It's not clear why Eric Blair chose the name George Orwell. But even
more puzzling is that we in Ipswich aren't clear about our river's
Correspondence in The Guardian speculated on whether George
Orwell chose his name because he would have crossed the Orwell as a
child when his parents took him on holiday to Southwold. Then someone
pointed out that the Orwell Bridge wasn't built then and he would have
crossed the Gipping en route from London, but George Gipping doesn't
sound so good!
A further writer said that he would have seen the Orwell
from the train or he could have crossed it by road because 'two of the
three river crossings in the town are over the tidal Orwell, not the
non-tidal Gipping.' But the Gipping is certainly tidal at Princes Street
Bridge, and further upriver. Where does the name change? Stoke Bridge?