Thursday, 21 February 2019

Welcoming Signs


As I wander around the countryside I often pass one of our dwindling stock of English pubs (and occasionally drop in for a drink or a meal). I take a lot of photos of their signs, particularly if I see one that's interesting or attractive, and over the months these accumulate into a collection.

The one above, in Elmdon, is no longer a pub but the householder has kept the unusual sign. The name, "The Carrier", is uncommon but not unique, but this kind of large wooden cut-out sign seems to be a feature of this little area around the Cambridgeshire/Hertfordshire/Essex border country. The idea was, I suppose, copied from one pub to another and perhaps they were all made by the same craftsman.

There are lots of more normal signs though:


Most of them tell something about the area where they're found - "The Anchor" is on the coast, "The Old Barge" stands beside a canal and "The Fox" and "The Fox And Hounds" are in places where fox-hunting was carried out. You can't always make that connection however; my home village, miles from the sea, had a "Sailor's Rest" - perhaps this relates to the old story about retired sailors who would walk inland carrying an oar: when someone asked what it was, he knew he'd got far enough away from the sea to settle down. 

Others changed their name over the years; "The Ship Inn" is also sometimes found well away from the coast and it's been suggested that they may have once been called "The Shippen", an old name for a cowshed!

And we'll finish off with another of those unusual signs found not too far from home:



Take care.



18 comments:

  1. Hi John - all delightful. I do love seeing them around and you've given us a great collection. I like the idea of The Ship Inn - being an old cowshed ... just so interesting how names have changed over the years and how they reflect life as it was ... thanks for these = fun - cheers Hilary

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  2. When i have visited England I have always found pub signs to be very appealing, and more than once the sign has drawn me in, obviously doing its job.

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  3. A wonderful collection, John. I love pub signs; well, I love pubs, actually. Though, as you say, they are sadly dwindling in number - and many have about as much atmosphere as a morgue, or seem on the verge of becoming playgrounds. One of my regrets in life is that I failed to make a note of all the pubs I have ever visited; I realised in my 20s it was far too late to start.

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  4. creative signs. love them.
    have a great day

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  5. Wonderful signs...and I hope you had a chance to stop in one or two of them. Pedestrian traffic has almost disappeared except in towns like mine, where there're little shops to browse in. And little parking lots to leave cars in. But I think the car is the culprit, you just can't see pretty signs when whizzing past in cars.

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  6. I love them...they are wonderful. I would find it impossible to pick a favorite of these.

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  7. Love them all and the stories but that last one is quite something!

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  8. All so nice! So good to document them before they all disappear . I love the greenman, one of my favorite themes.

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  9. I love that last one John - it really is rather grand.

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  10. Thank you, John - lovely signs. My parents' local when I was growing up was the Hare and Hounds but, unfortunately, I cannot remember the sign. I must google and see if it still exists.

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  11. Love all the pub signs! I'd love to visit some of these pubs.

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  12. I just love these signs. So much nicer and more interestIng than today’s.

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  13. I've always liked pub signs. I lived near The Royal Marine, and further up the street are the Pack o' Cards and the Castle, and the George and Dragon..

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  14. Always enjoy English pub signs John, there are some beauties. A really good series here, the last is my fav ✨

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