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Annual Drumcree Parades Festival of Culture.
|motto||"It's my God given right to march the Queen's Highway"|
|anthem||"It was bold and it was beautiful..." and "Youse are a pack of Orange bastards"|
|dialing code||028 38|
|currency||Pounds Sterling (no free state yo yo's)|
|opening hours||Monday to Saturday (Sunday is the weekly 'Fenian come to town' day)|
|country||Norn Iron aka 'Our Wee Country'|
|population||22,000 rising to 150,000 during the first fortnight in July|
|ethnic groups||99.9% White God fearing Protestants, 0.03% Norn Irish Catholic, 0.03% Polish, 0.04% Portuguese|
|languages / dialects||Ulster Scots, Portuguese, Polish, Norwegian and Irish|
|religions||Prods and Taigs and other heathen denominations|
|government||First Minister: The Not So Loyal Orange Lodge (Now Stop Laughing out loud!), Deputy First Minister: Garvaghy Road Provos and Republican Victim's Groups (coalition)|
“I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more... with prior approval of the parades commission and a police escort”
“2008 Central North Armagh Capital of Culture”
“The most enlightened, forward thinking and progressive town I have ever come across”
Portadown (derived from the Irish language - Port an Dúnáin meaning port of the bigoted jaffa cakes and the oppressed Nationalists) is a metropolis in County Armagh, Norn Iron. It's a curious place which baffles even the most curious of folk and is world-renowned for being a Centre of Excellence for people who like to look downtrodden and, generally, not very happy. The town sits on and sometimes in the fragrant River Bann during the week, which as you can imagine is quite unpleasant for all concerned. At weekends it moves slightly to the left of Joe Mac's bar and on Bank Holidays it slips gently to the right of McKeevers. It has a population of about 22,000, although current Disability Living Allowance (DLA) benefits records show a population closer to 95,000.
Although Portadown can trace its origins to the 6th day of Creation, it was not until last night and the arrival of the wheel, electricity and sliced bread that it became a minor town. Portadown is known as: (a) "the hub of the North", (b) “the cesspit of Europe”, and (c) “the gateway to Hell” due to it being; (a) a major railway junction (b) shit, and (c) having a bit of a tense and unpredictable atmosphere.
In recent years Portadown has become most famous for the Drumcree Parades which take place on the first Sunday after the second Tuesday and before the third Wednesday in July but never before the Saturday before that. This is an annual Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans-Gender festival of culture and free love, marked with the wearing of vibrant orange sashes and the jovial throwing of stones, petrol bombs and supermarket trolleys at police officers who don't really want to be there in the first place but cant resist the overtime.
edit Early History
As mentioned, Portadown pre-dates every single other city, town and village in the whole world, having been created during a lull on the 6th day of Creation. This is well documented and evidenced by planning records, site maps and architectural drawings contained in an annex to the first book of the Old Testament which clearly stated that in the eyes of God there was only one choice for the first town. He is quoted as saying, "I may come from a different culture but this new place called Portadown shall be the blueprint upon which all new towns shall be built.". Whilst the original plans included a Roman fun park it was decided that such an addition would have to be earned by the townsfolk and would go ahead once the general behaviour of the town's inhabitants was deemed to be of an acceptable standard. To date the fun park has not been built and shows little sign of materialising however, the recent upgrades to the People's Park area have been used as a gentle 'teaser' to encourage the local population to start being nice to each other and the large numbers of Latvish, Lithuanish, Polanders and Portugeezers who have chosen to make Portadown their home.
