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A history of steam in Newport

Exemplar Award winner- Street Naming and Numbering Award Highly Commended 2013: Newport City Council

Selecting names for new developments that are relevant to residents is a challenge for all street naming and numbering officers. This case study explores how Newport City Council worked with partners to develop road names that reflect the area’s industrial past.

The naming process

In March 2013, an application was received by Newport City Council for a new housing development.

The site had been used by Great Western Railways and later by British Rail as sidings for the freight trains that served the coal and iron ore industries, providing a link between Newport docks and the South Wales valleys.

The development of the railway was integral to the expansion and growth of Newport. The first locomotive was seen in Newport in 1829, and the railway soon replaced the canals as a means of transporting coal and iron ore from the South Wales Valleys. With the support of the developer and in collaboration with local resident and recognised expert Roger Butcher (Publishing Editor of Rail Infrastructure Magazine), a theme was approved, based upon the names of steam locomotives which worked and were scrapped in Newport, securing a reminder of the history of the site and of Newport’s industrial heritage.

Once the suggested names were received, the developer was given an opportunity to comment, before the names were submitted to the locally elected Ward Members for consultation as part of the Street Naming and Numbering process. This is an important part of the process as the elected members are representing the views of the residents of that ward.

The names

For the first phase of the development, eight street names were required; however, the development overall would require around 25 street names. A set of criteria was set out to assist with the development of the names: the steam locomotives would have ended their days in one of Newport’s six scrapyards; only Western Region locomotives were selected; each locomotive would, in its active days, have worked through Newport.

The final eight names were chosen from the shortlist based on aesthetics and pronunciation. The steam locomotive names chosen were:

• Abberley Hall

• Arlington Grange

• Cleeve Grange

• Downton Hall

• Gwenddwr Grange

• Monmouth Castle

• Neath Abbey

• Windsor Castle

Authority view

Newport’s Street Naming and Numbering policy encourages schemes which reflect the history or geography of the local area. This scheme recognises the links of the site with the railway, and honours the impact the railway had on Newport as a developing port. The street names will provide an identity and a sense of community for this developing area.

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