An unusual auction is coming up next month with a chance to acquire some rather unique — and based on the estimate prices — curiously cheap bits of London memorabilia.
Westminster City Council and Transport for London are upgrading all of their signposting in the Capital as part of the Legible’ London campaign… and are flogging off the family silver the old signs they are taking down.
Some of them are frankly about as obscure as it is possible to get — who’s even heard of the Planning Inquiry Chamber? Hardly anyone, which is why the estimate is just £10-£20 for the sign.
Lots pointing towards local toilets, that I suspect will be snapped up by oh-so-trendy pubs and restaurants.
Maybe a few pointing to your place of work – should you work (or live) in such an august institution that needed street signs?
Some might appeal to transport geeks.
The auction is however not taking place in London, but rather curiously in West Sussex, as part of a wider sale of garden ornaments by an auction house.
Personally, I’m sure the bids would have been higher if the sale had been held in Westminster, and at a venue easier for the general public to attend. Oh well.
The auction takes place next month — on the 21st May — and the full listing is here.
On a personal note, while I appreciate the need for signage to be improved and standardised to make it easier to follow, part of me is sad to see signs taken down like this. Part of the charm when I wander around the places is seeing very old, very shabby street signs dotted around the place.
They add heritage to a place in a manner that is sometimes all too quickly lost when the buildings around them are redeveloped.
Street signs are a part of our heritage — we shouldn’t be so quick to discard them in favour of the perpetual calls for standardisation.