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We Are Middlesbrough: A blogger's five best things about Boro

Chloe Tempestoso
Image caption Chloe Tempestoso started a blog to highlight the positives of Middlesbrough

Blogger Chloe Tempestoso is trying to shine a light on the best bits of Middlesbrough. Here are her five favourite things about the town.

The people

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Middlesbrough FC is currently in the Championship

Middlesbrough is home to almost 140,000 people, and Chloe says they share a unique pride in the place.

Like many of the people of Middlesbrough, her family came as immigrants for work.

Her grandparents moved to Middlesbrough from Naples and, along with the thousands of others attracted to the then new town by the promise of jobs and a new life, helped shape the place.

"Because it's not very old, a lot of people had to move to Middlesbrough to make it what it is.

"I think people from Middlesbrough are really proud of it, I know I'm more proud of being from Middlesbrough than I am even for being from England or my family being from Italy.

"There is some negativity but I want to show people there are positives.

"A lot of people here already see those."

She says outsiders have a poor view of Middlesbrough, believing there are no jobs, no culture and "we don't speak properly".

"People think if you are from Middlesbrough it's just doom and gloom, but we in the town know that's just not true," Chloe, 24, from Acklam, says.

"It has its problems like anywhere else, but it also has so many positives."

Acklam Hall

Image copyright Acklam Hall
Image caption Acklam Hall was built in the 1680s and has been a family home, school and now an events venue

Built in the 1680s, Acklam Hall is Middlesbrough's only Grade I listed building.

It was the home of the Hustler family from its creation until being taken over by the local council in the 1920s, then going on to be used as a school.

Now it is a wedding and events venue.

"It's a beautiful building" says Chloe, adding: "But it's also what it means to the people.

"A few years ago it was just left, there was nothing happening with it and people were worried.

"There has always been a lot of passion for the hall, everyone around there really cares for it and petitions were signed to save it.

"We are very proud of it."

Industrial heritage

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Middlesbrough was built to be industrial

Middlesbrough was built to be industrial, growing from a small hamlet to a thriving town within a few years in the 1830s thanks to the port, shipyards and steelworks.

"The industry brought my grandparents here, without that I wouldn't be here," Chloe says.

And the town's history is something to celebrate.

Steel made in Middlesbrough was used in bridges and other large projects around the world, as Monty Python member Michael Palin noted on his visit to the town in 2015.

Bedford Street and Baker Street

Image copyright Lauren Close/Ornage Pip Market
Image caption The artisan Orange Pip Market is held in the Bedford and Baker Street area each month

"If you took a visitor to the Bedford and Baker Street area, I think they would be shocked," says Chloe.

The two terraced streets to the south of the town centre have become a thriving community of small, independent bars and restaurants.

"I was 19 when the bars opened, they really gave the town a new type of nightlife.

"They have promoted independent bars and independent business in the town."

The streets also host the popular Orange Pip Market, an artisan food and drink festival, on the last Saturday of every month.

Accent

Image caption BBC presenter Steph McGovern is raising awareness of the Teesside accent, according to Chloe

"The way we talk is unique, I want the Teesside accent to be properly recognised," says Chloe.

She describes it as a mixture of Geordie and Yorkshire, but has often been mistaken when abroad for being from Newcastle.

"It is a bit frustrating because I want my accent to be known for what it is, just like people from Newcastle and Liverpool are."

Chloe is also fed up with the snobbery against her accent.

"People say it's hard to understand or they think someone with the accent is unintelligent.

"But that's just not true. I think you don't hear the Teesside accent very much in the media, which is why someone like (BBC presenter) Steph McGovern is so good, to see and hear her on the TV is brilliant for Teesside."

Chloe is the founder of Project Middlesbrough, a blog focusing on the positive stories in Middlesbrough.

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