Sunday, April 08, 2007

A borough near Newcastle

I've come to the conclusion that our borough has a really crappy name. South Tyneside. A boring mid Seventies bureaucratic name born out of a post socialist miasma designating more of a geographical position than an identity. Just saying it, South Tyneside, and you're stifling a yawn. I can see why our folk in the council have a hard time selling the area. The name is little more than a soulless pin on a map instead of an icon to fire the imagination. South Tyneside doesn't say 'winner', it says 'well, whatever'.

It's so boring it often gets downgraded to an abbreviation. ST - even that conjures up a soporific image of a settee.

So perhaps here in South Tyneside we need a new name. Something that encompasses the three main towns of South Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn. A proper name that sticks in people's minds. A name you'd be comfortable saying, 'I come from xxx', without having to add on the end almost apologetically, 'near Newcastle'.

I haven't thought of something that doesn't sound like a wanky car name, so a referendum is probably the way to go, but avoiding the likes of the ironic 'Spirit of the Tyne', where a black joke became the name of the Tyne ferry which was built in Portsmouth.

Better not tell the council though. If they get in on the game they'll be signing cheques to branding consultants before you can say 'Comedia'.

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