It was the award a few wanted but only one could have. In the end, it was disappointment for Buckinghamshire, the borough of Chorley and everywhere within a five-mile radius of Motherwell as Northamptonshire won the nomination as the UK’s first Area of Outstanding All-Round Mediocrity (AOGM).
‘Neither quite vile enough for it to be funny, nor possessed of anything that might induce visitors to stay longer than it takes to use a toilet, this most nondescript of counties was a natural choice,’ said Lord Melvyn Bragg, chairman of the judging panel. ‘Its highest point is a mundane 738 feet. Its county flower is the cowslip. Even when Corby ceased to be the largest town in Britain without a railway station in 2009, Irthlingborough succeeded to the title. I could go on, but, you know, life’s too short, isn’t it?’