Residents of London’s notorious Aylesbury Estate which has been dogged by crime, flooding and rats are desperate to change its name.
The 3,000 home complex in SE17, which is one of the largest housing estates in Europe, also has sections named after other Buckinghamshire towns, such as Winslow, Wendover and Chiltern.
At the time it was hoped reflecting the names of affluent Bucks would instill pride in the new development and inspire residents.
But for Southwark residents the names have become synonymous with structural problems, as well as the fear of crime.
Southwark Council is now planning to demolish the estate to make way for 4,900 social housing units, and campaigners hope that renaming the blocks after local heroes will instil a sense of community amongst the disaffected residents.
Charlotte Benstead, director of Creation Trust, which is spearheading the campaign, said: “We know that Walworth has some famous sons and daughters, Charlie Chaplin and Michael Faraday are well represented in the area, but we want to discover some unsung heroes of SE17, learn about them and capture their memory in a street name.”
The estate was designed by architect Hans Peter ‘Felix’ Trenton. Building began in 1963 and was completed in 1977.
Problems with the building work began almost as soon as it was complete and problems with the lifts, pets and flooding has upset residents ever since. The Aylesbury Estate is perhaps most famous for its appearance as a link between programmes on Channel 4 in 2005.
But the TV station received criticism from residents, who said that the ‘ident’ portrayed their estate in a negative light, and later appeared in a second version, directed by director Nick Street, which was first aired this year.
OTHER VALE NAMESAKES
Wendover, Utah, USA: Wendover is on the Western boarder of Utah, established in 1908 as a station shop on the Western Pacific Railroad.
During the Second World War the nearby Wendover Army Air Field was a training base for bomber pilots.
These pilots included the crew of the Enola Gay, which was stationed there until 1945. The Boeing B-29 was the first aircraft to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.
Winslow, Arizona, USA: The lyrics ‘standin’ on the corner in Winslow Arizona’ made the American town world famous.
When the Eagles sang the celebrated line in their hit song Take It Easy, the town, which has a population of under 10,000, was stuck firmly on the rock ‘n’ roll map. Scores of music fans now flock to a monument in the song’s honour, to stand by a statue of the song’s main character, and the town holds an annual Standin’ On The Corner Festival. Winslow Arizona’s famous sons also include gold medal winning pole vaulter Nick Hysong and Erika Alexander, who starred in 1980s sitcom The Cosby Show.
Aylesbury, Saskatchewan, Canada: Possibly the smallest place called Aylesbury in the world, this hamlet only has 42 residents.
The tiny village is located 60km north of Moose Jaw, and is made up of a post office, a grain elevator (which closed in the mid-1990s) and a handful of homes.
Children who live in the village are sent to nearby Craik to go to school.
Winslow Reef: An as yet unexplored natural phenomenon. The submerged coral reef is located off the southern Cook Islands, 133km north west of Rarotonga.
Divers have not yet seen what the naturally occurring structure looks like under the water, it remains one of the few unseen places on earth. A second Winslow Reef is present in the Pheonix Islands.