Friday, December 7, 2012

Anglophile Friday - England Signs

I find English signs fascinating. Not that I always understand them, mind you. But there is such variety and they're often pretty and/or unusual.

The middle one, in the photo above, was on the side of the Bull Inn in West Tanfield, North Yorkshire. The message: "Very Polite Notice: No Children Except when Dining in the Restaurant, Supervised by Parents...Please Book to Avoid Disappointment"

And I still can't find my photo of the sign that read, 'Dogs and well-behaved children are welcome.'

Top Row: Gas Station somewhere, I think it was outside York; Dorstone: Dorstone Church - No Through Road; Road Sign; Pandy Inn, Dorstone, 'Twelfth Century Free House'; The Kilburn 'White Horse';

Middle Row: George & Dragon Inn, Much Wenlock; Bull Inn, West Tanfield; Pitt Farm, Dorstone

Bottom Row: Road Sign: Hereford/Letton; 'Today's Homemade Specials,' The Anchor, Cambridge; Roundabout Sign, Ironbridge; White Horse, again, east of Thirk in North Yorkshire

Roundabout Sign outside York
There are roundabouts with several 'spokes'

There are a couple things I'd like to say here, as an American, regarding England's road signs: 

First, it doesn't help that many of the road signs are not at the intersection of two (or more) roads, but on the sides of buildings and not necessarily in prominent locations.

Also, a road might be named one thing in one place and given another name on a different section of the same road. For example, a certain road in Cirencester is named Queens Lane, Lewis Lane, London Road, Burford Road, or A429, depending upon what small section of road you happen to find yourself. It may also be part of a ring road that goes around the whole city, but I'm not sure of that in this case.

And then there's the problem of trying to interpret road signs.  I utterly failed the following England road sign quiz. First is the quiz, followed by my answers, followed by what those signs are actually supposed to mean.

So now I'm wondering why it is that I love British humor, watch British TV shows almost exclusively, and get their jokes, because I obviously don't get their road signs!

By the way, when my daughter and I were in Yorkshire, we avoided driving on a certain road in Askrigg because it was marked with the #10 sign. (see below)

What I learned? That it's probably a good idea to learn the road signs before visiting a different country.

My Answers:

1. Don't Blue
2.Yield to Fire Hydrant
3. Go Up
4. Yield to a Tunnel or a Tomb
5. Don't Red
6. Yield to the Vacuum Cleaner
7. Go 30 MPH
8. Yield to the Tuning Fork
9. Don't Stop the Children
10. Don't White
11. Don't Make a U Turn
12. Yield to the Windsock
13. Evel Knievel Event
14. Yield to Cars Going off a Cliff
15. Roundabout
16. Yield to the Genie
17. Double Don't Blue
18. Don't go 30 MPH
19. Go 40 MPH
20. Yield to the Bumps
or to the domed buildings
or to Hercule Poirot

Well, I was right on a couple of them.


Okay, now it's YOUR TURN



So how did you do?

P.S. I hope my British friends realize that all this silliness is meant in good fun. :-)


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Parsley said...

Fascinating and confusing. Good thing I dont have to drive there...though I'd love to visit.

Samantha said...

Ha ha! I didn't realise they were that confusing to visitors but I guess they must be! There's a roundabout in Hemel Hempsted near where I grew up where it's 6 roundabouts in a circle. It can be confusing unless you take each roundabout as it's own single roundabout and forget about the others til you get there!

Anonymous said...

Samantha, I was just about to mention the Magic Roundabout, as I drive there frequently. You still see motorists totally baffled by the whole thing!
I got all the signs right, but then it would be kind of a worry if I hadn't!

Lois Christensen said...

#14 scares me! That they actually need a sign showing that must mean a lot of people have done it! Cute post and nice photos! Enjoy your weekend

Unknown said...

lol... I think I did that when we went down to Mexico... I had not idea what the signs said! That's why I want someone else to drive me around in other countries... I'd end up in some dodgy part of town for sure!!!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I did a little better on it, but some of them were tough.

I guess I'm used to the names of roads changing because they do that in Florida, too. They will name a section of road for someone, and it will be the same road you were ON. We also have some roundabouts. Not sure why they built some at interstections, but they did. Maybe the person who laid out the streets was originally from England and was homesick.

