Coun­try Mouse

Save our signs

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

CLEARLY, from the num­ber of letters I have re­ceived, the plight of our re­main­ing fin­ger­posts, which tell us in miles, halfmiles, quar­ter-miles and eighths of miles the dis­tance we need to go, touches a chord with many of you. These de­light­ful signs vary in shape and de­sign from place to place and from county to county. They have been dis­ap­pear­ing since the Wor­boys Com­mit­tee deemed that stan­dard­ised signs should re­place them in 1964. Many sur­vived this cen­tralised de­ci­sion only to fall into ne­glect over the past 50 years. To­day, the Depart­ment of Trans­port recog­nises their role ‘in main­tain­ing a sense of com­mu­nity in a rapidly chang­ing en­vi­ron­ment’, but many are in a per­ilous state. We don’t want to lose some­thing that so many cher­ish and I hope more par­ish coun­cils will look into en­cour­ag­ing the main­te­nance or re­place­ment of them.

Equally, many peo­ple would like to see fewer yel­low lines scar­ring their roads like marker-pen tracks along their vil­lages. Sim­i­larly, a re­duc­tion in the ugly, plas­tic, mod­ern road signs that are so out of keep­ing with the area would bring back a charm and a sense of place. Our vil­lages are every bit as in­di­vid­ual as we are and these ubiq­ui­tous signs and splodges of paint are ru­in­ing their char­ac­ter. It’s not nos­tal­gia, but beauty that peo­ple want. MH

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