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Byline: WITH IAN PARRI

TO some among us geography can be a bit of a mystery. Ask them the name of Albania's capital city, or enquire about where you'd find Ulan Bator, and you might spark off a splinter-strewn attack of head scratching.

Few could tell you that the state capital of California is Sacramento, and where exactly is Vaduz?

Sometimes the fact that places might have more than one name adds to the confusion.

The Greenlandic capital known locally as Nuuk goes by the name of Godthaab in Denmark, which has nominal imperialistic control over the country. Munchen, on the other hand, is known as Munich in English. At least that sounds similar, much as Rhuthun and its Anglicised equivalent of Ruthin do.

Then there's Beaumaris, the ancient borough on Anglesey's southern shore built by the Normans. That's how it has a French name meaning "beautiful marsh", although it's never blessed with the right pronunciation.

It's often called Bow-maris by its English residents and Biw-maris by its Welsh populace, with the final "s" sibilantly sounded in a way the French never resort to. Sometimes the name is spelt as Biwmares to reflect on local pronunciation and

Welsh orthography. Confused? You're apparently not the only one. In our Big Picture feature earlier this week we provided you with a whole raft of useful facts about Beaumaris.

Usefully illuminating our readership with all this bumph, we then proceeded to set the cat among the pigeons by illustrating the piece with a photograph of God knows where. As one reader pointed out, it most certainly wasn't Beaumaris or even anywhere else on Anglesey.

The good folk in the Daily Post HQ in Llandudno Junction, beset by guilt and armed with magnifying glasses, set off on a trail of research to nail down the actual location. Much discussion and argument would follow, until finally a consensus was reached. Yep, the actual place shown and captioned as being Beaumaris was none other than Deganwy - a few hundred yards down the road from the office.

Sackcloth and ashes were dutifully ordered from the stationery department, along with the usual paper clips and ballpoint pens.

The intelligentsia who run the picture desk tell me that the problem lay with a new computer system they're trialling. We can all just be grateful that they're not running a nuclear power station. Meanwhile, a short hop away from Beaumaris lies Thomas Telford's famous 178-year-old Menai suspension bridge. Maintenance work on it in the last few months has caused much gnashing of teeth and huge traffic tail-backs.

Even so, one reader thought a naughty mainlander was being a bit disingenuous in labelling it "Anglesey's Menai suspension bridge" in the DP last week.

"As it links Anglesey to the mainland, doesn't it belong equally to both sides of the Menai Strait, as do the problems it brings?" she chides us.

Quite so, Ma'am, quite so
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Title Annotation:Comment
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 31, 2005
Words:484
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