Poll: Wetheringsett Parish council wants to name road after Richard Hakluyt - but told name is too hard to pronounce

Parish councillor Tony Alston wants to honour the founder of Wetheringsett village, Richard Hakluyt

Parish councillor Tony Alston wants to honour the founder of Wetheringsett village, Richard Hakluyt by naming a street after him but Mid Suffolk District Council argues it is difficult to pronounce and would cause problems for emergency services. - Credit: Archant

HOPES of naming a new road after a village’s “founding father” appear to have been dashed – because officials claim the name is too difficult to pronounce.

Wetheringsett-cum-Brockford Parish Council put forward the suggestion ‘Hakluyt Close’ to honour Richard Hakluyt, an eminent scholar in Elizabethan England who was also the Wetheringsett village rector.

But Mid Suffolk District Council has refused, arguing the name Hakluyt (Hack-loot) is too difficult to pronounce, and has instead suggested Jubilee Lane.

Officials fear the parish’s suggestion would cause emergency services problems with finding the road, which is on a new development in the village, near Stowmarket.

But parish councillor Tony Alston, 69, said: “It’s not difficult to pronounce, when you say it right it is really obvious what it is. If you said to somebody how you would spell it you would probably get it wrong but when it is written it has to be that way.”


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Martin Lawrence, parish council chairman, said: “He is a well-known man and we are close to the anniversary of his death. He founded the village and we felt not to honour him would be a dereliction of duty. The argument put forward by Mid Suffolk is that it is difficult to pronounce but it’s distinctive because there’s not any others in the area.”

Richard Hakluyt lived between 1552 and 1616 and published several works chronicling English efforts in navigation and exploration.

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His most famous work is The Principal Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation.

In 1590 he became Rector of Wetheringsett, a position he held until his death.

Carl Reeder, corporate manager for information management and ICT at Mid Suffolk, said: “When naming streets Mid Suffolk tries to follow national guidelines – one of which stipulates that names should be unambiguous to pronounce or spell.

“Like the developer, whilst we appreciate the historical associations we feel that ‘Hakluyt Close’ doesn’t follow these guidelines and may make it harder to market the development as well as wasting time in an emergency and causing confusion for deliveries. We feel that Jubilee Lane is better for these reasons.”

The parish council is appealing Mid Suffolk’s decision. A district council meeting will make the final decision on the street name next week.

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