Come and Spit on my Carpet

There’s this wonderful story.   John Bickerstaff, ‘the man who built Blackpool ‘ was a visionary and the Town Mayor.

In the late 1880’s he visited Paris and saw the Eiffel Tower. Bickerstaff immediately decided that this was exactly what Blackpool needed.  You have to love him.

So, in 1891 he set up the Blackpool tower committee.  From local mill-owners he raised the equivalent of some £60,000,000 and work began.  His real pride however was not the Tower so much as the Ball-Room.  He wanted to give his mill-worker holiday-makers, operatic levels of gilded luxury.  Anyway… he is talking about his Ballroom with a friend, who chides him.  “You are spending £100,000 on a carpet and those peasants will come in and spit on it.”

Bickerstaff ignores this, but the next morning a huge sign was erected outside the Ball room. It read:

“Come on in and spit on John Bickerstaff’s £100,000 carpet”

Now I am telling you this because if I am elected then I shall invite you to complain.  We need to lance the bad blood between us.  So if I am elected I am inviting you to come and spit on my carpet.  I want to know your gripes.  I want to bring the membership together because that is the only way in which we can achieve our aims.  And if I am not elected, then please go spit on Pat’s carpet

Come and Spit on my Carpet

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