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Archive for November, 2011

What’s in a name?

Wandering around Bletchley have you ever wondered why roads or indeed places are named what they are? There are obvious names from benefactors and the ‘good and worthy’ of Bletchley’s past, who have either the good fortune or not having had somewhere or something named after them.

As a child I used to like walking down the leafy lane of Church Walk in Old Bletchley, thinking about it now I should imagine that perhaps it was the route people used to walk to St Mary’s Church on a Sunday, that was before most people travelled by car! Then of course there is Leon Avenue and I would imagine that was named after Lord and Lady Leon of Bletchley Park. There is Buckingham Road this was the road to Buckingham so hence the name. Many of our housing estates are named after Saints, Rivers, Castles, Trees, etc., so really they are pretty obvious too.

Just to get the mind working how about Cottingham Grove, Napier Street, George Street, Victoria Road, Saffron Street, Lennox Road, Oxford Street, Woodbine Terrace, Whalley Drive, Sandringham Place, Meager’s (pronounced ‘Majors’) Hill, Mellish Court; to name but a few? Any ideas where these names came from? If you can shed light on any of these or indeed know any more perhaps you would like to share them!

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One of the interesting curiosities of Bletchley was the the piecemeal development of the shops on Bletchley Road (now Queensway).  Many shops were converted homes – sometimes retaining a front garden!

And at the railway end of the road, there was a line of tin huts; small shops selling, amongst other things, bicycles (Hurst) and hats  (Elizabeth) – and the Railwaymen’s Institute was there too.  At the end of the row was the entrance to the coal merchant’s yard.  Can you remember  any others?  They were removed in the 1960s before the new Saxon Street roundabout was built near the flyover in the 1970s.

Tin shops on Bletchley Road in the 1960s

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