The book

What’s so funny about Ha Ha Road?

What’s so funny about Ha Ha Road? is a book about London street names, the reasons, the people and the events behind them.

It started with a question: ‘Whose heart bled in Bleeding Heart Yard?, and grew from there with the realization that from Abbess Court in the south to Zoffany Street in the north, London streets and their names provide an endless source of entertainment and information mixed in with political intrigue, bloody murder and celebrity scandals.

What is so funny about Ha Ha Road, and what happened to Broken Wharf and Crooked Usage? Who was unfortunate enough to head off down Wild Goose Drive? All a person could want lies within the names and stories of London.

This is not designed to be merely an index of London street names and their meanings; rather it is the ‘rest of the story’ for street names: theories, legends, and the history behind streets and who lived there. Quite often street name derivations are explained in a few words: ‘from an inn sign’, or ‘from a local resident’.

There is always more to the story than that: the name is no less intriguing because it is an inn name; in many cases, the ‘local resident’ is someone who cannot so easily be dismissed. There are also buildings and less famous residents of streets; people and places with a firm part in the history of London or the country, in literature or in folklore.

While traditional publishers may have thought that there was no market for a book such as this, even the most cursory of looks around some of the websites and blogs out there show that people are fascinated by history and by London. I am working to get this book out there to provide information and entertainment to all those people who also ask questions like: ‘Why is it called that?’ and ‘What happened next?’

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