Bashful Alley, Lancaster

In the city of Lancaster is a pretty backstreet not far from the railway station and castle. It is called Bashful Alley and contains a number of quaint little shops. I grew up in Lancaster and was often intrigued by its name. This was in fact the name given to it by the Victorians who understandably were a little embarrassed by its original two-word name which cannot be repeated on a church website. Suffice to say it began with the word 'grope' and was evidently the place at which the Lancaster professional ladies plied their trade from mediaeval times.

What a transformation! A dingy stew of vice should now be a charming side street with a pretty name. Bashful means shy or not wishing to draw attention to oneself, the very opposite of the alley's former denizens.