During my investigative wander last week, when I went in search of the Kingsway Tramway Tunnel, I also encountered an old pre-Worboys road sign. By which I mean that it predated the Worboys Committee, which redesigned the UK’s road signs in 1964 to make them clearer, more suited to greater traffic etc and (quietly) more in tune with the rest of Europe.
In Search of Signs
Searching the Easy Way
Afterwards, I also realised that I hadn’t seen another old sign I remember seeing in Aldwych not all that long ago. So I went back to have another look and, just to make sure, I got a list off teh internets of these ancient relics of signdom, which are, by definition, at least six years older than I am.
I was not entirely unscathed by my brush with the internet, though. Obviously, the sort of people from whom I could obtain a list are going to be a bit geeky — and they are — but they’re generally just motoring enthusiasts with an eye for detail rather than the terrifyingly obsessive. However, there are some (thankfully only one or two) who appear to consider it a personal affront that ‘their’ signs have been replaced with ‘foreign’ ones and that the country has obviously been conquered by European Johnny Foreigners Up To No Good.
One gets the distinct impression that the only reason these people wouldn’t vote for the BNP is that it’s too modern and inclusive and not a patch on the original British Union of Fascists, which had real values.
Honestly, I thought I might combust.
Signs Absent from Aldwych
Anyway, armed with my list I headed back to Aldwych to confirm that the signs that I remembered have indeed been replaced with modern, Worboys-compliant signs sometime in the last two years. Indeed, out of a good half dozen signs that were still in place in 2009, only two now remain.
Given that these signs survived 45 years while all others around them were changed, I wonder what caused them to finally succumb? Perhaps the councils are trying to get their road signs consistent for 2012 and the Olympics?
Anyway, for the sheer geeky curiosity of it, these are what I did find:
Doing It Old Style
Also, as I was walking down Gray’s Inn Road, I saw this: