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Newcastle best City in the UK after the votes are counted

7 years ago

Newcastle has been voted the best City in the UK by readers of the Guardian and the Observer.

Like the rest of you I love it, I really really love it when our great City gets recognition, especially from those who live elsewhere.

I would certainly imagine that other areas of the UK have higher concentrations of Guardian readers than in the north east, so it isn’t like we’ve voted ourselves into top spot.

The superb Harry Pearson (if you haven’t read his books then shame on you, especially the marvellous ‘Far Corner’) has written a follow-up piece and sums up brilliantly exactly how residents of Tyneside see their own City, plus of course their own place in it.

Here is an extract from Harry’s piece;

‘Newcastle is the nearest city to where I was born, the nearest city to where I live now. I have been visiting it for long enough to remember when it looked like it does in the film Get Carter – all brick, slate and smoke.

I have come here to watch football and see bands, to eat and drink, and to shop for goods from Airfix kits years ago to prams and pushchairs more recently. But until that winter evening I had never really noticed Newcastle. Familiarity had bred indifference. It was like that moment in a corny Hollywood movie when the frumpy girl next door takes off her glasses and – aw, gee! – it’s Grace Kelly!

That Newcastle has been voted the best UK city by readers of the Guardian and Observer therefore comes as little surprise. Certainly no local will do a double take on hearing the news. Indeed the fact the city was only ranked fifth last year is more likely to register as a shock.

You see, Newcastle’s atmosphere of almost pathological friendliness and good humour stems from one simple thing: all Geordies believe themselves blessed to have been born here. Theirs is the boisterous self-confidence of a chosen people.

One final tip: Geordies like to talk. Visitors are advised to allow at least 10 minutes just to buy a newspaper.’

That line I’ve marked in bold is a killer line, encapsulating what Newcastle Upon Tyne is all about and you can read the full Harry Pearson article here.


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