22 January 2010

Holborn Midtown

Have you heard that there is a campaign to re-brand what is basically the Holborn area as 'Midtown'?
Egh?! What nonsense.
Estate agents have already been using the word for some time now – the idea might have made some sense if London already had districts called Uptown (girl) and Downtown (Things will be great when you're...).
The area affected resembles a bishop's hat (ironically it encompasses the Mitre pub which is in Cambridgeshire, EC1 and is designated by drawing a line up from Embankment to Trafalgar Square, then up to Kings Cross, down to St.Paul's ending up again at the Thames, i.e all of WC2, most of WC1 and bits of EC1 and EC4.
The reason given for this is that out-of-towners find this area of London to be a bit of a confusing no-man's-land and they can't cope with villagey names such as Bloomsbury, Clerkenwell and St. Giles. Bless em.
I am not alone; I really hope this idea is dropped just like when they tried to re-name Fitzrovia 'NoHo'. Oh no no no.
P.S. I have been quoted here.

Top row: Trafalgar Square, Little Italy, Bloomsbury, Blackfriars, Kings Cross.
2nd row: Cambridgeshire, St Brides/Fleet Street, Aldwych, Seven Dials, Covent Garden.
3rd row: St Giles, Strand, Bloomsbury, Lincoln's Inn, Russell Sqaure
4th row: Covent Garden, Somerset House, Smithfield, Temple, Paternoster Square


  1. Say no to Midtown, you know it makes sense.

  2. LOL! What a lot of rubbish!!! That must have germinated in the mind of some sad estate agent turned adviser to a local authority... Sounds too much like Midwest to me. I'm happy to tell people I teach in Holborn, but in Midtown... no! And I can think of a few colleagues who would be infuriated if they were put together with parts of the City!Each area has its own character and history. This 'new' Midtown just doesn't make any sense. As for out-of-towners, they can have a brief look at any decent map or travel guide on London and it will be all clear to them.
    Lovely photos. I pass in front of the Tea Rooms quite regularly and the place looks sadder and sadder. A real shame. Shame as well that the painted windows next door have disappeared. They were certainly more 'joyful' than those of the taxi office that moved in recently.

  3. Thanks guys,
    do you think there might be a 'Say No To Midtown' action group we could join... or start?

  4. We need to spread the word.

    I was in the car when I heard about this and began shouting at the radio..........much to the amusement of the woman in the car next to mine at the traffic lights. They stayed at red for ages, during which time I tried to regain my image as a sane, normal person. Not sure I succeeded!

  5. This is probably a project some high payd consultant company has recommended for them to do. And they bought it!

  6. The folks in Fitzrovia sympathise with you in Bloomsbury, Holborn and St Giles. Midtown makes us want to puke as much as Noho did.

    Fight the power!

    Fitzrovia News http://www.fitzrovia.org.uk/news

  7. FN: I've just watched the film on your site... really interesting. And a fascinating site altogether.
    And thanks so much for adding my site in your links list.

  8. I find it mind-boggling how anyone could think changing old, meaningful names full of history and character to something as bland as 'Midtown' could possibly be a good idea. All these attempts seem to be trying to copy America too, I remember seeing an attempt at rebranding London Bridge/Borough as South Central, I mean geez. There's been recent attempts at rebranding my area of Hackney, Haggerston, into SoDa (presumably South of Dalston) argh!

    What I find particularly cretinous about the NoHo thing is that the New York SoHo/NoHo they're trying to ape is based on them being South/North of Houston St, calling Fitzrovia NoHo just doesn't make any sense at all, by that logic it should be called NoOx.


    To try and re-brand Holborn, Bloomsbury and St Giles as MIDTOWN will inevitably FAIL. THINK AGAIN!

    We agree that the New Oxford Street corridor is an environmental disaster and that most of the area along the Holborn to St Giles corridor needs environmental investment and improvement.

    However, you will FAIL to bury its rich history and character and to even contemplate doing so by calling it MIDTOWN beggars belief!


  10. I totally agree with you BloomsburyAssociation, but reads as if you are blaming me for this REdiculous idea.
    Don't shout at me; shout at 'them'!!

  11. He's always shouting. And he can't spell ridiculous.

    :o) FN

  12. But let's face it – it really is worth ranting against.

    I have got a quote about all this in this week's Camden New journal:

    Fight the power!

  13. Wow, talk about first world problems - you must all lead incredible lives for something that is as mundane as the branding of an area to cause so much distress. Anyway, Bloomsbury, Holborn and St Giles have not been renamed - I think 'midtown' refers to a wider area encompassing these more specific areas. In the same way that 'West End' and 'The City' have more specific areas within them. It's really not a big deal.

  14. Dear Anon, it's interesting that you spend so much time and effort writing a comment for something you think isn't worth it... and you basically just identify the issue at hand. Well done!
    Perhaps if the re-branders had spent more time and money addressing real issues rather than on silly ideas like this I would have nothing to complain about in the first instance.


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Thanks, Jane