What? This glorious place was once voted one of the worst places in the UK?! We're not having that. Despite its flaws, Middlesbrough is one of the friendliest and most welcoming places you'll find and here's why... Up the Boro!
1. Funny folk
Without our dry Middlesbrough wit you’d be missing the likes of Bob Mortimer, Chubby Brown, Patrick Monagan, Kirsten O’Brien, and comedic magicians Pete Firmin and Paul Daniels. (Ok, sorry for unleashing Paul!)
Here’s Bob with Vic Reeves…
Full clips and routines can be found on BBC’s YOUTUBE channel below…
2. On the horizon
Seen in many films and a rare piece of engineering that’s still fully functional today, when a Teessider sees the Tees Transporter Bridge, they know they’re nearly home. Plus, it’s the only bridge you can bungee jump off in the UK – if you’ve got the nerve…
Voyager Captain James Cook was born in Middlesbrough. Who? Oh, he only discovered Australia, no less. All in a few month’s work!
4. World landmarks
Speaking of Oz, Sydney’s famous Harbour Bridge is constructed out of Middlesbrough/Teesside steel, as are many other bridges throughout the world. So it’s Boro folk to be thanked for many of the world’s most impressive constructions. Industry is at the heart of our town, with steel, chemicals and ships all having been proudly produced in the region over the years.
5. The arts
Now, don’t go getting sniffy and thinking there’s nothing to see here in Middlesbrough. We’ve got the impressive art gallery, MIMA, which houses many modern exhibitions. Then there’s the Bottle of Notes, Temenos, Dorman Long Museum, the Captain Cook Museum as well as guided walks throughtout the area to soak up the local history.
6. The Parmo
Kebabs are so old news around here! After the pub there’s no better choice than local delicacy, the Parmo, which comprises of chicken or pork, covered in bechamel sauce, breadcrumbs and even more cheese. Watch that cholesterol though, especially if you’re having a ‘London Pizza’ the following night…
7. Football talent
The enigmatic and charismatic Brian Clough grew up here, so did Don Revie, the controversial former England manager. Expert reader of the game and one of the most gifted defenders the country has ever produced, Jonathan Woodgate, is another Boro boy. As is the owner of one of the sweetest left feet in football, Stewart Downing. And we’re not forgetting Wilf Mannion, a gifted footballer of past generations. Remember watching the footie highlights on Shoot, shown on Tyne Tees, after Farming Outlook?
8. Local legend
Middlesbrough has arguably the best chairman in the football world in Steve Gibson. He’s helped the club rise from almost extinction to a purpose-built stadium and overseen a team that’s punched well above its weight, winning trophies and competing at the highest level in Europe. Ask any football supporter and they will be envious of our chairman.
9. Local lingo
Boro has its very own distinctive language, and is certainly not Geordie or Mackem. ‘Yer jokin aren’t yer’ can be heard from Acklam to Grangetown. Our distinctive tone can be easily recognised in all corners of the globe and you feel a sense of belonging whenever you hear it.
10. Ayresome Park
Nostalgic Middlesbrough FC fans will remember Bernard Gent welcoming everyone to games at the team’s former stadium, Ayresome Park, before belting out The Shuffle and Boro’s run-out theme, The Power Game. We can still smell the Bovril and cigars in the Holgate end… Ayresome Park was also put on the map when North Korea beat Italy 1-0 here in the 1966 World Cup. Wonder how England got on that year… we hardly ever mention it, do we?
11. Night life
Boro has always boasted a lively night scene. From townies to students, there’s something for everyone. Some classics listed here along with some main stays: The Rock Garden, Arena, Bongo, Madison, Blasiers, Dickens, Southfields, Zetland, Raglan, Havana, Gaskins, The Star, Doctor Browns, Empire, Corner house, Jumpin Jaks, The Mall, Tall Trees, Crown, The Kirk. We’ve frequented these on too many occasions, followed by a trip to the Bite in Burger.
12. Musical talent
Middlesbrough has given the world Chris Rea, Maximo Park’s Paul Smith, Paul Rodgers from Free and David Coverdale from Whitesnake. More recent stars include Alistair Griffin, Journey South, James Arthur and Amelia Lily. Boro is also on the circuit for new bands and even has its own well-attended festival, Middlesbrough Music Live. Plenty of high profile bands have clamoured to be headliners. However, if you wanted to get your hands on some decent records, Alan Fearnleys was the place to go.
Middlesbrough has always been a fashion conscious area. But if you couldn’t afford Psyche or Box and their very trendy threads, you could of course just go to Geordie Jeans in the Cleveland Centre…
Middlesbrough folk have become known as ‘Smoggies’ or ‘Smog Monsters’ due to the air pollution from the steelworks and chemical industry. And we’ve embraced the nicknames, even if they were intended to be derogatory. Funnily enough, the air here is comparatively clean compared to that of many other major UK cities. So you can take your cough and stick it…
15. International Gamers
Teesside University is one of the leading digital animation courses in the world. Forget Pac Man and Tetris, here you’ll learn the next Angry Birds or Grand Theft Auto. Close the curtains and do an all nighter!
With the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors both on our doorstep, what more could you ask for in terms of natural beauty? Not forgetting some stunning coastline. If that was too far, venturing up to Roseberry Topping for some breathtaking views takes some beating. Your name is probably graffitied up there already!
Middlesbrough was a great place to be a kid. Who can forget being dragged down to the Hill Street Centre, Dundas Arcade or Cleveland Centre – where you got a ride in the glass lift! – with your mam of a weekend? If you were lucky, you’d at least go to Romer Parish toys or Nelsons. Other top weekends included trips out for a lemon top at Redcar or an ice cream from Suggitts in Great Ayton. You probably nagged your mum for pop from the Lowcocks man and a Newboulds pie. And you almost certainly learned to swim at Berwick Hills baths, avoiding whatever it was floating in the deep end then pulling a moonie in the porthole windows! Alternatively Saturdays spent close to home involved getting a ‘croggy’ or ‘tan’ (known elsewhere as a backy) to your mate’s to play kerby.