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It’s only rock ‘n’ roll

NLPG NSG Exemplar Award Winner – Most Interesting Anecdote or Street Name 2009: Dartford Borough Council.

The address of a property, including the street name, often says much about the local area. In Britain, with its rich history, street names can go back many hundreds of years and some are linked to amazing stories, characters or events. Today, the task of street naming and numbering falls to local authorities under the provisions of the Public Health Act 1925, Sections 17–19. However the huge growth in housing across Britain since the war has often resulted in street names that bear no relation to locale or history.

Dartford is at the heart of the Thames Gateway redevelopment zone and is host to many new housing developments. This means that street naming and numbering is a constant activity for Dartford Borough Council.

A major £350m development of 1,500 environmentally friendly new homes, situated just south of the Queen Elizabeth II Thames crossing, presented Dartford Borough Council with a challenge to come up with new street names. The development, known as the ‘Bridge’, is the work of Hemmingway Design. In a conversation between owner Wayne Hemmingway and the Leader of Dartford Borough Council, Cllr Jeremy Kite, the two wondered if street names for the third phase of the Bridge could be linked to Dartford’s most famous sons – Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.

Street naming and numbering policy, unfortunately, does not permit use of the names of living people so the conversation soon moved on to song titles, many of which would be familiar to both young and old. The Rolling Stones’ back catalogue is extensive but some of the song titles, such as ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’, do not really lend themselves to street naming! Despite this, a team made up of Hemmingway Designs, Taylor Wimpey, the developer and Dartford Borough Council came up with a shortlist that was then presented to a Council Cabinet meeting.

The names confirmed at this meeting and the original references are as follows:

  • Stones Avenue- Rolling Stones, band name.
  • Babylon Close- Bridges To Babylon, album.
  • Ruby Tuesday Drive- Ruby Tuesday, song title.
  • Dandelion Row- Dandelion, song title.
  • Little Red Walk- Little Red Rooster, song title.
  • Lady Jane Walk- Lady Jane, song title.
  • Angie Mews- Angie, song title.
  • Rainbow Close- She’s A Rainbow, song title.
  • Cloud Close- Get Off Of My Cloud, song title.
  • Satisfaction Street- (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, song title .
  • Sympathy Street- Sympathy For The Devil, song title.

Dartford Borough Council was delighted with the choice and issued a press release ‘Rolling Stones names bring satisfaction to The Bridge’. This resulted in huge TV, national, international and music press attention – all of it positive!

The new street names, which will first appear in 2010, have been very well received by local residents and have certainly raised the profile of the town. As with all new streets, they will also appear in the NLPG!

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