Return to Middlesbrough

Ever since going to Middlesbrough last weekend, I’ve wondered why they seem to be missing an ‘o’. Surely, it should be ‘Middlesborough’…but it’s not. Typical of the wonderful, variant English language.

And it was like I was back there today, amid the sea of red and blue, cheering and singing in our moment of glorious defeat. For today I had a Talking Newspaper and the big story on the back page was about the game.

[For anyone who would like to see a bit of footage that includes James, Me, Richard and Nicktor, have a look at this. We’re about two minutes in. Richard can also be seen complaining about paying £15 for his £10 ticket and then, shortly afterwards, happily reporting his refund.] Please note that this content has been removed from the Aldershot site. I guess they only keep it up for a limited time. Shame.

The report in the paper was accompanied by a massive photograph of a section of the away fans. I searched and searched but I think we’re just to the right of the photograph in the next bank over. Damn!

Still, you can’t have everything. At least I was there and felt perfectly placed to read a report on our glorious loss.

I was also lucky enough to read a report on a national trampolining competition, something I had no idea actually existed. I said as much in my report and, afterwards, Margaret (one of my readers) told me that one of her children was a champion trampoliner and she knew all about it.

They have a very nice site, devoted to all things trampoline. It’s here. Who’da thunk it?

Anyway, the Talking Newspaper session went very well and all seemed jolly enough (though I was told off for forgetting to say the track numbers) and I made my way home, happy in the knowledge that I’d preached the Shot’s Gospel to my captive audience.

And why is Middlesbrough spelled the way it is? Especially since it is generally shorted to ‘Boro’. No-one seems to know. Originally (about a thousand years ago) it was a small farming settlement and some people believe it has the prefix ‘Middle’ because it was halfway between two Christian settlements (Durham and Whitby).

Others believe it was named for an Anglo-Saxon called Mydil. The Anglo-Saxon suffix ‘burgh’ means settlement so Mydilsburgh would be the settlement of Mydil.

However, in 686, an altar was built and named St. Hilda of Middleburg. Not that any of that helps much.

The Middlesbrough we know today was established as a result of the railways. It was the ideal place for a train terminus for offloading coal to waiting coastal ships.

However…I rather like the fact that it’s a quirk of the English language and, let’s leave it at that. Though, typically, there’s a place in Kentucky spelled Middlesboro…

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2 Responses to Return to Middlesbrough

  1. Mirinda says:

    What a strange world we live in that there should be national trampoline competitions. Do u think they use those pathetic material wall thingys?

  2. Josephine Cook says:

    Couldn’t get into the Shots site was down for some reason, looked at the Trampoline site but don’t think I will join, the English language how wonderful it is.
    love mum x

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