Tuesday 9 September 2008

Belmore Lane

I was startled, when visiting the site of Crippen’s old house in Hilldrop Crescent, on the edge of Camden Town and Holloway, to see a small side road running off the crescent, which rejoices in the name of Belmore Lane.

Could it be, I conjectured, that this name was inspired by the chosen pseudonym of Crippen’s wife Cora? When she went on the stage, she liked to use the name Belle Elmore. Alternatively, might the Elmore name have influenced the planners’ choice of street name?

Previously, I’d wondered if Belle’s choice of stage name was influenced by the fact that Marie Lloyd – who was friendly with Belle, and knew Crippen – had, in her youth, used the rather similar name Bella Delmare. This still seems a bit more likely, and sheer coincidence is – as so often – entirely possible. It would be remarkable to choose a name for a street based on a corruption of the stage name of someone who lived across the road before her untimely death.

Certainly, if there are any Camden residents or people who know the area who can cast light on the mystery, I’d be interested to hear from them.

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