A Second Class Return to Dottingham, Please

Nottingham’s had a fair few labels over the years. In 1811 we were a rebel city thanks to the exploits of the mythological Ned Ludd and the Frame Breakers which led to an impassioned maiden speech in the House of Lords by Lord Byron. In 1984 we were known as Scab City on account of some our miners refusing to come out on strike. If you want to learn more about the truth of this particular event then read Look Back In Anger by Harry Paterson. In 2006 we were voted Worst City in Britain by some random media poll and gained some imaginative punnage as Nottingun and Shottingham. This led to my all-time favourite LeftLion front cover when we went for the headline ‘Another Shooting in Nottingham’. We were referring to our thriving film industry rather than sporadic urban shootings.

But for those of us who actually live in the Queen of the Midlands, we lovingly refer to ourselves as Dottingham after a 1980s television advert for the cough sweet Tunes. In this, the actor Peter Cleall attempts to buy a train ticket with a blocked up nose and delivers the immortal line ‘I’d like a second class return to Dottingham, please.’

The new advert celebrates the 70th birthday of actor Peter Cleall

The new advert celebrates the 70th birthday of actor Peter Cleall

To celebrate Peter Cleall’s 70th birthday (he was born on 16 March 1944) I’ve brought this advert back to life and given it a books related twist. This has been uploaded to our YouTube channel and will feature as embedded content in our opening chapter when Dawn of the Unread will be made available as an iPad, iPhone or Android download on 8 April.

The video was edited together by Loops who are a student company based at Confetti Institute of Technology. I’d recommend them for anyone who needs any video editing or similar work as they charge roughly 1/10th of commercial prices. This is a massive saving for anyone working on a tight budget while also supporting a new start-up trying to bridge the gap between study and work.
I did contact the Wrigley Company who own Tunes to make them aware of what I was doing but never heard back from them. I’ve taken the view that as our project is educational and the comic is available as a free download then the adaptation falls under ‘fair use’ and so shouldn’t invoke copyright issues. If they do get the hump then we’ll just have to take it down.

William Booth buys his ticket out of the after life

William Booth buys his ticket out of the after life

The ‘Dottingham’ reference also features in our opening chapter which is written by myself and drawn by Mike White. William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, is buying a ticket out of the afterlife to come and see what we’re doing and, as you’d expect from a workaholic evangelical, isn’t best impressed by our intentions. You’ll just have to download the chapter to find out why.


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