Wool in Dorset has hit the headlines after PETA asked the village to change its name to 'Vegan Wool'. According to the animal rights organisation's website, the new name 'would raise awareness of the many animal and Earth-friendly vegan alternatives to wool available today'.
A member of the Wool Parish Council, who will discuss the idea next week, said the request had 'caused quite a stir in the village', The Telegraph reports. Residents are now concerned about the future of other locations, including Ham and Cheddar Gorge. But Wool isn't the only village to face controversy over its name in recent years. Here are a few other places that have sparked debate.
Varteg or Farteg
In 2013, a consultation was held over 22 Welsh place names in the borough of Torfaen. This led to proposals to change the name of Varteg to Y Farteg because there is no letter V in the Welsh alphabet. However, it faced opposition from locals who feared the new name would be ridiculed. 'People who are not Welsh speakers will see that as "Why Fart Egg". People there have just had enough,' councillor Giles Davies said, the BBC reported at the time.
Newton goes back to its roots
Newton in Cambridgeshire was given the go ahead to change its name back to Newton-in-the-Isle after application was made by parish councillors in 2016, a local newspaper reported. Residents backed the proposal as they said it would help to differentiate the village from the other 42 Newtons around the country. Newton-in-the-Isle was the name given to the village when it was formed 600 years ago, a councillor explained.
Trellech - the village with 20 spellings
This rural Welsh village in Monmouthshire hasn't changed its name, but the spelling of it does vary. According to the BBC, it has up to 20 historical spellings, with four in use on road signs today. They read Trelech with one 'l', Trelleck with a 'ck', plus the spellings in English and Welsh - Trellech and Tryleg. One resident commented: "We sign off our letters with whatever spelling we want. It's fun."
Bletchington or Bletchingdon
This Oxfordshire village is signposted Bletchington at one side and Bletchingdon on the other. Even the parish council admits that it's 'easy to get confused'.
The council's website explains: 'Don means on a hill, Ton means village. It's been a centuries old argument. But then it has also been Bletchingham and Bletchinghampton. As far as officialdom goes it is Bletchingdon. To most locals it is simply "Bletch" which just means our village!'
Back in 2004, people in a remote Welsh village renamed the spot in a protest against a nearby wind farm. Llanfynydd was temporarily named Llanhyfryddawelllehynafolybarcudprindanfygythiadtrienusyrhafnauole, which was said to mean: "a quiet beautiful village, a historic place with rare kite under threat from wretched blades". Surprisingly, the new name didn't last.
Over in Anglesey, a fishing village welcomes thousands of visitors every year off the back of its 58-character-long place name. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch boasts the biggest full name in Britain - and the longest railway sign. To put pronunciation worries aside, it's known as Llanfair PG by locals.
Staines changes its image
In 2012, the Surrey town officially changed its name to Staines-upon-Thames in an attempt to change its image. Councillors welcomed the news, saying it would help to attract new business, but the town's football club described the move as 'pretentious', the BBC noted at the time.
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