hidden europe 41

Fictional twins

by hidden europe


Do they have meerkats in Russia? Or in Market Harborough? And where exactly is Meerkovo? We go in search of Russia's most famous non-existent village.

Perhaps we are mistaken, but we have a hazy memory of driving through Leicestershire in England a year or two ago and seeing a sign suggesting that Market Harborough had — as its twin town — the fictional Russian community of Meerkovo. For readers not attuned to the fine sense of humour and irony that sometimes underpins television advertising in Britain, we must explain that Meerkovo has featured in a series of ads for a price-comparison website. Meerkovo is by all accounts populated mainly by meerkats — appealing little mammals, busy creatures who live in clans and show great community spirit.

Related article

An Essex backwater: Discovering Harwich

The old town of Harwich, a port in the county of Essex on England's North Sea coast, is tucked away on the end of a peninsula. Maritime connections have shaped the development of Harwich. It's a place for sea breezes, rock oysters and watching the ferries come and go.