Wednesday 7 January 2009
Lewes District Council is making a big fuss about street names. They want to sanitise them by using a pre-approval process for new names to rule out anything that might have a double entendre (even if unintended) or that might be "aesthetically displeasing".
What a load of nonsense. Lewes DC is LibDem controlled and this is a poor advert for them. It smacks of pettiness and small-mindedness.
There are many names which have heritage value that could certainly be considered rude now. I used to havea girlfriend who lived at Crouchers. Just down the road was a country hotel that used the name Crouchers Bottom, which had been the name of the property for hundreds of years. In Sussex, there are plenty of Bottoms (valleys and dips). There is also a Gay Street (homophobic?), Black Down (racist?), the river Uck (yes, the signs get defaced all the time – boring, kids, not funny any more). Lewes itself sits on the River Ouse – it doesn’t really ooze anything and it isn’t a particularly attractive word (it’s just an old word for river), but nobody would want to change it.
It’s a dangerous policy. There is an area of Southsea which features the unbelievably tedious names of Harold Road and Trevor Road – so called because, before it was developed, the land was owned by a family with these names. The area adjoins Fawcett Road which has a pub at one end – you guessed: The Fawcett Inn. More entendres than you could shake a stick at. But I suspect that these aesthetically displeasing names were just fine when they were new – language and attitudes change with time.
And do we really want to have a bunch of wholly anodyne names for roads? Downs View is incredibly over-used in this area. Around Chichester, anything to do with the local heritage (Roman history, the Cathedral, motor racing at Goodwood and local flying aces/aircraft of World War Two) gets used time and time again. Or you end up with a situation like that at Kings Hill (what used to be West Malling airfield) where all the roads are named for varieties of apples - braeburn, russet, worcester and bramley – or old aircraft – typhoon, tempest, anson and stirling. They soon merge one into the next in the warren of identikit houses.
Perhaps there should be pressure on developers to be original. Maybe they should be made not to repeat a road name that has already been used in the same district. That would certainly get rid of the Downs View/Street/Road/Close problem. But it might lead to things like the road near my parents’ house called Syke Cluan Close (apparently, it is named for a place in Scotland, although Google draws a blank) – not relevant to the local area, hard to spell for the locals, but certainly original.
Any funny names up your way?
Friday 20 June 2008
I’m waaay behind. Way behind with work. Way behind with stuff that needs doing around the house. Way behind in keeping in contact with people (sorry). Way behind in sleep. Way behind in blogging.
Part of the reason is that this weekend sees the 14th Garden Event at West Dean. Last year we were royally rained upon – 32mm in the first few hours. I’ve confidently been telling people that we couldn’t possibly have two years in a row like that, but the forecast suggests that I might be wrong. Oh well, at least Sunday looks a bit better, and West Dean is on a shallow soil over gravel, so drains remarkbly quickly.
Anyway, do come along. It will be good – plants, tools, equipment – in fact, pretty much everything garden related, plus a good selection of food and drink. Bring an umbrella to keep you dry and some cash to spend. And your mere presence will cheer me up.
UPDATE: the forecast now says that we should miss the worst of the rain tomorrow during the day (it will be damp, rather than wet, when we are setting-up in the morning). The heaviest rain will pass through overnight tomorrow, so I’m hoping we might just get away with it.
Monday 15 October 2007
Brought to justice
Chichester rapist found guilty and sentenced. I think I blogged about these cases when I lived in Chichester. One attack took place on a lane where I walked frequently, another only yards from one of my clients.
Friday 25 May 2007
Pallant House wins Gulbenkian Award. I’ve long admired Pallant House, but the extension is truly splendid and makes it one of the finest galleries I know anywhere. Well worth visiting if you’re in the area.
Thursday 22 June 2006
You need to go to the Garden and Art Event at West Dean this weekend. You do, really.
Wednesday 23 November 2005
I forgot to say…
…that we had a splendid lunch in Chichester on Saturday in the marvellous company of Lord Percy and Lady Bren with the added bonus of sightings of Hamish and Ruth. Consumption of the world’s largest home-made burgers (with chilli – mmmm) meant no tea for me. Hurrah! I also bumped into Anne, Nick and their gorgeous little daughter.
Monday 8 August 2005
From the Not-as-good-as-it-could-be department: Google Maps satellite images of Chichester, which consist largely of cloud cover.
Thursday 9 June 2005
Is it me, or are breasts getting larger? Or are this year’s fashions more revealing? Or is it a combination of the two?
