The George Shut
Explained later in the post
Oops, I lied. I told you last week on Anglophile Friday that I would post detail shots of York Minster on today's Anglophile Friday. That will have to wait until next week. Since I'm not at home over this Thanksgiving holiday, I decided to schedule this repeat of a post I wrote in February of 2010. I hope you won't mind.
'I'm always fascinated by signs in England. Why? Probably because they are not the signs I see every day. Also, they have some pretty amusing road signs. Well, amusing and confusing, if you're a first-time tourist. So take a look at this sign. This is a photo I took in a wonderful little village called Askrigg in the North Yorkshire Dales. Incidentally, much of the filming for building exteriors to represent the fictional town of Darrowby in the TV series 'All Creatures Great and Small' was done in Askrigg. This photo was taken on my trip to England with our daughter, Angela.
That brave girl rented a car in Bath where she, along with her terrified passenger, was suddenly catapulted into the British experience of Driving On The Wrong Side of the Road While Sitting On The Wrong Side of The Car and Going a Zillion Miles Per Hour on the M-Whichever. How she did it, I'll never know. How I survived it without hiding below the dash of the car, I'll also never know. Once or twice, when my heart was throbbing in my throat, I quietly implored her to slow down. Other than that, I think I was pretty manageable.
Back to Askrigg. Back to the above photo. While driving around the countryside, we came across this road sign many times: the white disk with the black horizontal bar. Okay, so we assumed that we were barred from travel on those roads. You know, like 'No Entry.' Doesn't that look like a 'No Entry' sign to you? Yes, I know what you're thinking - that it might have been a good idea to familiarize ourselves with British road signs before we left the States. Yeah, well... And I do remember that we asked the natives for an interpretation - or did we ask them which way to the store that sells Turkish Delight. Can't remember. And yes, I am unashamed to say that I was an obvious TOURIST.
It wasn't until we returned home that we discovered that the mystery road sign means 'National Speed Limit.' What?? I couldn't believe it. Any time I see a sign with a strikethrough...oh well, who am I to argue with the Brits. I'm sure they have some very logical reason.
Then there was this wonderful sign - Elderly People. I'm thinking of getting one of those to put at the end of our driveway. :-)
Okay, back to The George Shut. So what does that mean? Well, I think it's what we call a 'dead end' or 'no outlet.' I'll have to admit, 'dead end' is a stranger term than 'shut.' And I think you can see why no cycling is allowed. The opening is about three or four feet high. You wouldn't want to try riding your bicycle into that place. I took this photo in Much Wenlock, Shropshire.
Pandy Inn. Out in the enchanted Golden Valley of Herefordshire (If you ever watched the movie 'Shadowlands' with Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger, you might remember the Golden Valley) stands this lovely sign in front of, as it says, a 12th century free house. TWELFTH CENTURY!! Good grief! I think our local pub has been in Dallas for maybe 50 years tops. Kevin and I had dinner at the Pandy Inn one night. It was a never-to-forget evening of live music, great food, and the pleasant company of our friends who live in The Golden Valley with beautiful hedgerow-lined roads and plenty of really cute and friendly neighbors who even came out to the road to greet us! - the sheep.
I know this was going to be about signs, but I just can't resist those sweet little sheep.
The footpath sign is common in the English countryside, since thousands of miles of footpaths are available for public use. It's great to be able to traverse a property with confidence that you're not going to be arrested for trespassing.
We discovered this little sign while walking through a churchyard in Askrigg. I'm not sure how one keeps one's dog from fouling on church property... but I like the fact that the sign is low to the ground where the literate canine can read it.
It was fascinating to me how often we saw dogs out and about with their owners. In England, dogs are allowed to go into pubs as long as there's someone on the other end of the leash. Next to the entrance of one pub, we saw a sign that read, Dogs and well-behaved children welcome. Unfortunately, you'll just have to take my word for it, since I've searched my files and can't seem to locate it just now, (my chronic filing problem.)
To the left of the door of The Bull Inn in West Tanfield was the following sign. I love that it starts out with 'Very Polite Notice.' We could take a lesson.
and this one at the entrance to a craft fair in Hawes, home of the Wensleydale Creamery of Wallace and Gromit fame.
Below is a photo of one of the easier-to-understand roundabout signs, near York. Some roundabout signs have all sorts of spokes sticking out - which makes a pretty tense moment when the navigator, road map in hand, is frantically trying to figure out exactly which one you're supposed to take, as fellow drivers are calmly zipping on and off the roundabout. On the other hand, they usually have two lanes, so theoretically you could stay on the inside track for hours while trying to figure out which spoke you want to take.
Last but not least, one of my favorite signs in London - the Westminster Tube Stop sign, looking toward the Houses of Parliament.
This is what you see when you come up out of the Underground station at Westminster. It's an awesome sight! Just ask Anna, our granddaughter, who was with us when I took this photo in March of 2008.
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