A recent survey carried out by fifth formers at the Don Estelle Academy (formerly the Cyril Smith School for Boys) in Rochdale revealed that nearly 76% of British adults do not know where Rochdale is.
A mere 8% thought it was ‘up north somewhere’, 6% had never heard of it, and 5% didn’t understand the question.
Amongst the remaining 5%, some thought they’d seen him in B&Q that morning, and only one could say that Rochdale is positioned at the foothills of the South Pennines, 5.3 miles (8.5 km) north-northwest of Oldham and 9.8 miles (15.8 km) north-northeast of the city of Manchester, but he turned out to be the Mayor.
James Crumple OBE, the headmaster of the Academy, said; “We were deeply shocked by the results, especially as when we delved into the figures, it appeared that 87.3% of Rochdale residents didn’t know where it was. This has important ramifications for the Rochdale Tourist Board and for major transport projects. If people don’t know where the town is, and can’t get here anyway, they simply won’t bother to come.”
Metrolink denied that problems of cancellations on the Rochdale branch of the Oldham and Rochdale line were anything to do with drivers getting lost.
“It’s simply not true,” said manager Eddie Traction, 52. “The frequent unscheduled arrivals in Blackburn are entirely unconnected with the disappearance of Rochdale trains, and in any event we lay on buses to ensure passengers get to their proper destination.” When it was pointed out that the buses don’t arrive either, he said, “Tell me about it, I live there myself.”
Fifth formers Dwayne MacDwayne and Shaun Close were asked what statistical strategy they used to select the sample used in the survey;
“Dunno, really. Me and Shaunie were in Ayia Napa in August and we just asked around a bit. We ‘d been told to do a project or some shit over the summer and this bit of posh in the Bam Bam bar asked me where I came from. I mean, I was just like trying to get some as it was the last day and stuff,” said Dwayne. Shaun added, “Yeah, and that worked, dinnit?”
Shaun hopes to be a famous person when he leaves school.