Winter is coming.
So consequently, we’re likely to see a lot of gritters about on the road.
From ominous to mundane in a just a few short words there.
I don’t imagine too many people feel a thrill of excitement when thinking about gritters going about their business and spreading salt on the nation’s roads. There are, however, ways that gritters can be made just a tad more exciting.
Calling them Gritsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Anti-Slip Machiney or David Plowie, for example, definitely makes them much more appealing.
And this is exactly what Doncaster Council has done following a bid to find names for the two latest additions to its gritting fleet.
Asking the public to name anything is always a risky business, as the British Antarctic Survey found out when Boaty McBoatface won a public poll to name a state of the art research vessel. Although the organisation opted to go with the RRS Sir David Attenborough instead in the end. Spoil sports.
Fair play to Doncaster Council then, for not only taking the plunge, but opting to run with it too. The organisation was more than happy to take the public’s input AND stick with the result.
Some truly excellent examples were put forward, including Basil Salty and Spready Mercury, which narrowly lost out at the final hurdle, while Salt Disney, Rule Grittania, Gritney Houston and Lionel Gritchie were ruled out earlier on.
Wisely, the council chose not to even entertain Gary Gritter.
The two newly named gritters aren’t a complete novelty though, having been added to the existing heroically named fleet of Brad Grit, Gritney Spears, The Subzero Hero, Mr Plow and Usain Salt.
The Council made a big show of the draw on Twitter labelling it the #DoncasterGrittingWorldCup, which, thanks to the array of eye-catching names, drew in widespread interest and garnered over 20,000 votes in the final poll.
Having a browse of the Twitter timeline, the person running the account does a great job of adding personality and sparking engagement with what’s no doubt a pretty humdrum subject matter.
Kudos to Doncaster Council too. In a world where people are increasingly fearful of putting a foot wrong and facing backlash for a misplaced word, it’s good to see that light-hearted goings on are still encouraged even in such a traditionally dour workplace as a council office.