This movement started in Blackburn, Lancashire as mentioned in The Beatles song “A Day in the Life”, but soon spread throughout the North of England as local people became fed up with the state of the roads in their towns. The movement elected its first councillor in Hebden Bridge in 2007 and now has elected representatives in 13 assemblies throughout the North and Midlands.

At their meetings, members share ways to fill holes in roads without bothering the local authorities. Cat litter is the substance of preference, drying to a rock-like hardness in just a few minutes. Occasionally, some males members of the society bring their wife’s recipe for a sponge cake as a suggestion for a hole-filling substance, but such sexist suggestions are no longer tolerated and these members are banned for five years even though the suggestions are sometimes tried out in the interests of science.

Other suggestions have included pancake batter, poutine from Canada, and scone mix. Here’s the opinion of Alfie Woodward from Todmorden: “I’ve used a number of different recipes and concoctions. I reckon that scone mix hardened on a bed of poutine is a great way to line the hole and then you put stones on top of that. The council then puts a little bit of tarmac on the top and the tarmac doesn’t sink at all.”

Alf Brooks from the Edale branch has other ideas: “We always put cat litter in the holes in our road, which upsets the cat no end as it has to go to the toilet in the allotment garden and gets its paws dirty as a result. The cat litter lasts a long time, a lot longer than when the council fills in the hole and we do it quicker than they do.”  

Extract from the book – 40 Strange Groups