Thursday, 11 June 2015

School sign's out

In 1955 John Boyd-Carpenter, transport minister in the Conservative government of Anthony Eden, introduced some new road signs to Britain. They weren't destined to last long - superseded in just a few years by the celebrated work of designer Margaret Calvert - but they did mark a significant change in British signage.

In particular there is the one illustrated here, extracted from the Daily Express in September 1955. The old symbol for a School - a flaming torch - was replaced by a much more literal depiction: probably safer, but perhaps lacking in poetry?
What I hadn't previously realised is that this change was an attempt by Britain to fit in with the ways of our continental cousins. Which just goes to show that you really can't trust the Conservatives on Europe: Britain entry into the Eurovision Song Contest, decimal currency, the Single European Act, and now this - all on the Tory watch.

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