Thursday, 23 August 2012

What's in a Name? - Part Two

As I write this, there's 12 days left to vote in this blog's first ever online poll, which is asking whether you support a move to rename Shilton Parish Council to Shilton & Barnacle Parish Council.

The poll was launched at the beginning of July, and the intention is to report the findings to the parish council meeting on 4 September. I shalln't rehearse the arguments all over again; suffice to say that if you haven't voted, and you'd like to, it's best that you read this post first.

The vote is current 10 - 4 in favour of changing the name to Shilton & Barnacle, so there's still everything to play for. And whilst the outcome of this online vote isn't the single determining factor on this issue, it is a useful tool to gauge what people think.

Of the four people voting to say that they didn't want to see the name changed, it was unfortunate that none of them gave a reason why they voted this way (the blog does allows comments, including anonymous ones). It would be helpful for the parish council to know why people didn't want the name changed - whether its a straightforward attraction to the status quo, or some other, more personal, reason. All views are equally valid!

My post on 9 July also contained something of a potted history of the parish council and its name. In response, I received an email from a resident of Shilton who was able to put me right on a few mistaken assumptions that I'd made, as well as adding more flesh to the historical bones of the parish.

I've reproduced the correspondence below for anyone interested:
The reason that the council is called Shilton Parish Council is because it is the council for the Parish of Shilton. The hamlet of Barnacle has been within the parish of Shilton for hundreds of years. When the Act of Parliament was passed in 1894 to form parish councils, Shilton parish decided to have a council and, of course, this included the hamlet of Barnacle, as it was within the Parish of Shilton. As you know, the first meeting of Shilton Parish Council was held in January 1895.

Most of the hamlet of Barnacle has always been within the Parish of Shilton. The part of Barnacle that belonged to the Parish of Bulkington was a small part in the Spring Road area. This was transferred to Shilton Parish in the 1930s.

I think I am correct in saying that it was probably mostly fields that were transferred from Bulkington in 1938. If you look at a map you will see that the there is a narrow strip of land which borders the Coventry Road which is still in Bulkington, the rest of the fields are in Barnacle. There should be something in the minute books about the 1938 transaction. There was a later exchange of land between Ansty and Shilton which I think was about 1980-ish. This should also be in the minute books.

The first meeting of Shilton Parish Council was held on the 2 January 1895 with six councillors under the chairmanship of William Birch of Barnacle Hall. William Birch represented the parish on the district council. His name is on Shilton Parish Council's chairman's chain of office as the first chairman, together with that of Sid Chivers who was chairman at the centenary.

Incidentally, the very old minute books were unfortunately put on a bonfire by the widow of Norman Ashman. He was Clerk to five parish councils and when he died, as she did not know which belonged to which council, she got rid of the lot. Such a shame because the original minute books would have made interesting reading.

Before Shilton Parish Council was formed, Shilton and Barnacle came under the auspices of the Foleshill Board.

The parish council first met in their new meeting room in 1924 when Josiah Bolton was their chairman.

I have a photocopy from a book about The City of Coventry and Warwickshire which says " 1649, too, Barnacle was being assessed for rates with Shilton, not with Bulkington".
Fascinating stuff!! If anyone else can add to the story, please do get in touch.

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