Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Ask not what your council can do for you......

Was thinkin' it was time Ah did ma bit for the local economy, so put ma head taegither an' came up wi' a brainwave. 
Ah hiv thus writ til the city goverment o' Houston, Texas, an' await their reply.

Dear Leslie (Head o' Twinning for Houston, so she is)

I was having a look on line there and noticed that youse folk in Houston have lots of sister cities across the whole world, but not as yet in Northern Ireland.
There is a coincidence, I thought to myself, as I live in Northern Ireland, and live in a town that isn't twinned with anywhere in Texas, namely Banbridge.

Now to be fair Banbridge is a bit smaller than Houston, and wouldn't really come under the heading of "City" but it does have its own council with a website and everything - - and has several things that might interest youse in Texas.
  • It has a shop called Houston's. Houston is what your city is called. What about that for a coincidence? Houston's is going through a little bit of financial difficulty it seems, you might have seen it on the news. 
  • Sam Houston, what built Houston (the city, not the shop in Banbridge), his folk came from Northern Ireland. Admittedly they came from Co Antrim, a wee place called Ballyboley, but Ballyboley doesn't have a council with a website and a shop called Houston's.
  • Davy Crockett. I'm sure youse have heard of him. His folk came from here as well, although again not around the Banbridge district. There is even a wee song called "Davy Crockett's Da Came from Donemana" (that's up in Tyrone), though to be fair I'm not that sure if there's any truth in that. If youse were to twin with us we could go up and have a look. I went to school with a boy called Crockett and he might be related. 
  • Educational links. Now we don't have a University in the area like what youse have but we do have a rake of schools. I have no doubt that folks in your schools could come over and visit and learn some stuff. 
  • Industrial links. Banbridge has next to no industry any more. It used to have a lot of linen mills in the old days, but they're near all shut now, and it used to have a shoe factory, but it is being turned into houses. So I was thinking we could maybe borrow some of your industries and get a bit of work out of it. 
  • Game of Thrones. They film a lot of it in an old linen mill near here, I'll bet you didn't know that? And sure Americans watch it, so there is a link right there! I don't have satellite or cable TV so I don't know if it is any good, though I'm told there's a fair bit of nudey stuff going on, so I might try and get it on DVD. 
So, I'm sure that's whet your appetite for a good old twinning? What I was thinking is that maybe you folk could pop over and I'd show youse round and about the town. We could go to a couple of pubs and have a bit of crack (Irish crack, not the drugs). You could maybe stay in the Downshire Hotel, but if money's tight I could put a couple of folk up and I'm sure my da would look after a couple more. Then maybe you could fly me and a couple of friends over to have a wee look around Texas. Sorry I can't afford the flights myself, but I'm clean broke. 

Anyway, if you have any questions, give me a shout. I look forward to meeting youse all. 

Lots of Love

Professor Billy McWilliams
Head of Twinning