Discworld Comes to Somerset

| 7 Apr 2009 10:27

People talking about the eccentricity of the English need only look to the town of Wincanton in Somerset, which not only has been twinned with the fictional town of Ankh-Morpork, but now bears some of the same streets.

For those not familiar with Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, it's about a disc-shaped world that rests on the back of four elephants. The elephants stand on the back of a giant turtle, Great A'Tuin, who swims through space. If you can accept that, and that Death rides a horse called Binky, you've got a reasonable idea of the books.

Ankh-Morpork is the main town of the books and as a tribute to the author, developer George Wimpey presented Wincanton residents with a list of 14 possible names for new street names, based on the famous streets of Ankh-Morpork.

The two winning streets turned out to be Peach Pie Street and Treacle Mine Road, home of the "Glorious People's Republic!"

Pratchett seems to find the whole thing rather amusing. "It's a lovely idea, to do something for the sheer joy and incongruity of doing it. I have to say well done to Wimpey for having the guts to do this. It's nice that an organization should unbend and join in the fun," he said.

"These are nice names, even though I say it myself. Personally, I'd pay good money to live somewhere called Treacle Mine Road," he continued.

But, like in any normal Discworld story, there has been a long struggle to get it accepted.

Back in 2003, the government steadfastly refused to have official "twinning" status added to the roadsigns as "twin towns actually have to exist". Luckily, Vetenari seems to have had a word with them and now the roadsigns proudly display their loyalty.

Source: The Librarian

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