Twitter gritter name contest for sub zero heroes

When Doncaster Council sent out a tweet earlier this month asking people to help name its two new gritters, it may not have expected more than 40,000 votes.

The council already had five named gritters – Brad Grit, Gritney Spears, The Subzero Hero, Mr Plow and Usain Salt.

But after the new ones arrived ahead of the winter, it followed in the footsteps of other authorities asking the public for ideas – with two conditions: they had to be clean and original.

Among the suggestions were Grit Van Dyke, True Grit, Rule Grittania and Salt Disney.

The best 16 names were voted on in a Twitter tournament using the hashtag #DoncasterGrittingWorldCup.

Eventually, there were only two pairs of names remaining: Gritsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Anti-Slip Machiney and Spready Mercury and Basil Salty and David Plowie.

The two finals saw David Plowie beat Basil Salty with 58% of the vote, while Gritsy Bitsy won a tighter contest with 53% of the vote over Spready Mercury.

One of Doncaster Council's new gritters, which was named in a public vote. Pic: @MyDoncaster
One of Doncaster Council’s new gritters, which was named in a public vote. Pic: @MyDoncaster

Natalie Washington suggested the name Gritsy Bitsy, a play on words from Brian Hyland’s 1960 song Itsy Bisty Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini.

The 34-year-old said the competition had been “incredibly tight”.

“I think it went ahead early on, then it went back to 50-50. I thought: ‘Is it going to lose?’ but it rallied later on.

“When you go on courses or whatever, and you have to say an interesting fact about yourself, well I’ve got one now.

“I can say I’ve named a gritter.”

A council spokesman said: “We have named gritters before, but we did them with schools.

“It seems to have cheered Britain up. It’s been amazing and got people interested in gritting.”

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