020 8530-8443Monday to Friday 10.30am to 4.30pm

TRUMP STREET AND RUSSIA ROW

THE STORY THAT KEEPS ON GIVING!

The street sign for Trump Street..

DID THEY SEE IT COMING?

By Richard Jones

Say what you will about Donald John Trump, there has not been a dull moment since he became the 45th President of the United States - with, or without, a little help from the Russians.

Now, if I were to tell you that the town planners of the City of London foresaw the rows over Russia that have embroiled him since he took office a good 140 years before he was even born, you'd probably accuse me of peddling fake news.

And, you would be right.

But, what cannot be termed fake news - largely because the street signs are there the prove the existence of this deliciously exquisite piece of prophetic irony - is that, in the City of London, a hop and a skip to the north of Cheapside, you will find a thoroughfare that labours under the appellation of "Trump Street."

WHY TRUMP STREET?

Quite how this uninspiring street gained its name is not 100% certain. Some authorities suggest it is because this was where the trumpet makers were once located. Others say that it was named for a tavern that once stood nearby, called "The Trumpeter."

What we do know is that, in 1720, it is recorded that a "Duke Street" followed the line of what, by 1746, had become "Trump Street."

So, if the name was changed in the 18th century, as seems to have been the case, it is unlikely that it was named after a trade; but it is likely that it could have been named for a builder or property developer.

IT CHANGES ITS NAME

But, if you follow its course from east to west, Trump Street does something that many streets in London do, much to the confusion of visitors and Londoners alike. It changes its name.

It is, however, what it changes its name to that makes these two otherwise un-noteworthy thoroughfares noteworthy.

For, no longer have you settled into a measured gait as you walk along Trump Street than the name suddenly changes to - Russia Row.

The street sign for Russia Row,.

WHY RUSSIA ROW?

The earliest known mention of Russia Row is in 1810 - and, just like Trump Street, at its eastern intersection, it is uncertain why the thoroughfare was so named.

Some say it is because this is where those who traded in Russian goods were located - which, again, seems unlikely.

Others say that it was renamed in honour of the fact that Russia had opted to join Britain in the Napoleonic Wars.

STILL, WHAT PROPHETIC NAMING

But, the purpose of this article was not to look closely at the origins of the names, but rather, it was to put on record the fact that, in the heart of the City of London, two thoroughfares, that had coexisted side by side for the best part of 200 years, suddenly became hugely topical when, in January 2017, Donald John Trump became the 45th President of the United States of America, and, thanks to a long, bitter and drawn out row about just how he got there, people can no longer walk along Russia Row and into Trump Street - or vice versa - without looking up at the two names and enjoying a wry smile!