What is in a name?
How can a man land in hot water, be in a comfortable place and be persecuted for a perfect view?
One autumn evening in Somerset, a husband (we’ll call him Fred), whose wife belonged to a temperance society and refused to have a drop of liquor in the house, decided to go on a booze crawl. We followed his increasingly unsteady perambulations to a string of oddly named localities (and locals). As it was a chilly day he was clad in our Sheepland Bestselling Unisex Classic Range 100% Twin Face Sheepskin Boots, which kept him snug on his journey.
He began his libations at Velvet Bottom (a perfect view of this is what started the dust-up in Battlefields, see below), Cheddar, a nature reserve. Naturally, he had BYO’d as there is no inn at Velvet Bottom, a continuation of Cheddar Gorge. Fred’s wife apparently suspected him of sightseeing for a more curvaceous bottom than the remains of old, Roman, lead mines, and the lush, smooth greensward along the valley bottom.
Still clutching his beer, Fred moved on to Perfect View, Bath, so named for offering a beautiful view of the city. Mrs Fred begged to disagree about the content of her husband’s view; refer to Velvet Bottom, above. Her suspicions were confirmed when she learned that he had tarried at Butt’s Batch, Wrington (to be twinned with Pratt’s Bottom, Kent)?
Being one over the eight by now, the errant husband called at Hot Bath Street (provides the hot water for husbands who return home legless), Bath. He then weaved his way to Pudding Pie Lane, a compulsory stopover for hangovers as the doctor’s surgery is located here.
Still in Bath, our good bibber arrived at Comfortable Place (not very, if you happen to be a husband in Hot Bath Street, above). He staggered on to Brassknocker Hill, supposedly named after the distinctive doorknocker of the Brassknocker Inn, now pedestrianly named the Crown Inn.
We think Brassknocker Hill should be twinned with Brasenose College, Oxford. Brasenose refers to the college’s nose-shaped, brazen or brass door knocker. This led poor Fred to Conkwell, which he mistakenly assumed to be similarly connected with snouts. In truth, Conkwell is a corruption of an old Anglo-Saxon word, Cunacaleah, meaning ‘earl’.
Our Fred was a little vague at this stage of his outing and when he arrived at Blind Lane, Bath, he poured himself through the door of the nearest house, believing he was home. The meaning of ‘blind’ here is ‘closed at one end’ or, ‘confused’. In other words, cul de sac (literally, ‘bum of the bag’), to us Europeans. ‘Blind’ does not mean sightless in this context, even if Fred was blind drunk (in his wife’s dictionary).
Eventually, sore of head but comfortable of foot (he was wearing Sheepland boots, remember), Fred arrived at Battlefields, Lansdown, Bath, where no quarter is given between spouses after closing time. For those among you who are historical sticklers, the derivation of the name is a civil war battle fought at Lansdown. The armies of Sir William Waller (for Parliament) and Sir Ralph Hopton (a Royalist) clashed at this venue on the 5th July 1643. The Royalists were victorious, putting the Parliamentarians to flight. (Just what Mrs Fred did to her errant husband with the end of her beautifully, Sheepland-shod trotter.) However, it was a Pyrrhic victory as the Royalists lost so many men and Hopton himself was so badly injured that he was forced to retire.
Released On 26th Sep 2018
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