In 1610, the lands of Portadown were granted to a Ronald McDonald of the Mickey D’s fast food empire. In 1611, he lost the town in a card game with St. Patrick who decided to set up a snake colony and luxury spa and treatment centre. In later years it became known that St. Patrick was helped out by his cousin Seamus O'Catholic who cheated in the card game. The Paddy fella subsequently had second thoughts on the matter and it was widely reported at the time that he "couldn't be bothered doin anything with the town coz it was fraudulently obtained by the sleight of hand of our Seamus" so he in turn sold the town to Mr. Ralph Obins-Street, a renowned bank robber and chess master, for the princely sum of £2 4s 3d. Mr. Obins-Street worked tirelessly to run the town into the ground and was reasonably successful in his endeavours. As a mark of respect and admiration some locals decided to build a castle and name it ironically after their oppressive master Obins-Street, who they all, without reservation, hated.
edit Irish rebellion of 1641
During the Irish Rebellion of 1641, Obins-Street Castle was captured by some Colombian cocaine-smuggling leprechauns from nearby Lurgan. In November 1641, the leprechauns forced almost 100 captured locals off the Bann Bridge so that they would be forced to wash their dirty, disgusting bodies. Unfortunately, one or two (or three or four) may have died. Then people started using words like ‘massacre’ and 'brutal' and it all got a little unpleasant. So the leprechauns took the number 47 Ulsterbus back to Lurgan via Rushmere Shopping Centre (but had they gone after 6pm on a weekday they could have got a direct bus to the Ashburn Hotel) and vowed never to return again. And they never did. They decided to hang out around Lough Neagh instead.
edit 1691 to 1996
A succession of people with the surname Obins-Street continued to reign over Portadown for the next 400 odd years. Nothing much happened really, it was all very boring. There was some fighting over some stuff, some marching, a bit of bickering, some cuddling and that’s pretty much about it. There was something or other called 'The Troubles' and a triangle of terror similar to the one in Bermuda but a whole lot different in many ways, some allegations of rigging the 1947 FA Cup Final by fielding the daughter of Ralph Obins-Street dressed as a man and deliberately giving away 32 penalties: curiously enough, the exact number of penalties predicted by the Obins-Street clan when they visited Sean Graham's bookies in Mandeville Street to place a bet on that actual eventuality just five minutes before the game started. Oh.......and stealing milk from Lurgan’s fridge, that was reported too, but nothing really of any significance until October 1996.
edit 1996 – The Dawn of Civilisation in Portadown
1996 is the single most significant year in Portadown’s long, meaningless and tediously boring history. In October of this year, the High Street Mall opened just left-ish right-ish of the town centre. It was a momentous occasion and was greeted with a fanfare of parties and celebrations that went on well into the morning. It housed a myriad of shops, including the ever-brilliant Dunnes and the always shite Argos along with many others that didn't stay long enough to allow the locals to make a reasonable determination on the Brilliant/Shite-o-meter. But no matter, either shop meant there was always somewhere for people to go shoplifting without having to get the bus to Craigavon. The presence of High Street Mall continues to be celebrated annually with the burning of tyres and scrap wood across the town (although due to a clash of dates with Halloween, the celebrations take place on 11 and 12 of July).
edit Orange Out of Order Headquarters
The HQ for the Orange Order was traditionally found in Rome so that members could be near the Pope. Then, in 1799 an eager new recruit to the Order, named Bilbo Baggins brought to the attention of the then Grand Master that the Pope was in fact a Catholic. This caused much confusion and was followed by a thorough investigation lasting 7 years. It was then confirmed in 1806 that the Pope was indeed a Catholic, much to the amazement of many loyal orange-tards.
The Orange Disorder decided at this point to move its HQ immediately to the most sectarian and small-minded enclave in the world. To find such a place, the Order launched “The Fenian-less Town Award for the Most Backward Town in all of Creation”. From a shortlist including Tehran, Pyongyang and Houston, one contender rose above all others. The winner, announced with much fanfare and public celebration, and the recipient of a ‘2 for 1 at Xtra-Vision voucher’ was none other than Portadown. Since then, the annual award has always been won by Portadown, now in its 204th year as champion (although, Ballymena has put up stiff competition in recent years).
The HQ itself is situated inside Portadown police station, right beside the unlocked weapons store and the room where all evidence and intelligence files are kept. This is perfectly safe as all Portadown policemen are also members of the Orange Order, with many also generously giving over their spare time to be hobbyist louts, arsonists, hoods and loyalist paramilitaries.
edit Tourist Hotspots
If you’re planning a visit to Portadown in the near future or in the event that you’re forced there against your will – below you will find some not-to-be-missed highlights for you planned/forced visit:
- The Garvaghy Road (Fenianville) – Completely unique in the world of roads with many fantastical qualities:
- (1) It goes on heat in July (like female dogs do), meaning that loads of people become immediately obsessed with walking down the road, even though they spend the rest of the year going out of their way to avoid it. These people are known as orange-a-tangs.
