Directly opposite my sitting room window is a road - a cul de sac with not all that many houses on it. It is called I'Anson Close. Whenever I look at that sign I wonder just how many who pass it every day know anything about the significance of it. In Leyburn there is a Paint shop and over the door is a date in the late eighteenth century and the initials I'A - the I'Ansons at some point lived here. There is no doubt that they were a local family of some note and one relative was a Baronet. So what is their claim to fame? Well all I can tell you is that the song: 'Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill' was written for Frances I'Anson - she was that sweet lass. Born towards the end of the eighteenth century I know nothing about her other than that.But I do think it is rather nice that she is remembered in a pleasant cul-de-sac in our town.
In the days when I used to drive regularly into Northallerton, our county town, about twenty five miles away - as I entered the outskirts I used to pass a housing estate and the road of entry was called Aneurin Bevan close. It used to make me smile because Aneurin Bevan was a prominent Labour politician not long after the Second World War. I don't know what connection, if any, he had with the housing estate, but I know that some years ago it was re-christened. I cant remember what it is called now but some daft name like Meadow Lea - it always seems to me that when authorities can't decided what to call roads on new building plots they seem to resort to wild flower meadows in the countryside.
Tha naming of anything has its problems doesn't it? It applies to babies as much as anything I suppose. Some names seem so unsuitable at the time of christening and yet, somehow, people grow into their names don't they?