Massive Staines

By DeusExMacintosh

Staines Upon Thames

The Surrey town of Staines has officially changed its name to Staines-upon-Thames in an attempt to boost its riverside image. Councillors voted for the change last year after the town became synonymous with Sacha Baron Cohen’s spoof rapper Ali G.

The name officially changed at 14:00 BST and followed a day of celebrations, including a regatta, in the town.

Critics, including the town’s football club, have labelled it “pretentious”. Spelthorne Borough Council hopes the change will attract more business to the town, which sits on the banks of the River Thames.

Councillor Colin Davis, who was behind the name change, said the town’s image had needed help for some time.

“Ali G may have had a role, but I think it goes back further than that,” he said.

And he said the new name would help people from outside the town understand its riverside links.

He added: “I regard Ali G as someone who put Staines on the map, we’re just telling people where it is.”

BBC News


  1. Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I’m ambivalent about this name change.
    For a start, I’ll likely never visit or otherwise have anything to do with the town.

    However: “Staines” is a great name, diminished by the suffixing of “upon-Thames”

    My view, were I from there: There IS only one Staines, and this is!

    Just the word “Staines” conjures up for me, as no other word can, the smell of fresh water on old varnished wood (ie: rowing four or eight) the lapping of water against a boat ramp, etc etc.

    ….. and then the so-and-so’s have to go & change the name.

    I shouldsue or something, for my disappointment!

  2. kvd
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Steve, I understand it is a very old word for ‘stones’ – there apparantly being a small group of them in some significant arrangement thereabouts. One source notes that the specific location is now occuppied by a roundabout.

    But the picture you paint is just as nice, so I don’t seek to deter you from your quest 😉

  3. Posted May 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I suspect the local council is kidding itself rather badly if it thinks this will ‘take’.

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