EVERYONE is aware of the tale of Dick Turpin, the dandy highwayman who caused havoc on London to York stagecoaches by robbing them.

He was hung in 1739 for horse theft and that probably would have been that if his tale had not been romanticised nearly 100 years later by novelist William Harrison Ainsworth.

But he became a bit of a posthumous cause-celebre after that and is probably now York’s favourite son, well, maybe second to Joseph Terry the chemist turned confectionery tycoon who invented the chocolate orange.

A legend worth celebrating if ever there were one.

In modern day York, Dick Turpin is still fascinating visitors and has got his own little exhibition in the famed York Dungeon tourist attraction.

Or at least he did as several visitors have complained about the show because it is offensive.

Like a scene from the Carry on Dick film about the highwayman and its double entendres, parents are asking for the exhibition to be renamed Richard Turpin because it could offend their children.

Apparently it’s absolutely fine to teach young children about criminality and murder – just as long as the criminal’s name is not rude.

Thankfully, the York Dungeon has remained firm in their stance and the Dick Turpin show will remain in the same name despite the complaints.

Quite where these people came from is beyond me as men have been known as Dick for centuries without anyone raising so much as a snigger.

It also must have been quite the conversation when the parents try and explain to the kids why they had complained about the rude word.

What rude word mummy/daddy?


Cue much snorting and general hilarity from anyone under the age of 11.

How many times do you think the kids asked their parents to repeat it too, while absolutely crying with laughter because they have got their parents to repeat the rude word over and over again.

Where will it all end – will every famous Dick now have to be renamed too?

First to go would be the Famous Five novels because it has not one, but two highly offensive names in Dick and Aunt Fanny.

Legendary cook Fanny Craddock would also come a cropper for obvious reasons, while Bugs Bunny’s rival Elmer Fudd would probably end up in jail for committing a crime just by signing his own name.

Youngsters snigger at funny names, weird shaped vegetables and all manner of innocent innuendo and have done for generations.

It is all part of growing up after all and should not be stifled by an ever-growing band of uptight woke warriors who want to sanitise everything and wrap the world in ethically sourced cotton wool.

By not allowing youngsters to splash in puddles, climb trees or fish for tadpoles, the holier-than-though brigade are storing up huge problems for their beloved offspring in later life.

Children have to find their own feet in life and parents should not try and impose what they believe is an idyllic world upon them.

They should not push their jaundiced view of the world onto their children.

Life is hard at times and no parent should pretend to their children it is anything else.

Injuring yourself falling out of a tree or off a swing in the park is as much a part of growing up as getting your exams results or learning to drive.

It is sore, but ensures that next time you think about doing it, you know there’s a risk of it happening again so you take more care.

Too many parents, and indeed adults in all walks of life, are far too risk averse.

This clearly has merits in preventing grim accidents but it also teaches children nothing about the basics.

Children can only cross a road safely on their own when they have been taught it, and that can’t be done in the comfort of a car on the way to drop them at the school gates. Just in case.

It is the same with trying to protect children from swear words.

They exist everywhere – particularly on the internet – and kids probably have a far wider vocabulary of them than any adult, apart from maybe Billy Connolly.

There are so many legitimate things to find offensive that there is no need for faux outrage at people’s names.

Any time a rude word inadvertently appears on Countdown, most people have a quiet smirk rather than call regulator Ofcom to complain.

But some people do and there’s a very rude word for them.