I wonder if any of your readers shared my initial confusion when receiving the recent flood warning from the Environment Agency which referred to the area ‘Halterworth to Romsey Town Centre on the Tadburn Lake’.

Lake, what lake? 

I don't know of any lake as such in this area; none certainly anywhere near my own house, so my immediate reaction was not to pay too much attention to the warning.

Reading the detail of the EA message it became clear that the agency was of course referring to the water course we all know as the Tadburn stream.  There is apparently an older derivation of the word ‘lake’ from old English ‘lacu’, meaning a slow-moving stream or side channel.

Given that most of the population are not Anglo-Saxon experts or philologists can we not expect public bodies such as the Environment Agency and the Ordnance Survey to get with the modern era and change the name to the more familiar and generally used one?

Roland Matthews,

Winchester Road,


Send letters by email to newsdesk@romseyadvertiser.co.uk or by post to Editor, Hampshire Chronicle, 5 Upper Brook Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8AL.

All letters and e-mails must include full names and addresses (anonymous letters will not be published), although these details may be withheld from publication, on request.

Letters of 300 words or less will be given priority, although all are subject to editing for reasons of clarity, space, or legal requirements. We reserve the right to edit letters.