Too many fish in the harbour – and other ‘awful’ sights and smells

Ilfracombe harbour – objectionable <em>Picture: Arpingstone</em>
Ilfracombe harbour – objectionable Picture: Arpingstone

Bloody hell, it’s political correctness (or something like that) gone mad. David Copp, a tourist on holiday in the Devon seaside village of Ilfracombe, has objected to the sight and smell of fish in the harbour.

“The 46-year-old was outraged that his children, aged seven and nine, had been forced to endure the sight of 12 crates of dead fish and crabs, piled up on the quayside,” wrote Victoria Ward in a Daily Telegraph piece headlined “Tourist complains about sight of fish in harbour”.

“There were flies flying around and the smell was awful,” Copp is quoted as having said. “The ship was just sat there not doing anything, and there were 12 crates of dead crabs and fish just lying there covered in flies. It’s not the sort of thing you want to see on holiday, there was a real stench.

“My children were quite distressed by it. These people should be a bit more considerate to the holidaymakers.”

Copp contacted the local harbourmaster Rob Lawson to complain, then pursued the matter in the North Devon Journal, which was first to run the story.

“My response to him was ‘I’m sorry but you shouldn’t be taking your children to a harbour if that is how they react to dead fish’.”

This is just the latest example, however, of urban softie outrage on encountering rural ways. There have been examples of incomers wanting to see streetlights erected on quiet country roads – “for safety” – and complaining about being woken at 6am by the sound of a farmyard cockerel crowing. Similarly, the past year or so has seen at least two attempts to silence church bells or clock chimes.

Cow pats in fields occasionally prompt comments about the risk to visitors’ health (solution: visit the nearest funfair or museum instead, you idiots), while it is not unknown to hear southern walkers accustomed to the rigours of the South Downs grumbling about the Glen Coe or Cuillin hills being “a bit rough”.

Also in today’s news:
● Secular tourists complain at presence of religious people in Vatican.

● Quaker football supporters’ association reported to be “in shock” after unexpected encounter with raucous, beer-swilling bigots at Old Firm game.

● Methodist Holiday Fellowship members offended by proximity to gamblers during holiday in Las Vegas. (Next week: Guardian readers offended by proximity to right-wingers / exiled Contras / golfers during holiday in Florida.).

● “The incessant honking of the geese is a complete pain when we’re trying to watch TV”, says Caerlaverock holiday cottage owner.

● Walkers upset by sight of golfers at St Andrews during Fife coastal walk. “It was like coming face to face with Donald Trump on the Menie Estate sand dunes,” one said.

● Electricity users “outraged” by sight of windfarms on hilltops.

● Joint rambling party of arktophobes and coprophobes recoil in horror at sight of bears performing excretory functions in the woods.

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