Friday, January 06, 2012

"There's nothing wrong with Reading, there's always the streets"

I have noted on these pages in the past how the local authorities around my current home town of Reading have a knack of giving inappropriate celebrity names to its streets. Some kind-hearted citizen may suggest a tribute to a famous resident, and somehow the planning committee throws their weight behind the first dead-end street that comes to hand.

Hence, Ayrton Senna Close, named after the legendary racing driver who lived in the town. All well and good, except for the speed bumps.

Then there's Winslet Place, named after Oscar-winning actress and accidental bosom-touchee Kate Winslet, which might have been a charming tribute to one of the town's movie greats, had they not knocked down a cinema to build it.

And now I discover The Bader Way in Woodley named after the famous World War II airman Douglas Bader.

"Ah-ha!" I hear you say, "What's so inappropriate about that? It sounds to me like a rather touching tribute to one of the nation's great warriors, marking his links to the famous Woodley Aerodrome."

And that's as maybe, until you consider the following: It was at Woodley Aerodrome in 1931 where Bader attempted a bit of ill-advised stunt-flying on a bit of a dare from his chums. The resulting crash resulted in him losing both of his legs. Hardly the kind of reminder you want every time you're heading from Woodley to the M4 motorway.

[Discussing this turn of events, Mr No Good Boyo tells me he always thought Reach for the Sky was perhaps not the best name for Group Captain Bader's life story, on account of the fact that he had a couple of feet further to reach. Mr No Good Boyo is a Bad man]

Heaven knows what they're going to do with Ricky Gervais, but there's a new housing estate going up on the local sewage works.

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