The popular English comic strip Andy Capp was created by cartoonist Reg Smythe and has been published in the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror since August of 1957. Tucked away in a residential area near the Hartlepool seafront, this statue of the star of the comic, Andy Capp himself, was erected in 2007 in the fictional character’s hometown.
Andy Capp is a working-class figure from the harbor town of Hartlepool, who never actually seems to work and clearly lacks the motivation to find employment! (His name is seen as a pun on the word “handicap.”) The character is clearly recognized by his checked flat cap that is always pulled down low over his eyes, even when he is pictured bathing or sleeping. In the comic strip, he is often shown with his wife, Flo.
It has been argued that Andy Capp perpetuates the derogatory image of English northerners as lazy layabouts, but Smythe, the creator, was a native of the region and many fellow northerners have a huge soft spot for the character. Andy is often portrayed taking part in stereotypically northern hobbies such as pigeon racing, playing darts, betting on horse races, playing the occasional game of cricket, getting drunk at the local pub, playing football (which usually results in brawls), and playing snooker with his cue named “Delilah.”
Know Before You Go
If you follow the Hartlepool Heritage trail you'll find the statue across the road opposite Fish Sands pier and lighthouse.
By car, follow the signs to the headland, and then the brown signs to the free car park behind St. Hilda's church. The statue is to the left of the Pot House.