There was a minor earth tremor in north-east England yesterday as reported here.
It reminds me of the spoof charity appeal email I received from a Dudley-born friend after the quake there in 2002. It is, as they say, a classic and is preserved on this site. We Brits are never more comfortable than when mocking ourselves. The following is the closest to my memory of the original, though it's been reworked since with regional variations:
At 00:54 on Monday 23 September an earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale hit Dudley, UK causing untold disruption and distress -
* Many were woken well before their giro arrived
* Several priceless collections of mementoes from the Balearics and Spanish Costas were damaged
* Three acres of historic and scientifically significant litter were disturbed
* Thousands are confused and bewildered, trying to come to terms with the fact that something interesting has happened in Dudley
One resident, Donna-Marie Dutton, a 17 year old mother-of-three said "It was such a shock, little Chantal-Leanne came running into my bedroom crying. My youngest two, Tyler-Morgan and Megan-Storm slept through it. I was still shaking when I was watching Trisha the next morning."
Apparently though, looting did carry on as normal.
The British Red Cross have so far managed to ship 4000 crates of Sunny Delight to the area to help the stricken masses.
Rescue workers are still searching through the rubble and have found large quantities of personal belongings including benefit books and jewellery from Elizabeth Duke at Argos.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
* £2 buys chips, scraps and blue pop for a family of four
* £10 can take a family to Stourport for the day, where children can play on an unspoiled canal bank among the national collection of stinging nettles
* 22p buys a biro for filling in a spurious compensation claim
PLEASE ACT NOW
Simply email us by return with your credit card details and we'll do the rest!
If you prefer to donate cash, there are collection points available at your local branches of Argos, Iceland and Clinton Cards.