Thursday 6 September 2018

Time to rename these roads in the London Borough of Barnet

David Bedford OBE
Have you ever wondered why so few names of roads in the London Borough of Barnet are actually named after some of the amazing people and history of the Borough? As an example, Finchley was the seat of Lady Margaret Thatcher, yet there is no Lady Thatcher way in the area. I have long thought that this is a real snub and an insult. I am not a Thatcherite or even a Conservative, but can it possibly be correct that she is not commemorated. One of the arguments for not renaming streets is that it is rather inconvenient for existing residents. There is however a road that would be ideal. If you look at a map of Finchley, there is a civic amenity at the end of Porters Way, Finchley. I am proposing that after the junction, this road is renamed Lady Thatcher Way. I would also rename the civic amenity after her, as a tribute to her contribution to civic life in the Borough. There are no tenants that would be inconvenienced by the scheme and it would be nice to see a statue of Lady Thatcher at the entrance to the amenity site.

There are also a few roads that, with minor adjustments, could be suitably renamed to commemorate local heroes. One such hero is David Bedford OBE, who was an iconic runner in the 1970's and also a teacher at Orange Hill Senior High School. Bedford held the world record for the 10,000 metres between 1973 and 1977.  I would like to see Bedford Road, near Mill Hill County High (which is what Orange Hill School became in the 1980's) renamed David Bedford Road. That would be a suitable tribute.

Mill Hill Music Complex was for many years the music studio of choice for iconic and sadly departed Amy Winehouse. We are seriously considering renaming the road up to our carpark as Winehouse way in memory of Amy (as well as repainting studio 9 in her honour, her favourite room).

One final change I'd like to see is the renaming of Champions Way, the access to Allainz Park (home of Saracens). Many people are quite unaware that Shaftsbury Harriers and and Barnet Copthall swimming club are also located on the site. I would like to see the road renamed to celebrate one or other (or both) of these amazing clubs. Of course Saracens are a major source of local pride, but we shouldn't forget our long established clubs that have served the community for years.

There is a whole stack of new roads being built all over the Borough. In Mill Hill, many have truly uninspiring names such as "Courtgate Close" and "Oaklodge Way". Wouldn't it be better to insist that new roads commemorate our rich local history and the people who have made it?

No comments: