Scots town Dull joins forces with Bland and Boring
The Perthshire village is already unofficially twinned with the American town of Boring, in Oregon, 5,542 miles away however now the residents of Bland Shire in New South Wales want to cash in on humorous publicity by creating a trinity of tedium with Dull and Boring.
Bland Shire, about 500 km (310 miles) west of Sydney, got confirmation this week that it would join the village of Dull in the Scottish Highlands and the town of Boring in the state of Oregon in their “league of extraordinary communities”.
“Dull and Boring basically have a tourism relationship. We heard about it and thought it would be even better if it became Bland, Dull and Boring,” Neil Pokoney, the mayor of Bland Shire said.
“It’s good for us to be able to take a light-hearted look at a name that many would see to be a weight around our necks.”
Originally a gold mining and farming area, Bland Shire sits at a junction of two highways leading to three Australian states and has a population of about 6,000.
Ten years ago, a local man started a gold mine that has helped resuscitate the drought-hit economy.
But Bland Shire sees the new partnership as a way to attract visitors to an area named after William Bland, the first person in the Australian Medical Association and a colourful character transported to Australia as a convict after he killed a man in a duel in Bombay.
“We’re much larger than Dull,” Pokoney said. “But Boring in the U.S., they’re much bigger. We sort of sit in the middle.”
The idea for establishing a link between Dull and Boring first came about after Elizabeth Leighton from Grandtully, Perthshire, passed through the US town while on a cycling holiday in Oregon.
She contacted Steve Bates, chairman of the Boring Community Planning Organisation and he agreed there was scope for developing a relationship between Dull and Boring.
Dull, whose name is thought to have derived from the Pictish word for fields, is home to only 84 residents and consists of a single street on the north side of the Tay valley.
It was deemed too small to officially twin with Boring, which boasts a population of around 13,000, but the areas now peacefully coexist as “sister communities” on opposite sides of the Atlantic.
Boring was named after William H Boring, a Civil War veteran and early resident of the area. Locals have a humourous take on the name, displaying signs declaring the town: “The most exciting place to live.”
First there was Dull and Boring. Now Bland, an Australian rural community, has teamed up with the two banal-sounding towns in Scotland and the United States in a three-way effort to attract tourists.