Friday, January 21

Cornish town of 1,440 residents seeks to become UK’s smallest town | Cornwall


IIt cannot boast of having a cathedral, a university, or a major sports team. the kind of characteristics often associated with a typical British metropolis. But the city of Marazion (population 1,440), perched beautifully on the south coast of Cornwall, has nonetheless launched a bold campaign for city status.

Marazion, which has a couple of churches, an elementary school, and rowing and sailing clubs, would become the smallest and most southern town if his proposal is accepted.

Richard Stokoe, a councilman leading the campaign, argued that Marazion deserved promotion. “The wonderful people, fascinating history, dazzling beauty and incredible community spirit mean that Marazion would be an appropriate and popular place to become the next city to be honored with becoming a city,” he said.

There is strong opposition, with much larger urban areas such as Reading, Bournemouth and Middlesbrough also participating in the UK civic honors competition, launched as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee CelebrationsBut Stokoe, a university professor, said the Cornish town was ready for the fight.

“The size is not important. Despite being a David in a Goliath field applying for city status, anyone who has ever lived, worked or visited Marazion knows that there is something for everyone and that they would be a worthy winner. “

The view from Marazion to St Michael's Mount
The view from Marazion to St Michael’s Mount, which has its own parish council. Photograph: ValeryEgorov / Getty / iStockphoto

Visitors often tour Marazion on their way to the extraordinary castle on the island of Mount of San Miguel (which would not be part of the city as it has its own parish council) and the city tends to be overshadowed by places like St Ives and Penzance.

But the Marazion app is packed with intriguing facts and figures, one of the highlights being a comparison between the city’s clock tower and the style of architecture featured on beloved children’s shows Trumpton and Camberwick Green. It also highlights its fine Cornish pastry.

But the champions of the entry point out that there is also a serious side. While visitors tend to see the idyllic aspects of Cornwall, there are pockets of deprivation.

“Becoming the smallest city in the UK will bring excitement to Marazion, pride for the local population and a real opportunity to help drive internal investment and create jobs,” said Stokoe, whose home is so close to the waves that her windows they are covered with curtains. with algae in stormy weather.

“Apart from holidays and tourism, South West Cornwall has been an area that has too often been overlooked, forgotten and ignored by the rest of the country. Making Marazion a city would show that Cornwall is no longer a Cinderella county. “

Chart: Marazion would be the UK’s smallest city if it succeeds in its bid

The UK’s smallest town today by population is St Davids in Pembrokeshire, Wales, with a population of about 1,600. Marazion is proud that St Asaph in North Wales (population 3,355) became a town in 2012.

Perhaps, inevitably, the campaign has not been well received by all. The motto of the city is always the same (always the same) and there were detractors in the town hall.

Derek Laity, the mayor of the city, did not seem too enthusiastic and said: “Marazion is very proud to be a Cornish town. We believe it to be one of the oldest licensed cities, if not the oldest, in the UK ”. But he added that it would be “appropriate” for the Queen to consider the request.

The chair Marazion Chamber of CommercePaul Elliott, who runs a B&B, is optimistic about the contest and jokingly said it would be a “kick in the teeth” for St Davids if the campaign were successful.

He admitted that the city didn’t expect to win, but it would do well outside of publicity anyway. “People have heard of St Michael’s Mount, because people like Michael Portillo do shows here. But not many have heard of Marazion. “

Wendy Stoten, a therapist, said that Marazion was a beautiful old self-governing city. “Having the status of the smallest city would call attention to how wonderful it is. St Michael’s Mount is like our cathedral, and heavily visited to say the least, but Marazion is also well worth exploring. “

Marazion facts

The curious name of the town may be a corruption of Marghas Bighan, which means “little market” in Cornwall. Throughout the centuries, there were many versions of the name before Marazion caught on.

At low tide, Marazion is connected to St Michael’s Mount, a rocky island topped by a medieval church and castle, by a half-mile-long stone causeway. For centuries it has been a pilgrimage site and is now a popular tourist attraction.

As with many Cornish communities, the cornerstones of the economy were historically agriculture, fishing and tin mining. Mount’s Bay’s shallow water made it perfect for sardine fishing.

Henry Francis Lyte, who wrote the hymns Stay with Me and Praise Him, My Soul, the King of Heaven, was curate at Marazion in the 19th century. John Wesley, the founder of the Wesleyan church, preached in the city.

Marazion now has a sailing club, rowing club, billiard club, and quakers meeting house. There is a soccer team, a choir, and the Marazion Wives’ Club, which hosts talks to inspire and celebrate. It also organizes a day-long summer festival, the Folly Fest, and a Santa Claus parade in winter.

The locals’ favorite watering spot is the Marazion Hotel and the Cutty Sark Bar. In the 1950s, Pathé News appeared to film an article about a beer-drinking horse.

There is currently only one town in Cornwall: Truro, which is 40 kilometers to the northeast.

The UK government last applied for city status was as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012. It was awarded to St Asaph in Wales, Perth in Scotland and Chelmsford in England.


www.theguardian.com

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