A short time ago, I came across a Newport A2Z street atlas, and was fascinated by the diversity of the names and subjects used by the street planners back in the 1950s and 60s, when the council estates were built.
In some cases (particularly, those streets with political names) they reflected the Labour majority on the Newport Borough Council - the Alway estate proves the point, because not one nationally known Conservative or Liberal figure (ie Churchill, Lloyd George) is mentioned.
There is a strong bias on writers, composers, conductors, naval connections, but no nationally known army or air force commander is given a street name. Famous war heroes such as Montgomery, Tedder, Cheshire VC, Gibson VC of Dam Buster's fame are not given a street name for posterity.
Here is a list of Ringland street names with explainations as to how they came to be so named.
Butterworth close: Named after George Sainton Kaye Butterworth, English composer. Born 1855, died 1916. Set his music to A E Houseman's poetry. He was killed by a sniper's bullet in 1916 at Pozieres on the Western Front.
Edward German Crescent: Named after Sir Edward German, English composer. Born 1862, died 1936. Best remembered for musical scores for the stage, and seen as the logical successor to Sir Arthur Sullivan in the field of comic opera.
Dawson Close: Named after the Australian born and noted bass-baritone. Born 1882, died 1961. His most recorded song was 'On the Road to Mandalay' besides many others.
Brain Close: Named after Dennis Brain, the foremost tenor horn virtuoso of his day, who specialised in works by Mozart. Born 1921, died 1957 in a car crash.
Holst Close: Named after Gustav Theodore Holst. English born by German parents. Born 1874, died 1934. Most famous for his 'Planets Suite.'
Handel Close: Named after George Frederick Handel. Born in Germany 1685, died 1759. Baroque composer whose most famous works were 'The Messiah', 'Water Music' and 'The Royal Fireworks Suite'.
Cecil Sharp Close: Named after Cecil Sharp, an English born composer. Born 1859, died 1924. He was a close friend of both Sir Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Specialised in the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
Patti Close: Named after Dame Adelina Patti who was born in 1843 in Madrid of Italian parents. She was the most famous coloratura soprano of the Victorian period. She built her own castle called Craig-y-Nos in the upper Swansea valley. She died in 1919.
Sterndale Bennett Road: Named after Sir William Sterndale Bennett, who was born in Sheffield in 1816 and died in 1875. He was a composer and pianist, and was a close friend of Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann, and became the Principal of the Royal Academy of Music.
Newman Close: Named after Philip Newman, a gifted violinist who was born in Manchester in 1904 and died in 1966. His forte was the playing of Tchaikovsky's violin concerto. He was a close friend of Queen Elizabeth of the Belgians who was his patron for many years.
Myra Hess Close: Named after Dame Myra Hess, a noted concert pianist, who was born in London in 1890 and died in 1965. She was famous for her war time concerts in bomb torn London.
Leon Goosens Close: Named after the celebrated oboeist, who was born in 1897 and died in 1988. His sister, Eugenie, was a leading harpist.
Warlock Close: Named after Philip Hesteltine, better known by his pen-name Peter Warlock. Born in 1895 and died in 1930. He was a musician, poet and composer of choral works.
Tippett Close: Named after Sir Michael Tippett, born 1905, died 1998. He was a composer of oratorios and operas.
Vaughan Williams Drive: Named after Ralph Vaughan Williams, who was born in Gloucestershire in 1872. Composer of symphonies, chamber music and film scores. He was a personal friend of Maurice Ravel and Max Bruch. During World War One he served in the trenches with the RAMC. He died in 1958.
Arne Walk: Named after Thomas Augustine Arne, English composer, violinist and pianist who wrote 'Rule Britannia'. He was born in 1710 and died in 1778.
Bantock Close: Named after Sir Granville Ransome Bantock born 1886, died 1946. A notable English composer and conductor.
John Ireland Close: Named after English composer. John Nicolson Ireland was born in 1879 and died in 1962. He wrote the definitive biography of William Hogarth.
Elgar Circle/Drive: Names after Sir Edward Elgar, O M, England's greatest composer, who was born in Worcester in 1857 and died in 1934. His works included oratorios like the Dream of Gerontius, The Enigma Variations, Pomp and Circumstance march and many others.
Parry Drive: Named after Sir Hubert Parry, who was born in 1848 and died in 1918. He composed the music to Jerusalem to William Blake's words.
Named after the Welsh born composer, Joseph Parry, who composed the first Welsh language opera 'Blodwen'. He was born in 1841 and died in 1903.
Henry Wood Close: Named after Sir Henry Joseph Wood born 1869 and died in 1944. He was a famous conductor and founded the Promenade Concerts held annually in the Royal Albert Hall.
Byrde Close: Named after William Byrde, the foremost composer of the Elizabethan age. He was born in 1539 and died in 1623.
Walford Davies Close: Named after Sir Henry Walford Davies, who was born in Oswestry in 1869 and died in 1941. He was the composer of 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' and the hymn, 'God Be in my Head.'
Beecham Close: Named after Sir Thomas Beecham, the celebrated composer who was born in 1879 and died in 1961. Member of the northern family that manufactured the famous 'Beechams pills'. He was a great friend of Frederick Delius.
Morley Close: Named after Thomas Morley, the famous English composer, theorist and organist, and considered the first of the great English madrigalists. He was born in 1557 and died in 1602.
Sullivan Circle: Named after Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan, who was born in 1842 and died in 1900. He was the musical half of the duo 'Gilbert & Sullivan'.
Together they wrote nearly twenty operettas, including The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, HMS Pinafore, The Gondaliers. He also wrote the music to 'Onward Christian Soldiers.'