We'll Miss You, Little Dicker

This nation is famous for many things: we are slow to anger and swift to forgive; we believe in fair play; we are completely obsessed by the weather, and we have the silliest place names in the whole world.

In the rolling English county of Sussex, for example, lies a valley noted for lush meadows and rude names. Which is why, just in case you are thinking of visiting, you should listen very carefully – and take notes too.

One village in this valley has already been forced to change its name. For reasons which are entirely beyond me, visitors to this particular village had begun to laugh every time they spotted the sign. But innocent laughter turned into lewd chuckles. Lewd chuckles attracted the wrong sort of visitor and before long the name-plate was being laughed about worldwide on the internet, complete with photographs of men in various states of … shall we put it….. undress.

The name of the village is, or was Little Dicker.

At weekends this sleepy hamlet became full of cars with eager photographers and semi-naked men standing in front of part of the sign. The rest is smutty history. They are renaming Little Dicker - Golden Cross to be on the safe side.

Down the road similar difficulties have affected the village of Fulking, and the elders of that ancient place are still debating what action to take. Without doubt the misunderstanding of their name is proving to be rather tiresome.

Meanwhile the metal signs for the trout-filled river which gushes down the valley have been especially shortened to avoid vandals with a wicked sense of humour adding extra consonants. It is, of course, one of Sussex's finest waterways – the river Uck.

You are very welcome to visit. But leave your camera at home and keep your clothes on. Please.

By Ed Boyle