Friday, May 25, 2007

So what's in a name?

There has been a lot of noise in Bury St Edmunds recently about the naming of the shopping centre development on the old Cattle Market. With Centros Miller having decided to name it "arc", local residents have been up in arms about lack of consultation over the choice of the name (see Ruby's blog-post). This shows how important names are to residents in the locality. Apparently, Centros Miller chose "arc" because it will attract businesses to the

...bring this down to street level and the effect of street naming.

If you have walked around the new development in Moreton Hall, you can't help notice the wide range of street names. We have some lovely names e.g. Bluebell Avenue. (See the Moreton Hall Diaries post). But then again, there are some not so nice road names, typified by Primack Rd (which could be mistaken as Primark Rd) in the latest Abbotsford Park development. Let's also not forget Airfield Rd, which sounds more aviation-focused business park rather than residential street.

I know it's a bit far from home, but the best online article about streetnames that I've been able to find on the 'net is from Wigan Borough Council. "What's in a street name" provides an excellent overview of street naming.

What is interesting is to see how 20th Century practice of creating "pleasant-sounding" names affects property saleability. So does that mean a property in Airfield Road or Primack Road becomes less saleable than an equivalent property in Bluebell Avenue or Blackbird Close?

Whether or not that is true, councillors and developers please, please, please could could you ensure all new road names are given names that you would like to include in your address. Perhaps we could include a community consultation as part of the process.

It is recognised that some road names are allocated after surnames of local people who deserve recognition. This post does not intend to offend anyone associated with the names that have been allocated to street names, but to highlight the effect of street names on local residents.

So as a final note: if nothing can be done about the chosen street-name, at least allocating the use of
Avenue etc instead of Rd would make the street sound more pleasant and be more fitting to Moreton Hall.

aaaahhhh.....Airfield Avenue and Primack Avenue...sounds better already

(By the way Ruby - thanks for the use of the Primack photo, that you took on the tour of Moreton Hall today, much appreciated).


buryblue said...

I was up in Moreton Hall today for an early run before the rain came and will eventually post some pics.

I must admit I know little about the origin of the Moreton Hall name ? Is it based after the school ?

Agree with you on Primack not sure what that means?

I can understand Airfield Way which although not pretty is obviously based on the close location to the old Airfield which played in an important part in the 2nd World War.

21st Century Mummy said...

I am not sure where the name comes on. It is likely that is is based on the school. I know someone who is researching the area at the moment, so should hopefully find out soon.

As for Airfield Way, that sounds a much better name already that the current Airfield Rd. You're right, it's the relevance to the Airfield that matters, but the type of road name allocated, e.g. Way, could make it sound more pleasant.

Camille said...

I have a feeling Primack might be something to do with the airfield that used to stand where the road is now - when considering whether to buy a new house near there the developer told me all the names had links to the American airbase there in WW2 (ie Frenesi Crescent - apparently Frenesi was a plane)

21st Century Mummy said...

Camille - thanks for that info, it makes sense now and is a very appropriate name. However I think it would sound better as Primack Avenue. It's like having a new dress but not accessorising it properly. Frenesi Crescent sounds quite continental. I never thought I'd get this anal about road names. After-all there are more important things in life to worry about and other things to enjoy ;-)