Street Signs

street signs march 13 002

HISTORIC STREET NAME PLATE PROJECT

Over the last twelve months a detailed survey has been carried out examining the areas of the city which still have Victorian street name plates. The findings which are summarised below have been recorded by B&HCC Heritage Team in the form of annotated plans of the city, Hove and Brighton sections, which later will be posted on council’s heritage website with Portslade to follow. The styles shown on that plan indicate that four definite types of signage were used. They are,

a. Cast iron framed flat edged sign with white on black china letter inserts, affixed on the face of the wall. Clarendon slab (or Egyptian) serif *.

1850’s to 1930’s Brighton Town Commissioners, thence the Municipal Borough of Brighton, thence Brighton Corporation and the County Borough of Brighton.

b. Cast iron framed curved edged sign with white on black china letter inserts, affixed on the face of the wall. Clarendon slab (or Egyptian) serif *.

1850’s to 1870’s ( Cliftonville ) The West Hove Commissioners.

c. Cast iron framed curved edged sign with white on black china letter inserts, affixed into the wall. Clarendon slab (or Egyptian ) serif *.

1850’s to 1870’s The Brunswick Town Commissioners, and The West Brighton Estate Co.

d. China tablet sign displaying one word, black on white, affixed into the wall. Helvetica variation sans-serif.

1870’s to 1980’s The Hove Commissioners, thence The Borough of Hove, thence Hove Corporation.

A scheme has been launched to reintroduce these historic styled signs where appropriate but certainly in the city’s conservation areas. Local amenity groups are encouraged to support this project.

This project which is overseen by the Highway Operations / Parking Infrastructure Teams with input from the B&HCC Heritage Team will be strictly controlled. It is proposed an approval panel is formed from the conservation movement to advise on suitable and preferred new signs. The terms of reference will include the regulation of styles, the correct type set, evidence of the correct historical reason, one approved manufacturer of both the iron frames and the china letters, the adherence to current traffic policy and safety standards, and to approve the correct spelling and location.

The erection of Temple Street signs on 14th March has marked the start of the scheme.

* Named after Oxford’s Clarendon Press, the popular slab-serif was created in 1845 by Robert Besley for the Fann Street Foundry.

Roger V. Amerena. March 2013

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