I was walking around Chichester city centre yesterday, the first really good warm and sunny day for a while, and my eyes were watering (and not because of the sun).
Sunday 24 April 2005
Sir John Mills, RIP
Sir John Mills died yesterday at the age of 97. I always think of him saying something like "you simply have to, old bean, you simply have to!" or some other such earnestness whilst sitting in the tail gunner’s seat of a World War 2 bomber. His characters always seemed to be earnest. Perhaps that was my own misconception.
I remember one evening, many years ago, going into the Bell pub in Chichester. The Bell is directly opposite the Festival Theatre. As we walked in, my friend Louise was in a bit of rush, not really looking where she was going, and careered straight into John Mills as he was coming out. Neither party was injured.
Wednesday 30 March 2005
Just like old times
Beer with Lord Percy, Lady Bren, Aris, Julie, Paul F and Mrs Graybo. Shame they didn’t bother to use dust sheets when they painted W2.
Chichester looks much like it was when I left – the new owner of my old flat hasn’t done anything to the exterior (like changing the windows) and doesn’t seem to have changed the curtains either. It was good to go back, though if time and finances permitted, it wouldn’t be quite so infrequent.
Wednesday 19 January 2005
…Lord Percy, Aris, Kearn, Paul F and Nikki, with sightings of Ted and Dave. Thanks to Lord Percy and Lady Bren for fine hostability at Percy Towers. All preceded by a haircut with Karen, catching up on all of Paul R’s news.
Chichester seems alive and well and pretty much its normal self.
Wednesday 10 November 2004
Rolls Royce hopes convertible will boost fortunes. Um, unlikely in my view. When I was living in Chichester, Rolls Royce Phantoms were a regular sight on the roads, as the factory is just a couple of miles out of the city centre. They are one of the most ugly and shed-like cars you could imagine – their horrid, square, brick-like lines looked like they owed more to a B&Q architect than to the heritage of the Rolls name. A convertible could look like a sawn-off shed. And who exactly are they trying to appeal to? I can’t see this being a housewife’s favourite any time soon.
Friday 8 October 2004
Speaking of reckless or, to be more precise, homeless…
I finished packing and dumping the stuff at the parents’ house very late last night. It would have been later still without the huge help of Tim.
A few minutes ago, I went round to check my mail for the last time and then went to the estate agent and handed over the keys.
So, that’s it. I’m homeless.
Thankfully, a very nice lady in Tunbridge Wells has agreed to put me up.
Monday 4 October 2004
This picture does not show me tied to some railings with clingfilm whilst being soaked with a watering can and garden hose. Oh no.
Thanks to everyone that came along for my stag night on Saturday. Particular thanks to Kristian at W2, and to Tim for putting the whole thing together. A very good time was had by all (I think – I can’t remember!).
Saturday 4 September 2004
To the people who jive (or whatever it is called) by the Market Cross on a Saturday – it’s not smart, or particularly clever, and you look like complete idiots. At least the folks who dress up in music hall costumes and sing in North Street are doing something useful in raising money for the local hospice. What exactly are you doing?
(The first post in the "Chichester" category for a while. Hels, quite reasonably, doesn’t want me to reveal exactly where our new home will be – so I expect to be creating a new category called "home village" or "East Sussex" or something.)
Tuesday 17 August 2004
…Lord Percy. W2 is a bit pants, in a dead kinda way.
Thursday 10 June 2004
This could be the last time
I’ve just been down to Committee Room Number 2 at County Hall to cast my vote – almost certainly the last time I shall do it there. A shame really, as it is rather a beautiful walk to and from there, along Tower Street, with a lovely view of the Cathedral. And speaking of the Cathedral, I passed the bishop on his way to vote as I left.
If that is as interesting as dishwater, then try the latest Weebl.
Thursday 6 May 2004
Initial reaction: Woo! Yay! Blondie, Paul Young and Hot Chocolate to play the Chichester Real Ale and Jazz Festival!
Considered reaction: Bumhats! I’m in the Netherlands that week. It also clashes with Charlie’s wedding, which is a vastly more important event.
Tuesday 16 December 2003
It’s a long time since I said it, but…
Beer with Greg, Paul F, Kearn and Hamish, with sightings of Sarah, Paul H, Dave, Gary, Nikki, Ted and Kristian.
Since we are engaged, I guess it is ok for me to say that I literally ache for Hels. We’ll not be together until Friday, which seems a long way from now.
(Addendum: must remember not to post here when under the influence of alcohol, as I tend to get excessively mushy.)