Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Monday, 14 March 2011

Ann(i)e Taylors - take a bow!

I was christened Anne Christine Taylor. Being an 'Anne' in the 60s meant there was always someone else nearby with the same name - the young British princess saw to that - but being an 'Anne Taylor' also led to same name syndrome. It was, shall we say, a popular combination. At my primary school, (a gorgeous little school on Tweedy Street in the village of Wilsden, ) there was girl called Anne Taylor who was - to my eyes - very grown up and in the top class. She must have been all of 11.

Wilsden Primary School
(Memories come flooding back now of the children I knew then - the Bennett twins, whose elder brother I worshipped - Steven Bennett.. he played the violin and I thought he was wonderful. Their mother ran the sweet shop at the end of the school street. Trevor Tipple, who was a naughty boy but whom I used to kiss under the desk - yes, it's true, I confess, despite my feelings for Steven...; Lois Geniver, my funny, skinny friend who had a mouse called 'Guzzylugs' because it had scratched off and eaten one of it's ears...gosh that sounds really horrible now, but it was funny then. And Raine Patrick, who arrived mid-term and who was very clever, very beautiful and who had such a lovely name. I only lived in Wilsden for two years, from the age of 6 to 8, but I have the most vivid of childhood memories from this period and I could go on, but I won't.)

By the time I reached secondary school, I was in a class where three of us girls were called Anne, though one of them was Ann - and Ann Taylor at that! She was very quiet and tended to get called by her full name to distinguish her from me - Ann P. Taylor - which over time became lengthened to 'Ann P. Taylor On Wheels' due to the gliding way she walked! The other Anne became my best friend and is still. As we moved on to college, we both became Annies.

Where is all this going?

Well, how many of you have googled your own name? I do hope I'm not the only one to have done this!

Annie and her barrel - and the cat that went first

My most famous namesake is a woman who was the first to go over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel. THE FIRST.. does this mean others tried afterwards, I ask myself? Probably.

Not only was she the first but she was 63 when she did it! Annie Edson Taylor was low on funds and saw her old age looming. Not everyone would think of pulling off such a stunt in order to provide a pension - though failure would remove the need for such a thing - but Annie went for it. She sent a cat over first, which apparently survived, before loading herself into the barrel and setting off over the Falls.

Queen of the Mist.

Another Annie Taylor is a wonderful landscape artist - British - based in Dorset. She illustrates books too and I do like her work very much. Her website is here and well worth a visit. I would love to buy one of her paintings (perfect on one of the walls of my modern house....) She also has a blog, which I only just found but which I will be following. The colours she uses and the sense of movement in her paintings are exciting and compulsive.
And just to think - if we didn't share the same name and the internet didn't exist, I would never have known about her. She's worth knowing about.

My less than scientific research indicates that apart from a women's clothes designer going under the name of Ann Taylor (has to be an alias) there are very few other famous Annie Taylors but I am absolutely sure that there many more of us - unsung heroines! Take a bow, wherever you are.

Who do you share your name with? Check it out - it could be interesting.


  1. Almost all the people who share my name seem to be American and either academics or in the media! My mother's name was Annie, which I thought was lovely but it became old-fashioned, so it's good to hear it being used again :-)

  2. My first name is very usual, but my last name is very unusual (both maiden and married). There are less than a handful of people named just like me. :)


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