- (2) If you sit down in the road with a few mates, there is often the possibility that a friendly policeman will come and carry you away (just like in Tiananmen Square). Beware though; policemen aren’t very good at carrying people, so you may end up with a few minor injuries and a short stay in intensive care at nearby Craigavon hospital.
- (3) The Bann Towpath is close by too. Here you can mix with the town's aristocracy as they sup and share their White Lightning, Special Brew and cheap vodka from Lidl. Interesting and colourful conversation is guaranteed.
- 'The Magowan Buildings' – Nobody knows what this building is for; people go in, people come out. It’s a mystery. Its name implies a collection of buildings but in fact there’s only one. What is known about it? It houses a Lifestyle Sports, the site of a former Dunnes supermarket and the local benefits/dole office. Many have spent literally seconds trying to unravel the mystery, making it a must see for visitors and the unemployed alike. It is also the location of a select number of penthouse apartments, one of which was the recent subject of a bid by Her Majesty the Queen when it was placed on the market but alas she was outbid and outthought by a syndicate of unemployed townsfolk who persuaded the owner to let them rent it with the financial assistance of the local DSS office for use as a crack den.
- The Corcrain Roundabout – situated across from the Magowan Buildings and at the top of the mighty Northway bypass. Many local youths gather on the hill adjacent to the junction and pelt passing school buses with bricks and glass bottles. Truly a sport for all the family to enjoy. (This attraction operates between 4.00pm and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday during school term time only). Tickets must be purchased in advance and are non-refundable and non-transferable. Photo ID must be shown when purchasing tickets and before the throwing of each stone or bottle. Make all enquiries to any bald, tattooed headcase seen walking down the Corcrain Road.
- The Killicomaine Estate – recipient of a Gold Star Award at the 1999 Northern Ireland Tourism Awards and £3.5 million funding from Invest NI and a further £6 million from government sources to foster peace and reconciliation. Not a tourist destination per se, more a collection of houses. Why not visit it yourself and discover just how persuasive the locals can be in making you part with your money, car, iPod, phone and probably your shoes as well.
- Shamrock Park – home of Portadown Football Club and annual Monster Truck extravaganza. If you’re a fan of football (the type with long shorts, where you're not allowed to use your hands), then this is one place you’ll want to avoid. Never a truer word was spoken when Sir Albert Carleton- Street stood on the bar in McConville's to announce that 'Irish League football is shite and Portadown Football Club is even shiter'. He was most definitely a man of wisdom and was considered to be ahead of his time in the art of truth-telling.
- Tesco Car Park - For motorsport lovers this is the place to see and be seen. Stand and admire the beauty and the incredible sound of one litre Corsas being driven by the local 17 year olds displaying the obligatory 'R' plates even though some of them are actually closer to 30. This group are single-handedly responsible for 92% of the worldwide sales of 'No Fear' car window stickers and 'Keep 'er Lit' decals. It is a special event when one of them is able to do a figure of eight manoeuvre without 'losing it' as they bang out flute band music from their newly acquired Silvercrest stereo from Lidl. The occasional Subaru (Scooby) turns up to give them the willies.
edit Olympic Games Controversy
Portadown was the original host City for the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. Controversy erupted when it was claimed by some troublemakers from Belfast that Portadown was not actually a City at all, but rather it was more like a large village or small town, or perhaps a super sized hamlet, or mega-colossal parish land.
Portadown refuted such allegations and put forward three arguments against these belittling and slanderous accusations:
- That it was technically part of Craigavon which was built to be a ‘New City’. And even though Craigavon hadn’t really 'got going' (owing to it being "a bit shite" according to locals), it was the thought that counted.
