Congratulations to the historic city of Londonderry, which has just been shortlisted for the new title of United Kingdom City of Culture in 2013.
Londonderry will jon three English cities, Birmingham, Norwich and Sheffield, in bidding for the title. The four cities will have until 28 May to develop their full and final bids with the winning city due to be announced in June.
The year 2013 is of course the 400th anniversary of the granting of the royal charter to Londonderry by King James I as part of the Plantation of Ulster. This was the start of the modern city and the walls were built between then and 1618. Londonderry still preserves the original layout of four main streets radiating out from a central Diamond to four gateways.
I wish Londonderry well in the next stage of their campaign for the City of Culture title.