Keith Waterhouse

‘Ave a Good Laff

Up North: Travels Beyond the Watford Gap


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If you cannot judge a book by its cover, you certainly cannot judge one by opening it at random on page 83. ‘It was the lack of greenery that finally di d for me at Blackpool’ was the first sentence l read of Up North, to which I heard myself responding, ‘Yer great daft Mary Anne! Greenery’s to build on!’

Not a good start. But, a fair man, I thought l would give Charles Jennings every chance and plough on for another four or five pages.

Like the Conservative Party (and much of the Parliamentary Labour Party, but they keep quiet about it), he does not warm to Blackpool, for all that his introduction to the resort is a woman on the Preston Sprinter yelling, ‘Eh, look at that fookin’ cow! In that field! I never seen a cow fookin’ run before!’ I mean, what more does he want?

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