Edit: I have a confession to make. This was an April Fool story. While most of the information in the article is true, the little town of Bedworth will not be getting city status this year! Let me know if you were fooled. 😀
5.5 miles to the north of the city of Coventry is a market town of Saxon origins, recorded in the Domesday Book. A town which, largely due to the mining and ribbon weaving in Coventry, became an industrial town and was, for a long time, predominantly a mining town.
Above: Bayton Walk and Coal Truck at Bedworth Miners’ Welfare Park
Since the decline of the mining industry, Bedworth has become more of a commuter town due to its central location, transport links and close proximity to major cities Coventry, Leicester, and Birmingham.
There are no official criteria to become a city, although it is a common misconception that a city requires a diocesan cathedral, but such an accolade may only be granted by a British monarch.
It is at the discretion of the monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II, to decide when a competition for city status should be held. Competitions are usually held on occasions such as important Royal anniversaries. (UKCITIES)
This year, there have been significant Royal anniversaries. Not only has the Queen celebrated her 90th birthday but also her 65th year on the throne, making her the longest reigning monarch as the first to reach this sapphire jubilee.
The decision to grant city status is based not on the size, population, or having any particular building but is more about community life. While Bedworth has its popular Civic Hall and Leisure Centre, historic Miners’ Welfare Park and Almshouses, and other nearby attractions and facilities, the decision was made, primarily, as a result of Bedworth’s claim to fame as the only town or city to mark Armistice Day on 11th November every year (rather than the nearest Sunday). A day when the town comes together for this well-attended event.
Having city status does not award any special rights other than the use of the word ‘city’. The accolade, however, carries prestige and competitions can be hard fought.