Ottery residents step up to road challenge


- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

AN APPEAL for road name ideas by Ottery St Mary Town Council received an excellent response and included requests for an ‘Abbotts Way’, ‘Orchard View’ and ‘Dobson Close’.

Thirty suggestions were submitted after residents were asked for their thoughts on what streets being built as part of the Redrow development in the north of town should be called.

References ranged from nods to famous Ottregian Samuel Taylor Coleridge to the annual Pixie Day, and there were also requests for names referring to the tar barrels, Ottery’s European twin towns and even a tribute to the current mayor.

The top five names; ‘Abbotts’, ‘Coleberd’, ‘Fairfax’, ‘Thackeray’ and ‘Mariner’ have been submitted to East Devon District Council, which will decide whether to designate the thoroughfare a ‘road’, ‘close’ or ‘street’.

The top choice, ‘Abbott’, is a tribute to Ottregian Tony Abbott who died last year.

His widow, Viv Abbott, said she was ‘absolutely delighted’ that the number one choice was in honour of her husband. The council had always asked me if there was anything else they could do in his memory,” she said. “But I wasn’t expecting this.”

“And it wasn’t me who suggested the name, so the fact that other people have makes it more special.”

Most Read

“He would have been very pleased,” she added.

Chris Saunders from the Ottery Heritage Society put forward ‘Coleberd’ - a reference to a little-known entrepreneur and benefactor who lived in the town between 1897 and 1920.

He added: “He was responsible for introducing the first electricity to Ottery in 1912, and he also built the Drill Hall which is now Costcutter.

“He produced a newspaper at the factory, and also a variety of liquids including ginger beer and weed killer – though hopefully not in the same room!”

“He did a lot for the town and it’s nice to see that the Council agree.”

John Pilsworth, chairman of the Coleridge Memorial Project, said he was pleased that the ‘Mariner’ suggestion made it on to the shortlist.

He added: “We already have a Coleridge road but it’s great to see another reference.

“It refers to Coleridge’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, which has a strong link to the town.”