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Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 15:35 GMT
Border battle over Welsh postcode
Tidenham Parish Church
The parish of Tidenham has about 5,000 residents
Residents of a tiny parish in England are stepping up a campaign against being given a Welsh postcode.

Villagers in the parish of Tidenham, which lies on the English side of the River Wye in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, have been given a Newport postcode.

The Royal Mail handed them the code as their nearest sorting office is in Chepstow.

Residents say they are fed-up of receiving domestic bills in Welsh, Welsh driving licences and information on Welsh elections

We would like to have our identity restored as being part of England

Clive Hooper, council clerk

Tidenham Parish Council is expected to vote to hold a referendum on whether the parish's 5,000 residents want an English postcode.

They hope a high turnout and a positive vote for English status will convince Consignia bosses to bow to their request for a Gloucestershire postcode instead.

Clive Hooper, clerk of Tidenham Parish Council denied the campaign was "anti-Welsh" and said residents simply wanted official recognition of their English status.

"This is not an anti-Welsh thing.

"A lot of people here are of Welsh descent and we get on very well with our neighbours. It's just that we would like to have our identity restored as being part of England.

National pride

"For those people for whom it is a problem, every day when a bill comes through door - when it is in Welsh it rubs salt into the wounds.

"The English do not tend to be as nationalistic as the Welsh, but when you get to the borders you will find that the national pride is very much more prevalent."

Tidenham resident Dr Alan Svendsen said: "We should not be labelled as Welsh just because it is convenient for the post office.This is a nonsense.

"I was asked why I am not prepared to be Welsh. Well why should I? I am not prepared to be called French or Danish."

A spokesman for Consignia - the new name for the Royal Mail - said the postcode was designed to allow the post office to process mail as efficiently as possible, and was not intended as a geographical reference.

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01 Dec 00 | Business
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