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Newspaper bills inspire capital’s ‘crap town’ entry

A London weekly editor has welcomed the city’s entry in the new Crap Towns Returns book despite it being based almost entirely around bills from his own newspaper.

Although the London borough of Croydon is not individually listed in the book, it features strongly in the case for the capital’s nomination as Britain’s ‘crappest town’.

The two pages which the book devotes to Croydon are mainly taken up by bills from the Croydon Advertiser, featuring stories such as ‘Man Gives Up Sex And Food’ and ‘Husband Kissed Wife After Killing Her’.

But Advertiser editor Glenn Ebrey says that the newspaper’s role in Croydon’s entry is a cause for celebration and not embarrassment.

Billboards from the Croydon Advertiser were used in the new book

Writing on the Advertiser’s website, he said: “So it’s all our fault? The idea that the Advertiser is single-handedly responsible for pushing a negative, bleak, crime-ridden image of Croydon has come home to roost.

“The entire basis for our entry in the latest Crap Towns book is eight Advertiser bills, promoting stories in our paper from the past year or so. Oh the shame. The guilt.

“Or not. You see, I don’t think for one second that our bills show Croydon to be, in the words of the book, crap.

“Rather, they point to a town with a bit of character, a spark and a spunk which you don’t find in some of the other depressing clones that pass for town centres in this country.”

Other Advertiser bills featured in Crap Towns Returns included ‘Joey Essex Can’t Spell Croydon’ and ‘Booze Helps Ethel Reach 105′.

“Where else, for example would a bloke called George Bernard Shaw tell us about his exploding shed?” he added.

“And of course, it’s only in South Norwood that a man gives up both sex and food (except one meal a day, and fruit, of course).

“Not forgetting last week’s ‘Booby Cake Twist in School Row’.

“Our bills show why local newspapers are a wonderful part of British life. All human life is here – tragedy and triumph, joy and despair, weird and weirder.”

Other headlines which the Advertiser have used this year are ‘Chubby labrador saves builder from foxes’, ‘Fox dragged away my severed head’ and ‘Tories recruit a Loony’.

“A crap town? No – a brilliant town. Mad, but brilliant,” added Glenn.

‘Crap Towns Returns’ by Sam Jordison was published last Friday and features London as head of the list, with Bradford, Chipping Norton, Southampton, and York making up the rest of the top five.


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  • October 16, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Am sure I can’t be the only HTFP reader, who sees the words ‘shameless and self-promotion’ oozing from every smug sentence.At least ‘RAF bombers on the moon’ was funny…

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  • October 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Last published ABC figures show apart from the many thousands given away free, they flogged just 10,641 copies of each edition. It looks as if most people seeing these bills would do the same as me – keep walking past the newsagents!

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