On Nottinghamshire Naming

Nottinghamshire is the kind of a place where a lingerie store and a chip-shop-come-takeaway can both be called ‘Maid Marian’s’.

Alas. ‘Maid Marian’s Secrets’, or whatever the Edwinstowe lingerie shop was called, has closed now; but at least the Mansfield takeaway is one of the better and more reliable ones.

So yeah, everything has ‘Sherwood’ or the name of a Robin Hood character in it somewhere. It’s also likely the only reason the city of Nottingham retains the archaic and now ceremonial post of Sheriff.

Everywhere does this shit though. Whitby won’t shut up about Captain Cook and Dracula. It even has an entire goth-themed & decorated B&B, which assumedly gets enough visitors to keep running. In Coventry, everything is Lady Godiva.

You can’t really blame them. The tourist pull is self-explanatory, but even in places like the parts of Nottinghamshire where the likelihood of tourists is very-low-to-none calling your business ‘Sherwood this’ or ‘Little John’s that’ helps give it a sense of local identity and is much more interesting than just putting your own boring-ass name on it.

If anyone from Coventry is reading, by the way, firstly: you have my condolences. Secondly, Lady Godiva’s would be a terrible name for a lingerie store. The whole point is that she didn’t wear anything, and you don’t have to pay for no clothes.

It’s always historical figures too. Again, makes sense. You don’t want to end up with the ‘Sir Jimmy Saville Children’s Centre’ or owt. I mean building and street names can be changed, but it’s embarrassing for the owners and the council. Besides we don’t really know if our current famous residents are worth it yet. In Mansfield for example renamed a swimming pool & gym complex after double Olympic gold winner Rebecca Adlington, which is fair enough, but I don’t think anyone’s clamouring for a greasy spoon called Richard’s Bacon’s.

Or a lingerie store for that matter.

But I think maybe there’s merit to digging up lesser known old names to use if they’re awesome.

For example, we discovered that in the ‘30s my school was attended by one Burly Higgins who went on to become a fighter pilot in World War II.

Now with a name that badass and the whole fighter pilot thing going on, I reckon you could clean up with a shop called summat like “Burly Higgins’ Manliness Emporium” selling the beer/bacon/bears/beards/bourbon paraphernalia that half the internet seems to think constitutes modern masculinity. Not that I’m criticizing. I enjoy bacon and whiskey, and it’s one of my biggest on-going disappointments that my genes mean most of my thickest and darkest facial hair is on my neck. Thanks dad.

I guess what I’m saying is the world would be a better place if more shops/brothels/solicitors firms should sound like they’re named after periphery Indiana Jones characters from The Mummy.

Image: Planetware

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