IT has become a byword for British suburban life. Acacia Avenue has been used in TV sitcoms, films and even song titles as the pinnacle of a happy place to live.

And now it appears that those living in real streets with the name really are... happy with their lives.

While superhero Bananaman lived on an Acacia Road, those living in similarly-named streets across the country appear to fit into specific brackets, according to a social study.

AA Insurance interviewed hundreds of people in 15 Acacia Avenues across England and Wales to get a better understanding of its average customer.

Among those questioned were the residents of Acacia Avenue in Verwood.

According to their study, the AA found that four out of 10 people questioned said fish and chips were their favourite dish, most houses had a garden and three bedrooms and residents tended to be families and older couples. They rarely get divorced and have been in the same job for 11 years.

The average Acacia Avenue worker earned around the national average wage, £22,500, and took just 21 minutes to get to their office or factory.

One in five residents polled had a garden shed and almost one in 10 had bought a garden gnome.

Just over half went abroad for one week a year, with Spain the most popular destination.

The Echo went to Acacia Avenue in Verwood to find out first- hand whether the people living there really are living a happy suburban life.

Made up of bungalows, Verwood's Acacia Avenue is mostly home to retired people. Each property boasts beautifully kept front and back gardens although there was not a garden gnome in sight!

Reg Dymond, 77, said: "I have lived here for two years and yes it is a nice place to live, mainly because of the peace and quiet.

"I don't like fish and chips and I don't have a garden gnome but it is mainly older people living here."

One elderly couple, who did not wish to be named, said they have lived on Acacia Avenue since it was built around 20 years ago.

"It is a nice area. It is very peaceful. If you are retired all you want is peace and quiet.

"In the summer you see your neighbours in their gardens but in the winter we all stay behind closed doors."

Retired couple Norman and Mary Egerton have lived in their bungalow for 11 years.

Mary said: "It is nice living here because we have got access to the forest and the sea within a matter of minutes. Everyone is happy here."

Norman added: "We don't have a garden gnome but we do like the fish and chips in Verwood that's a good point about living here."

  • An exhibition of photographs of Acacia Avenue residents will be held in London next week to highlight the research.