TRISH TAKES FIVE: By TRish Burgess
One of the things I love about travelling is finding place names that amuse me. This is probably best done when driving in the UK as we have so many oddly-named towns and villages. Many of them too suggestive to mention here but there’s a whole host of ‘bottoms’ worth sniggering over.
On a trip to Scotland a couple of years ago I spotted this sign, welcoming visitors to the little village of Dull, paired with Boring, Oregon, USA. We were staying in Perthshire whilst visiting some old friends and they took great pride in explaining how this had come about.
A local resident of Perthshire, Elizabeth Leighton, had been cycling through Oregon on holiday when she passed through the town of Boring. Amused, she told her friend, Emma Burtles, a resident of Dull, and the two thought it would be a wacky idea if both places could be somehow linked. They can’t officially be twinned as Boring is too large, but Steve Bates, the chair of the Boring Community Planning Organisation worked with Marjorie Keddie, the chair of the Dull and Weem Community Council, and in 2012 the pairing was made.
The new village sign was erected and a street party held for all 84 residents of the tiny Dull village. A similar sign can now be seen in Boring. Both locations have their own celebrations to mark the relationship and in Oregon, the Governor has declared August 9 to be the official Boring and Dull Day across the entire state, though I suspect any revelry deemed too exciting might be frowned upon. The Dull and Boring Facebook page was also created so the residents can get to know one another.
Of course, there’s always room for more in this little team. The tourism committee of the shire of Bland, in New South Wales, Australia, also fancies a bit of the dreary action. Bigger than Dull but not as large as Boring, Bland was named after William Bland, the son of an obstetrician, who was transported there as a convict in 1814, having killed a sailor during a duel in Bombay. He was later pardoned and went on to found the Australian Medical Association. Definitely not bland at all, if you ask me.
If Bland do become part of the ‘League of Extraordinary Communities’ they really ought to meet up and have one large but low-key party. May I suggest the Disappointment Islands in French Polynesia?
You can follow Trish on Twitter @mumsgoneto and read her blog at www.mumsgoneto.blogspot.com