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    Inside Out - South East: Monday October 3, 2005

DISGUSTED OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Letter
Letting off steam - 'disgusted of Tunbridge Wells'

Living in Tunbridge Wells? You must be disgusted.

If it's not litter and graffiti, it's the cars parked on the pavement.

Or the hoodies that teenagers wear.

Or the lack of local produce in supermarkets.

Action required!

There's no end to the topics disgusting the folk of Tunbridge Wells.

Emblem
Singing Soroptomists - symbolic of the Tunbridge phenomenon

And some of them are so disgusted they've even written a song about their woes.

With lyrics like "action is needed now", the song is unveiled for the first time on BBC South East's Inside Out.

Sung by the town's Soroptomists, some of whom are themselves "disgusted".

"I'm not a busybody, but I care about how the town looks," says Helen Warriner, who regularly castigates motorists who park inappropriately with polite notes on their windscreens.

A brief history

The term "Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells", though seemingly as quintessentially English as cucumber sandwiches and cricket on the green, actually only dates back to the 1950s.

Historian and former newspaper Editor Frank Chapman attributes it to the staff of the former Tunbridge Wells Advertiser.

Alan writing letter
Power of the pen - Tunbridge folk are renowned for their letters

The paper's Editor, alarmed at a lack of letters, insisted his staff penned a few.

One signed his simply "Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells", and a legend was born.

Inside Out takes an amusing look at those who are happy to be "disgusted".

We speak to Teresa Wickham, who lives on an apple farm and can't understand why there are no English apples on sale in Cox's country.

Inside Out also meets Alan Warren who admits to being an inveterate letter writer abut all sorts of subjects.

See also ...

Inside Out: South East
Problem neighbours

On bbc.co.uk
bbc.co.uk/complaints

On the rest of the web
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
Consumer Complaints
complaints.com

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

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