Buckinghamshire place names around the world
PUBLISHED: 11:01 08 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:01 08 March 2016
Many of us know our official twin towns, but how about the ‘cousins’, some thousands of miles away? Sue Bromley’s been on a tour of the planet
Buckinghamshire around the world
Chesham - A rural life in Razavi Khorasan Province, photo www.flickr.com/photos/froderamone
The Robbers Cave State Park in Latimer County, Oklahoma, photo by Kenny Breedlove, www.flickr.com/photos/kenny73116
Marlow town hall, photo by Assenmacher, Wikimedia Commons
Buckingham - Nunavut provides some breath-taking sights, photo Mike Beauregard, www.flickr.com/photos/31856336@N03
Time to turn right into Wendover, it’s definitely not the A413, photo www.flickr.com/photos/countylemonade
Take it easy on the corner of Winslow, photo www.flickr.com/photos/billmorrow
Amersham - Abandoned homes close to the Soufrière Hills volcano, photo Leonora Enking, www.flickr.com/photos/33037982@N04
Lots of greenery in High Wycombe, but it is near the airport. Photo: www.flickr.com/photos/jordanvuong
Here’s an iconic stop for fans of US Route 66 in Navajo County, Arizona, even though a bypass now means Route 66 no longer passes through the city of just under 10,000 (nearly three times the population of our Winslow).
That doesn’t stop those doing the trip from staying at La Posada, the last of the great railroad hotels, built in 1929, and heading for the street corner in Winslow for a photograph, following the 1972 Eagles and Jackson Browne song ‘Taking it Easy’ which includes the line ‘Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona’.
Fancy moving there? Winslow US has around a third of the rainfall each year of Buckinghamshire, and you can expect cold, dry winters and hot summers with the odd downpour. And you’ll have to adjust to the altitude of 5,000ft (our Winslow is just 394ft above sea level).
Under £50,000 will get you a decent enough three bed, two bathroom house with air con on a sixth of an acre. At the ‘top end’ just over £200,000 is needed to buy an immaculate four bed home with gourmet kitchen granite slab counter tops, double ovens and walk-in pantry. You’d also enjoy a huge master suite with private patio and jetted tub, and gorgeous bamboo flooring throughout.
Winslow to Winslow: 5,097 miles
Our Wendover is surrounded by the Chiltern Hills, but you can expect a few peaks to climb around this one in Utah, and a lot less greenery. Population-wise it’s around a quarter of the size of the Buckinghamshire one and right on the border with Nevada, where it links to West Wendover on the other side.
Originally a Western Pacific Railway stop, Wendover’s biggest ‘claim to fame’ is that the Enola Gay, the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb, was based at the airfield there until two months before its mission over Hiroshima.
With a name that comes from ‘wending over the desert’ you won’t be surprised to learn that this is a fairly arid place. There have been attempts to join Wendover and West Wendover, but with Nevada allowing gambling (West Wendover has casinos) it’s never happened.
An exceptionally spacious three storey brick built, four bed home with lots of appliances in West Wendover costs around £215,000. Some people buy parcels of land to build on, a city lot of around a fifth of an acre costs around £17,000.
Wendover to Wendover: 4,905 miles
There are plenty of Beaconsfields around, mostly named after Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, made the 1st Earl of Beaconsfield by Queen Victoria. Past Australians were particularly fond of naming their new townships after him, and so for this one we head to Beaconsfield, Tasmania, a former gold mining town near the Tamar river.
It’s not the biggest Beaconsfield, with a population of just 1,200 (our Beaconsfield has 10 times that), but is certainly one of the most interesting. It used to be known as Brandy Creek but was renamed after the discovery of gold at one Cabbage Tree Hill. We particularly like that in those days it had a newspaper called ‘The Beaconsfield Tickler’.
Beaconsfield became Tasmania’s richest gold town, although the mine closed in 1914. It re-opened at the end of the last century before finally closing in 2012. Beaconsfield is also noted for being the first Australian town to add fluoride to its water.
Around £90,000 will get you a pleasant bungalow, but for just under £350,000 you’ll find large, dream homes with land providing stunning views of the shoreline and ocean beyond. One even has a double door entrance salvaged from an old bank, a spacious glass atrium, hot tub and use of Crown land.
Beaconsfield to Beaconsfield: 10,758 miles
Our own Aylesbury has a hamlet called New Zealand, from a breed of cow once farmed there, and The New Zealand pub on the Buckingham Road. The one ‘down under’ is a small settlement in the Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island that’s popular with those who enjoy the outdoor life on their travels. It’s very rural and mostly given over to grazing. Aylesbury was close to the epicentre of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in 2010.
For just under £400,000 you could end up with a 25 acre property with a modernised house, shearing sheds and cattleyard in nearby Kirwee, or a two bedroom country cottage for £130,000.
