Smitham Bottom blue plaque commemorates Coulsdon's roots
A heritage group has unveiled a blue plaque to celebrate the history of a village renamed more than 100 years ago.
The town of Coulsdon was named Smitham Bottom up to the start of the 20th century, and its railway station, Smitham.
But the name of the village was changed in 1911 after new residents moaned about it having the word “bottom” in its title.
Last year the station followed suit, 100 years later, changing from Smitham, to Coulsdon Town.
To ensure the name Smitham is not erased from the area, a local history group, the Bourne Society, organised for a blue plaque marking the station’s name change to be created.
It was unveiled at the station on Saturday. Charles King, of the East Surrey Transport Committee, and also a member of the history society, said: “Although a lot of people felt it was sad to change the name, Coulsdon Town reflects its location much better, and there has been an increase in use (of the station) of more than 9 per cent since the name change.
“It is good that through the Bourne Society blue plaque passengers will be able to see the history of the station and its original name of Smitham.”
He said the village of Smitham Bottom changed its name after the new rail service to the area saw an influx of residents, who then began to grumble about the “Bottom” element of the title, pushing the Post Office to change the name.
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