Denis Kilcommons: Why Huddersfield should remain a town rather than apply for city status

I WAS pleased Kirklees decided not to apply for city status for Huddersfield or Dewsbury.

I WAS pleased Kirklees decided not to apply for city status for Huddersfield or Dewsbury. Why bother? We would instantly lose more than 100 years of heritage by having to rename Huddersfield Town, for a start.

It's not as if we live in America where every tiny hamlet is eager to claim the title of city, even if they only have a petrol station, a McDonald's and a population of 23 and a dog.

In the UK, a city has to have a royal charter. In Europe, you can be a city if you have a cathedral. Which is why Wakefield is a city.

Not that this European right of qualification means much. Wells claims to be the smallest cathedral city in England with a population of 10,000. The Welsh claim is for St Asaph with a population of 3,500. But the smallest city in Europe is Raphoe in Donegal with a population of 1,065.

Raphoe is down the road from where my daughter Siobhan lives. After the last Olympics, most of the population turned out to give a brass band welcome home to a local girl who had represented Ireland at table tennis. Not because she won a medal, but because she was the first Irish table tennis player to win a game. Now that's small.

Oh, and in case it rears its head again, Huddersfield is NOT the biggest town in the country.

According to the 2001 census, the largest towns were Reading (population 232,000), Dudley (194,000), Northampton (189,000), Luton (185,000), Milton Keynes (184,000), Walsall (174,000), Bournemouth (167,000), Southend (160,000), Swindon (155,000) and Huddersfield (146,000).

 

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