Sherburn residents face uphill struggle over village name

RESIDENTS in a commuter village are fighting a losing battle in their bid to be officially named as – a village.

Councillor Carol Woods, sherburn

RESIDENTS in a commuter village are fighting a losing battle in their bid to be officially named as – a village. The people living in Sherburn, four miles to the east of Durham, want their settlement to be known by its full title of Sherburn Village.

Three years ago the parish council successfully applied to Durham City Council to have the name officially changed to Sherburn Village.

But nobody seems to have told the people responsible for putting up road signs in the area.

And when local councillor Carol Woods raised the issue she received short shrift from county council highway bosses.

Coun Woods, who gives her address as Front Street, Sherburn Village, said: “The parish council successfully applied to Durham City Council to have its name restored to Sherburn Village as from April 1, 2006, but road signs still point simply to Sherburn.

“This can cause confusion because there are a number of Sherburns nearby. There is Sherburn Road Estate a mile in one direction and Sherburn Hill, a separate village, a mile in the other direction. It would clarify directions if road signs directed people to Sherburn Village.”

Local historian James Taylor, 55, from nearby Carrville, said: “Sherburn was known as Sherburn Village for hundreds of years. On September 28, 1936, the Postmaster General decided to take the Village off the title and just call it Sherburn.

“Even though the name was removed, force of habit has kept the name alive in the area. People talk about going up the Hill or down to the Village, and they are referring to Sherburn Hill or Sherburn Village.

“The parish council was successful in getting Village restored to the title, but signs still point simply to Sherburn.”

According to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, Sherburn, County Durham, is “a village to the east of Durham.”

It also lists: Sherburn Hill, a separate village to the east of Sherburn; Sherburn House, a hamlet to the south-west of Sherburn; Sherburn Hospital, a medieval hospital at Sherburn House. Elsewhere there is Sherburn, a village in Ryedale, North Yorkshire; Sherburn-in-Elmet, a village near Selby, also in North Yorkshire and Sherburn, Minnesota, a city in the United States.

But Durham county councillor Bob Young, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said he was confident motorists would find their way to the correct Sherburn without the need to add Village to the title.

He said: “An examination of the latest Ordnance Survey information still uses the name Sherburn without the addition of Village. The same source of information lists the parish title as Sherburn Parish.

“The direction signs recently provided are principally to ensure the motorists unfamiliar with the area can safely and efficiently navigate the highway network and it would seem appropriate that the same naming strategy is used by map makers and local authorities alike.”

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