I've never had trouble driving in England, but I'm not usually behind the wheel. My husband is. I thnk if anyone can learn to navigate through Orlando's traffic around Disney or Atlanta's or Houston's that England is a piece of cake. LOL But apparently some of the worst roads in the country in terms of traffic snarls are in California, Texas, NYC, etc. Florida does pretty well. That's news to me, and I live here. LOL



Terri D said...

I didn't even attempt to take that test. Oh my!! LOL

Suzan said...

Have never been to England!! Hoping to go in two years - but lived in W. Germany for three years in the 80s. Reading their road signs was like reading a book!! Had taken a photo of my baby girl in a baby buggie next to a pole with 20 little signs on it. Went back to the same spot 25 years later and took a picture with baby girl standing next to the same pole - and most of the little signs were the same when we compared them!!

MadSnapper said...

great fun reading your interpretations.. and in Saint pete and Clearwater FL they have roads that have 3 and 4 names, when we lived there I had to get out a map to see what the name of the street was. it was totally confusing.

Eileen H said...

I photographed a sign in Much Wenlock earlier this year which read :
Dogs welcome in bar with well behaved owners.
You would be confused if you visited Wales as all our signs have to be bilingual with Welsh first and then English. I live in Wales but only know half a dozen Welsh words :-)

Cherry's Prairie Primitives said...

I would be going crazy with all those signs!! Love all the fun!!

Chatty Crone said...

Very interesting - has to be scary to drive in a new country and not be able to recognize what the signs are telling you - the traffic signs. Now the other signs with there messages on there - the British tell it like it is. Have a good day Judy.

Unknown said...

These are hysterical-I think I failed the quizz in the worst way-lol

Ruth Kelly said...

LOL, I can't stop laughing. I noticed that you had some signs from Dorstone. The Pitt B&B was interesting because my cousin who is related to the Carvers - they lived at Pitt farm in Dorstone.

I think the blue with running arrows meant something about a round about.

Chatty Crone said...

Gosh and she is from England too!

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Lol! This makes me think twice about ever renting a car in England. But sometimes I think we don't have enough signs over here.

tlcukjourney said...

That was awesome! I loved this post! and British signs... LOVE them too, but there isn't much British that I don't like... well, some of the food maybe :) I'm doing a posting on the food this weekend some time! I love your blog, you always put a smile on my face!

Yenta Mary said...

Oh, what fun! Makes me feel a bit obtuse, but then you just have to find a pub and sit and chat if you can't figure out where to go along the road ... :)

Olive said...

I enlarged my page to try to read the "Very Polite Notice..." before I realized it was in your text. So they take misbehaved dogs? We have a two loops right here going around Athens, Georgia that also has terribly confusing signs. I have made wrong exits more time than I care to think of.

Denise said...

You made me smile.

Terri @ A Creative Princess said...

Lol! What a fun post! I thought #6 was - Don't drop your blow dryer in the bathtub!

RURAL said...

I would be just as lost as you would be...different mind set.

Oh and Chartruese, have no idea, but did I love it.


Carla from The River said...

I love your answers. I was laughing away reading them. So funny! The Evel Knievel Event really made me laugh!

SImple and Serene Living said...

Thanks for the great morning chuckle. I hate to tell you my answer for number 20, which was yield to woman lying flat on back in road.


Leslie Anne Tarabella said...

Evil Kinivel - Very funny!

Glad to have found you!

Diane said...

Hilarious! Never been to England, but if I go, I better not be doing the driving. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Tiffanee said...

WOW! Now that was fun!! Thanks for the great pictures and a lesson!!

laurie said...

Fun post!

Unknown said...

LOL - do you remember the Vacation movie where Chevy Chase is in London and driving in circles on the roundabout - the funniest scene in the movie - he's on it for hours and hours - tee hee
Great great post Judy!
Still chuckling -

J_on_tour said...

Didn't do bad at the test as a revision for my Highway code :-) got one wrong and two or three almost right. I remember the first time I saw that motorbike sign as a child, it was at the top of a steep street of terraced houses (no longer there) and I was wondering if the bikes took off at that point before going down the hill.

I always find the A59 route going into York so confusing when I hit the ring road, too many options & too many roads converging near the city. It's interesting to say that the advanced rail fare is very comparable with the car parking. Obviously that is offset with the fuel by what one pays for public transport or car parking before boarding the train. Hey, I wish petrol was those prices now !!


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