Tales of Little Grimton: “Welcome…”

With thanks to @magencubed for the inspiration!

Contributed by: Angie Hewitt

In 1989, Little Grimton’s tourist board (Janet Mont-Fitchett) tried a new method to increase the number of visitors to the village. Little Grimton was already locally famous due to attractions such as Porcam’s Museum of Taxidermy and the famous WI Burning Man festival, but Mont-Fitchett felt greater national recognition was overdue.

The tourist board organised a competition. The aim? To create a slogan which would capture the heart of the nation and increase public awareness of the village’s existence. This was a controversial move to some, particularly as Little Grimton has not been shown on official maps for over two centuries. It was also controversial in that no one had ever actually appointed Janet Mont-Fitchett to act as the Little Grimton tourist board.

Nonetheless, Mont-Fitchett announced the competition via an article in the local newspaper, The Grimton Gazette, asking for a slogan which would attract visitors.

There were few entrants. It is hard to assign a specific reason for this. One explanation may have been that the WI sent a strongly-worded letter to the editor of The Grimton Gazette, which was published in their Letters From Locals page. The WI warned of grave consequences and harsh reprisals for anyone encouraging outsiders to come to the village. The other possible explanation was that, as the competition was only open to Little Grimton residents, there may not have been much interest in the competition prize, which was a mini-break for two – in Little Grimton.

In fact, there were only three entries. One was disqualified for vulgarity (rumour has it that it involved putting cup cakes in places that breached the laws of decency and physics). Another was refused on the grounds that reading the words out loud caused those hearing it to hallucinate that The King in Yellow had appeared to begin his wretched reign; several blood-letting events occurred following this. It was suspected that this may have been a sabotage attempt by a member of the WI, but it was never proved.

In the end, only one entry was found to be vaguely suitable. It was submitted by Geoffrey Staines, a UFO and alien enthusiast. Staines claimed that aliens were regular visitors to Little Grimton and argued that this was the greatest potential growth market for tourism. The slogan he created was designed to encourage alien travellers to see Little Grimton as a safe haven and potential subject-filled experiment hot-spot.

Due to a lack of alternatives and the Village Council’s belief that one could never back out of a double dare when challenged (as done so by Mont-Fitchett), the slogan was accepted.

Thus the first sight visitors to Little Grimton see when they enter the village is a sign declaring “Welcome to Little Grimton: We’re Here For The Butt Stuff!”

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