The History of our 'Boro

There are few people who actually know where Middlesbrough is. Stating that our comfy little town must be `in the middle of England’ does not classify as knowing it’s true geographical location. If you are moving to Middlesbrough for university, chances are your buddies won’t know where it is either.

So which uni are you going to?”

Your friend asks your other friend.

“Leeds Metro… what about you?”

“Ah, Leeds. My sister went to Leeds. It’s banging.”

Both friends look at you with expectant eyes.

“Oh, I’m going to Teesside. You know… Middlesbrough? It’s near Newcastle?”


We can sympathise with your frustration.

This is Middlesbrough

We Own a Crown…

…for being the King of Steel. Middlesbrough is best known for being `up there` in the steel and metal industry. Our town is actually the leader of the North- East industry, but our fame doesn’t stop there. There is a town in Kentucky named in ode of us! 

We are home to many factories as well as a bright blue transporter bridge, which sits above the River Tees.

We’ve Got an Embarrassing Nickname

Okay, okay. We may be famous… but the inhabitants of ‘Boro still have a rather wretched nickname. Due to our steel status and the amount of smoke our factories used to give off, we are forever known as `Smoggies`. In addition, we also have `Smoggie Slang`.
Haway, we’re buzzin’…

Our Population Was Once 25

In the olden days, before students, steel workers and Smoggies existed, Middlesbrough was formally known as a `Hamlet`. This hamlet looked after just 25 people, which is a few hundred thousand less than the population of Middlesbrough today.

Our Neighbours are Goths

The first weekend of every November is Whitby Goth Weekend. The quaint town turns into a mass of cobwebs, death and plum coloured eye-shadow. This beautiful biker-slash-emo fest has been around since the year 1994, and it brings thousands every year. There’s music, dancing and drinking, all in the arms of a hand-built Halloween town. Better invite Buffy…

We Love Yoghurt Smothered Chicken

Well, that’s not strictly true. We all love Parmo’s (`Chicken Parmesan`) here in Middlesbrough. It’s basically a breast of chicken covered in melted cheese and a creamy sauce… but it was born here, and it’s our after-Apple Sours-saviour. Restaurants far and wide have tried to recreate our `delicacy`, and the BBC loved in enough to give it some coverage on their website.

We live in Middlesbrough. It’s not in the middle… 

Words by Leonie Ann Garlick