West Row road’s new name sign disputed by villagers

What's i n a name? The street name sign some people in West Row believe should say Weston Ditch
What's i n a name? The street name sign some people in West Row believe should say Weston Ditch
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A new street name sign was a surprise for some of the residents of a road in West Row.

Ask most West Row people what the road between Cook’s Drove and Hurdle Drove is called and they will tell you it is Weston Ditch.

Past and present postmen know it as that and two out of the village’s three parish councillors are positive it is.

But the new sign says Cow and Sheep Drove, which is what it is called on large scale Ordnance Survey maps.

But long time parish councillor Gerald Taylor-Balls said: “My father was born down there 120 years ago and it was always Weston Ditch to him.

“I was looking in my records and in 1985 the Post Office wrote to the parish and said it was going to change the collection times from the postbox ‘in Weston Ditch’ – so it’s what they called it.”

Fellow councillor Teresa Gooch-Taylor-Balls agreed: “I’ve lived in the village for 50 years and know it as Weston Ditch. My husband has lived here all his life and always said Weston Ditch. We’re getting people thinking the parish council changed the name, but it was the district and we didn’t even know.

“One person said he went out and it was Weston Ditch but came home in the eveni ng to find he lived in Cow and Sheep Drove.”

Newest parish councillor Roz Hamill said she was ‘on the fence’ over it. She added: “These names come from old maps – Weston Ditch is the area and Cow and Sheep Drove is the road. I think what the residents want should take precedence.”

A Forest Heath District Council spokeswoman said: “As the road name we have used on this sign, while factually correct, is not familiar to all residents, we will remove it and consult further with the parish council and residents, to reach a consensus.”