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Wed, Mar. 24th, 2010, 12:26 pm
The London Borough Motto Awards

Welcome to the London Borough Motto Awards! There's a lot to get through, so let's get started.

The award for smuggest motto goes, perhaps unsurprisingly, to Kensington and Chelsea, with What a good thing it is to live together in unity.

The award for daftest motto that is, okay, slightly endearing in its enthusiastic brashness goes—again perhaps unsurprisingly!—to Shoreditch, with More Light, More Power. Well done Shoreditch, even though you're not actually a borough! Not quite sure what you mean there, but I'm sure it makes sense to someone!

The award for Borough whose motto most dramatically increased in ambition when that borough became a London borough rather than a county borough goes to Croydon, for its switch from May We Grow In Health to Let Us Strive After Perfection. Nice work, Croydon.

The award for motto that seriously makes no sense, what? goes to Barnet, with Willingness Rids Way (which is from a speech in Henry VI Part 3, so presumably Barnet is trying to woo kerrypolka and the_alchemist, but I'm pretty sure there are some lines they could have chosen which would, say, actually have made any sense at all).

The award for Borough whose residents are most likely to be cannibals in an episode of the Twilight Zone goes to Bromley, with Serving the People.

The award for Most cheery motto with an edge of desperation goes to Waltham Forest, with Fellowship is Life. Don't worry, Waltham Forest, it's all going to be okay.

The award for Most embarrassing wore-the-same-dress-to-the-party motto clash had a field of exceptionally strong candidates, for example...
Islington: We Serve. Wandsworth: We Serve.
Harrow: The good of the people is the highest law. Lewisham: The welfare of the people is the highest law.
...so in the end the judges decided to give the award to the mottos that sounded most like a series of dance steps. Congratulations Brent, Hillingon and Hounslow!
Brent: Forward Together. Hillingon: Forward. Hounslow: Let us go forward together.

Now we get to the two big awards of the afternoon. I'm delighted to announce that the winner of the prize for motto that sounds most like it belongs to a totalitarian government in a piece of 1980s dystopian fiction goes to Redbridge, with In Unity Progress!

Of course "progress" tends to sound dystopic by nature, and that makes it all the more impressive that the winner for most charming motto is Newham, with Progress With The People. Well done Newham! It was a close-fought battle, with Tower Hamlets' cheerful From Great Things To Greater coming in a close second.

The full list of mottos:
BARKING AND DAGENHAM: By the grace of god, let us be judged by our deeds (Dei Gratia Probemur Rebus)
BARNET: Willingness Rids Way
BEXLEY: Boldly and Rightly
BRENT: Forward Together
BROMLEY: Serving the People
CAMDEN: Not for self, but for all (Non Sibi Sed Toti)
CROYDON: Let us strive after perfection (Ad Summa Nitamur)
EALING: Progress with Unity
ENFIELD: By Industry Ever Stronger
GREENWICH: We Govern By Serving
HACKNEY: Being fair is what makes us strong (Justitia turris nostra)
HARINGEY: Progress By Humanity
HARROW: The good of the people is the highest law (Salus Populi Suprema Lex)
HOUNSLOW: Let us go forward together (Juncti Progrediamur)
KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA: What a good thing it is to dwell together in unity (Quam Bonum In Unum Habitare)
KINGSTON-UPON-THAMES: No apparent motto
LAMBETH: Let us be judged by our acts (Spectemur Agendo)
LEWISHAM: The Welfare of the People is the Highest Law
MERTON: Stand Fast In Honour And Strength
NEWHAM: Progress With The People
REDBRIDGE: In Unity Progress
RICHMOND-UPON-THAMES: No apparent motto
SHOREDITCH [not a borough]: More Light, More Power
SOUTHWARK: United To Serve
SUTTON: Through difficulties serve God in faith (Per Ardua In Fide Servite Deo)
TOWER HAMLETS: From Great Things To Greater
WALTHAM FOREST: Fellowship Is Life
WESTMINSTER: O Lord, watch over the City (Custodi Civitatem Domine)

Wed, Mar. 24th, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC)

Is Westminster a London borough? I thought it was a city.

Wed, Mar. 24th, 2010 01:30 pm (UTC)

It is, surprisingly enough! As well as being a City... No I do not understand the technicalities of 'Borough'-hood though I still think the City of London has more right to be included than Shoreditch!

Still, a FINE LIST of inspiring slogans.

Wed, Mar. 24th, 2010 01:33 pm (UTC)

I agree that it has more right, and Shoreditch has no business being included at all, but its motto is so much better.
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Wed, Mar. 24th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)

Hmm, "this commemorates the provision of electric power to the Borough from the Vestry of St Leonard Shoreditch Electric Light Station, later known as the Shoreditch Borough Refuse Destructor and Generating Station. This building in Coronet Street (now The Circus Space), burned rubbish to provide steam for the electricity generator, and the waste heat was used to heat the public baths."
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Thu, Mar. 25th, 2010 09:30 am (UTC)

Oh dear! You make a compelling argument, and I regret my previous objections to Shoreditch, which is clearly still in recovery from its centuries of exploitation.

Wed, Mar. 24th, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)

"The City of Westminster is a London borough", says Wikipedia.