Slough - There are worse places on earth!


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As a proud Sluffite, I've had to watch the place of my birth besmirched on these boards (as well as everywhere else in the UK). Now however it appears we're better than Scranton, Pennsylvania! Bizarrely enough, I have actually lived in Scranton too and I wouldn't have drawn the same conclusion. But hey, who am I to doubt the Guardian?

I always knew we were grrrreat!!

Think Slough is bad? You haven't seen Scranton

Tim Dowling
Thursday January 31, 2008
The Guardian

Scranton, Pennsylvania, an old mining town that was once shortlisted for the distinction "armpit of America", is enjoying an unlikely renaissance as a tourist destination, thanks to its selection as the down-at-heel setting for the US version of The Office, the new series of which starts tonight on ITV2. The UK version of the comedy never quite managed to resuscitate Slough, although diehard fans do make the occasional pilgrimage (one hopes they don't travel too far out of their way) to the Slough trading estate in search of Wernham Hogg's putative HQ. But which town has more to offer? Below, the run-down.


Founded 1866.

Also known as the Electric City.

Population 72,000, down from a peak of about 150,000 in the 1930s.

Home of the Houdini Museum, the Electric City Trolley Museum, the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour.

Famous Scrantonians former US secretary of labour Robert Reich; Hugh Rodham, Hillary Clinton's dad; Ned Washington, lyricist responsible for both When You Wish Upon a Star and Rawhide.

Besides The Office, also serves as the setting for Jason Miller's award-winning play That Championship Season.

Quotation evoking Scranton's past "As I sat at the hotel window, watching the passing of man and beast as they waded through wet and mud, there came a sudden halt in the procession of street cars ... Men and women with umbrellas congregated at the curb to note the breakdown of a truck loaded with groceries."
(King Gillette, inventor of the safety razor, recalls a visit to Scranton in 1889)


First recorded mention 1196.

Also known as "England's least tranquil area", according to the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Population 122,000.

Home of the "Slough Stench" - fumes from the town's sewage treatment works which regularly waft over the M4.

Famous Sloughians Isambard Kingdom Brunel; Alma Cogan; Una Stubbs; Geri Halliwell; Thomas Gray.

Besides The Office, also serves as the setting for a poem by John Betjeman; the 1991 film Buddy's Song; Thunderbirds was filmed on the same trading estate where The Office is set.

Quotation evoking Slough's past "I was born in Slough in the 1970s. If you want to know what Slough was like in the 1970s, go there now."
(Comedian Jimmy Carr)
So this isn't the latest slogan of the Slough tourist board, then?


Book Reviewer
"Slough - not as bad as Scranton!"
the only reason i ever went to slough was for a subway sandwhich, and thats it,
did see a really fit bird there though,


Book Reviewer
Mr_Deputy said:
eh? you managed to live in both Slough AND Scranton??

how the hell did that happen?
Born and raised in Slough. Grew up. Moved out. Life and the fates took me all over the world from Guatemala to Nepal and fair few notches in between including living in the US for about five years, four of which were in Pennsylvania.

All these years later, I'm back where I started (well a few miles up the road, but still Sluffite to the core!)
The thread title; Slough - There are worse places on earth! indicates that there is more than one place worse than Slough.

The example given is that of Scranton in the USA, and, as we all know that most Yanks live in their own little world, I would say that this example doesn't count.
Betjeman wasn't scathing enough:

Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn't fit for humans now,
There isn't grass to graze a cow.
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs and blow to smithereens
Those air -conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,
Tinned minds, tinned breath.

Mess up the mess they call a town-
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week a half a crown
For twenty years.

And get that man with double chin
Who'll always cheat and always win,
Who washes his repulsive skin
In women's tears:

And smash his desk of polished oak
And smash his hands so used to stroke
And stop his boring dirty joke
And make him yell.

But spare the bald young clerks who add
The profits of the stinking cad;
It's not their fault that they are mad,
They've tasted Hell.

It's not their fault they do not know
The birdsong from the radio,
It's not their fault they often go
To Maidenhead

And talk of sport and makes of cars
In various bogus-Tudor bars
And daren't look up and see the stars
But belch instead.

In labour-saving homes, with care
Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
And dry it in synthetic air
And paint their nails.

Come, friendly bombs and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales.
If it was dreadful when he wrote it it's an utter shitehole now. Its only redeeming feature is the ease with which you can escape from it and get back on the safe side of the A34.
Born and bred in Slough, moved away in the 70s.
Apparently the estate I grew up on, is now, a no go area.

There are worse places than Slough though, just dont ask me to name them.
I've come to the conclusion that most of the country is becoming a tip, run by a Government, who's sole objective is to disenfranchise the indigenous population.

One word dont .Lived there rather go and live in basra than slough again
a grade one hole best endured with strong drink or mind altering chemicals. Unfortunatly i had neither .
Local stab unit had a nuclear free zone sign other side of their road .Any unit I served with would have had it away guess slough kills the sprit.
Andover comes a close second to Slough. Andover is just an extension of the Porton Down range area and must have the ugliest and stupidest population in the known Universe. Experiment complete.

I'm sure you could draw a 'lay line' from Bristol to Ipswich taking in Bath, Andover, Basingstoke and Slough and it would take the shape of a large giro cheque on the ground.

Cant we re-define the borders of England redrawing it from Gloucester to just north of Ipswich? All south of it should be given to the French and have Otley named as capital of England.


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woody said:
Local stab unit had a nuclear free zone sign other side of their road .Any unit I served with would have had it away guess slough kills the sprit.
Must have been aover 15 years ago Woody. Both the Stab unit (Wessex Regt?) and Sign have long since gone. The joke when we were growing up was that the Russian SS20's would just swerve to avoid us on recognising the sign. Little did we know (according to Wiki) that the Soviet KGB made detailed 1:10,000 maps of most urban areas of the UK, but didn't bother to make a map of Slough!

lastfour said:
Born and bred in Slough, moved away in the 70s.
Apparently the estate I grew up on, is now, a no go area.
You're not off the Britwell estate are you mate?

Boney2728 said:
Slough , A big dump in the true sense of the word along with High Wycombe .
Oi! You'll be slagging off Aylesbury next! :D
Since Romania joined the EU on January 1, nearly 90 children from the poverty-stricken country have arrived on the steps of the town hall in Slough pleading for help.

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