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Elsie gets Wiltshire Council's go-ahead to give her name to a new road

One marlborough.news reader put it like this: "If Elsie Knocker can get a Royal Mail stamp, she better get a road named after her."  And it is now looking more likely she will get her road.

 


Elsie Knocker Grove is on a list of names now approved by the developers, Redrow Homes, and by Wiltshire Council for roads being laid for the housing development on the Salisbury Road. 

The Royal Mail will now be consulted on the names - in case they confuse postwomen and postmen.  But with Elsie featured on one of their own postage stamps, they could hardly turn her down now.

Previously, as marlborough.news reported,  Wiltshire Council had ruled that only surnames could be used for road names.  But it now seems, Councillor Fogg reported to town councillors (February 19), that there had been some sort of 'cock-up', and first and surnames could adorn name boards for the new roads.  Perhaps it was simply one of those U-turns.

So the plan - inspired by the centenary of the First World War - to commemorate residents of Marlborough who returned home after serving their country in the First World War, can proceed.  There six names on the list of names going to the Royal Mail for approval:

Elsie Knocker Grove, Eric Leader Close, Frederick Dunford Close, Charles Wood Close, William Merriman Road and Robert Usher Drive.

During the First World War, Marlborough nurse Elsie Knocker worked with fellow motorcycle enthusiast Mairi Chisholm for the Belgian Red Cross ferrying the wounded out of the front line.  They were among just seventeen women awarded the Military Medal during the 'Great War'.

Councillor Fogg is still unhappy that Walter Lawrence could not be commemorated - Wiltshire Council ruling that any new road with Lawrence in it would be confused with the existing Lawrence Acre.

Walter Lawrence was born in the Roebuck Inn, served in the Middle East and after 1918 in Russia.  He was world racquets champion in 1929, secretary to Sir Gordon Richards - and is the 'Lawrence' of the College sports shop, Crosby and Lawrence.

Where will these roads be?  On the Marleberg Grange housing estate.  So we shall have to stop referring to the new homes as 'the Salisbury Road development' or 'the development by the Tesco roundabout'.  It's just Marleberg Grange.

Marleberg is one of the old forms of Marlborough - we could have had one of the other old names: Marlbridge, Mearlesberg or even Mearleasberg.

In the National Archives - Google tells us - there is a wonderful document from about 1285 in which Nicholas of Marleberg petitions the King for redress after he lost lands owned by his father following some devious legal trickery (by among others Richard de Chisleden).  Plus ça change...




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