Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill.

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?

 

13 comments:

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

The local miller in Grantchester went by the wonderful name of Jimmy Nutter. He was a generous man who bought several cottages in the area and gifted them to the Cambridge Cottage Improvement Society who restored the buildings and made them fit for modern living. As a result my mother lived for 50 years in Nutters Close.

Heather said...

I remember singing Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill at school. As for road names, it seems that developers like to use historic names such as Bishop's Close, or Abbot's Way, in respect (?) for the history they have obliterated to build another housing estate.

Shammickite said...

Yes, me too, I remember singing "Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill" I'd crowns resign, to make her mine.... I live only a few km from the Southern Ontario Town of Richmond Hill here in Canada!

Karren said...

Here in the US, the developers always seem to cut down an old growth woods and name it after what they've destroyed, for example, "Maple Grove", when all the maples except for one token tree are gone. Deer Run, and Fox Chase are popular names too, Heron's Roost, it always seems ironic, but they seem to do it all over.

Granny Sue said...

I laughed when I saw a development in Virginia named River Creek. Seems they couldn't make up their mind which it was. In my state, a level field along a creek or river is called a bottom--which gives visitors a start when they see names like Round Bottom, Black Bottom, and Boomer Bottom.

Cro Magnon said...

On account of a famous ancestor, there are several places named after my family; mostly in Oz.

Debbie said...

This brought a school memory flooding back. We had a girl called I'Anson in class who was terribly, terribly eager and always "knew the answer". Because she was so quick off the mark she will be forever remembered as "automatic hand".

Ann T said...

Wikipedia has an interesting essay on Frances and her family.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I read these comments early on a pouring wet morning and they have certainly started my day off with a great laugh. Thank you all for that.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Don't suppose there will be anything named after me - too many letters in my surname for a start. Thanks for your interesting comments.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Here in New England USA, indigenous names are nice to see. Now that history is being called out for what it is, places are being renamed. Wildflowers would be nice, but probably aren't considered. I think names are the most difficult part of creative writing.

Brenda said...

Love your blog...I really love the darker font...easier to read-old eyes.

Northriding said...

There is a road near where I live called Bevanlee Road - named after Nye Bevan and his wife Jennie Lee - two for the price of one.

How interesting about the Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill. I remember singing it at school too