Friday, 08 January 2016 (3074374)
Grid loving Labour leader invited to town for manhole meeting!
by Ollie Cowan
GRIDDING fanatics in Southport are eagerly awaiting the response from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to see if he will attend the second annual General Gridders Meeting.
The event, which last year drew support from grid fans all over the world, is held at the Guest House pub on Union Street and is so popular the Southport Brewery have even created a special real ale to celebrate the bizarre convention.
And Jeremy Corbyn - a self confessed lover of manhole covers - has been officially invited to the second ever meeting of the eclectic group.
'Gridding' - a tongue in cheek social media craze which aims to document and admire all types of grids and manhole covers across the world, boasts competitors from Abu Dhabi, Australia and America as well as a committed group of ‘Gridders' from Southport who originally founded the craze.
Gridding began in earnest one morning at Birkdale rail station when Southport man Roland Grime spotted a grid cover with the word ‘ductile' on it.
The word interested Roland to such an extent that he took a photo of the grid and sent it to his friend - it was then that he found himself looking at other grids and manhole covers.
His friend Richard Johnson then decided to set up a Facebook group as a joke to document the grids discovered by Roland - but neither realised they had accidentally begun a movement which has now gone global.
The craze proved so popular that a meeting was organised in Southport in January last year which drew over thirty people to the Guest House Pub .
Now a second celebration will take place this Saturday (January 16) and avid Gridding member Mike Pilkington has extended a formal invite to Mr Corbyn to see if he would like to attend.
He wrote: “Hi Jeremy, just a reminder that our AGGM (Annual General Gridders Meeting) is taking place at The Guest House this weekend from 3pm.
”We'll be discussing all sorts of grid and manhole cover related issues and also announcing the prestigious Grid Of The Year prize.
“There are two craft beers made especially for the event and there's food too - we'll even be going for a curry later on.
”We are hoping to have the great Archie Workman - one of Britain's very first Gridders - as a keynote speaker if her can make it.
“I know you are very busy but last years inaugural event was a great laugh and we'd love to see you if you could make it.
”You may also have seen an interview with us in The Champion Newspaper and The Independent on Sunday so you know we're not cranks!“
Although tongue in cheek, the group now has a serious following and have even raised money for the Samaritan's Charity by raffling off a special ‘gridding' version of the popular boardgame monopoly.
The rules of gridding are simple - competitors must take a picture of a grid while using a valid scaling item to document the size of the grid.
Scaling items are usually considered to be the photographer's foot but as the craze has grown, competitors have started to become more innovative with their scaling items.
Now officially accepted items of scale include a jar of Patak's Lime Pickle, a HP sauce sachet, a pork pie or in one instance of gridding an RAF Nimrod aeroplane.
Unfortunately at the time of going to press Jeremy Corbyn had yet to responded to the group's invitation.