I woke this morning to a few tweets informing me that today is the 41st birthday of the Gravelly Hill Interchange, better known as Spaghetti Junction. Within these birthday messages lay a joke, a myth about Junction 6 that lies at the heart of many an outsider’s knowledge of Birmingham. This is the myth that traversing Spaghetti is hard.

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Part one is here. Wump-Tay The Wump-Tay (pronounced ‘wump-tay’) is a large, ectoplasmic spirit-form with shape-shifting powers that enable it to take the form of any object it desires, so long as it’s a noun. It can grow to the size of a double-decker bus and usually assumes the style, shape and mannerisms of a double-decker bus. A notoriously mischievous spirit, the Wump-Tay will often lie in wait at bus stops preying on rush-hour commuters and other gullible types. Typically, a would-be passenger will glimpse the diabolical double-decker parked some distance ahead and make a frantic dash for it. The creature will watch the hapless victim approach, and—at the very last moment—slam its doors shut in the poor schmuck’s face and drive off at great speed, often without signalling. A similar tactic occurs late at night. Shrouded in mist, the Wump-Tay will slowly and seductively approach a desperate-looking …

Lennon’s Guide to the Mythical Fauna of the English Midlands Pt2 Read more »

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The city of Birmingham is famous throughout the world for its rich industrial heritage, its vast canal network, and its large population of supernatural creatures. The following is a brief overview of some of its more popular and enduring myths. People from Birmingham often call themselves ‘Brummies’, a word etymologists claim can be traced back to the ancient Midlands art of preserving dead bodies known as Brummification. The origin of the word ‘etymologist’ however, still remains shrouded in mystery. The original Brummies were dead local aristocrats whose bodies were painstakingly preserved using bandages, motor oil and a secret recipe containing 11 herbs and spices. This, of course, was something only the super-rich could afford due to their innate ability to keep up with monthly repayments over several thousand years. The practice was introduced to Birmingham by ancient Egyptian undertakers at a time when the city still had strong commercial …

Lennon’s Guide to the Mythical Fauna of the English Midlands Pt1 Read more »

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