"Not again!" Chorley street sign spells war legend's name wrong for the second time

A road in Chorley that recognises a leading figure in Britain’s wartime effort has been bedecked with a street sign that spells his name incorrectly - for a second time.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 10:22 am
Updated Monday, 29th March 2021, 2:53 pm

Barnes Wallis Way in Buckshaw Village is named after the man who designed the ‘bouncing bombs’ used in the Dambusters raid over Germany in 1943.

Although Derbyshire-born Wallis has no personal connection to the borough, the munitions he developed during World War Two were filled at the former Royal Ordnance Factory in Euxton - on the site where the Buckshaw estate was built some 60 years later.

Back in 2016, a new nameplate was installed on Barnes Wallis Way - but it misspelled the aviation engineer’s surname and so mistakenly read "Barnes Wallace Way".

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Barnes Wallis's name has proved tough for signwriters to get right - how it should be (top); how it appears on a recently-installed sign (bottom left); how it was on a sign erected and quickly replaced in 2016 (bottom right)

That error was quickly rectified after it came to light. However, five years on, and the well-known name has proved a booby trap for signwriters once again.

Another street marker has now appeared directly opposite the one that was originally spelled incorrectly.

While those responsible for the latest sign have assiduously ensured that “Wallis” is spelt as it should be, they have now missed the ‘e’ out of his Christian name - so this time it reads “Barns Wallis Way”.

Aidy Riggott, Lancashire county councillor for the Buckshaw and Euxton division, said he thought his eyes were deceiving him when he spotted the latest lapse.

County Cllr Aidy Riggott had a feeling of déjà vu after spotting the latest sign

“I just couldn’t believe it when I saw it - and neither could the residents who live nearby. My first thoughts were, ‘Oh no, not again’.

“We all understand mistakes are made occasionally, but this is twice now. There clearly needs to be better checks in place and more care taken, especially with streets named after famous historical figures,” County Cllr Riggott added.

Locals who took to social media in response to the signwriting slip-up were split between those who seemed to see the funny side - “They only had one job” - to others who thought it pointed to a more serious problem - “No British history being taught in schools these days”.

Although Lancashire County Council is responsible for the region’s roads, it is borough authorities that oversee street name signs, which are sometimes installed by developers under council supervision. The Post understands that was the case in this instance, although it is not yet known who put the sign in place or when.

A spokesperson for Chorley Council said: “We have been made aware of the error and will arrange for a replacement street nameplate to be installed as soon as possible.”

Barnes Wallis’s bouncing bombs successfully breached two dams in the Ruhr Valley during the legendary Royal Air Force mission on 16th/17th May, 1943. Eight of the 19 aircraft involved were lost.