Sunday, 1 November 2009

A New Publication

My next book, South Staffordshire Street Names, hit the shelves recently. A work which I enjoyed producing as much as any for it gives an insight into parts of history which may otherwise be overlooked. For example, were it not for this book perhaps the only man in the long history of Tamworth who was legally able to carry explosives during peacetime will have been forgotten - now there's a man who merits a road named after him! Or the midwife who cycled into a village as holiday cover for just two short weeks, staying for over forty years and retired having earned the MBE for her services, that's as good a reason as any I know for a street name.
If you find see a copy feel free to comment (or if you want one shout!). To whet your appetite I have posted the cover image and there follows the so-called 'blurb' from the back cover:

Around the towns of Cannock Chase, Tamworth and Lichfield and the villages around South Staffordshire are over a thousand roads, streets, lanes, avenues, drives, crofts, boulevards, ways, courts and walks. But where do these names come from? How 'new' is New Street? What is the origin of Quonian's Lane? Who was Sister Dora? Which lane remembers the trainer of a Grand National winner? Where in landlocked Staffordshire is there a theme of North Sea oil and gas fields?
Within this book every street from the ancient trunk road of Watling Street to the most recent cul-de-sac are examined. Names with histories dating from before the Roman occupation, those marking the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons, the conquest by the Normans and every royal house since, right up to the modern era and the countless themes for new estates - all the explanations are to be found here.
National figures, local personalities, trades, landowners, pastimes, the landscape, public houses, religion and folklore have all contributed to the names of the routes we travel every day. A must for every historian, an invaluable guide to every tourist and a lasting reminder of the county for any who live and work here, or who have their roots within South Staffordshire. Not just a dictionary but a guide with histories, anecdotal material, pointers to people and events of the past, and an interesting read sure to get us all taking more notice of the name on the sign at the end of every street.

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