Cornish town with 1,440 inhabitants seeks to become UK’s smallest town | Cornwall


It can’t boast of having a cathedral, a university, or a great sports team – the sort of characteristics often associated with a typical British metropolis.

But the town of Marazion (1440 inhabitants), nicely perched on the south coast of Cornwall, has nonetheless launched a daring campaign for town status.

Marazion, which has a few churches, a primary school, rowing and sailing clubs, would become the smallest and southernmost town if his proposal was accepted.

Richard Stokoe, a city councilor who is leading the campaign, argued that Marazion deserved to be promoted. “The wonderful people, the fascinating history, the breathtaking beauty and the incredible community spirit make Marazion a suitable and popular place to become the next city to be honored to become a city,” he said.

There is strong opposition, with much larger urban areas such as Reading, Bournemouth and Middlesbrough also competing in the UK Civic Honors Competition, launched as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, but Stokoe , a university professor, said the city of Cornwall was ready for the fight.

“Size doesn’t matter. Although he is a David in a field of Goliaths asking for city status, anyone who has ever lived, worked or visited Marazion knows that there is something for everyone and that it would be a worthy winner.

Visitors often pass through Marazion on their way to the extraordinary island castle of St Michael’s Mount (which would not be part of the town as it has its own parish council) and the town tends to be overshadowed by places such as St Ives and Penzance.

But Marazion’s app is full of intriguing facts and figures, one of the highlights being a comparison between the town’s clock tower and the architectural style featured on the beloved children’s shows Trumpton and Camberwick Green. . He also points out his fine Cornish pastry.

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

“Becoming the smallest town in the UK would bring a buzz to Marazion, pride for the locals and a real opportunity to help boost foreign investment and create jobs,” said Stokoe, whose home is so close to the waves that its windows are draped in seaweed in stormy weather.

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

Graphic: Marazion would be the smallest town in the UK if successful in its offering

The current smallest town in the UK in terms of population is St Davids in Pembrokeshire, Wales, with a population of around 1,600. Marazion is delighted that St Asaph in North Wales (with a population of 3,355) became a town in 2012.

Perhaps, inevitably, the campaign was not well received by everyone. The city’s motto is semper eadem (always the same) and there were opponents in the city council.

Derek Laity, the town’s mayor, did not sound too enthusiastic, saying: “Marazion is very proud to be a town in Cornwall. We believe it is one of the oldest, if not the oldest charter town in the UK. But he added that it would be “appropriate” for the Queen to consider the request.

Marazion Chamber of Commerce president Paul Elliott, who runs a B&B, is optimistic about the competition and – jokingly – said it would be a “kick in the teeth” for St Davids if the campaign was successful.

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

Wendy Stoten, a therapist, said Marazion is a lovely old charter town. “Having the status of the smallest town would draw attention to its beauty. Mont Saint-Michel is like our cathedral and is well visited to say the least, but Marazion is also worth exploring. ”

Marazion facts

The curious name of the city is perhaps a corruption of Marghas Bighan, which means small market in Cornish. Through the ages there have been many versions of the name until Marazion remains.

At low tide, Marazion is connected to Mont Saint-Michel, a rocky island crowned by a medieval church and castle, by a stone causeway half a mile long. For centuries it was a place of pilgrimage – and now it’s a popular tourist attraction.

As in many communities in Cornwall, the cornerstones of the economy have historically been agriculture, fishing and tin mining. The shallow water of Mount’s Bay made it perfect for pilchard fillets.

Henry Francis Lyte, who wrote the hymns Abide with Me and Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven, was a vicar in Marazion in the 19th century. John Wesley, the founder of the Wesleyan Church, preached in the city.

Marazion now has a sailing club, a rowing club, a billiard club and a Quaker meeting house. There is a soccer team, a choir and the Marazion Wives club, which holds conferences to inspire and celebrate. It also hosts a one-day summer festival – the Folly Fest – and a Santa Claus parade in the winter.

The Marazion Hotel and Cutty Sark Bar are a favorite with locals. In the 1950s, Pathé News arrived to film an article about a beer-drinking horse.

There is only one town in Cornwall: Truro, which lies 25 miles to the northeast.

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


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