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For most of its history, Ladymoor Gate was in the parish of Horton, in the district of Blackwood and Crowborough - but that was before the borders changed.

We are close to a number of borders. Never live near a border. If our experience is anything to go by you will get all sorts of problems, even registering the death of a loved one.

 

The LEA's opinion !!

We have had trouble with school catchment areas. We were in one catchment area in 1995 and a different one in 2001 when my daughter applied to move from primary to high school. It caused her serious stress that the LEA wanted to move her not only away from her friends but into a different system! The authority denied changing the boundary - but something had changed. My daughter went to the primary school where she was allocated a place (ironically the one we initially applied to was outside our area in 1995 - but not in 2002 when the LEA tried to move her there).

The MP said "You're not in my constituency"

The most amusing incident was when we wrote to our MP about our problems with the LEA and she replied that we were not in her constituency and referred us to her colleague. Funny - we'd voted for her but it seemed that she like everyone else was working on local common sense rather than artificial boundaries. Never mind. Her colleague sorted it out in the end.

The Registrar of Death's was uncertainty

Maybe the worst boundary problem was when Andy died and we needed to register his death. I don't understand, in this day and age, why deaths have to be registered in one specific place according to place of death, but they do - and none of the authorities in our area seemed to know which one it had to be. The superintendent registrar in Leek was very apologetic and spent an hour or more trying to find out. We, it appeared were not on any of his lists. It turns out that there are four households along our lane in what he described as "no-man's land" - so at least we aren't alone. Anyway, he settled on one district, but when we turned up the district registrar initially refused to make the registration and we had to sit and wait while she went of to consult! Although she eventually registered the death it was not a very pleasant experience for someone who had just lost a husband.

Professional couriers say they can't find us

It isn't just the local authorities who can't locate us. Professional couriers, with a few notable exceptions, are either unable or unwilling to deliver. Strange that professional organisations are incapable of using a post code to locate us, especially in this day and age of the satnav! Even the ones that do "find us" leave invisible cards and report in their on-line tracking systems that they attempted to deliver but got no answer. The worst example was when a well known national carrier, which had failed for three weeks to deliver a computer, said "Well, it's your fault for having a silly farm address." Stick to the normal post I say. We have a fantastic post man.

A possible answer

When it was built Ladymoor Gate Farm would have been in the old parish of Horton, close to the boundaries with Endon, Brown Edge and Biddulph. We believe it was moved into Biddulph as part of the boundary changes made in 1934. However, we are clearly closer to Brown Edge, the postal address is Brown Edge and many locals consider it to be Brown Edge, although "up near Lask Edge".

In practice it is possible that our boundary problems have arisen due to a change in technology. On the old maps with the hand drawn boundaries, a small wobble in the line would have moved us from one side the boundary to the other. I suspect different people had slightly different maps and that photocopies were unclear. They could also have interpreted them differently. I guess that sometime in the mid 1990s the systems were computerised and mapped onto postcodes and "certainty" was the result. For us it means that in respect of some services (most noticeably education) we have moved, but the LEA will never admit it. No doubt the people who interpreted the old maps and sent my eldest daughter to Brown Edge school have long retired and there have been several year zeros since.