After an avalanche of interest and suggestions Oldham Council can reveal the name of our new gritter is Nicole Saltslinger. Named after the former Pussycat Doll and X-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger the now famous yellow gritter has become the most famous vehicle in the country over the last few weeks.
Recently we asked primary school children from across the borough to ‘prove their salt’ and come up with a fitting name for the new addition to our fleet. After a ‘snow’ start the number of entries snowballed by the day and we eventually ended up with hundreds to choose from, including Gritney Houston, Spready Eddie and even Andy Gritchie, after the former Oldham Athletic favourite. The competition also really caught the imagination of the ‘gritterarati’ and it received wide spread national coverage in newspapers, websites, TV and radio.
The winning entry was sent in by Eve McGrath, who attends Royton Hall Primary School. We ploughed through hundreds of entries and Eve was the only youngster who came up with the unique and fun name. The 10-year-old decided on Nicole Saltslinger as she is a fan of the Saturday night entertainment show. Eve made the trip down to our depot at Moorhey Street for a special naming ceremony.
Nicole will now join Freddie Salted; Grittersaurus; Goliath; Walter the Salter; Gritterbug; Gritney Spears; Gritanator and Thor, helping to keep the borough’s roads moving safely when the snow and ice appear.
Councillor Fida Hussain, Cabinet Member for Environment Services, said: “Firstly we’d like to thank Eve for coming up with such a great name. We’re delighted with how well the competition took off. It captured the imagination of Oldham residents and the whole nation. It was intended as a bit of fun and we even treated the silly suggestions with a pinch of salt.
‘We ran a similar competition a few years ago which was also really well received but this time I think we’ve taken it up a notch.
On a single tweet more than 70,000 people engaged with us in one way or another and some of the suggestions we had were fantastic.
“In Oldham we’re usually hit quite hard when the snow begins to fall and we have an excellent team who work tirelessly to keep the roads clear and the borough moving. Our gritters obviously play a vital role in that and so it’s nice that we can have a bit of fun by running competitions like this whilst teaching young people about road safety.”
To keep residents fully informed of any developments the Oldham Council website – http://www.oldham.gov.uk/winter – will be updated continually and feature the latest news on school closures, gritting routes, locations of grit bins and grit sales.
Our First Response service will use its Twitter account @oldhamalert to inform followers of school and road closures or incidents.
These will also be retweeted for residents using the Council¹s account @oldhamcouncil and updates will appear via the local media.