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The Real Gotham is Turning to Batman Fans for Help

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The real Gotham is turning to Batman fans for help saving a community building.Photograph by Albert L. Ortega — Getty Images

The original Gotham isn’t filled with skyscrapers. It’s actually a small village in England, and the townspeople there are now reportedly trying to save a central community building on the selling block by turning to Batman fans for extra financial help.

So far, villagers have raised £100,000 ($152,085) and need to more than double that sum to afford the £210,000 ($319,378) asking price, according to the BBC. To make ends meet, they are sending out an appeal to global Batman fans for a fundraising boost. “It would be fantastic to hear from any American friends of Gotham who might also invest in this exciting venture,” John Anderson, chairman of the Gotham & District Community Venture committee, told the BBC.

The Royal British Legion club sits on Nottingham Road in Gotham and was closed in January amid financial troubles. Residents want to revamp it into a central gathering spot for the town with a community-run cafe and visitor hub where the village archives can be held. It would be called “Destination Gotham.”

Gotham, which is proud of its link back to the Batman name, actually became a nickname for New York City in the 1800s after American author Washington Irving borrowed it. Irving discovered the small English town from various old books that chronicled the village’s penchant for madness and silly antics. Gotham eventually became synonymous with New York City, and Batman co-creator Bill Finger said he adapted the name for the comic’s “teeming metropolis” after seeing a listing for Gotham Jewelers in a phone book.