What three words…? map launch

A while ago, I came across the innovative addressing system what3words. It means that addresses need not be tied to streets and houses, but that anywhere can have an address. For example, the person sleeping under the Digby Hospital water tower has the address narrow.fade.novel.

I wondered whether I could do anything with it, and came up with the idea of asking people what three words their place means to them. Initially, i linked it to the address system, but that made it confusing, and it fell away.

So here is the What three words…? app, that let’s you choose your place and enter your words, and browse what others have said about their places.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be around and about the area with a tablet, asking people what they think. Watch out!

What three words...?

FALAFELS first drop

FALAFELS stands for Free Art Friday Exeter St Loyes Loves Anagrams. You have to think about it a bit!

Free Art Friday is a joyful way of sharing art, and brightening someone’s day – find out more about FALAFELS and the origins of Free Art Friday here.

Here’s a pic of my first FALAFELS drop on Friday 12th January. Can you tell where I left it, and where I was talking to Sue? Did you find the cards? Did you use the second one? Let me know in the comments below. More background to what’s on the card in a few days…

My hopes for FALAFELS are that you find and enjoy the pieces I’ll be leaving around St Loyes, and that you are inspired to get involved and do some Free Art Friday drops yourselves. The more the merrier!


St Elsewhere

A long time ago (1982-88) in a galaxy far, far away (the United States) … there was a TV show called “St Elsewhere”. It was an Emmy-award winning medical drama series set in a fictional Boston Hospital called St Eligius.

Now, of course, you know that St Eligius is the Latin name for St Loye, and that St Loyes doesn’t include either the area around St Loyes Road often labelled as ‘St Loyes’ on maps, nor the old St Loyes Foundation site, nor even St Loyes Chapel, which is the wrong side of Rifford Road.

So that St Elsewhere got me thinking. Where are all the other St Loyes elsewhere in the country? As well as the above, so far I’ve come up with:

Can you find any others?

What’s in a name?

There have been many versions of St Loye through the ages. He signed himself Eligius, the Latin form of his name, which comes from eligere meaning to choose. Here’s an example of his signature. 

Signature of St Loye

Loye also appears as Eloy, Éloy, Éloi and Loy. Other variants of Eligius include Eligio and Eligiusz. Would you call your child Eligius?

My name is Clare, but is often mis-spelled Claire. Then there are the variants Clair, Clara, Klara, Chiara, Clarissa, Chiara, and so on. The Irish County Clare comes from the name of a small bridge. Otherwise, Clare and the others come from the Latin for clear or bright.

What about your name? What are its origins and what does it mean?

The Working with Gold logo

I wanted a logo for Working with Gold that was distinctive and related to St Loyes. I didn’t want generic community-style clipart, or something abstract that was a logo for the sake of having a logo. Thankfully, St Loye is the patron saint of gold smiths, and gold was a good avenue to pursue.

The Royal Society of Chemistry website includes a periodic table of alchemy. Gold is one of seven metals and represents perfection. Here are the symbols for gold that I considered adapting.

Alchemical symbol for gold. Source: Royal Society of Chemistry.I love this image. It’s really strong, and incorporates the L and O of Loyes. The different shapes within it could represent different aspects of the ward and connections between them. It also has echoes of smithying. I just wasn’t sure how to stretch the design to make it work on the web, in print, on stamps, etc etc. I hope to use it in a specific project.

Alchemical symbol for gold. Source: Royal Society of Chemistry.Gold also represents the sun in astrology. The rays could either represent connections, or be stubs of boundaries with other areas. It also reflects St Loyes being in the east of the city where the sun rises. However, I decided it was too ‘wispy’.

Alchemical symbol for gold. Source: Royal Society of Chemistry.This is the main symbol for gold. It could represent the boundary of St Loyes, and for example the Middlemoor roundabout. St Loyes is a sort of ‘digestive system’ for Exeter, as a hub for transport, a source of raw materials for building, and a location for utilities and communications companies. So this image lends itself to being extended with concentric rings, indicating the ripple effect from St Loyes to the rest of the city.

Alchemical symbol for gold. Source: Royal Society of Chemistry.This version also reflects the different aspects of St Loyes within the boundary: residential, public/education, office, retail, industrial. There are five gold rings!!!!! I thought I could adapt it with any number of rings as needed, it could make discs with hole(s) cut out. And it’s a strong symbol in either colour or B&W.

As regards a colour scheme, what better than to go for gold?! So there we have it!

Potted biography of St Loye

Petrus christus, sant'eligio nella bottega di un orafo 01.jpgSt Loye was born in about 588 near Limoges, close to the middle of what is now France.

He trained and worked as a goldsmith, rising to master of the mint and then councillor to the King of the Franks. He took advantage of royal favour to obtain alms for the poor, ransom slaves, and give criminals decent burials. He founded several monasteries, and built and restored churches in Paris. In 642, he was (unwillingly) appointed Bishop of Noyon-Tournai with the unanimous approval of clergy and people.

He died on 1 December 660, and 1 December is now his feast day.

Among many other patronages, St Loye is the patron saint of horses and those who work with them, goldsmiths, other metalworkers, coin collectors, veterinarians, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) corps in the British Army. He is particularly honoured in parts of northern France and Belgium.

So how did St Loye become connected with Exeter?

It probably relates to the dedication of the Chapel of St Loye (not actually within the current St Loyes ward boundaries). According to Historic England’s listing of the Chapel, it “was built by Henry Twill in 1377 and was dedicated to St Loye the patron saint of metal workers.” The dedication is unusual; it is the only one known in Devon or Cornwall. Maybe it was simply the whimsy of the local lord of the manor.

St Loyes ward

St Loyes is a ward within Exeter City Council on the east side of the city. The current boundaries were set in the City Council’s 2016 reorganisation, and can be seen in the map below… together with a suggested route for ‘beating the bounds’ using different modes of transport.

St Loyes and Topsham are anomalous in Exeter, both wards being moved from the Exeter constituency to East Devon in 2010. The constituency boundaries are based on the old St Loyes ward, before the City Council reorganisation in 2016, so now the two don’t match. I need to check, but I think the boundaries of the Devon County Council electoral division of Wonford and St Loyes are based on the constituency boundaries. I do know that they don’t match the City Council boundaries. All potentially very confusing! We are waiting until September 2018 to find out whether the Boundary Commission recommends St Loyes be moved back into the Exeter constituency.

So at the moment St Loyes is a mix of council housing, mobile homes, old and new suburbs, industrial estate, retail park, M5 J30 services and part of Ludwell Valley Park. Bizarrely, it doesn’t include either the area around St Loyes Road often labelled as ‘St Loyes’ on maps, nor the old St Loyes Foundation site, nor even St Loyes Chapel, which is the wrong side of Rifford Road.

There are three primaries, one secondary school, a couple of small churches, and a few public sector organisations. There isn’t really a pub for locals, and other than a few cafés for workers on Sowton, most of the eateries are for shoppers and people passing through. It has no community centre, post office, or anything obvious that connects people and provides heart.

But take a wander or scratch the surface, and it is immensely interesting.