Saturday 18 June 2011

The Next Big Thing

In honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 (a celebration of 60 years on the throne), a current town in the UK will be crowned a city. This may sound a bit odd to those of who not familiar with the idea of city status in the UK, but to the cities who have applied this is a big deal.

As you may know, historically, a place in the UK could only call itself a city if it had a cathedral, but now there are a variety of factors (including, but not limited to population) that determine whether a town can be called a city and city status isn't handed out willy nilly.  There are actually only 66 cities in all of the UK (A full list can be found here).  The newest additions to the City Club are Brighton and Hove, Inverness and Wolverhampton which were given the status in 2000 to mark the new millennium, and Preston, Stirling and Newport which were awarded city status in 2002 for the Queen's Golden Jubilee  In total, only 14 new cities were created during the 20th century.

Twenty-six towns are in the running for the Diamond Jubilee City Upgrade (it's not really called that, but seriously, what else do you call it?) including Chelmsford, Milton Keynes, Coleraine, Perth, Doncaster, Croydon, Bournemouth and Reading.

My money is on Reading - literally.  They are the odds-on favourite according to Paddy Power at 11/2, followed by Doncaster and then Bournemouth.   Wait... Whats that?  You didn't know you could place bets on this kind of thing?  You're telling me you've never been in one of the millions of betting shops you see in every town and probably pass by multiple times a day?   Well, listen up -  I'm not normally one to advocate potentially addictive activities such as gambling, but you really haven't lived until you've placed a bet on the colour of the Queen's hat at her next public appearance or the nationality of the next Pope.   

But back to this city thing - what will the winner get?  Well... nothing really, except I suppose they could do a "nanny nanny boo boo" dance in front of the lowly towns, and probably more importantly, I think they can then have a city council which gives them a bit more power which apparently can even usurp the power of the county council (surely another reason to do a "nanny nanny boo boo dance"!).

Go Reading!


  1. Oh excellent! I wondered why Durham, which itself is fairly small, was called a city and Hartlepool, which is larger and more populated is not.

    Can I steal this post idea? I will give credit of course.

  2. Interesting. I remember when Brighton got city status, and you're right, it is a big deal for those places participating.

    You can bet on anything in the UK, though I must confess that I have never been one for gambling, even though I can understand the fun of it.

    I would vote for Doncaster, if I had a vote, I think. "Donnie" needs all the help it can get! :-)


  3. Sure, Mollie - go for it. Would appreciate a link back please. Thank you!