Golden Waters, Cock Pond and The Clapham Common

“Watch the sun rise over the crystalline streams and ancient wetlands.  At night, your contemplation is only interrupted by the cry of sea birds as they circle above the reeds and river banks, as you gaze at the twinkle of the city’s lights on the skyline.” (promotion for Metricon’s  Golden Waters estate.)

Set on the urban fringe – regions once deemed unfit for human habitation – are the new and ever-expanding housing estates or “communities”. Striving to make them appear what they are not (rural paradises), the companies responsible for these stapled chipboard creations give them names that fall into four categories. 

There is the aquatic theme, the most apt considering the estates are built on and around reclaimed swampland brimming with mercury from the smelting plants glowing on the horizon:-

Nautical Edge, Varsity Lakes, Sanctuary Lakes, Mawson Lakes, Wyndham Springs, Jordan Springs, Caroline Springs, Riverina, Edgewater,  Golden Waters, and (my favourite) Fallingwater.

A garden or wilderness theme: Belle Air Gardens, Cedar View, Sunnybank Grove, Coomera Sanctuary, Sanctuary Gardens, Forest Gardens, Peppercorn Grove, Fernbrooke Ridge, Arcadia Woods, Woodvale, Elmswood, and Oakwood.

There is a mountain theme (Mountview, Nelson’s Ridge, Compass Ridge, The Rise, Stonehill, The Summit) and a gorge theme (Bingara Gorge) but no flatlands (where most of the estates are situated) theme.

The English tend to use names to talk down a location; possibly to keep tourists and foreigners away.

Blackpool , for instance, is not the site of an oil spill but a popular seaside tourist town  in the north west of England.  Although comic actor Kenneth Williams thought the name was appropriate:-

“Blackpool is the ‘end of the line’ It is the English Siberia. It is pure TORTURE. Hateful, tasteless, witless, bleak, boring, dirty, tat – IT HAS NOTHING. I loathe every disgusting minute of it”                                                                                                        

We called a similar place the Gold Coast. 

The English give their lovely outdoor areas names more suited to sexual disease clinics and pornographic film advertisements.

There is an 89 hectare area of beautiful parkland in South London. Its name? Clapham Common. It has a  Long Pond, a Cock Pond,  and a Mount Pond.

Serviced by the London Underground the  Common is accessible to all. “You can catch the Clapham anytime“, boasts  the Transport for London.

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