Frustrated sceptics who claim city status was a gravy train were a little off target this week.
No bottles of champagne were popped at the launch of the summer campaign.
If there was a gravy train (and no such substance was in evidence) it lacked any body.
The spirit was solely in the unveiling. The drinks were confined to tea, coffee and squash.
This is an austerity city bid - by an austere team girding its loins.
But it took them several hours to come up with how much was the bid budget.
We were assured it was being done on a shoestring, that it was a very inexpensive bid, that there were no consultants being recruited ... but "no, we can't give you the precise budget at this moment".
By early afternoon the total spend was advised - £4,673.10.
Never mind what Reading, Milton Keynes or Luton might spend on their bids to be the Queen's favoured community to become her Diamond Jubilee City.
As for losing Rochester city status (not once, but twice) it was a case of "Don't blame us - a previous administration should take the blame".
Surrounded in mystery, it will become legend how Rochester lost its city status in 1998.
Senior councillors from the Shadow Authority discussed Rochester's status at great length in their private meetings.
It was agreed that it was a matter for the new authority and a recommendation from the old City authority.
One proposal that had favour at the time was the creation of a parish council to be called the City of Rochester Town Council. It would keep alive the tradition, nearly 800 years old.
But what followed has never come out.
The final meeting of Rochester City Council took place just before the new council took over responsibility. Erra (the God of Mayhem) seems to have been ruling in the background.
The minutes of that meeting were never published. No one now knows who said what about it (if indeed they bothered to consider it). And if they did, those who were present seem to have conveniently forgotten.
Gillingham councillors didn't care. Rochester was "that lot down the hill", and it was not their place to set up a parish council, or to incur any debts for the city.
And so the City status slipped, inexorably, into the cloying mud of the Medway.
Do we get City status this time?
It is a matter for the Gods of Whitehall, aka the Queen's advisers. But there is a steely determination from the administration (even if the other parties weren't represented at the launch yesterday).
And, though no one would call me cynical, it would be a cheap way for the government to encourage the private sector to take over investing in the Thames Gateway.
A successful bid would give the opportunity for a massive street party in 2012 to go alongside the bicentenaries of the Sappers' arrival and our great author Charles Dickens' birth (in Portsmouth), the Olympians using our numerous expensive training facilities - and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
The machinations in the Conservative ranks at Rochester and Strood seem more than coincidental.
Peter Hicks and Chris Buckwell, the king pins in the local party, say it is the ward memberships' wish. It may well be.
But there was a lot of recruiting going on ahead of selections. And numbers of the younger party members have been muttering about "the old guard must change", about "dictatorial" behaviour and about the way the central party has a "different" viewpoint to the local views voiced by some.
Latest big name to face the chop is Jane Chitty, the strategic planning, ex Rochester City mayor, Cabinet member. She has been deselected at Strood North in favour of Les Wicks - the children's portfolio holder who lost the support of Strood Rural members.
Janice Bamber, a long-term Hoo St Werburgh resident (and non-driver as was pointed out to me) seems to have found a place in Rainham Central. But her husband Ken - Whip, Chairman of Business Support and all-round party tough guy - is still looking for a new political home, I understand.
A formal unveiling of the candidates will take place in a month's time. By then this round of manouevering will be over in Rochester & Strood.