Suffolk towns 'among most British'

THREE Suffolk towns have been named among the top 10 most “English” towns in a study of the spread of immigration.Leiston, Beccles and Halesworth all made the list after analysts looked at the first and surnames of people on the electoral roll to determine their “Englishness”They found Ripley in Derbyshire has the highest proportion of people of English origin, based purely on this criterior.

THREE Suffolk towns have been named among the top 10 most “English” towns in a study of the spread of immigration.

Leiston, Beccles and Halesworth all made the list after analysts looked at the first and surnames of people on the electoral roll to determine their “Englishness”

They found Ripley in Derbyshire has the highest proportion of people of English origin, based purely on this criterior.

Southall, west London, had the lowest proportion of people with English names, and South Tottenham in north London emerged as the most diverse area of London.


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The findings were revealed in a report for OriginsInfo, an organisation providing analysis of the origins of names.

The research placed the 42.2 million adults registered to vote in mainland Britain into 200 ethnic groups on the basis of a person's surname and first name.

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The study into the most “English” towns excluded Scottish, Welsh and Irish names as well as other “foreign names” - but Huguenot surnames and Norman names counted as English.

Halesworth Town Council chairman Alan Hozler, whose name is of Austrian origin, said not only were there good English names, such as Fox and Palmer, in the town, but some real East Anglian ones such as Nolloth, Stannard and Woolner.

He said: “A vast majority of the names were Anglo-Saxon, Norman or Huguenot, but we have always had people from other groups here in Halesworth.

“I think you need a cross-section of cultures and that is why we saw off the BNP and the National Front when they thought they could come into the town.”

David Patrick, who runs a newsagents business with a shop in Halesworth, puts the town's Englishness down to its rural position.

“This is a rural community. We don't have the shops and the chimney pots to attract hoards of people,” he said.

“Halesworth is changing very slowly, but if they did something about the A12 and made it into a motorway - which they won't - you would see it change and there be a mixed culture in the town.”

Leiston Town Council chairman Ann Nunn, who was born and bred in Aldeburgh, said: “I don't think people stay here any more than they do anywhere else in the country. This is a wonderful place to live and I think people do come back.

“Many people say they have heard of Leiston because of the Long Shop Museum, so we are on the map.”

Beccles town mayor Christopher Scott said he was proud of his Anglo-Saxon roots and believed it was the generations living in the town which made it was it is today.

“I am proud of the fact Beccles is so English. I am proud of that and our Anglo-Saxon heritage,” he said.

“I prefer to look to our heritage and our neighbours the Dutch and our cousins in Europe because that is where we have come from. It is our stock.”

karen.hindle@eadt.co.uk

MOST “ENGLISH” TOWNS

1. Ripley, Derbyshire

2. Heanor, Derbyshire

3. Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire

4. Boston, Lincolnshire

5. Leek, Staffordshire

6. Leiston, Suffolk

7. March, Cambridgeshire

8. Wisbech, Cambs

9. Beccles, Suffolk

10. Halesworth, Suffolk

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