Opinion: Should they change the name of Allende Avenue to Zelenskyy Avenue?

History / Sat 28th May 2022 at 01:56pm

A SCHOOL in Harlow gives out homework to Year 7 History students at the beginning of their secondary school career. The eleven-year-olds are tasked with learning about the background to the street where they live.

It gives the children who live in Great Brays an opportunity to learn about Sir Richard De Brae; the children who lived in Arkwrights to learn about the Arkwright family and so on.

Some street names in Harlow are from the 12th century right up to the present day.

Some street names came with the advent of the new town post 1947. Hammarskjöld Way is named after the former Secretary General of the United Nations. Elizabeth Way and Edinburgh in honour of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The houses at the former site of Harlow Rugby Club are named after former stalwarts of the club: for example Locke Close after Chris Locke.

Sadly, Foster Court is named after the young soldier, Robert Foster, who died for his country out in Afghanistan in 2007.

In the late seventies and early eighties, there was a commitment to looking outwards to the world. Twinning with Vélizy-Villacoublay in France, Stavanger in Norway to name just a few.

This global view was also reflected in new road names. First Avenue to Mandela Avenue in July 1983 and then Allende Avenue in September 1983.

YH understands that these place names were the decision of departing senior officer, Mike Gerrard, who was about to leave to take up a post as chief executive in the Shetland Isles.

Mike was also Secretary of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Harlow and his world view may have chimed with the Labour-run councils at that time.

We also believed that he named the road at the back of Wetherspoons, Kitson Way, another member of the African National Congress (ANC).

Which takes us to the Conservative-run Harlow Council’s proposal to change the name of Allende Avenue to Zeleznyy Avenue, after the President of Ukraine.

Names come but rarely do names go and we say it should stay. Allende Avenue is now part of Harlow’s history.

The Conservatives say that this is a moral decision but of all the street names in all the towns in all the world, they want to erase from history the street named after a left wing politician.

The Conservatives may want to consider, naming part of another avenue, Zeleznyy Avenue.

It would appear that First Avenue shares its name with Mandela Avenue from The Stow to Velizy Avenue.

Perhaps the same could happen with Second Avenue. Perhaps that could become Second Avenue/Zeleznyy from The ClockTower to Howard Way?

There is no doubt that the Tories must be applauded for their support for the people of Ukraine and this should be seen in context of all the outreach work that they have undertaken as the leaders of Harlow Council to support Ukraines so maybe they will take a second look at this proposal.

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10 Comments for Opinion: Should they change the name of Allende Avenue to Zelenskyy Avenue?:

Bruce Downey
2022-05-28 15:26:23


2022-05-28 15:27:16

Call it Letsby ... It's near the nick.

2022-05-28 15:47:51

OMG this debate again what’s happened to all the previous comments made about this Zelensky Avenue on this site, Not the right ones I expect! Pretty sure public opinion is non important to you anyway HDC. How the hell can you waste Harlow residents money as we approach a major financial crisis for most Harlow residents. The renaming of a road will change nothing it won’t end the war, save lives or feed people so get a grip and get your priorities right for once !!

Tony Durcan
2022-05-28 18:20:03

Rays reply is the best. That’s Harlow humour.

2022-05-29 06:59:21

Roady Mcroadface

2022-05-29 07:21:14

Nice to see citizen being anti-foreign - not realising the irony in his words.

2022-05-29 18:35:56

Dont worry about that !how about repairing some of the roads .or call it pothole town road !!!

Michael Clare
2022-05-30 13:36:28

The tragic death of Salvador Allende, freely-elected President of Chile, deposed by a military coup that killed 16,000, is something that should be commemorated widely. I have known that he was commemorated in Harlow for some years. In fact, it is one of the very few things about Harlow that I do know. This politician should know better than to make political capital out of such tragedy.

2022-07-29 11:18:42

What a waste of time and money. I support Zelenskyy and the Ukranian people, but this renaming is erasing an existing commemoration of Salvador Allende. It smacks of political opportunism, can the conservative run council not stomach the celebration of socialist historical figures, even if it's just a road name? There are many other roads they could choose if they really want to waste publicly paid for time on this.

2023-02-14 13:22:02

Discussing, leave alone

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