Thursday, September 05, 2019


The shortest residential street in Brigg also has the shortest name.
New Street is off Albert Street and has only three houses.
The town centre was extended beyond Bigby Street and Queen Street in the second half of the 19th century. Properties were added along Albert Street and Princes Street on what had been vacant land close to Station Approach, the railway arriving in Brigg in the late 1840s.
However, when it came to naming the shortest street, the powers-that-be decided against a further reference to royalty and instead chose New Street.
Some years ago Brigg Civic Society was instrumental in a scheme to replace some of our black and white enamel street signs with attractive gold ones more in keeping with the historic town centre.
New Street, although a little beyond what many people would regard as the town centre, was included.
The Butchery - connecting Wrawby Street and Bigby Street and adjoining Scalinis fish & chip restaurant - is shorter than New Street.
However, it does not boast any residential properties. Nor does it have vehicular access - one definition used for streets.
Metal nameplates of various kinds are very collectable and some of the old black and white examples removed in Brigg were snapped up by local people as keepsakes.
However, the most valuable nameplates of all were carried by steam locomotives withdrawn by British Railways during the 1950s and 1960s.
The shortest was Gnu - a B1 class loco built in the 1940s for the London, North Eastern Railway (LNER).
About 40 B1s were named after species of antelope; Gnu ended its days based at Retford loco depot in the mid-1960s, so it probably worked along the Brigg line.
Trainspotters who visited Barnetby at that time noted classmates called Ourebi, Sassaby and Addax - engines that also hauled freight trains through Brigg.
Railway engine nameplates today change hands for thousands of pounds in specialist auctions - sometimes fetching five-figure sums.
Among the most valuable are plates carried by a class named in the 1930s after Football League clubs within the LNER's area.
After the locos' withdrawals around 1960, BR presented the nameplates to the clubs, including Grimsby Town and Hull City.
Some decided to mount them on a wall above the entrance to "the tunnel" leading from the dressing rooms under the stand to the playing area.
There was never a Scunthorpe United loco as The Iron (then still known as The Knuts) did not gain admission to the Football League until the early 1950s.