Southampton celebrates 60 years of city status


We're proud to join celebrations marking 60 years since Southampton achieved city status, including asking you to take part in a round of applause during the 60th minute of Saturday's game against Millwall.

Having first sought city status in the mid-1930s, Southampton was eventually granted a royal charter, which designated it as the ‘City and County of the City of Southampton’, on 24th February 1964. Since then, of course, there have been many newsworthy moments for both the city and the club, including our first promotion to the top-flight of English football in 1966, an FA Cup win in 1976, as well as various notable promotions, Wembley Cup finals and European adventures.

The main reasons cited for seeking city status included "the growth in size and population of the town, its increasing importance in the shipping world and within the country’s economy, its long history of public administration, the efficiency of its municipal services, and its record of voluntary service and public service." Other factors included "the practice of charity, the preservation of historical records and customs, and the fostering of a true sense of citizenship."

60 years on, Southampton City Council is celebrating this milestone by sharing some of the fantastic achievements from various sectors across the city. For example, in their Portswood, Woolston and Bitterne libraries, families can enjoy a hot drink, some cake and Southampton themed activities to celebrate 60 years of city status, organised by local friends of library groups. People are also being encouraged to bring in photographs from the last 60 years to build a historical display at central library.

Archive teams from within the council have pulled together a webpage of unseen documents and photographs from the last 60 years, which can be found here ➡️: Southampton City Council

The Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Valerie Laurent said: “It’s hard to believe that our fantastic city only has 60 years of city status behind it when you consider all that's been achieved. Milestones such as these bring the people of Southampton together. I hope everyone can take some time this coming weekend to reflect on something personal to them."