Myself, Mrs Headlander, her sister Camella and brother in law Boss Hogg were sat around having a quiet drink last night watching the footy on the telly Newcastle were playing a Belgian side called The Zulus or something similar – when I threw out the old challenge Can anyone think of the names of ten famous Belgians
Hercules Poirot and Tin Tin were immediately shouted out, but were discounted as theyre fictional (sorry kids its true but Santa Claus IS real). A lot more head scratching didnt yield many more results and Mrs H suggested Never mind that what about ten famous Poolies
As a real challenge, we decided that sportsmen shouldnt be included as otherwise Mrs. H could just recite the names of Pools teams past and present. Politicians should also be excluded on the grounds that they are self righteous scum and should not be mentioned when possible to avoid their egos being massaged – Nothing to do with Hartlepool this its just honest to goodness bias that I hate all politicians equally (apart from one Tory Female ex-Prime Minister who, when her name is mentioned, I REALLY start frothing at the mouth and have to be strapped down). We came up with a couple of famous Poolies straightaway and then all stared at each other blankly.
I was despatched to the Interweb to find out some answers and I surfed my way to that good old repository of all dodgy knowledge Wikipedia. This returned a huge list of famous Hartepudlians most of who, when their biographies were consulted, were actually born elsewhere!
We did come up with a list of ten (we think) who were all born in Hartlepool or West Hartlepool and are not sportsmen, politicians or stupid football mascots:
1) Reg Smythe . He created the marvellous Andy Capp (if you dont know who Andy Capp is then go and stand in the corner)! Both Reg and Andy are true heroes of course. Andy Capp has been the major male role model in my life!
2) Sir Compton Mackenzie . A great novelist was old compo (as he was fictitiously nicknamed by me in February 2007). He wrote Whisky Galore amongst other things. Go get some and have a good read.
3) Reginald Hill . He is the author of Dalziel and Pascoe. As a devoted hater of detective fiction and a non-TV watcher extraordinaire I really cant comment on him. The missus says hes good!
4) Sir Edward Mellanby . He was the scientist who discovered vitamin D and the role of the vitamin in preventing rickets in 1919. Just a bit important this give the man a round of applause!
5) Lionel Tertis , who was, apparently, a Viola virtuoso. That was as far into his biography as I got before my eyes started glazing over and the will to live left me.
6) Darren Morfitt . Who is apparently a very good actor and was in some cult film called The Dog Soldiers and has also played Jesus he cant be that good cause Ive never heard of him!
7) Janick Gers , who is a Heavy Metal guitarist with Iron Maiden. Never heard of him either but I dont mind a bit of senseless Metal occasionally.
8) Scott Henshall . This is the fashion designer who was a contestant on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! In 2006. I couldnt confirm that he was actually born in Hartlepool as some conflicting sources say that he was born in York and do you know what they can have the egotistical little waster.
9) Jeremy Spencer . He was a guitarist with Fleetwood Mac. Back in the early seventies, Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer were the driving force behind the then, blues outfit, Fleetwood Mac before Stevie bloody Nicks joined and started singing middle of the road trash at us through her cocaine ruined nose!
10) All the people we had for number 10 were disqualified as they didnt make the non-sportsman, politician or stupid football mascot criteria. It would be fantastic for the town to have a real contender for this position soon someone from Hartlepool who will go on to make another major contribution to society
and hopefully someone whos contribution will not be followed by the line before turning the weapon on himself.