Voters went to the polls today to give their opinion on the local elections. And one site has an added bonus that few others have – it’s right next to a fish and chip shop.
Residents of Halesowen can treat themselves to chip tea after voting next to Our Plaice Fish and Chip Shop. The takeaway outlet is located on Dudley Road. Others can vote in a trailer parked in New Rowley Road, Dudley. But if they don’t like fish and chips, they can buy Chinese take-out from the adjacent establishment.
Other interesting polling places in the UK include a windmill, a museum and even a launderette. They will all be open until 10 p.m. tonight, Thursday May 5th.
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In Sunderland, voters can visit Fulwell Windmill, before stopping to vote in the tea room. In Hampshire, visitors can learn about Britain’s nautical history while voting at the Museum of Naval Firepower.
In fact, some 25 museums are detached as voting booths, including the University of Reading’s Museum of English Rural Life, the Helmshore Textile Museum and the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum. Meanwhile, in Oxford, multitasking voters can mark their ballot while waiting for their wash at Ace Laundrette.
North of the border in Aberdeenshire, voters can visit the slopes of Alford Ski Center, where snowboarding and skiing lessons are offered. Taunton voters can vote at the Flying Horse bowling alley; while Worcester locals can also try out the facilities of traditional pub gaming when the Portobello’s bowling alley is transformed into a voting booth.
Voters can even get a haircut at one of the seven hairdressers that will act as voting booths today, including three in Hull, one in Leeds and three in Wales. There is even a dog training center that is handed over to the human electorate in Dunoon, for people to vote for their representatives on Argyll and Bute council.
But according to data from the Democracy Club, most people will vote in a much dimmer place. Polling halls are the most common polling stations with 5,600 in operation today, including 1,500 village halls and 1,700 parish halls.
There are also 3,900 places of worship, 3,300 schools and 1,900 community centers. In total, around 22,000 polling stations are in use across the UK, spread across 18,000 unique polling stations. Of these, 12,800 are in England, 2,500 in Scotland, 2,100 in Wales and 600 in Northern Ireland.
At least 400 polling stations are listed as portable or temporary structures – and 190 are based in pubs. Unfortunately, voters must drop off their ballot at their assigned polling station, rather than attending the one they find most interesting.
The Democracy Club has partnered with the Electoral Commission and election administrators across the country to collect data on every polling station in the UK. To find out where your polling station is, visit WhereDoIVote.co.uk.