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🎧 Our open letters to Leicester

Our co-founders, Reece, Megan and Emma, each recorded open letters to Leicester. Hear why we feel at home in Leicester and what we hope to offer the city through the Great Central Gazette.

Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower © Matt Neale (CC BY-SA 3.0)


Megan Lupton

Hello listeners of Leicester and beyond, my name is Megan. I’m the communications coordinator and I manage our podcast, social media, newsletter and other key channels here at the Great Central Gazette.

I am joined today by my fellow colleagues, Rhys and Emma. Rhys is one of our editors and the community coordinator, and Emma is another editor and events coordinator.

Together, our aim is to bring the local community together.

We thought it would be a good idea to write “open letters” to Leicester: the city we have come to love, regardless of whether we were born here – like me! – or if we moved here later in life.

Each of us will take it in turn to read our own open letter to Leicester, its leaders and its people. Starting with Rhys…

Rhys Everquill

Leicester, you are a true gem. From your rich history to your vibrant culture, there is so much to admire about you.

Your architecture is stunning, with buildings such as Leicester Cathedral and the Guildhall standing as testament to your long and fascinating past. Your museums and galleries are also a sign to your commitment to preserving and showcasing your history and art.

People in Leicester are some of the warmest and most welcoming I have ever met. From the bustling market to the lively cafes and restaurants, your city is a model for diversity and inclusivity: one that others should follow.

But Leicester, there is one issue that I cannot overlook. Your politics is rotten. Scandal upon scandal is a glaring example of the corruption and incompetence that plagues your political system.

It’s disheartening to see that such a beautiful and culturally rich city like yours is being held back by the very people who are supposed to lead and serve it. As someone who has come to know and appreciate your many charms, I implore local leaders to take swift and decisive action to unite people under a common banner and restore good government.

Leicester, you have so much potential to be a shining example of progress and innovation. But until your politics catch up with your beauty and potential, that potential will remain unfulfilled. I urge you to take the necessary steps to right these wrongs and continue to inspire us all with your beauty and vibrancy.

Emma Guy

It seems strange to think that I didn’t always live here. “Luton is home, Leicester is where I live.” I’m not sure at what point that changed, the point where “Leicester is home"... "oh no I'm just visiting”.

I came not really knowing what I would find, let alone thinking that I would now call the city home. Southerners think I have an accent these days but I’m not quite accepted in the northern club either.

For me, coming here was a bit like that. I was in the middle somehow, in the middle of figuring things out, I suppose.

I suppose we all are on a daily basis, but it’s the little things I’ve grown to love leaves sticking to my boots in castle gardens, hot chocolate on New Walk, nights out, nights in, and nights in between. I think we can take it for granted, can't we?

But in the last few years, I’ve begun to cherish these things. A smile in the street, my local, a cup of tea - however you like it. Gossip in the post office at lunchtime – even though you have to queue for ages...

Familiar faces and chatting in the street for way too long, usually in the rain. My mum’s convinced it always rains here - she might have a point. It’s all of these little things that are the reason why when I hear someone say “Leicester.”

I say: “You’ll be fine, Leicester will take care of you.” My point is, I’m not sure how to define Leicester. It’s a place that’s changed but still feels like it’s changing, it’s a place I always come back to despite packing up boxes, long drives and new jobs. I always come back

I think maybe we are just not quite done with each other yet, as cliche as it sounds. So, I know that even when I’m not here, it’s still home, and I know there is always a space for me here.

Megan Lupton

Hello Leicester. It feels strange to say hello to a county I have lived in my entire life, but through the Gazette, I feel like I am meeting you for the first time. One of the reasons why I joined this newspaper is because I wanted to celebrate you: celebrate your diversity, your culture, your arts, your local businesses and your people.

What makes you so striking is your creativity. Your buildings are adorned with artwork and there have been countless actors, artists and more to come from Leicester. You are a city that nurtures innovative thinking and creativity… because, in Leicester, there is no limit to what can be created.

When it felt like no other university would take a chance on my PhD, a Leicester-based university saw value in my research. I hope to give similar opportunities to your people through the Gazette. The creatives who want to share their work and the people who want to tell their stories, using their voices. Not through a press release or the words of a media organisation: their words, their voice, their experiences.

It feels like as a city, you are often overlooked. We had the brilliant Premier League win and you know who found in a car park, but what about the seemingly smaller victories that have made just as much of a difference? There are so many charities, organisations and people striving for a happier and healthier way of life for the people of Leicester.

You have given me an upbringing of great food, diverse culture, arts and events, and lifelong friends, I only hope I can repay the favour. To find out more about our work, visit [our website], email or check out the description to find more ways to follow the Gazette.

Producer: Megan Lupton
Transcriber: Megan Lupton
Speakers: Megan Lupton, Rhys Everquill and Emma Guy

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