Friday, December 07, 2007

Tiny town

I'm just off out, but here's a thought to ponder while I'm off learning about what it's like to be on a local authority scrutiny committee.

Jim was perusing the HNBOC membership lists earlier and said (amongst other, similar, expostulations) 'Greenlaw? What's Greenlaw?' ... Town Class, I muttered, without looking up from my Christmas wrapping (although to be honest I had thought it was a butty until I checked). 'Town?' he said (hmph hmph). 'Where is it then?' Scotland, I think, I said. 'Didn't think they had Scottish ones' said he. Good point, I thought, we'll look it up in your 1922 Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World.

And there it was, on page 729, Greenlaw, the county town of Berwick, Scotland, 18 miles WSW of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Population (albeit in 1920) about 650.

So the thought I now leave you with is this: was there a boat in the GU fleet named after a smaller town than that?


Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah
Just for your edification there were several GU boats with names of non english towns some Scottish, Welsh and Irish towns were included.
Big Ricky butty Cardif, big Woolwich motor Aber, big Woolwich motor Belfast, and as for those Scotts - big Wollwich butty Ayr, and big Woolwich motors Greenlaw & Geenock and big Northwich motors Renfrew & Stirling.

Anonymous said...

The Town Class names were drawn from huge cities (Birmingham) to the smallest of hamlets. The link(ignoring the oddities for now) was that they all had a railway station. Some of the names were only part of the station name, such as Ealing, the actual station names being Ealing Broadway and West Ealing.

Several names are misspelt, others are not obvious as to which town they are supposed to be (Bilster, Glossor). It is generally though that the names were selected from a railway gazetteer.

What isn't understood is why so many of the names start with A and B, whereas I J M Q V X & Z don't get a look in.