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Twists and turns of fight for city status revealed

John Hulbert on the right is pictured with his new book and Pete Wishart MP.
John Hulbert on the right is pictured with his new book and Pete Wishart MP.

The challenges faced in the battle to have Perth’s city status restored are explored in a new book by one of the key players in the campaign.

In his book, Scotland’s Oldest and Newest City —  How Perth Regained its City Status and Why it Matters, former provost, Dr John  Hulbert, reveals how despite the enormous odds stacked against it the Fair City’s claim prevailed.

Arguably one of the most significant decisions in the history of Perth for nearly 200 years, the book tells its past as the ancient capital of Scotland and traces its pre-eminence among Scottish Royal Burghs.

The book looks at Perth’s loss of city status in 1975 and the development of the city status application strategy.

Culminating in Perth’s eventual success, it is the story of how its citizens fought to regain its former glory, finally winning  the “glittering prize” in 2012.

“Perth’s intervention in 2009 saved the city status competition from being abandoned by the government in Westminster,” said Dr Hulbert at the book’s launch in The Royal George Hotel.

“The high profile ‘Westminster Dinner’ hosted by Pete Wishart MP in the Houses of Parliament, brought about a ‘U’ turn in the Labour Cabinet, and ensured that the Diamond Jubilee competition took place in 2012.

“Without Perth’s proactive stance there would have been no civic honours competition and Perth would not now be a city of Scotland with all the prestige, status and financial advantages that that has brought.”

Rich with local and national history, and with chapters looking forward to the future of Perth, the book, complete with colour photographs, will appeal to historians, visitors and Perth locals alike.

Mr Wishart in his forward to the book recognises the author’s pivotal role in the outcome saying: “We have John Hulbert to thank for getting us here through his diligent leadership of this campaign.”

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