http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey_Hangers

Monkey Hanger is the affectionate term by which Hartlepudlians are often known by other residents of Great Britain.

According to local folklore, during the Napoleonic wars, a French ship of the type chasse marĂ©e (literally, tide-chaser) was wrecked off the coast of Hartlepool. The only survivor was a monkey, wearing a French uniform (presumably to provide amusement for those onboard the ship). On finding the monkey, some locals decided to hold an impromptu trial on the beach; since the monkey was unable to answer their questions, they concluded that it was a French spy. The animal was thus sentenced to death and hanged from the mast of a fishing boat on the Headland. Nowadays, many Hartlepudlians have positively embraced the term, and only a small minority still consider the term ‘Monkey Hanger’ offensive. It is often used to refer to supporters of Hartlepool United Football Club by supporters of their arch rivals Darlington.

In 2002, Stuart Drummond campaigned for the office of Mayor of Hartlepool in the costume of the local football team’s mascot, ‘H’Angus the Monkey’. He narrowly won. His election slogan had been “free bananas for schoolchildren”, a promise he was unable to keep. Despite this, he stood again three years later and won with a landslide victory.