Leading Article: Quality streets

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The Independent Culture
"LOCATION, LOCATION, location," is the estate agents' mantra. Usually, they just mean the postcode. But there is also a peculiarly British twist to the names we give to our streets.

The name Acacia Avenue has passed into the language as a definition of a particular kind of suburbia. But a survey published by the Halifax yesterday reminds us that Britain has plenty of bizarre names that are a reflection of the way we live, or lived.

Some of the names hark back to an incomprehensible Britain in which we can only wonder where it all started - Aghaloo Road and Zyburn Court, Foggley Gardens and Shaggy Calf Lane. Other names remind us of our heroes, from Henry Cooper Way to Nelson Mandela Road. Sometimes you can only wonder. How did a street come to be known as Manless Terrace? What happened in Frolic Street?

The confusion of our street names is a kind of democratic luxury. In countries with a turbulent history, yesterday's Hitler Strasse or Stalin Ulitsa has been through a revolution. That is the definition of a comfortable democracy: the survival of Manless Terrace into the next millennium.