last long, and nowadays there's a proper VUE multiplex.
So for me, Scunny is a fine old town always full of surprises, it even has a fantastic michelin star restaurant just on its outskirts- Winteringham fields - have a look for yourself at http://www.winteringhamfields.com/, and at least one things for sure compared with most small towns at least most people around the country have heard of it.
And for all the comic hall jokes, I can confirm that I haven't put the horpe in Scunthorpe or anything else for that matter!!
So here's my Poguesque tribute to the town, sung to the tune of fairytale of New York to get us all in that festive spirit - with deepest apologies to Shane McGowan and co !!!
Twas Christmas evening,
in the Baths Hall,
when an old man said to me,
they're going to close it down.
And then we heard a song,
a rare old John Peel tune,
I turned my face away,
and drank my special brew.
And when the strikes were on,
back in eighty one,
opened the Humber bridge,
my dad's steelworks gone
They had bars full of beards,
Like a gran's paradise,
Where the sparrows flew backwards
to keep soot from their eyes
When you first took my car
For a spin over to Leeds,
You promised me Cleethorpes
was waiting for me
You were gormless,
You were zitty,
Like a fan of **** City,
When the band finished playing,
We were chucked on the streets.
Henry's was swinging,
All the drunks they were singing,
We kissed on Brit corner
And tramped through the night
The boys of the Iron brew football choir
Were singing Keegan's name
And the balls were bursting nets
On Scunny days
You're a scun,
You're a thorpe,
You're an old heap of slag,
Dancing down Donny road
with an old carrier bag
You worked down the market
Flogged scraggy old carpets
And for xmas you bought me
two packets of fags
Those bad old days are gone,
Now Scunthorpe's number one,
Top of the league again,
My dearest, oldest friend.
Lets start afresh and new,
They say dreams can come true,
It's up to you,
(a la New York New York Finale...)
~~~~Remaining ramble ~~~~
Alas the legendary Baths Hall and Henry's night spot are no more, Britannia corner is a mere shadow of its formal self, and scunny are pretty much top of league 1, and yes Kevin Keegan really did start his career at Scunthorpe United - honest!!
And finally, in true pub trivia style, can you name the 3 England captains who have played for Scunthorpe United? (one big clue in the previous paragraph!!)
Summary: Sing up for the Scunnyland!
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