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Thursday, 16 May, 2002, 19:25 GMT 20:25 UK
Error costs Rochester city status
Rochester is a popular tourist destination
The cathedral city of Rochester has lost its city status after eight centuries because of an apparent oversight.

The one-time Kent city - a favourite of Charles Dickens - has now lost that coveted status.

The alteration in status occurred because of an administrative error four years ago, but did not come to light until earlier this month.

The slip-up was discovered by the City of Rochester Society, which found that it was missing from the Lord Chancellor's list of UK cities.

It's like saying the City of London isn't a city anymore

Mayor Ted Baker

The change actually happened four years ago when Medway became a unitary authority.

The old Rochester-upon-Medway City Council was asked if it wanted to employ charter trustees, who would protect the city's status.

That was deemed unnecessary, resulting in the loss of status.

Charles Dickens
Author Charles Dickens loved the city

Mayor Ted Baker, whose first day in the post was Thursday, said he was horrified.

"It's like saying the City of London isn't a city anymore.

"Rochester received city status in 1211. A city is a city."

Now the only way for Rochester to regain its status is for the Queen to grant the honour.

New cities were created over the millennium and for the Queen's Jubilee.

City of Rochester Society members have written to the council to ask it to write to the Queen to restore Rochester's status.

Click here to go to Kent
See also:

14 Mar 02 | Northern Ireland
Two NI towns awarded city status
14 Mar 02 | Scotland
Stirling elevated to city status
14 Mar 02 | England
'Proud Preston' wins city status
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