Kingston's Toilet Gallery alley named after HMV dog Nipper

Surrey Comet: Kingston's Toilet Gallery alley named after HMV dog Nipper Kingston's Toilet Gallery alley named after HMV dog Nipper

A town centre alleyway has been named after the dog in the HMV logo successfully holding off competition from traditionalists who wanted the grander Empire Way.

Nipper Alley, which is next to the Kings Tun, will commemorate the famous fox terrier/jack russell cross, whose final resting place is 100 metres away, on the site now filled by Lloyds Bank.

The dog, which died in 1895 and is already commemorated on a small plaque inside the bank, won the approval of town councillors ahead of Empire Way - which would have evoked the listed 1910 Wetherspoons pub.

The access road will now be renamed if there are no objections from the public. Emergency services and the Royal Mail have raised no problems with the name change.

A spokesman for HMV said: “It is a great honour. We are delighted to hear that the town still remembers one of its most famous occupants.”

But Jennifer Butterworth, chairman of the Kingston Society, was dismayed by the news. She said: “I think that is really daft. You know what dogs do in alleys. In those circumstances maybe I would prefer Empire Way, even it is a bit overblown. It just gets worse and worse.”

Artist Patrick Blower recently took on joint custodianship of the Toilet Gallery in the side street and led the campaign for Nipper Alley by promising to dress up in a full size dog costume and lobby shoppers.

He said: “Initially the committee was leaning towards Empire as a safer, blander alternative and we pointed out the use of Nipper blended in with the town’s longer term plan to use tourism and arts to exploit the history of Kingston.

“I just thought the usual manner of council bureaucracy would take ages to go through the system. We are delighted.”

He hopes to put on a School of Nipper interactive exhibition in March when the alleyway is formally renamed and wants to paint double yellow lines along the floor leading into the gallery.

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