I’ve come to terms with being grumpy, even begun to appreciate the advantages it offers, so I make no apologies for my grumpiness about Battersea-deniers.
My latest run-in with them came on Twitter, with Giraffe Restaurant (based on Battersea Rise, Battersea, SW11) who were advertising a quiz night at “Giraffe Clapham”. Being grumpy, and having my grumpiness enhanced by it being morning, I picked them up, and they explained their use of Clapham.
we say clapham so people don’t think it’s deepest darkest battersea- it’s actually closer to clapham
And that astounds me. By that logic we may as well say we live in Croydon, because otherwise people might confuse Battersea, London with central London. It might be close to Clapham, but it’s in Battersea. I’m not sure how telling someone it’s the neighbouring area helps people find something. Surely (and maybe I’m just missing the point of geography here) it’s better to tell them where something actually is, rather than where it’s near.
I’m not naïve enough to believe places don’t change (otherwise I’d be claiming to live in Patricesy) but simply denying geography really should be the province of estate agents and no-one else.
My solution would be to change the name of Clapham Junction to Battersea Junction. In inner London most people define an area by the major station. I always get asked whether I live in Tooting Bec or Tooting Broadway, even though neither aren’t really areas. This would also help visitors to the area who justifiably assume that Clapham Junction would be in the vicinity of the three tube stations.