Thursday, 1 October 2015

Dull Men of Great Britain

As a title the Dull Men of Great Britain is a novel and somewhat eye catching entrance into a fascinating life of collecting and part obsessing.  This need to collect is something that many hill baggers will relate to, but it is something that can be experienced in different areas of life and can relate to all manner of subject matter.  This collecting instinct is not just a mad obsession to visit yet another P30 or fulfil a goal of visiting every trig; it is something that takes in the minutia of living as it can easily become the mainstay of one’s life.

These collecting obsessions are portrayed in all their glory in a book that is published today; 1st October 2015.  The Author of the book is Leland Carlson, who is the assistant vice president of the Dull Men’s Club.  This role is the club’s highest office and one that I suspect Leland is proud of in a sort of tongue in cheek way, after all a fascination with collecting should be accepted and enjoyed, and occasionally joked about.

Dull Men of Great Britain in all their glory

The Dull Men’s Club was formed by Leland and his friend; Grover Click when they were both living in New York.  The club formed the centre piece of a life away from the bright lights of New York’s glamour and gave them an opportunity to enjoy ordinary and mundane everyday things.  This club gave them a reason to proclaim their Dullness to the world and a voice saying that it was OK to be Dull.

Leland spends his time between the enticing excitement of America and Britain and since the club’s formation he has expanded Dullness to take in many unusual aspects, including a best-selling Calendar, entitled Dull Men of Great Britain.  This title is now being re-used for the book, which some may say is a portrayal in Dullness itself as when something works, why change it?

Leland Carlson - author and assistant vice president of the Dull Men's Club

Whereas the Calendar unsurprisingly concentrates on 12 Dull Men, the book has developed this theme and expanded to take in the esoteric lives of 40 people or teams who glorify their lives in unusual passions.  These passions take in many forms and include people who collect beer cans, milk bottles, golf balls, bricks, lawnmowers, tax discs and traffic cones.  Many of these are not the standard collections of youth when scouring bars for a multitude of different varieties of beer mats seemed a normal pastime, or the standard stamp collections or coin collections merged from one into another.  This is where I plead my guilt as my collection fascination doesn’t start at hill bagging / surveying, it has its origins in my youth when an old coin, or beer mat or a new stamp was a prized commodity.  These collections and the passion of the people in this book are on a different scale to the collections of my youth, these people have a perspective of pleasure seemingly unquenchable by their goal of collecting.

It is not just the avid collector that this book concentrates on; it is also such important organisations as the Apostrophe Protection Society, Park Bench Appreciation Society and the Roundabouts Appreciation Society that form the basis of the book.  The latter Society also has its founding member glorified in all their uninhibited enthusiasm on the front cover of the book taking a photograph of a roundabout.  The book also details the unusual activities that many may find hard to quantify or neatly file under a collector or a society, one of these unusual activities details the esoteric nature of three Mountain Measurers.

These Mountain Measurers appear on page 48 of the book and are named; I won’t name them here in case I course offence or embarrassment, but let’s just say that they know who they are.  They are quoted as saying important things such as ‘it’s much more fun to upgrade a hill to a mountain than the other way round’ and ‘it brings together wonderful things like science and technology, health and fitness – in beautiful settings.’  These quotes are factual, correct and very Dull.

The Mountain Measurers

But we are not the only ones hidden away amongst the great and good of Britain’s Dullest people, there is also the small matter of someone who collects trig pillars, again I won’t name this person, but he knows who he is.  The category of obsessive can be neatly filed under collector, this is something that the Mountain Measurers are proud to have avoided as they each view an unusual activity to be Duller than someone who collects things, especially trig pillars.  Anyway, the trig collector appears on page 78 and is quoted as professing that this activity is a ‘tickable commodity’ and that ‘it’s all good fun’.

The Dull Men of Great Britain is available from all good retail outlets and is priced £8.99.  It is highly recommended and will no doubt form the basis of many a banterous evening over a jar or two.

The Mountain Measurers would like to express their thanks to Leland for enquiring about our unusual and passionate activity, and for his unbridled passion in being a Dull Man.  It’s been great fun Leland, thanks.

A number of news outlets have covered the launch of the Dull Men of Great Britain book:

Daily Mail

Daily Record

The Sun

The Telegraph

The Mirror

Birmingham Mail

The Times

Yorkshire Post


ITV News

Irish Mirror


Please click on the link below if you would like to purchase a copy.

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