Bond Street Laine should be Bond Street Lane

Photo:The new incorrect sign, October 2011

The new incorrect sign, October 2011

Sign the petition!

By Delia Ives, Secretary of the Brighton Society

If you are observant you may have noticed the new nameplate that has appeared in a low, very conspicuous position on the side wall of No 12 Bond Street. Unfortunately it has reverted to spelling the simple unobjectionable 'lane' with an 'i', thus helping to spread confusion among the untutored public of the difference in meaning between 'laine' and 'lane' and helping to perpetuate such errors of terminology as 'North Laines' and even on occasions 'South Laines'.

It was an official decision

The name "Bond Street Laine" is not a casual error but arises from a report dated 27th July 1981 to the Highways and Transport Committee by the then Borough Engineer, M E Kearns. The developers of Nos 12 and 13 Bond Street had laid out this footpath which gives access to the maisonettes above 12 and 13, as well as to the Church Street car park. The suggestion to name it "Bond Street Laine" came from the developers and, in his report, the Borough Engineer simply endorsed the name without question.

Accepted without debate

The Borough Engineer's report was considered by the Highways and Transport Committee meeting on 17th August 1981 and they accepted it without debate. Evidently no-one on the committee was sufficiently well-versed in Brighton's history to challenge the spelling of "laine" or to have an inkling that further advice should be sought.

An e-petition

There is now an e-petition on the Council's website at with the object of trying to get this nameplate permanently changed. It states:-

 "We the undersigned petition the council to revisit the 1981 decision of the Highways and Transport Committee from which this misapplication of "laine" originated and rectify the situation without delay. The use of "laine" in this nameplate is incorrect and misleading.

The word "laine" is of anglo-saxon origin meaning "loan" or "lease" and was the Sussex dialect term for the open arable fields of the feudal system of agriculture. Its use has survived uniquely in Brighton to the present day and its correct application should be jealously guarded as part of Brighton's history and unique character."

This petition will be presented to Environment, Transport & Sustainability Cabinet Members Meeting on 24 January 2012.

Please sign it!

Please consider adding your signature and forwarding details of this petition to anyone who might be interested.





This page was added on 24/10/2011.

Thank you so much Delia for highlighting this. I think the fact that no-one on the committee dealing with this issue had any idea that the terminology was wrong speaks volumes. I will certainly publish a page with a link to the petition on My Brighton and Hove.

By Jennifer Drury: My Brighton and Hove Website Editor
On 31/10/2011

This mistake has to be corrected ASAP. We lose too much history these days through people not understanding or not caring enough about historical terms.

By Tony Mould
On 31/10/2011

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