Reading, City of Dreams


** Click here for Episode 185 **

Non-British readers might not understand this next question from Paul from Reading, because we’ve noticed that in, for instance, the USA, anywhere with two sheds and a 7-11 can call itself a city. Over in Grand Britain it’s not that simple. It used to be as easy as throwing up a cathedral (ahem, ‘city’ of St David’s in Pembrokeshire), but not any more; as Paul demonstrates, it’s now more of a lottery presided over by an octogenarian:

Next year, as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations she has the awesome power to award a town full city status. Reading, where I live, has applied for the third time and is desperate to win. The buses to the station even say “City Centre” on the front as the final destination.

Answer me this – who is Reading up against in the city status competition and do they stand a chance of winning?

If not, what can they do to increase their chances?

These are the towns vying with Reading for the title: Bolton, Bournemouth, Chelmsford, Colchester, Coleraine, Corby, Craigavon, Croydon, Doncaster, Dorchester, Dudley, Dumfries, Gateshead, Goole, Luton, Medway, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Perth, Southend, St Asaph, St Austell, Stockport, Tower Hamlets and Wrexham.

Come ON, towns. What the hell are you smoking? Tower Hamlets, you’re already IN a city, don’t be greedy! Dudley…seriously, dream on. Goole, you’ve got an amusing name, but you have fewer inhabitants than the average tube station in London.

I don’t see why Reading can’t see off all these small fry – it even seems to be the gamblers’ favourite, although if I were Reading, I would watch out for Milton Keynes because MK’s had its eyes on that prize for aaaages and it’s willing to fight dirty.

If any of you readers have an In with the Queen, put in a good word for Paul’s beloved home town. Or just go to the comments and tell Reading what it needs to do to win. Install multi-storey herbaceous borders? Institute a weekly fancy dress parade? Get a bit more character?

Subscribe with iTunesBookQuestion ArchiveEpisodesMerch
iPhone AppAndroid AppFacebookTwitterYouTubeFAQ

2 Responses to “Reading, City of Dreams”

  1. Raynard Says:

    Well… Reading should watch out for, er, Colchester!
    I’ve nothing against Reading – it has a strong case for city status, but saying that, so does Colchester…

    > Britain’s oldest recorded town and first capital city under Romans
    > Royal charter of 1189
    > Domesday Book 1086, mentions Colchester as ‘civitas’ (a city)
    > Home to Colchester Garrison – a royal saluting station
    > Europe’s largest Norman castle keep, and oldest city walls
    > Home to the University of Essex – most international British uni
    > Population of 181,000 (borough)
    > Fastest-growing UK borough and second-largest non-met district
    > A new Visual Arts Facility, designed by Rafael Vinoly
    > More history, legends and myths than most UK towns
    > Bid cost taxpayer £0.00p – put together by voluntary group

    Does this seem like Colchester is smoking something funny?

  2. Easy Tiger Says:

    Come on MK! We even built a cathedral in order to secure city status

    Mind you I don’t live there any more so who cares

Answer us back:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: