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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 June, 2005, 19:56 GMT 20:56 UK
'Aliens choose Luton' as top town
Vauxhall cars
The town famous for Vauxhall cars is trying to change its image
A collection of 10 stories about Luton is being launched in an attempt to improve its image after it was voted "crap town" of the year last year.

It is called Junction 10 - after the access point from the M1 motorway.

Luton First - the group behind the idea - believe so-called romantic towns and cities owe more to poets, song-writers and authors than to reality.

The tales were chosen after a national contest. One is about aliens choosing Luton as an ideal landing spot.

Inclusive place

Sam Jordison, who wrote the tale about aliens, entitled Everyone Is Welcome Here, was the editor of the Crap Towns report.

He has now revised his view of the town and believes it to be the most inclusive place in the UK.

The one proviso was that stories should touch on a key aspect of the town in a positive way
Luton First's Tony Edwards

Judging was carried out by Luton Borough Council, Luton-based companies and the University of Luton.

"We allowed total freedom of style, topic, characterisation and plot," said Luton First's Tony Edwards.

"The one proviso was that stories should touch on a key aspect of the town in a positive way, with particular reference to Luton as a great place to live, work, learn and have fun."

Proceeds from the sale of the book, published by Antony Rowe, will be donated to a national charity.

The paperback is sponsored by Luton First, a consortium of various local bodies.

The launch is at London's Savoy Hotel.


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