Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Airport Drops Nottingham Nonsense

East Midlands Airport is now called "East Midlands Airport".

That may sound strange, but the airport's name has been the subject of some controversy over the years.

When it first opened, it was known as Castle Donington Airport, after the small Leicestershire town near which it is situated.

But it was soon realised, particularly with the enormous growth in air travel for business and pleasure, that it was conveniently placed to serve the three East Midlands cities of Derby, Leicester and Nottingham.

So, quite logically, the name was changed to East Midlands Airport, which should have suited everybody.

However, three years ago a campaign was orchestrated from one of those three cities, suggesting that nobody knew where to find the East Midlands, but that everybody knew Nottingham, because of its alleged connection with Robin Hood.

Many of us would have thought that the East Midlands would be fairly easy to identify on a map - as easy, say, as the South East or the West Country. Or again, whereabouts in France might the South of France be?

Anyway, the airport's management became convinced. They decided that "East Midlands" was not enough, and that they needed to specify one of those three cities in the name.

Well, if you really had to choose one of the three cities (and only people in Nottingham thought so), there were some clues to help decide which one.

The airport is situated in Leicestershire.

The nearest of the three cities is Derby.

The airport's telephone number and postcode are Derby.

The largest of the three cities is Leicester.

The oldest and most historic is Leicester.

Most of the environmental brunt, in terms of traffic, noise, pollution etc is borne by Leicestershire.

So they decided to name it after Nottingham, which to be fair is the best of the three cities at self promotion..

Understandably, people in Derbyshire as well as Leicestershire have resented this enormously.

This week the airport management have decided that they were wrong to add Nottingham to the title, and the name has reverted (no doubt at great unnecessary cost) to "East Midlands Airport".

There is to be a "below the line" addition, explaining that the airport serves Derby, Leicester and Nottingham.

Is everybody happy now? No, not quite. John Collins, Leader of Nottingham City Council, says it is a slap in the face for Nottingham.

Well, I suppose it is - in the same way that if one recovers stolen goods, it is a slap in the face for the thief.

Sanity, as Roger Blackmore, Leader of Leicester Council says, prevails.