The Other I

February 20, 2010

Just tickled

Filed under: Just Stuff,The English,Uncategorized — theotheri @ 2:12 pm

I know it rather well, because my husband grew up in Castleford, Yorkshire, and we lived there for a full year when his father was dying.

There is a bridge which I’ve walked under more times than I can count.  I didn’t know its name until today, but the locals did.  For a brief – very brief  – period it was called Tickle Cott Bridge.  But its real name is – and shall remain – Tickle Cock Bridge.

Yes, it means exactly what it sounds like.  It was named during Victorian times so it has a heritage.

The thing is that politicians from outside the area decided that Castleford needed to be tarted up.  After all, it had been an important Roman crossing two thousand years ago, and had much more potential that its residents appreciated.  Tickle Cock had to go.

It’s not that Tickle Cock is one of the truly great bridges of modern times.

It’s not named after an important person like George Washington.

It’s not the oldest extant bridge in the world in Torino, Italy.

It’s not even the longest bridge in Britain which is in Hull.

But a photograph of its pedestrian underpass before its recent renovation suggests its possibilities:  The underpass before regeneration

The politically correct renovators, however, felt there was room for improvement, and spent some significant effort improving it.  The local council faced stiff opposition after renaming the bridge (Photo: Wakefield Council)

Along with the tawdry underpass, the Improvers also decided that the ranchy name also was unworthy.  So they renamed it the Tickle Cott Bridge. They  reckoned without the Castleford Area Voice for the Elderly, a group of over-50’s who were not having a nannying government step in to sanitize their heritage.

The short-lived Tickle Cott Bridge sign has now been consigned to history.  Tickle Cock Bridge it shall remain.


  1. Was first introduce to British Humor with the movie “Carry on Nurse”. And since then have love the British for their raunchy humor. And I see after living there you fit right in. 🙂


    Comment by djc1 — February 21, 2010 @ 1:49 am | Reply

    • Well, it might be a bit unusual, but I consider your comment a compliment I can be proud of. Thank you. I shall treasure it – especially during my grouchier moments.


      Comment by theotheri — February 21, 2010 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

  2. So much for gentrification. There is a town in Pennsylvania that used to be called Blue Ball, PA. until an insurance company moved in. Then it became known as Blue Bell and I needed to send mail to them now and then. In the spirit of defiance, I thought the old spelling had historic value (Pennsylvania Dutch in the area said it was so cold in the Winter…) and so I went with the original every time…


    Comment by budavar — February 21, 2010 @ 4:52 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: