June 05, 2005

Luvvie you can drive my car

I was walking down the Fulham Palace Road just after leaving work at Friday lunchtime when I saw coming the other way, a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce with a personalised numberplate reading RA III. The explanation - of the initials, anyway, if not of the conceit - was revealed when it went past me and I saw Dickie Attenborough in the back.

Ponce, I thought, ungenerously. And then - does he really need three of them?


At June 06, 2005 12:39 pm, Anonymous Sean said...

The Fulham Road?

Can someone explain to me this strange prediliction that Londoners have, that makes them prefix seemingly ordinary street names with the definite article?

The Kings Road
The Fulham Palace Road
The Brighton Road
The Purley Way A23 just past Ikea, gets a bit chockablock of a Sunday morning Road

How odd. I never understood it when I lived there. They certainly don't do it in Stoke On Trent.

At June 07, 2005 7:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was your last comments on a number plate that enticed me to read on when first coming across your articles.
You are incredibly observant!
I barely notice cars, let alone the number plate and the passenger.
You'd make a great detective.

At June 12, 2005 12:59 pm, Blogger Oscar Wildebeest said...

I can't explain why we do it, Sean, but I can tell you it's not unique to London - Bristolians have been heard to refer to "the" Gloucester Road. Incidentally, it's never used with a Street or Avenue, just Roads (and maybe Ways, as you pointed out).

I walked past Bernard Haitink on THE Fulham Road a couple of years ago. He was just standing on his own, minding his own business, looking a little whimsical. I wanted to go up to him and tell him what a great conductor he is, but it seemed unfair to interrupt his reverie.

At June 17, 2005 10:18 pm, Blogger Martin said...

In Oxford the students call High Street "The High", Turl Street "The Turl", and Broad Street "The Broad". Locals don't do this (unless they've been infected by studentitis), and students don't do it to any other roads as far as I know (I've never heard them say "The Cowley" or "The St Aldates", for example).


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