Friday, 25 September 2015

Street Names

It seems a shame that I came to a decent understanding of the full scope of documentary rather late in the game. I'm not sure that I think the course material was especially helpful in that respect, but it's done now.

As I look around there seems to be a huge number of subjects that might bear the "documentary" eye.

Street names is a case in point. Returning, as I'm wont to do to Briet's definition of a document I think it is at least reasonable to suggest that street names fall into this category. They are "texts" that are preserved to provide some kind of evidence.

A couple of examples here. First up Bessemer Way...which together with a Weatherspoons called "The Henry Bessemer" is pretty much all that is left of the memory of Henry Bessemer, whose converter for the manufacture of high quality steel petty much shaped Workington as it is today.

He was almost directly responsible for the role of the second example...James Duffield...who was one of the first managers of the steel and iron works which dominated Workington for the best part of a century.

I'm sure these names are dotted all around and large simply part of the scenery that gets forgotten. As a final example..and I'l have to add a photo later...there is a relatively new development of houses in Aspatria called Sheila Fell Close. Until I looked it up I had assumed it as the name of some local hill...then I discovered she was actually a local artist of some repute.

This would have made good material for an assignment had I but understood better. As it is I can still see a way of fitting it into the final level stuff I'm thinking about....perhaps it's worthy of a project on its own. If I get the chance before assessment I'll post some more examples here.

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