Age: At least 1,600 (there was a Roman settlement called Wilderspool on the site of modern Warrington).
Appearance: Radiant, especially when the sun is out and illuminates the chimneys of the Unilever soap-powder factory.
Fabulous. Can’t wait to go to that jewel of Cheshire for my next minibreak. Steady on. According to the Royal Society of Arts, it’s the worst town for culture in Britain. It came 325th in the list, compiled by adding up cultural assets such as listed buildings, museums, archaeological finds and concerts.
Cheek! Don’t they realise that Warrington is the final resting place of ukulele-toting cultural icon George Formby, who wrote and sang When I’m Cleaning Windows, I’m Leaning on a Lampost and the – to my mind –criminally neglected Grandad’s Flanelette Nightshirt?Possibly not.
Again, unlikely. The RSA probably wasn’t aware that the Odeon cinema has just vowed to stay in town even after 2019 when the new 2,500-seater Cineworld complex, with Imax cinema, is due to open.
There are lots of terrific listed buildings in Warrington, too, aren’t there?
Well, yes. There’s the Grade II*-listed Bank Quay Transporter Bridge over the river Mersey, the last railway transporter bridge in the world. Not to mention St Wilfrid’s and St Oswald’s, both Grade I-listed medieval churches.
And these RSA people seem to have neglected Warrington’s vibrant cultural heritage, too.
Perhaps. Warrington’s Museum and Art Gallery has 200,000 objects under its roof. Famous Warringtonians include not just actors Pete Postlethwaite (who had a studio theatre at the Pyramid Arts Centre named after him) and Sue Johnston, but DJ Chris Evans, fashion designer Ossie Clark and former Coral guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones. Murdoch lackey Rebekah Brooks is also from Warrington, but let’s not spoil the story.
What’s more, there’s a thrilling roster of upcoming live cultural events, isn’t there?
Oh, yes. The Zelkova Quartet perform at Walton Hall next Wednesday. Pixie Lott just headlined the Warrington festival, and Jimmy Carr has a gig on Saturday at Parr Hall. Leo Sayer’s playing the Pyramid next month, too!
I’m so there.
Do say: “Warrington – it’s like Paris, only less up itself.”
Don’t say: “Warrington – isn’t that junction 21 of the M6?”
• This article was amended on 28 September 2015. An earlier version said the Bank Quay Transporter Bridge was the “last of its kind” in the world, without making clear that this meant” the last railway transporter bridge”.