By Ian Bred, Norfolk Correspondent
The people of Norfolk have been advised that it might be a good idea to have an occasional wash.
Public health experts say it is no longer acceptable for them to be so filthy.
Cases of disease and festering sores are on the rise in the remote county, with fears that infections could cross the border into Suffolk.
Lorraine Fisher, 34, a spokesperson for Public Health England, said: “It’s a matter of education, really.
“Norfolk people are not used to body cleanliness.
“Working out in the bogs and marshes is dirty work, and they certainly do not have bathrooms.
“To be honest, once they get home to their sisters at night, the men folk have more on their mind than scrubbing up.”
Traditionally, the people of Norfolk have an annual community shower day.
A cattle trough full of water is set up on the village green every May Day, and villagers, high on cider and weird berries, take it in turns to jump in and scrub the year’s filth of their bodies.
Dr Neville Carragher, from Norwich Hospital, said: “This tradition unfortunately does more harm than good, because after the first couple of people have washed in it, the water trough is disgusting.
“By the time several hundred of them have sloshed about, it is an infectious pit of everything horrible known to man.”
Away supporters who travel to Norwich City’s Carrow Road ‘stadium’ will be relieved if locals start taking more care of themselves.
Ipswich fan Steve Walshe said: “It absolutely stinks up there in Norfolk.
“If you pass one or two in the street it is not so bad because the wind might be in the opposite direction.
“But when you get thousands of them crowded together under one roof, you can see this acrid, shimmering cloud rising up to the rafters.
“The Russians could start harvesting it – it would be far more deadly than any nerve agent.”