- That their Wikipedia entry clearly showed that the town had a population of three million, had a metro transport system, seven hospitals, two universities and negative pollution. It was later discovered that, shockingly Wikipedia was wrong and that those in the Portadown Olympic Bid Committee had falsified the entry (something that has never before or since happened on Wikipedia).
- If the Olympic judges had done their assessment on the 12th of July they would have seen the true population of the 'city'.
The whole debacle was exposed on a BBC Spotlight Special hosted by the spotty and slightly chubby teenage broadcaster Stephen Nolan, but in the end it was a forlorn debate as the 1976 Games went to Montreal, Canada, a rather small village whose greatest claim to fame was that Val Doonican once played a concert there. In protest, Norn Iron athletes decided they would not win a single medal at these, or any subsequent Olympic Games, stating: “we could win all around us if we wanted to, so we could... but we don’t want to, so we don't... and we're sticking up for Portadown, so we are.”
For census purposes, Portadown is not treated as a real place. Instead, it is combined with Craigavon, Lurgan and a few other random holes in the ditch. So, to work out the demography of the town some scientists (or whoever it is that works out such things) turn to the ever accurate methodology of: ‘Aye, sure just make it up’. This approach shows that Portadown is made up of 65% Portuguese nationals, 30% Polish nationals and 5% other. 95% are Scientologists and 5% follow the Gods of Greek mythology. 82% of men have moustaches, as do 16% of the women and all inhabitants of the town speak fluent Norwegian with a German accent.
Due to Portadown having a birth rate 324% that of China, it has over a thousand local schools from which the local population can attend. They are mostly split between 'Prod' and 'Fenian'. Portadown College is the most upper of upper classes and only the slightly intelligent, beautiful and socially retarded can attend at the age of exactly 180 months. The school is famous for producing a clone of Joseph Stalin and he was subsequently frozen in the basement where he was thawed out, and competed in the 1964 Olympic games where he won a gold medal representing 'Portadownia' as a professional table tennis player even though his real talent was the javelin throwing contest. Recently the school won a heap of prestigious awards like, Nicest Paving Slabs 2009, Cleanest Coffee Mugs In The Armagh Area 2010, Prettiest Girls 2016, and who could forget, Bounciest Tennis Balls 2005.
There is a road in and a road out. This enables people to both enter and to leave the town. There is also a railway line in and out, again allowing people to both enter and leave the town. Portadown has long been praised for people being able to enter and leave, sometimes simultaneously and many have travelled to observe this amazing design feature at work. There have also been occasions when people have been asked/told to leave if they want to keep their kneecaps.
People work in Tesco, Dunnes, ASDA or some other lesser shops like the 467 charity shops that operate in the town centre. They also work for Moy Park killing chickens, in Dennys murdering pigs, in Irwins slaughtering bread and in Ulster Carpet Mills ("The carpet factory") mutilating sheep fur. Many people are also full time professional alcoholics and there are a few elite junkies also employed in the town.
edit Notable people
Below is a list of the most notable people both living and dead who have either been born or spent a significant period of their lives in Portadown:
Master McGrath the Dog.</s> It was from Lurgan and was a cross between a nice dog and a not very nice dog. It had a record player and some dog food named after it.
Billy Wright the Devilish Mad Dog.</s> Born in Wolverhampton, England; spent most of his life in prison in between bouts of nastiness and quite unpleasant behaviour, so technically he shouldn't be mentioned as he wasn't born here or didn't really spend that much time in the town. As a young boy living in the Poyntzpass area it was known that he had a promising career as a GAA footballer.
James Wilson esq. Born In Lurgan. A former pharmacist of some repute, who worked in the Eden Pharmacy, Edenderry. Life as a respectable Black Order bigot proved too mundane and he sucummbed to the call of the exotic orient, emigrating to North Woolwich in East London (Twinned with Chernobyl on early closing day). There he blossomed into the Picasso of con artists. Writing his own prescriptions from blank pads bartered from dodgy local G.P.'s and deriving all supplies from other local pharmacies. However his business model did not include the actuarial liability of his Ladbrokes account and slate at the local. He then diversified into partnership with a well respected local armed robber, manufacturing high (street) value active pharmaceutical ingredients from his flat. The business model on which this flourishing venture was based lacked cognitive parity with the existing legislature, subsequently attracting considerable judicial criticism. Liberty restored, James returned to live with his doting mother (estranged for many years previously) at Princess way in Killicomaine, summarily swindling her out of her house and flogging half the property to the Jehovah's Witnesses next door for a car park. The Portadown Chamber of Commerce now annually awards the coveted James Wilson Entrepreneur and Post-Modern Artist of the Year awards for outstanding contributions to local industry and creative arts.
