diamond geezer

 Tuesday, March 25, 2008

RUTLAND: multum in parvo
Rutland County CouncilUp until yesterday, there was only one English county south of the Lake District that I'd never visited. Rutland. Perhaps not surprising, given how small it is. Rutland's tiny, about the same size as the Isle of Wight. It has by far the lowest population of any English county or unitary district - if you gathered all the residents together they'd not even half fill Wembley Stadium. It nestles inconspicuously amid rolling green countryside between Leicester and Peterborough. And there are only two towns. Ah yes, Rutland is quite unique.

Ah, and sorry, Rutland's not a real county either. It used to be, for several centuries, up until 1974 when it was suddenly and unpleasantly swallowed up by Leicestershire. Local people were mighty annoyed and campaigned for restoration, and they were almost successful. An independent Rutland was reinstated with much pomp and ceremony in 1997, but only as a unitary district and not a proper council. Elected representatives have therefore been rather cunning and renamed Rutland as "Rutland County Council", just so that the place still sounds like a proper shire county. This means that the council's full legal title is "Rutland County Council District Council", which is administrative madness. At least the county motto is rather more appropriate... multum in parvo (much in little).

I decided to undertake a long overdue day trip to Rutland yesterday. I got there rather quicker than I expected (just 100 minutes by train from King's Cross). I went on a very long ten mile walk, and my feet still ache. I took lots of photos, some of which I've assembled in this lovely gallery (which I fully expect to get my lowest number of viewers ever - even lower than Margate - but never mind). And I fitted in as much as possible during my delightful but brief stay. But then that's Rutland for you - multum in parvo.

• Rutland: council/history/Wikipedia/map
• Rutland: newspaper/Rutnet/weather
• Rutland: tourism (Go Rutland!)
Rutland Weekend Television (I must be in love)

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