Anorak News | The Pride Of Essex

The Pride Of Essex

by | 29th, August 2002

‘WINSTON Churchill was not from Essex. But the county has been home to other great figures, such as the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, David Beckham and the members of Depeche Mode.

Essex puts its best foot forward

Now Essex wants to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, and emphasise the fact that leopard-print is not part of its county crest. ”Essex, butt of a thousand derogatory jokes, has received Government blessing to spend council taxpayers’ money on a campaign to rid itself of its vulgar image,” reports the Telegraph.

Not surprisingly, it ”wants to change the perception that it is synonymous with brainless blonde ‘Essex Girls’ devoted to sex and shopping” and will launch a cultural drive to entice tourists and improve its image.

This drastic measure comes after research by the county council showed that Essex’s reputation was deterring tourists and investors and proving a disadvantage to skilled workers moving there. ”Generally in England, there’s a bit of mickey-taking at Essex’s expense: the men with white sports cars and the girls with a thousand pairs of shoes,” says Lord Hanningfield, leader of the council. ”This is a great county. Our schools, our countryside, our communications – they are all top drawer.”

Lord Hanningfield did admit, however, that some of the stereotypical Essex traits were accurate. ”They get on with their lives and businesses and make a success of them – that’s why they can afford white sports cars and all those shoes.”

The recent discovery of a 14th century skeleton of an Essex girl with syphilis, the earliest example known in Europe, will not deter the campaign as she is not a true representative of the species – there was no evidence to suggest she had ever danced around a handbag before her unfortunate death.

Posted: 29th, August 2002 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink