You might have watched the news or read the papers recently and seen that the Wiltshire town of Wootton Bassett formally received the title ‘Royal’ in a ceremony on Sunday afternoon, 16 October. Royal Wootton Bassett was being recognised for its dedication in honouring Britain’s war dead in recent years.
The four years the residents had lined the streets of the town as a mark of respect to service personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and being repatriated at nearby RAF Lyneham. Prime Minister David Cameron said that the tribute was a symbol of the nation’s gratitude to Wootton Bassett’s people.
The change of name also meant a change was needed in our mapping database at Ordnance Survey. The enormous amount of publicity around this name change meant we had plenty of notice and Wootton Bassett has now become Royal Wootton Bassett – and the change will be available to customers via future product updates.
We make some 5,000 changes each day to the national master map and thanks to the work of our 300 surveyors and an extensive aerial photography programme, significant changes are ‘on the map’ within six months of them appearing.
Adding ‘Royal’ to a town name isn’t one of our usual changes though, Royal Wootton Bassett is the first town in more than 100 years to be given the ‘royal’ title – and there are in fact, only two other English towns with this honour – can you name them?
There are also a number of royal boroughs, such as Kensington and Chelsea and there will be a new borough added next year in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – do you know where that is?
We’ll add the answers later if nobody posts the correct answers…