Friday, May 3, 2019

Enham Alamein, Hampshire

Stop here

I thought I’d got used to the varied kinds of English place names. I had to pick up some of the basics of the history of the English language when I was at university many moons ago and I recall learning how place names often contain ‘standard’ elements and how these derive from different languages used at various times way back in history – elements like ‘ham’ or ‘ton’ from Old English, ‘by’ from Scandinavian, ‘brent’ or ‘pen’ from various Celtic tongues. And then here I was looking at a sign saying ‘Enham Alamein’, the first bit familiar in feeling but the second the name of a battle in World War II. Clearly, the explanation lay in more recent history: in 1919 the place became a ‘Village Centre’ for the accommodation and rehabilitation of injured and war-disabled soldiers. When, after World War II, a large continent of veterans of the Battle of Alamein came to Enham, the place acquired the second part of its name.

If you caught a bus to Enham Alamein, you’d get off here. It’s the most modest of the village’s many 20th-century buildings, a large number of which have an Arts and Crafts or vernacular revival look to them. This shelter does too, and with its octagonal shape and thatched roof is positively picturesque. The walls are in a bicolored brick, with occasional dark bricks adding variety to the red, and the reds themselves exhibiting a variety of shades – they may lack the slight roughness of surface that gives really old bricks their character, but the colours make up for this. Bands of flint – a typical local touch around these parts – enliven the effect, and the thatched roof tops it off with a flourish. It’s an admirable addition to a village green, and lavishing this much care on such a small structure must help boost local pride.


Anonymous said...

There is also Palestine to the west of Andover

Jenny Woolf said...

Interesting sounding place and a nice little structure.

David said...

Has anyone ever published a book about English bus stops? Such a fascinating subject and if there can be two (natch!) for Soviet bus shelters, I am sure English/British shelters warrant one.
I have found a book that just covers Dorset, but surely there is a market for a national tome. It could even have a fancy title like "Trumpet at a distant Gate", that fabulous book about estate lodges. (Anyone else remember the Private Eye spoof of that, which fancied an imaginary book by Gavin Stamp about telephone boxes, supposedly called "Pavilions of the Ether"? :-)