It has a dry ski slope, a Norman church and its cinema was opened by Lauren Bacall. But none of these could influence a controversial new poll in which Hemel Hempstead has been named the ugliest town in the UK.
The survey, run by the website Crap Towns Returns, received more than 3,000 votes when they asked for the country’s “crappiest towns”.
The results will be cut down to 50 for the book Crap Town Returns, due to be released in October.
One of the authors behind the survey, Sam Jordison, said: “I know exactly why Hemel did so well in the poll. I’ve been there once. And once was more than enough.” Hemel Hempstead came top of the poll with 785 votes, despite registering zero votes in the first few hours of the survey opening.
Its near neighbour Luton could only muster 592 votes.
Jordison added that he was surprised that Coventry didn’t do better after a number of people wrote in to say it looked better just after it was bombed than it does now.” The first edition of Crap Towns, published in 2003, sold more than 100,000 copies and provoked outrage across the country.
Kingston-upon-Hull took the first unwanted crown, followed by Cumbernauld and Mroecambe. The successor Crap Towns Returns is “back by unpopular demand”, joke the authors.