Hillsborough has beaten off stiff competition to scoop the top prize at the annual “Town most up its own hole” awards, organised by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
The town was a “clear winner” according to head judge Grant Causeway. “We have very strict criteria for the competition,” he told us, “Entrants must a) have a high number of resident dickheads, b) seem to think it’s in England, and c) be full of stuff that no one really likes but is a bit fancy – such as farmers’ markets, overpriced restaurants and shops selling useless futtery shite made out of gingham.”
“Hillsborough ticks all these boxes,” he continued, “with the additional bonus of having an annual Oyster Festival. I mean, who the f**k even likes oysters, never mind organises an entire festival around them in a town miles from the sea? Folk in a town that’s up its own hole, that’s who.”
We sent our reporters onto the streets of town to see how the locals, or Hillsboroughtonians as they like to be known, felt about the award, and got a mixed reaction.
Solicitor Cameron Davidson told us it was wonderful news. “This is wonderful news,” he said, as he queued in the chip shop for his lobster supper with white wine jus. “Folk round here have been up their own holes for years, I personally have been up mine since I was 12, so it’s nice to get some recognition at last.”
Fancy cake shop owner Hermione Polopony was less keen. “I’m worried it might be bad for business,” she told us, “all kinds of riff raff might come into town to look at us and buy things in my lovely cake shop. This would stop me chatting with my lovely, lovely friends.”
However Finlay Finlayson, who has represented the Garden Party on the local council for 20 years, was more enthusiastic. “It’s the best thing to happen to the town since a Hillsborough side came third in the NI Poshest Bastards Championships of 1974, and I should know, I was the poshest bastard on the team.”
The North Down town of Holywood, described by the judges as a “traffic jam with a maypole”, came second, with close neighbours Crawfordsburn a distant third.