Tue, 09 Feb 2021
A LOCAL historian has urged a re-think over plans to name new roads at a 100-home housing estate after army tanks.
Dr Hugh Pihlens said the plans for the Lancaster Park project were “distressing” and has compiled a list of potentially more suitable alternatives.
Dr Pihlens has written to developer Bewley Homes and to West Berkshire Council, in a purely personal capacity, stating: “I have lived in Hungerford since 1973, was a GP here for 33 years, founded the Hungerford Historical Association in 1979 and have created the extensive Hungerford Virtual Museum website.
“I have a great interest in the history of the town.”
He said the name Lancaster Park had seemed “an entirely appropriate name bearing in mind the very close relationship of Hungerford with the Duchy of Lancaster since the 13th century”.
He added that he was therefore surprised to read a Newbury Weekly News story which revealed that the development had actually been named in tribute to the crew of a Lancaster bomber that crashed at RAF Welford in 1944.
Dr Pihlens wrote: “Welford is, of course, eight miles from Hungerford and nowhere near the parish boundary.
“Furthermore, we now understand that there is a serious proposal that the five roads in Lancaster Park could be named after British military tanks.
“Why, one asks?
“What is the connection between an RAF Lancaster bomber crashing eight miles away in 1944 and five army tank names?”
He suggested instead that “local field and locality names are adopted, as has been the tradition in Hungerford for decades”.
Dr Pihlens added: “I have carefully studied the Enclosure Award Map of Hungerford (1819) and other primary sources to find appropriate names for the area being developed.”
Consequently, he suggested more suitable road names and prefixes might be Shepherds, Beacon Farm, Rivar View, Ham View, Inkpen View, Pidden Field, Sanham Down, Reeves Field and Short Cut.
He concluded: “I do feel it is important to find appropriate names for these roads, as they will be a link from the 21st century to our heritage for decades to come.”
Bewley Homes spokesman Chris Wotton welcomed the suggestions, but said it was West Berkshire Council that had suggested the tank names and who “ultimately get to choose”.
However, he warned: “They’ve already been adopted, so it may be too late.”