Aylesbury to Aylesbury: 11,795 miles
With a population of around 11,000, the suburb of High Wycombe in Perth, Australia, is a tenth of the size of our one, although the city itself is home to some two million people.
High Wycombe sits at the foot of the Perth Hills, next to Perth Airport, and close to another suburb with a familiar name, Maida Vale. It’s popular with families and there’s lots of shopping and parks. Large and stylish single storey houses here come on decent size plots, and a well equipped four bed home with air con and possibly a pool costs from around £265,000. A new train station is on the way, so High Wycombe is on the up.
High Wycombe to High Wycombe: 9,040 miles
Perhaps one of the most unusual of our ‘cousin towns’ as this one is a village in northern Iran, with a population of around 1,500, that’s about a twelfth of the size of our Chilterns town. It’s in a largely rural part of Iran in Razavi Khorasan Province with many links to ancient human history discovered in archaeological finds. There’s little rainfall and with a steppe climate you can expect hot summers and cold winters. Chesham is some 150 miles from the province’s capital, Mashdad, and 400 miles by road from the Iranian capital of Tehran.
In 2012 Chesham Town Council received an email from a gent in the other Chesham seeking contact with the town, and replied with website links to local sites.
Chesham to Chesham: 2,977 miles
The story of Amersham on the Caribbean island of Montserrat is a sad one. Although not destroyed, it was one of the settlements that had to be abandoned following the Soufrière Hills volcano eruptions in 1997. The volcano had occasionally been active since at least 1897 but the eruptions that began in July 1995 were the first there since the 19th century.
People were moved to nearby Antigua and Barbuda, with some 4,000 coming to the UK. There have been three further eruptions, including in 2010 when large ash clouds hung over parts of Montserrat and the neighbouring islands. Even so, much of this beautiful island, nicknamed The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean because of its resemblance to coastal Ireland and that many of its inhabitants include Irish heritage in their family history, remains untouched. A luxurious three bed villa with pool and separate one bed guesthouse well away from the trouble area will set you back around £265,000.
Amersham to Amersham: 4,111 miles
The town is close to the Baltic Sea in the Vorpommern-Rügen district of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, German’s least populated state. It’s a beautiful area with holiday resorts and nature parks. Marlow’s claim to fame is the amazing bird park there with parrots desperate to climb all over you for treats. The park also has kangaroos and monkeys, plus a water playground, so it’s not all feathered friends.
Just under 5,000 people live there, so population-wise it’s less than half the size of our one. A brand new seven room house in Marlow will set you back around £220,000, while a villa with 12 rooms and a gorgeous garden comes in at about £365,000.
Marlow to Marlow: 584 miles
Most know the link between William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, who is buried next to his first wife in the cemetery of the Jordans Quaker meeting house near Chalfont St Giles, and our county. But it appears that, contrary to his belief, Penn was not directly related to the family from which Penn in Buckinghamshire takes its name.
There are two Penns in Pennsylvania. The larger is in York County, where some 16,000 live in a typical New England mix of small towns and beautiful scenery. Nearly 150 miles away in Westmoreland County is Penn township with a population of 460, about an eighth of that of the Bucks one.
The latter sits next to the Bushey Run Battlefield, a preserved historical site of a 1763 battle which saw the British defeat Pontiac, an Ottawa Indian chief who had been controlling the frontier and capturing British forts.
These are highly desirable places to live, but you can pick up a seven bedroom ‘mansion’ for around £940,000.
Penn to Penn: 3,601 miles
Get your coat on, we’re off to this Canadian arctic island in Norwegian Bay in the territory of Nunavut. It’s part of Queen Elizabeth Islands, with a peak named Mount Windsor. Back on the mainland in Nunavat’s capital city of Iqaluit (population around 6,700) property is more expensive than we might expect, with a four bed condo coming in at nearly £170,000. A newly built ‘executive class’ five bed home with admittedly stunning features was recently priced at £375,000. But this is a land of gold mining, and oil, gas and mineral exploration.
Buckingham to Buckingham: 3,228 miles
Latimer has its own county in Oklahoma, complete with a state park which in the days of the Wild West was a hideout for outlaws Jesse James and Belle Starr.
The area was once a thriving coal mining area, but this industry collapsed as a result of competition from gas and oil plus The Great Depression of 1929. Today it’s very scenic, with hills and creeks, and mountains to the north. Many properties here are wood-built and a single storey four bed home with sheds and stores on a five acre lot costs around £125,000.
Latimer to Latimer: 7,353 miles
• Berkshire place names around the world - Many of us know our official twin towns, but how about the ‘cousins’, some thousands of miles away? Sue Bromley’s been on a tour of the planet