Middle-class mischief-makers add accent to Barnet sign to give it French twist

Last updated at 00:46 07 January 2008

Barnet sign

There are some addresses, such as Chelsea or Mayfair, which possess a certain cachet. And there are others, such as Barnet, which don't.

Some mischief-makers in the North London suburb, however, are trying to change all that by adding an acute accent to the e, in the hope that it will be pronounced Barnay.

In an apparent attempt to improve their image, and perhaps even raise property prices, they have altered scores of road signs on main routes with masking tape, Velcro or black paint.

In the town itself, the signs outside a dental surgery, college and school have also been changed.

They have been returned to their original form by council workmen - only to be re-altered within a matter of hours.

A campaign to make the new 'Barnét' spelling official has been set up on the social networking website Facebook. It now has almost 800 members.

On the other side of the coin, the suburb, population 332,000, is twinned with the French town of Chaville.

This has prompted some cynics to suggest it should be changed to the somewhat less glamorous Chav Ville.

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