Monday, November 15, 1999 Published at 16:07 GMT
How on earth do you lure little green tourists?
Martians over Bedlington?
Expecting visitors? Better do some dusting, comb your hair, mow the launchpad.
A former mining town in the north-east of England is taking the brave step of pitching for visitors from Mars.
The people of Bedlington in Northumberland, who are classed by some as Geordies, are branching out to advertise the town to the red planet thanks to Nasa.
Traders - including mechanics Tyred and Exhausted, burger shop Best Byte and funeral directors AJ Gascoigne & Son - are expected to get together to offer the aliens special deals.
Chairman Malcolm Robinson said: "We'll offer any alien visitors a range of discounts, with pensioner rates for haircuts, and discounts on food and clothing.
"They won't get a warmer welcome anywhere in England."
Local trader Margaret Millen was in little doubt that, if the message is picked up on Mars, Bedlington would get a good reaction.
"It's a lovely little town, very friendly. It's really a country town, even though it's only 12 miles from Newcastle and fairly close to the industry," she said.
One notable chapter from the town's history was the production of iron rails by Michael Longridge. A friend of George Stevenson, the rails were used for the world's first passenger railway.
The chamber of trade's website directs potential customers to local businesses, and makes the most of a worldwide - particularly US - interest in Bedlington Terriers.
The site's webmaster writes: "Bedlington.co.uk was rather trying to minimise this, but there is simply no getting away from the fact that Bedlington is famous for its 'World Class' breed of dogs. If you search the Internet it is almost as if that is all it's famous for. Not so!"
Although the message has been travelling for a quarter of a century, it's still only one-thousandth of its way to its target stars, 147 trillion miles away.
In 1973, Nasa sent a plaque on its Pioneer 10 craft with simple greetings from humans, showing male and female form, and where earth is in relation to the Sun.
It is still waiting for an answer.
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