What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the name ‘Moseley?’
Yup, me too. Which is why I’ve always felt a little iffy walking through Moseley Row on the Peninsula, even though the spelling’s wrong. It’s clearly a modern road, so someone named this knowing full well the connotations the name carries. It’s been eating me up for some time, and I finally got round to tackling the issue the other day.
I made a cursory foray into various history books, to see if there was a famous Greenwichian Moseley, preferably nothing to do with Blackshirts or F1, but the most I could find was a mention of an Anne Moseley, spinster, in the Charlton church parish register. I’m sure Anne was a very nice Charlton spinster, but she didn’t sound the sort of person that late 20th Century road-namers would immediately choose.
It was Mary Mills who put me out of my misery and told me that the little road is named for her predecessor, Marian Moseley, who was Peninsula Ward councillor until her untimely death from a stroke, just before Christmas 1999.
Mary tells me Marian was a popular figure, who who worked in the local co-op bakery and lived on the Catelock estate with her sister Margaret. With the shock of her passing, there was much local call for some kind of memorial to her life and work.
It was decided that one of the new Peninsula roads should be named after her, and everyone expected it to be ‘Marian Moseley Row.’ When it came to the grand unveiling, however, the sign revealed carried the shorter – and ever-so-slightly-disturbing ‘Moseley Row’. Perhaps Greenwich council place-naming office misunderstood; perhaps they were trying to save on road-sign metal, who knows.
There was outrage, since despite the difference in spelling, frankly the lovely Marian wasn’t – and still isn’t – the first person who springs to mind on seeing that particular road sign but Mary and Co. were told it was too late to change it. Once a road sign is chosen, that’s it, apparently.
Be careful what you wish for, folks…