Saturday, September 6, 2014
On the wall, on the ball
There are certain small towns that I’ve ofter visited and that, no matter how many times I return, seem to yield further visual interest, and the occasional wonder. Cirencester, Malmesbury, Ludlow, Stroud, are all examples. And there are others, further from my home patch, like Uppingham in Rutland and Louth in Lincolnshire, that I always find rewarding when I get there. Bridgnorth, a characterful hill and valley town with a distinctive townscape overlaying its hilly landscape, is becoming another favourite.
My last visit to Bridgnorth was on the train, and this took me into the town by an unfamiliar route, taking me straight past this cast iron street sign. It was probably the sunshine that made me notice it – the light, producing just the right shadows, was showing off the letters to their best advantage and making them look bright and crisp.
And pretty good letters they are, too. They’re quite well proportioned, there’s plenty of contrast between thick and thin strokes, and they stand out well (helped by the good natural light when I took my photograph) from the background. Maybe a lettering maven would adjust the spacing slightly here and there, but I think they do their job well. The corners of the plate, with their concave curves, are a nice touch too.
I’m always pleased to see these old – often 19th-century – street name signs surviving. They are simply many times better than modern, mass produced signs, fit well into historic settings, and have an elegance of their own. I suppose some councils don’t like them because they need painting periodically, but I’d say that they’re worth the effort. I hope Bridgnorth hangs on to them.