Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Sign of Confusion

I think I'm going to designate Tuesdays as 'Travelogue Day' and post some of my favorite photos of places I've been. Starting off with today's post about signs, 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. :-)

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.

Pandy Inn. Out in the enchanted Golden Valley of Herefordshire 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 Grommit fame. (I'll be writing more about that later.)

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.

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.


Deborah said...

Very informative and beautiful photos, especially the sheep. (you gotta love sheep)I'd like one of the 'elderly' signs my self, crossing the main street to get the mail. :D

Cranberry Morning said...

Thanks, Deb. I sure do love sheep, and by the way, I ran across a great donkey photo I took and will have to share that with you. :-)

megan said...

I know I'm really late on this post, but I just found your blog and clicked on the England label and I LOVE this post! I just got back from a vacation in England! My husband had to work in London, so we were there for a week, and before that we spend the weekend in Wales. And yes, we rented a car from the airport to drive to Wales, so I can totally relate, especially with your road signs picture and the roundabout picture. We definitely took the wrong exit off the roundabout a few times, and I said slow down, stay to the left, etc more times than I can count. And the hedgerows in wales! oh my gosh...that's like taking your life in your hands to drive on those country roads. but we made it and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. sorry to write a novel in your comments section, I'm just really excited about your pose :) p.s. I posted a few things from england on my blog too! it's a cooking blog, so really I just focused on the food - flapjacks and scones, yum!


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