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Standing up for Rings End

Sign for Rings End, between Wisbech and March ANL-151109-083619009
Sign for Rings End, between Wisbech and March ANL-151109-083619009

People in Fenland have stood up for a village name which was deemed to be too rude for visitors to a Women’s Insitute fair last week.

Rings End was among 15 place names author Dominic Greyer said he was asked to cover up during the fair in Harrogate.

Mr Greyer, who has included the village in Lesser Spotted Britain, was selling tea towels and mugs featuring funny UK place names at the fair.

Organisers of the fair said they had asked for “risque” coasters to be kept out of view after receiving complaints from visitors to the fair.

But people in Fenland have stood up for the name, citing its innocent origins.

Phil Clark, chairman of the Rings End Nature Reserve, said the name relates to the end of a ring of drains, which were used to transport goods to the Fens by barge.

He said: “People should research things properly before they make wrong assumptions.

“Local people have asked where the name comes from.”

Fenland district councillor Kit Owen has also stood up for Rings End.

He said: “I think it is silly!

“People so concerned with political correctness but a sense of humour about anything is no longer allowed.”

District councillor and ward member Will Sutton added: “On the assumption that all publicity is good publicity I think I will suggest Mr Greyer includes the following villages: Three Holes, Tipps End, Prickwillow and Hardwick. Maybe we need a national competition for the ‘rudest’ place names.

“I’ve already had some gut-busting laughter with friends and colleagues over the article – no one took it seriously.”

Fellow ward member Michelle Tanfield said: “I think the slightly rude names of villages are what make Britain so cool.

“I don’t think we need to censor things like this as most people will see the fun side to it and not take offence.”

Author Mr Greyer covered over place names such as Rings End, Slack Bottom and Juggs Lane, with a brown paper bag and had written “censored” over the top after being approached by the fair’s organisers.

Mr Greyer is quoted in The Telegraph as saying: “It was pretty farcical – it was like I was running an adult shop.”

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