Saturday, 10 August 2013

Sign of the times

A relatively new acquisition is the sign on the stairway. Purchased purely for its typographic quality – I have since learned that it is from the Great Western Railway – identifiable by its colour apparently. I also like the sentiment of the message – firm yet polite! 
It's a good size piece too - 4 feet across, so it is easily accommodated on the quite large expanse of stairwell wall.


  1. This sign is such a goody P, well sourced! Am intrigued that you mention the colour coding of certain railway lines, do you know any other colours, or particular typography used for particular companies etc.?

    Now, I've just gone and looked up the GWR colouring online:

    This has just thrown up something 'other' to discuss apart from the obvious subject of the above... Having been on our annual retreat, still ongoing for S (I've just returned for a few days to run an event ay UWE - we house-sit each year for friends who live in an old dyer's cottage with some land, surrounded by a stream, so you have to cross a bridge to access the property). We have been tending dog, sheep, chickens, bees etc., and appreciating a 'green' grassy view, with more outdoors time, and books and talking etc. Though, we have noticed that we have been faced with some interesting compulsions. That we are gripped, when 'wondering' about something, by the now 'natural' impulse to look up the solution/answer/facts/possibilities online - rather than being content to just wonder about it for a while, and let it sink in our consciousness.

  2. Firstly what a great website - even for a non-train enthusiast! What brilliant detail, although I have only managed to scan it so far.
    Re the sign - I had assumed (wrongly) that the typeface was Johnstone, but I think it is perhaps Gill Sans(?).
    Your 'google' observation rang true, last week there was a discussion in the pub about about something or other - and as we all sat racking our brains, I suggested we google it on the phone - the person I was with refused, stating - let's use our brains instead - (we never did discover the answer, but it was a far more sociable outcome); on the other hand - I love the fact that in an instance we know that the signal box interior cupboards for GWR are painted 'chocolate'!

  3. Well, at least we all still sound interested in finding out answers to questions, (whether Google be involved or not) which is a good thing.

    The list of painting instructions on the 'station colours' website is intriguing, and also the fact that the tones have been spotted to differ:
    (text from the website) - 'Photographs show that the colours could vary quite a lot, especially the cream, which could be a rich Cornish ice cream colour on one station, and very pale on another. Are we back to the man mixing his paint by eye on site, even at this late date? The paint was very matt in finish indeed, but seemed to wear well'.

    The idea that we would all have the 'right' red in our mind's eye when asked to think of coca-cola red, but if then we were asked to pick it out from a colour chart, or mix it ourselves!!!???
    Were there any other signs for sale where you got this one from P, or was it a one-off rose amongst the thorns purchase?

  4. I love the amount of detail relating to the station colours - everything from the colour of the locks and brackets (Torbay Bright Red) to the signal box interior - chocolate, light stone, white and black! I doubt that Network Rail afford as much attention to detail as British Rail did...

    There were other signs for sale but nothing quite as interesting - or on the same scale as this one. There was however an intriguing hand written note on the stall that said the owner had a barn-full of other miscellaneous goods for sale... tempting!


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