There is a strand of schoolboy humour based on people with funny names. Most are smutty, some obscene, but the likes of Annette Curtin, Warren Peace, Justin Case and Orson Carte, still make me chuckle.
I had always assumed that these names were fictional; surely no parent would name their son Ben, or their daughter Eileen, if their surname was Dover? Apparently they would. Some parents, it seems, inflict names on their children that are guaranteed to confer a lifetime of embarrassment. We have had an example in the Lizard canary fancy.
In my article on the Norwich Alliance show of 1955, I mentioned that one of the exhibitors at the show was a ‘Miss O. Branch’. Her name crops up regularly in the show reports from the 1950s but her full name is never given. ‘Is it too much to hope that her Christian name was Olive?’, I asked. Thanks to Joe Coakley, we now have the answer and, joy of joys, it is indeed Olive.
Olive Branch: fun for us, but can’t have been much fun for her.