I was sad to read last week’s letter from Ronald Matthews (Advertiser, January 26). 

I do wonder how long he has lived in the town. It would be a shame to lose hundreds of years of history just because one man does not understand local usage.

Does he want the other similarly named waterways such as, the tributary of the Test called, Fish Lake also changed? As someone who grew up in the town, I always considered these names a charming quirk long before I knew the Anglo Saxon origin. The flow in the Tadburn Lake is very variable. I have seen it so shallow that the ducks have had to walk and so deep it has almost topped its reinforced banks. In fact, it was this stream that flooded central Romsey in the early 1960s not the River Test.

READ MORE HERE: Time to change names in Romsey
The term ‘lake’ is used in a number of places for a stream with little fall. I have found several examples in southern Scotland of streams called lakes. Back in Hampshire many of the tidal channels in Portsmouth Harbour are named something lake e.g. Fareham Lake. 

Interestingly this paper’s sister paper, Hampshire Chronicle, had a heritage article on the lakes of Romsey, December 5 2021, which can be found online.

Romsey has plenty of location names that may puzzle newcomers but are an important part of the town’s history. Examples are Abbey Water and Chavy Water, which are roads as well as streams. Names are an important part of the history of a location and often reflect the way the place has developed. They should not be changed just because one person is confused by them.

Janet Kearns,
Arundel Road,

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