Last minute ideas for the Destination City review

A review of Destination City, due out shortly, is likely to recommend that the future programme drops costly events like the “spectacular” 2023 version of Bartholomew Fair. Instead it should focus on promoting the Square Mile’s unique culture and heritage, improving the public realm of streets and spaces, and building stronger partnerships with key organisations … Continue reading “Last minute ideas for the Destination City review”

Corporation dropping funding for Bartholomew Fair and rethinking Destination City

Following the meeting yesterday of the City Corporation’s Policy and Resources committee it is pretty clear that its flagship Destination City programme to attract visitors is going to change. My report here and video recording here. No longer, it seems, will the Corporation back and organise big events like Golden Key (£1m for one day … Continue reading “Corporation dropping funding for Bartholomew Fair and rethinking Destination City”

Bartholomew Fair evaluation published … no more Corporation funding?

The City Corporation has published an evaluation report on Bartholomew Fair – held over three weeks in September – detailing visitor numbers, their spending, preferences, and the partnerships formed to put on 250 events in 17 locations across the Square Mile. The Fair was part of the Destination City programme – which is now under … Continue reading “Bartholomew Fair evaluation published … no more Corporation funding?”

Finding our way around the Square Mile

One of the challenges for the Destination City programme, aimed at attracting more visitors to the Square Mile, is helping people find their way around once they arrive. That was particularly true during the three weeks of Bartholomew Fair in September, with 250 events scattered across the City. While there was an official map with … Continue reading “Finding our way around the Square Mile”

Pearly Kings and Queens and the Sheep Drive show City’s authentic culture and heritage

A week after the City Corporation’s £1.3 million Bartholomew Fair ended, two more modest events showed how traditional activities can attract crowds despite relatively little publicity. Yesterday I went to the Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival in Guildhall Yard, while at Southwark Bridge the annual Sheep Drive celebrated the ancient privilege of Freemen of … Continue reading “Pearly Kings and Queens and the Sheep Drive show City’s authentic culture and heritage”

After the Fair is over

Over on the Cloth Fair site I’ve reported on my research into earlier re-staging of Bartholomew Fair, starting with the big one organised by Barts Hospital in 1923. Senior medics yielded to a session in the stocks. I’ve asked for more info from anyone involved in more recent events, including 1973, 2000 and 2010. Meanwhile, … Continue reading “After the Fair is over”

A website for Cloth Fair, Bartholomew Fair and The City Courant

A new website Clothfair.city tells the story of how a Fair started in 1133 to support Barts church and hospital, but closed in 1855, was relaunched this week both locally and City-wide. The site features articles from a souvenir edition of The City Courant. As I’ve already written, the City Corporation picked up Councillor Matthew … Continue reading “A website for Cloth Fair, Bartholomew Fair and The City Courant”

Ten Ages of London – a great Square Mile wander from Londonist

The first edition of the Londonist: Time Machine newsletter provides a brilliant example of the delights of wandering about the City of London, which I wrote about yesterday. Matt Brown offers The Ten Ages of London in One Short Walk starting with Prehistoric London on the banks of the Thames, and walking through Roman, Anglo-Saxon, … Continue reading “Ten Ages of London – a great Square Mile wander from Londonist”

Destination Square Mile needs support for wandering about

The City Corporation’s programme to attract more visitors is pitched in competition with other London destinations, including Canary Wharf and Covent Garden, as I reported earlier. One destination that might have been mentioned is South Kensington, which has a wide range of cultural attractions. The City prides itself on that too, saying: “It is recognised … Continue reading “Destination Square Mile needs support for wandering about”

First public vision of the Square Mile as Destination City

The City Corporation has now offered the first public vision of its £2.5 million Destination City programme, which aims to attract visitors whose spending will boost a Square Mile economy hit by working from home. A presentation on the programme shows the City competing for visitors globally with festivals and events in Sydney, New York … Continue reading “First public vision of the Square Mile as Destination City”