On a certain May night, the City of London witnesses a most curious sight — the annual Miglia Quadrato taking place once more.
The Miglia Quadrato is a cross between a car rally and a quiz — with small teams driving around the square mile in vehicles sometimes historic, seeking out clues based on the city’s history.
Founded in 1957/8 in the wake of Suez crisis, the rally was a reaction to fuel rationing and offered a diverting road event without consuming too much petrol. Since, then with just the occasional gap, it has taken place in the dead of night once per year.
The event starts at midnight when participants are given a map and a sheet of clues. Twenty easy, Twenty medium, and then twenty testers to trouble tired eyes. Five hours is all that is allowed to solve as many as possible.
There are no cryptic clues – each question may be answered from permanent features of the City. For example, Blue Plaques, architect stones, inscriptions on monuments, etc.
However, while some are easy to spot, others need more hunting, and the difficult ones, a lot of hunting. At night, clues that seem obvious during the day become even harder to spot, and more delightful when found.
A good knowledge of the City of London helps — but a keen eye for details is better. Although it is a road vehicle based event, the real skill is in map reading, and spotting clues in the streets.
Turning up in a vintage, or at least, somewhat eccentric vehicle is encouraged. The use of GPS is discouraged, and mobile phones are forbidden. Basically, no cheating!
As it takes place at night, the event takes place entirely on the streets, footpaths, and public spaces of the City of London, and avoids places where residents sleep.
Attendance to the Miglia Quadrato is limited in number. There is an entry charge of £21 per team, plus £7 if you want them to supply the map. Teams must be of at least 2 people, and no more than 6 people, although four is deemed the sensible limit.
The winners who find the most clues claim the glory.
The exact date of the rally will be revealed only to participants, simply to cut down on unexpected problems spoiling the event, which is heavily dependent on the goodwill of the City Police and City of London authorities.
Not to mention, sleeping residents.
If you can muster up the competitors, and a vehicle, and want to apply, send an email with your credentials to [email protected]