Northampton left reeling by exposé of binge drinking - courtesy of the New York Times
Young Britons, drinking in packs, often end up 'gloriously incoherent', according to The New York Times
They say all publicity is good publicity, but tourist officials in Northampton may well have been doubting this on Monday, after The New York Times published a lengthy article on the town’s violent drinking culture.
The colourful piece, titled “Drunk and Disorderly in Britain”, by the US newspaper’s London bureau chief, describes how “young Britons, often in packs, go out to get thoroughly, blindingly and often violently drunk”.
The writer goes on to detail the “gloriously incoherent” young men and women who dominate the Midlands town’s high street after dark, before reporting on a house party that had “gotten out of control” in “tougher” east Northampton.
In places the piece reads like a dispatch from a war zone – complete with a man whose arms were “nearly amputated by a meat cleaver” and another “missing part of his nose”.
The article was greeted with dismay among locals on Monday, with the local Conservative MP Michael Ellis telling The Independent it was an “over-dramatised characterisation” of the town.
He said: “Of course there are problems with young people binge drinking in this country but Northampton is no different from many other places around Britain. And in fact the crime rate is falling here.”
Anna Sawer, the manager of NB’s nightclub, which offers revellers five shots of tequila or vodka for £10, said: “Whenever there’s a story about binge drinking in town we’re always on the front page of the local newspaper.
“But we are totally against binge drinking and just want people to have a good time.”
Other prominent locals contacted by The Independent said the NYT piece was depressingly accurate. The actor Robert Llewellyn (Kryten in Red Dwarf), who grew up in Northampton, said it was “an impressively sobering description of my birth town”.
But Mark Floody, the Dean of Northampton Cathedral, was much more positive. “I’m sure Northampton has it challenges like every other town, but my experience here is of people’s generosity, their concern for others and their sense of community,” he said.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...