Gunther & Freda Hitler: Parents of Adolf who were born in Austria but came to Portadown in 1879 after winning a competition in a cereal packet. It was here in Portadown that the young Adolf grew his facial hair and developed his wicked streak whilst hanging out with Billy (the Devilish Mad Dog) Wright and decided to unleash himself on the people of Europe. When he left the city at the age of 15, armed with bitterness and bigotry, his parents decided to return home to Austria.
It should be noted that the notable people above are actually from other places. No-one from Portadown has ever achieved anything worthwhile, or made any positive contribution to the world, except losing the Olympic Games to Canada.
- There is a special collective group of non-working individuals in the town who can be viewed on a daily basis as they make their way between the variety of bookies and pubs. Their lives are, in their own words, "hectic" so please do not attempt to speak to them or ask for a photograph as such a delay could mean they miss the opportunity to win £2,395,511.78 from their 10p Yankee bet.
Portadown's main local newspaper is the Portadown Times, which is full of lies and is published by the King of Spain on elephant dung paper every Wednesday afternoon. In the olden days there was also a Portadown News. It too was also published by the King and was also full of lies and one-sided opinions biased towards the Prods and always against the Fenians. Ultimately the decision was taken to scrap it based on the philosophy that "you can fool none of the people some of the time, all of the people all of the time, but you can't fool none of the people some of the time"... or something like that. It is read by people who can read in the town as well as many illiterates who are happy just to look at the pictures of Portadown Rugby/Cricket/Football teams being beaten and photos of some people who got robbed or beaten up by the above-mentioned alcoholics and/or junkies. There is also a regular comedy section in the early pages of the paper where you can read funny stories about people you know getting caught 'doing the double', 'drink driving', 'beating the wife' or getting done for 'having no car insurance'. Many's a raucous night has been had in the local pubs discussing such stories and there was often a massive cheer when the guilty party walked in on the celebrations. Once a year the King includes a special pull-out section to celebrate the Country Comes To Town festival. This is where the local farmers are given the freedom of the town and the legal right to block the roads, take all the parking spaces, eat loads of fast food and generally piss off the local townies. The townsfolk affectionately refer to the festival as Every Cunt Comes To Town. In 2016 it will include a special GLBT Cow and Sheep Parade to celebrate the diversity of the livestock community.
Portadown is also the location for the broadcast of the national version of BBC Breakfast News. It also lays claim to the hit TV reality show Strictly Come Dancing: filming can be seen each Saturday night/early hours of Sunday morning outside the various entertainment centres in the town such as McConvilles, Robinsons, Gary's Bar, McKeevers, The Tunnel Bar and Tiplers. The 1980’s series, The Krypton Factor, was also filmed in Portadown in Jervis Street DSS office.
The town is also the location for the broadcast of several radio stations including Downtown Radio, TalkSport and Q101. The 80's off-shore pirate station Radio Caroline was actually broadcast from an old shed behind Emerson's supermarket in Hanover Street.
edit See also
- Lurgan - the highest pro rata consumption of Buckfast in the world...aka 'Buckie' or 'Lurgan Champagne'
- Omagh - is miles from Portadown - head down the M12, onto the M1 and then ask for directions
- Derry - Is bigger than Portadown, yep, thats about where the interest ends with that link.
- Translink (Northern Ireland) - they run buses and trains into, around and out of Portadown and everywhere else... and they all smell of pish.
- Stormont - Because 'Stormont - You're Worth It!'.... Or should that be Worthless!
These are equally shite towns which sometimes hang out with Portadown, although sometimes Portadown likes to be left on its own to feel sorry for itself and have a little cry.