Suffolk towns listed in cr@p town guide

DELUGED with day-trippers strolling along the promenade, tasting its famous fish and chips or ambling through an art gallery, Aldeburgh is revered as one of East Anglia's most pleasant coastal resorts.

DELUGED with day-trippers strolling along the promenade, tasting its famous fish and chips or ambling through an art gallery, Aldeburgh is revered as one of East Anglia's most pleasant coastal resorts.

But that is not enough for the authors of a new guide condemning Britain's "crappest" towns, who have dubbed it the worst in East Anglia.

It narrowly edged out coastal neighbour Leiston and Ipswich for the "honour", coming in at 23rd in the supposed 50 worst places to live in the UK.

The tainted towns and cities are revealed in The Idler Book of Crap Towns, which has placed Hull at the top of its list of shame.

Even though the guide calls Aldeburgh "a beautiful town by a poetically bleak shingle beach", it describes the resort as "blighted with more officious signs and odious Conservatives per square inch than anywhere in the country."

Daisy Evans, writing a review of the town for the guide, says: "Nobody, but nobody, has ever had good sex in Aldeburgh. You can just tell by walking around this flinty town. Even if you stay in a hotel here, rather than with your gran, there would be nothing to stimulate the sexual appetite."

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Ipswich (25th) in the list, is dubbed "the spiritual home for low-slung Vauxhall Novas equipped with alloy wheels" and "has a uniquely unbalancing effect on its more sensitive inhabitants."

"Hideous concrete monoliths overshadow the potentially attractive centre of this once-thriving market town," the guide adds.

Leiston (24th) is described as "a manufacturing town where little is nowadays manufactured", lying in the "fallout zone" of two nuclear power stations and "a blot on the beautiful Suffolk countryside". The book's roving reporter adds: "There is a palpable atmosphere of conspiracy and evil."

South Woodham Ferrers in Essex (33rd ) is derided as "a dormitory-town Legoland, only without any of the fun rides".

Contributor Kelsa Smith writes: "It's not poor, or underprivileged, or even rough – it's just utterly, utterly soulless."

But civic leaders leapt to the defence of their towns. John Geater, a district and town councillor for Leiston, said the guide's claims were unfair.

"Leiston is a lovely town, it's a safe place to live and has a lovely social atmosphere. I would rather live here than anywhere else in the country," he said.

"Sure, it hasn't got supermarkets and that sort of thing but on the other hand, it's quite unique. It's in a bit of a time-warp with some of the old shops, but you get individual attention. There's so much going for the town."

Peter Gardiner, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said: "The authors of this book must never have been to Ipswich or they wouldn't make these kind of comments.

"I find it hard to believe people spend their time and money putting together books just to poke fun at places where people live – it's a very sad way to make a living."

Crap Towns started life on the website of The Idler magazine, when readers were asked to write short pieces on places they knew and despised. The book, edited by Sam Jordison and Dan Kieran, is one sale now and costs £10.

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