A small working group of the Town Council met recently to consider potential road names for the key site in Crewkerne. All the names had been put forward by members of the public and were key historical or memorable characters of note from the town.
Following the strict guidelines around naming roads, a short list of 17 names has been drawn up.
- Swan neck: First wife and consort of Harold Godwinson. A landowner in her own right, it is believed that she held the lands around Crewkerne. When Harold was killed in battle at Hastings in 1066 she searched the battlefield for his mutilated remains as the Normans would not turn the body over to her. Harold and Edith had about six children together – including two daughters. Gytha married Vladimir Monomakh, Great Prince of Kiev, and is the ancestress of the current queen, Elizabeth II, through her descent from Philippa of Hainault.
- Meecham: Brian ran Meecham and Son grocers in Crewkerne and inspired Ronnie Barker’s “Arkwright” from Open all hours. In October 1968 Ronald MEECHAM was the proprietor of the garage when the plane crashed and was horrifically burned and spent 8 months in hospital in Bristol. Ron was also Chairman of the Old Crewkerne Town Council and played bowls at Severalls Jubileee Bowls Club.
- Fortibus: The Lady of Crewkerne manor 1272-1282, in her own right. One of the most formidable and wealthy Ladies in the Country at the time, her records for Crewkerne manor still exist today and show a well organised and prosperous farm, thus her influence on all Crewkernian lives at that time would have been immense.
- Monceaux: Offered the Manor of Crewkerne by her “patron” Isabella de Fortibus. Another Lady running the Crewkerne Manor in her own right, never married. Records exist for some of her time when England was ravaged by sheep scurvy. Built a chantry chapel in St Bartholomew’s churchyard for the soul of her patron For 33 years she ran Crewkerne, died about 1315 and as is probably buried in the churchyard.
- Burbage: An unsung heroine post WWII. She served as a Town Councillor and one of her greatest achievements was saving Crewkerne Hospital – leading the campaign ’Action to Retain Crewkerne Hospital’. She also wrote the book “Ancient and Modern Pubs of Crewkerne”.
- Patch: A prominent architect, builder and developer in Crewkerne (circa 1794-1871). Many buildings bear his mark but the old Headmasters house in Abbey Street is one of his finest. His house was originally in Abbey Street, later part of the Bonsoir factory. He probably built Walter Galpin’s development in Market Square, some of the High Street, Church Street, his other house in Middle Path and many more including Lopen church. Whilst much of his history is illusive his legacy remains in many fine buildings.
- Sutton: Barbara was the first female ambulance driver for the Red Cross and the Sutton family ran a cafe and shop, opposite the Town Hall. In the early 1930’s, Walter Sutton, started the Red Cross men’s division in Crewkerne. Until this time there were only women helping the red cross in Crewkerne, he ended up holding the Commandant of the Crewkerne Red Cross. He also set-up the ambulance service in Crewkerne until the service became centralised in Yeovil in 1957 under nationalisation. He also drove ambulances during the second world war. He went to London with other members of the Crewkerne red cross to be on duty at the Queen’s coronation. He was awarded the British Empire Medal on the 1958 New years honours list for his services to the red cross and was also recognised by the Red Cross for Distinguished War Service.
- Reader: founder of the Gang Shows and also worked in the West End theatres with many famous people. He was born in Crewkerne and often returned to work with the scouts on the local Gang Shows.
- Thomas: The Thomas family farmed the majority of the land, which is now part of the key site, since 1923.
- Davis: Mary Davis was one of the founders of alms houses in Crewkerne.
- Loveday: A matron at Crewkerne Hospital and an honoured citizen.
- Cornelius: Jack had the toy shop where James Hardware currently is. He was active on the Town Council becoming Chairman, took a significant part in launching the twinning with Igny and was Chairman of the Council for the Twinning ceremonies. He took an active part in the Crewkerne Round Table and I believe was one of the founder members of the 41 Club. He was also a Governor of Ashland’s First School. Pat was a PE teacher at Maiden Beech becoming Senior Mistress by the time she retired.
- Galpin: (1799-1884) A very enterprising merchant whose establishment or shop was for many years 9-11 Market Square, next to now Oscars. He was prominent in the town, a churchwarden, part of the town council. His obituary describes him as a “highly respected gentleman”. He traded for probably over 50 years as a Chemist and Druggist, a Grocer and Tea Dealer, a Wine and Spirit Merchant, an agent for Clerical Medical and General Insurance, a Stamp Office. There would not have been a Crewkernian who would not have traded with him. He is buried in Townsend Cemetery.
- Pinney: Builders in Crewkerne. Norman was captain of the Crewkerne Boys Brigade.
- Hussey: The last meaningful Lord of the Crewkerne Ecclesiastical Manor, whose family had lived at The Abbey. His family had the rights to the old ecclesiastical lands and were meant to keep the chancel of the church in good order from its profits. His brother had refused to do so. Augustus when he succeeded to the position helped financially with the great Victorian refurbishment of St Bartholomew’s by the great architect J.D.Seddon. Augustus’ sister, Mary Louise, had the stone reredos of the chancel made at the extraordinary cost of £3000. She died in 1931, Augustus in 1933.
- Symes: One of Nelson’s naval commanders and lived on the corner of West St and Market St.
- Sparks: There are a couple of reasons for choosing Sparks – There was a Sparks who survived a Japanese prisoner of war camp and returned to Crewkerne and Sparks was the name of one of the houses within the Grammar School.
The list will be taken to the Full Council meeting of Crewkerne Town Council on Monday 26July for approval, prior to submission to SSDC and Taylor Wimpey, who will have the final say.
If you have any comments regarding any of the names on the list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .