Hauling Like A Brooligan

Stephen Gallagher

My Favourite Headline

Some headlines just stick in your mind. Like BUDGIE DIES IN FIRE, from the Bolton Chronicle. The Chronicle was the local freesheet that was pushed through our letterbox once a week back when I was living in Bolton and working in Manchester. It featured several pages of classified ads filled out with a minumum of illiterate editorial matter written by school leavers on minimum wage.

Then there was the time that I’d been speaking at a booksellers’ event in Guernsey. There was a stack of local newspapers on the hotel’s reception desk and I noticed, as I was checking out, that the front page story of the week was headed MORE PIGEONS FOUND KILLED.

Not found dead, but found killed. And not for the first time… clearly a pigeon serial killer was stalking the island.

For a while my favourite headline was one that I found in a microfilmed copy of a New Orleans newspaper from 1903, when I was researching the project that eventually became The Kingdom of Bones. It was a story about a tense political situation in South America and the headline was, ALARMING REPORT COMES FROM COLON.

But I think it’s been replaced by this one.

3 responses to “My Favourite Headline”

  1. After reading this, I wonder if folk in the Channel Islands know that their unconventional extracurricular activities can be sanctioned and come with a paycheque.

  2. Yeah, I should have mentioned something about the comments. What I can say is that it's best not to read them while trying to consume an M&S ham and cheese sandwich and a bottle of their ginger beer. Makes quite a mess…