I’ve thought about this for a while and finally have decided to get around to actually writing this blog.
Number 1 in an occasional series will hopefully educate anyone interested in the really odd road names in the West Midlands.
Marvel at The Darkies, gasp at The Goss and wonder at Ross. Be frankly, dumbfounded at Audnam and laugh your socks off at the truly wonderful Mincing Lane which I can tell you leads you to Bell End!
I feel duty bound to shed some light on the origins of these names where I can, but as a matter of principle, my main idea behind this is just to get the names out there in the bigger world for all to see and puzzle over.
So to start as I mean to go on we commence at the very start of the alphabet with Aaron Manby Court.
Named after the builder of the first steamship to be built of iron and prefabricated at the nearby Horseley Iron Works and shipped to Rotherhithe in London and assembled there.
Next up Abelia in Tamworth. Other than it being a genus of Honeysuckle named after Clarke Abel, a surgeon who went to China with Lord Amherst in 1816 and tried to bring back some seeds which were lost when the ship foundered.
The next street is not only a short name but also a short street being only 30m long. A B Row has a debated history but there seems a consensus that it stands for the “Row” or border between Aston and either Birmingham or Bordesley. Take your pick but don’t come along here having a go at me because I don’t have a definitive answer and neither, it appears, does anyone else.
I’m going to skip over some names as they are only a bit odd and some are there only to celebrate a long forgotten, (otherwise) local hero or upstanding member of the community.
The next street of interest is Alfreds Well. Quite why this street is called that I haven’t a clue but I runs from Nibletts Hill down to the junction with Fockbury Road and Cockshutt Lane so make of that what you will.
Allard is a slightly odd one because it is part of an estate in Tamworth where the road names are all cars. The chap who named all the streets used mainly well known names, mostly from the local car industry, but with some exotic types like Lagonda and Lotus but the inclusion of Allard and Belsize shows a historical knowledge of car makers.
The Alley in Dudley doesn’t seem to be an actual alley but a road and isn’t too far from The Straits but neither shows up on any searches except for Estate Agents pages so no further information is available.
Back to Tamworth again for Ariane which street name goes along with Gerard, Mariner, Legrange, Cavendish, Kepler and Landsberg form part of Lichfield road industrial estates. I think it must be something in the psyche of Tamworthians, if that’s what they are called, that gives them the drive to come up with odd names.
I’ll finish this blog with Audnam because it’s just down the road from us. I can’t find why it’s called Audnam but there are several books about the place surrounding the street. Part of Amblecote between Wordsley and Stourbridge it is the name that started me on this trek. I asked myself who the hell called it Audnam and I was off looking at all the weird names in the West Midlands.