Why I #LovePlymouth
Have I mentioned that I love Plymouth? Okay, yes, it’s something I’m always going on about, but you know what? I’m not alone. Loads of other people love Plymouth too. About a week before writing this article I began something on Twitter that has started turning into a movement.
What is #LovePlymouth?
First, a word about Twitter. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Twitter is transforming the way we communicate. It is one of the fastest ways to spread ideas and show support for social movements. One of the most effective ways to share ideas on Twitter is by using a hashtag. This way, anyone wishing to join in can just add the hashtag to their own messages. Simple, eh? On January 28th 2011, I started a new hashtag: #LovePlymouth. The idea was simple: Just say why you love Plymouth and add the tag. Within minutes, it had been taken up enthusiastically. Soon, it had spread to people outside the area.
This confirmed something I already knew: most Plymothians love Plymouth as much as we do here at InPlymouth.com.
Plymouth is an Amazing Place
I’m not afraid to say I love Plymouth. I really love living here. I’ve lived in many cities during my life and some were really nice. But Plymouth’s better. By miles. I love the coastline, I love Plymouth Hoe, I love the swathes of green that still exist in our city. I love the history and heritage and, yes, I love the people of Plymouth too.
Those of us who live and work in Plymouth are lucky people. If you need reminding why, just go onto Plymouth Hoe and look around you. Not convinced yet? Try Dartmoor, or Royal William Yard, or a dozen more places in and around our city. While you’re there, remember that you could be living in Slough, Swindon or Stoke-on-Trent. Sure there are things that Plymouth could do better, but there are many things that are absolutely right about Plymouth.
Time to Big Ourselves Up
If we want Plymouth to be taken seriously by the rest of the world, we need to take ourselves more seriously. And that means taking a good hard look at our own attitudes. If we love where we live we need to talk like we do. How many times have you caught your friends or colleagues talking the city down? Have you caught yourself doing it? Seriously, who’s going to give Plymouth any consideration if we can’t talk positively about our own city?
We Need to Raise Our Aspirations
That doesn’t mean we have to insist that everything is perfect here and there’s no room for improvement. We have to be clear about what needs to get better and not be afraid to point it out in a constructive way. It’s about constant improvement. It’s time to raise the bar. The future of our economy depends on us all working together. Your income, my income and the wages of all our friends rely on us all selling the great and positive benefits of Plymouth. We have to sell them to tourists, to businesses and to residents alike.
Why Do You #LovePlymouth?
This is the essential question. What are the best bits of Plymouth? Tell us in the comments section, but don’t just fall for the obvious. We all know the Hoe is lovely, but where are the lovely little hidden places that remind you why it’s so nice to live and work here.
The Next Step
Let’s take it beyond Twitter now. It’s time to move beyond the virtual. Tell each other. Tell your aunt and uncle. Tell your friends. Tell people you don’t know. Share all the reasons why you #LovePlymouth and remember: the whole world is listening.